Ten years. That's how far forward the e-commerce space leapt in just the first few months of COVID-19. Granted, it was a change that was ultimately inevitable, as even prior to the pandemic, retail was on a slow march towards digitization.
It's difficult to say whether or not the pandemic's end is truly in sight. But what we do know for certain is that even once restrictions are finally rescinded, there's no going back to how things used to be.
The pandemic has fundamentally changed the e-commerce industry, and ultimately, it's a change that’s for the better. Here's why.
That isn't to say it was an easy road to get here — quite the contrary. In 2020, global retail sales declined by 2.8%, as people and businesses all over the world tightened their belts in the face of economic unrest. Much of this can likely be attributed to the closure of brick-and-mortar outlets, as during that same period e-commerce sales surged upward by 25.7%.
They've continued on an upward trajectory ever since. This year, for instance, the global e-commerce market is expected to reach $5.5 trillion, roughly 21% of all retail sales. By 2025, that's expected to reach 24.5%.
On the surface, those numbers may seem relatively modest. Do recall, however, that this predicted growth accounts for the easing of restrictions and a subsequent resurgence of physical retail. Online shopping will continue to gain ground in spite of this, and it speaks to just how much the industry has shifted. 50% of consumers expect that even once the world returns to "normal," they'll retain many of the behaviors they developed during the pandemic, including the way they shop.
In short, digital commerce is here to stay. The future of retail is neither online nor offline, but instead a blend of virtual and physical into a cohesive omnichannel experience. In light of this, it should be unsurprising that companies are putting more focus, time, and money into their online stores — that many are dedicating the same amount of focus to their web presence as their physical presence.
Social commerce is another area in which we're seeing growth. The increase in social media usage during lockdown did not go unnoticed by retailers. Nor did the fact that platforms like Instagram have released a wealth of tools to help e-commerce brands both promote and sell their products.
One of the most interesting areas in which we've seen technology and retail intersect involves augmented reality. With customers unable to physically travel to store locations, brands have had to adapt the digital shopping experience to be as close to in-person as possible. It did not take long for retailers to realize the potential of AR to achieve this.
With augmented reality, customers could do everything from visualize a new piece of furniture in their existing space to try on jewelry via their phone's camera. What followed was a surge of interest in both AR and virtual reality. The market for both is expected to thrive in tandem with e-commerce, reaching $252.16 billion by 2028 with a compound annual growth rate of 36.9%.
It's not just technology and shopping behaviors that have changed, either. Consumer attitudes also underwent a significant pivot as people adjusted their priorities during the pandemic. And not just due to COVID, either.
The past several years have been challenging for far more reasons than coronavirus. We've witnessed an increasingly unstable and unpredictable geopolitical landscape.
This has only further disrupted supply chains that were already weakened by multiple years of pandemic safety measures. Factor in the ever-present, growing threat of climate change and economic unrest that has left 75% of people concerned about their finances, and it is unsurprising that people are now less cavalier about how and where they spend their money. There are several considerations at play:
In other words, people are more considerate about both what they purchase and from whom they purchase it. Even as they seek to save money and limit themselves to essentials, they're willing to spend more for sustainable goods and services. And brands that can offer a superior customer experience regardless of how and where their customers shop will inevitably come out on top.
In the wake of COVID-19, the face of retail has been forever changed. The emergence of social commerce alongside new technology, such as augmented reality, has completely disrupted the relationship between retailers and consumers.
With the recent shift in consumer attitudes and behaviors, this disruption is a good thing — businesses must embrace it in order to move forward. And now, more than ever, companies need to have the right technology in place to enable and accelerate sales in the age of experiences.
Are you looking to transform the way you showcase products in your e-commerce store through interactive shopping experiences? Book your Tangiblee demo today to learn more.
In the ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce, standing out from the crowd and engaging customers in meaningful ways is the name of the game. Shoppers no longer seek just products; they crave experiences that mimic those of traditional brick-and-mortar shopping.
E-commerce has revolutionized the way we shop, offering convenience and unprecedented choice at our fingertips. Yet, online and mobile purchasing often falls short in delivering the same experiences as in-person shopping. Immersive shopping experiences, which may include augmented reality (AR), 3D, lifestyle imagery, and more, bridge this gap by recreating the feeling of trying on, comparing, and experiencing products virtually.
These experiences aren't just for looks (i.e. branding); they are essential for e-commerce success. Research has consistently shown that immersive shopping experiences lead to higher customer engagement, reduced cart abandonment rates, and increased sales. Customers who can interact with products in a digital environment are more likely to make confident purchase decisions.
For retailers, optimizing the consumer purchase journey on their website is an attractive alternative to spending money on advertising. As our client Jewlr says, “The results speak for themselves. We were very pleased with the increase in both conversion rate and RPV.
However, creating immersive shopping experiences presents its own set of challenges. Retailers must find efficient and scalable ways to provide these experiences for their entire product catalog.
Tangiblee has become the market leader in providing immersive shopping experiences to retailers worldwide. Our approach is centered around delivering a seamless, interactive, and scalable experience to customers.
One of the standout features of Tangiblee is its ability to process a staggering 5000 SKUs daily. This means that retailers can offer immersive experiences for their entire product range, no matter how vast.
Retailers can seamlessly integrate Tangiblee into their websites with just a single line of code. This makes it easy for brands of all sizes to adopt the platform without complex technical overhauls.
Tangiblee extracts product details and imagery directly from the retailer's catalog. This enables Tangiblee to equip a retailer’s catalog with no additional photoshoots.
Tangiblee's team then works closely with retailers to configure the user experience based on best practices and client feedback. This customization ensures that the immersive experience aligns perfectly with the brand's identity. Before going live, each SKU undergoes a rigorous quality assurance and testing process. This guarantees that customers receive a flawless and engaging experience every time they interact with a product.
“It was honestly one of the easiest integrations we’ve ever gone through…” says Back (co-founder, Apt2B).
The advantages of adopting Tangiblee's solution are numerous:
1. Cost Savings: Tangiblee eliminates the need for expensive in-house web and software development, 3D model creation, and photoshoots, reducing operational costs.
2. Reduced Maintenance: With Tangiblee handling the technology development, integration support, and ongoing maintenance, retailers can focus on their core business, knowing that their immersive shopping experience is in expert hands.
Immersive shopping, including a full suite of extended reality (XR) experiences, are not just a luxury but a necessity in the competitive world of e-commerce. Tangiblee has emerged as a market leader, offering a scalable, user-centric, and low maintenance solution for retailers seeking to provide these experiences to their customers. By bridging the gap between online and in-person shopping, Tangiblee is helping brands not only survive but thrive in the digital age.
It's time to explore what Tangiblee can do for your e-commerce needs. Schedule a demo with our skilled team today.
The world of retail has gone digital, and any organization that can't keep up risks being left behind. Today's shoppers demand an interactive online experience. You cannot provide them with that if your online store is entirely static.
Product photos and descriptions, while still extremely important, don't paint a complete picture of what it's like to actually use a product. They leave far too much up to the imagination, which ultimately damages customer confidence. To name just a few examples, without interactivity, your store cannot fully convey:
Those details are all left entirely up to the shopper's imagination — such that they might as well simply go to a brick-and-mortar store instead.
Remember as well that all this is happening against a backdrop of changing consumer expectations. Per a recent Salesforce report, the experience provided by a company is just as important as its products or services for nearly 90 percent of shoppers. Those same people have largely adopted a digital-first mindset, with more than half preferring to engage through digital channels and purchase online.
Because of this, embracing innovation in retail is no longer about gaining a competitive advantage, but a matter of survival. Your store must not only be interactive, but also immersive, highly personalized and customer-centric. Should you fail to fulfill these expectations, most of your shoppers will very likely seek out a competitor that does.
But what exactly does it look like when a retailer aces interactivity? How can you tell if your own brand is doing digital retail the right way? We'll start by previewing a few retailers who've worked with Tangiblee to excel in interactive experiences — then, once you know what that involves, we'll walk you through how you can follow in their footsteps.
A high-end jewelry retailer with over 40 years of expertise, Noemie has always maintained a strong online presence. The company, which sells rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings, generates the majority of its revenue via its online store. It's always prided itself on the aesthetics of its e-commerce site, which it maintains alongside three brick and mortar locations — two in New York and one in Aspen.
Noemie approached Tangiblee with the goal of elevating its shopping experience while maintaining the characteristics that made it unique as a brand. We worked with the retailer to implement several interactive features and technologies:
These features allowed Noemie to greatly improve both customer engagement and revenue, with a 118.7 percent increased conversion rate and 125.1 percent increased revenue per visitor.
Apt2B is an online furniture retailer established with a singular vision — to provide an e-commerce experience that reflects the need of modern, tech-savvy shoppers. Although it began as a small bootstrapped company, it's since become an internationally-recognized brand, with a product catalog consisting of over 3000 furniture and home decor SKUs. The one constant between then and now is that the brand relies heavily on technology integration partners in providing and maintaining a high-end customer experience.
It was only natural, then, that Apt2B sought out Tangiblee. The company's founders recognized that buyer confidence was a significant issue for their line of business. They needed better, more immersive visualization.
With that in mind, Apt2B deployed the following technologies:
As a result of its efforts, the furniture retailer enjoyed a sevenfold increase in conversion rate and 11.8 percent increased average order value.
Abbreviated as WGACA, What Goes Around Come Around is a designer fashion brand that sells both vintage and pre-owned luxury items. WGACA's custom collection of high-end apparel, accessories and bags come from some of the biggest names in luxury fashion, including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel and Hermes. Originally established in 1993, the company currently operates two flagship brick-and-mortar outlets, one in Soho and the other in Beverly Hills.
It was only recently that, seeking to evolve alongside the retail sector, WGACA sought to elevate its online shopping experience. The brand saw the writing on the wall, and recognized that shoppers wanted more interactivity. It also knew that maintaining traditional product imagery would be an incredibly challenging undertaking given how frequently its inventory changes — never mind the fact that its product catalog spans over 14,000 SKUs.
With that in mind, WGACA connected with Tangiblee to deploy:
This new level of interactivity and immersion increased WGACA's revenue per visitor by 221 percent and its conversion rate by 227 percent for its online store.
Victorinox is a world-renowned retailer of Swiss Army Knives, cutlery knives, travel gear and watches. With a history spanning over 130 years, the brand established a reputation for quality well before digital retail was even a thing. It could have easily continued focusing on brick-and-mortar retail and ignored the online space altogether — but instead, it set out to provide a peerless online shopping experience.
That meant finding a way to visually communicate product sizes to shoppers, which the company achieved by deploying the following technologies:
Deploying these technologies increased Victorinox's conversion rate by an average of 106.8 percent and its revenue per visitor by 116.9 percent.
We've already discussed how consumer expectations are evolving. People now expect a superior level of service and customization at every stage of their online retail journey, from first contact through to final sale. And they're perfectly willing to leave behind brands that fail to provide them with that.
In a sense, the greatest benefit of online retail is also its greatest weakness. On the one hand, it gives retailers access to an infinitely larger market of potential shoppers than they would reach through physical outlets. On the other, those shoppers also have access to an infinitely larger selection of competitors.
In this hypercompetitive space, it's the companies that do the best job of creating memorable, tailored experiences that excel. They're the retailers that inspire customer loyalty and advocacy, the brands that keep people coming back time and again. Embracing immersive online shopping comes with another significant benefit, as well — it provides you with an opportunity to learn more about your audience than ever.
This is because you can collect information about a shopper at every single touchpoint in their journey. Every time they interact with your brand, you learn more about them and more about what they're looking for. Not only does this allow you to deliver more effective personalization, but you can also leverage analytics to identify bottlenecks and opportunities around your shopping experience.
Last but certainly not least, online retail done right can create an additional revenue stream for brick-and-mortar retailers, one which may potentially serve as an enormous competitive advantage.
Now that we've gone over the benefits of interactive retail and given a few examples of it in action, let's talk about what you need to successfully implement that experience in your own shop.
This is the golden rule of retail in its entirety. In order to deliver an effective interactive experience, you need to understand your target audience. That means not only identifying what they're looking for and why, but also knowing who they are.
Ideally, you want to be able to answer the following questions about your customers:
You wouldn't expect a mechanic to design a website, nor would you demand that a web developer write a novel. Everyone has their own areas of expertise. You may excel at retail, but that doesn't mean you have the technical skills required to build and implement your own immersive retail solutions.
Realistically, even if you did, why go to all the time and effort when you can simply reach out to a technology partner such as Tangiblee? Our immersive shopping and augmented reality solutions are lightweight, intuitive, and trusted by some of the world's top brands. They also require no maintenance and are fully compatible with almost every major e-commerce platform.
Finding the right technology for your website is only the first step. You also need to find a way to integrate that technology so that it enriches your shopping experience without overly taxing your backend. That's easier said than done, unfortunately — many interactive shopping solutions are either incredibly complex to configure or extremely resource intensive.
Tangiblee is neither. We do all the heavy lifting where integration is concerned, collecting existing 2D images and product content via an automated crawl of your catalog, product feeds, and emailed product lists. Not only that, we offer white-glove service from sign-up through to rollout, including ongoing support and maintenance.
The end result? Seamless, stress-free integration, a low total cost of ownership, and a time commitment of less than two hours a month managing our solutions.
Like most digital industries, online retail is data-driven. You need to be able to collect, organize and analyze everything about how customers interact with your store. Not just to identify potential bottlenecks, but also to measure your success.
Tangiblee makes doing both easier than ever, with powerful built-in analytics that allow you to measure everything from traffic to conversions.
Interactive online retail is the future. Of that, there can be no doubt. And augmented reality is only the start — virtual reality has evolved in leaps and bounds over the past several years, to the extent that full immersion might soon be a possibility.
But that's not happening for a while yet. For now, it's enough to know that if you want your company to remain competitive, you need to embrace innovation.
In the face of changing consumer expectations and a shifting industry landscape, the companies that successfully cater to the wants and needs of their shoppers will succeed. The rest will ultimately be left behind.
Are you looking to create an interactive experience for your customers? See how Tangiblee can help. Book a demo today to get started!