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BizReport : Ecommerce : January 14, 2015

Experiential commerce gaining traction among retailers

Ecommerce is increasingly turning shopping into a transactional process, right? Wrong, according to new research that reveals retailers are increasingly looking to experiential commerce to increase engagement and loyalty.

by Helen Leggatt

Augmented reality changing rooms, beacon technology and mobile apps are just some aspects of technology being integrated into the in-store shopping experience to attract shoppers and turn the shopping experience into something exciting and share-worthy.

But what about the online shopping experience? According to a recent survey by CoreMedia, just 11% of retailers have so far implemented experiential commerce online.

However, as many as three-quarters (75%) have begun to delve into the concept which is "accomplished through story-telling, allowing consumers to connect a product to their life, leading to brand engagement beyond simply making a purchase" as opposed to transaction-centric process.

Of the 143 survey respondents, all attendees of the 2014 IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit in May 2014, being able to set themselves apart from the competition was a top factor driving adoption of experiential commerce (57%) followed by low conversion rates (44%) and a lack of brand understanding among consumers (43%).

When asked what they hoped to achieve by implementing experiential commerce, more than two-thirds (68%) cited customer loyalty and revenue (66%), followed by customer satisfaction (63%), engagement (62%) and brand awareness (58%).

"While e-Commerce has grown rapidly in the last two decades, at times we are still novices when it comes to understanding how to provide a better customer experience," concludes the CoreMedia report. "By shifting our focus to what drives customers and inspires their loyalty toward a business, however, we can succeed in today's highly competitive marketplace. Through a combination of organizational and technology change and optimization, we can deliver a more satisfying e-Commerce experience - and enjoy the continued e-Commerce growth experts are forecasting."

Tags: ecommerce, loyalty shopping, retail, shopper engagement, shopping journey, technology

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