Retailers can leverage video content to bridge the gap between in-person and online shopping.
In the results of a survey of more than 1,500 consumers exclusively Chain store age through the Hero virtual shopping platform, nearly two-thirds (64%) of those surveyed said that not being able to see products up close, as they would in a store, is what they value least about shopping online.
When asked what type of online content would give them the most confidence to buy, 68% of respondents said that short videos about the products they were already considering would provide maximum buying confidence.
More than seven in 10 (72%) of respondents said that a product expert, associate or friend would be the most likely to influence their decision to buy a product, with only 9% of them saying that an influencer would be the most likely to influence their decision.
[Read more: Survey: Influencers have little influence on consumer trust]
The Hero Stories solution allows store associates and product experts to shoot videos using the Hero app, tag videos with relevant SKU references, and share their creation for review. Stories can then be endorsed and will pop up contextually on product pages to inspire and convert buyers. Company management can track the sales, engagement, and overall impact of each video.
Retailers such as Ted Baker, size? and Faherty use Hero Stories to enable store associates to create short, purchasable one-to-many videos and share them directly on their online store. These videos can be added to relevant product pages to showcase new collections, showcase store products, and highlight bestsellers.
“Virtual shopping bridges the gap between online and offline for all retailers,” said Adam Levene, founder of Hero. Chain store age in an exclusive interview. “Amazon has made it possible to have almost any product at your doorstep within 24 hours – they are the winners in terms of price, selection and speed of delivery.
“So where does that leave all the other brands and retailers? Levene asked. “As convenient as shopping online is, consumers always seek the personal nature of the in-store experience. Even when stores reopen, the ability of store associates to build and maintain strong customer relationships across digital channels will remain essential for anyone looking to compete with Amazon.
“Associates humanize the shopping experience in a way chatbots never could. As stores – temporarily or permanently – move more and more online, retailers must retain human advantage as a competitive advantage. In fact, we’ve found that customers regularly spend up to 70% more online when they are able to have a personalized visual shopping experience. And they’re 21 times more likely to shop online after interacting with an in-store associate.
“Static product images and boring text descriptions just aren’t enough,” Levene concluded. “Today’s shoppers want to see real video content about their favorite products, from the experts who know them best. And brands need to meet them with this video content right where they are: shopping online, while looking at the items they want to buy. “