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BizReport : Ecommerce : July 13, 2021

How to deliver a personalized experience every time

Personalization is not a new focus for the digital space, but in a recovering-from-pandemic world in which shoppers became more and more comfortable in the digital space, delivering personalized experience has become much more important. Because these personalized digital experiences aren't only impacting digital merchants but physical stores and traditional retailers.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What trends are you watching in ecommerce?

Adam Levene, Founder, HERO: The return to stores post-pandemic, and what impact that is having on retailers' omnichannel strategies is a trend we are watching closely at Hero. For example, one of our luxury partners is opening stores earlier and later in the day for virtual shopping and then starting to schedule many of their associates to continue working from home and have a hybrid working operating model for their retail teams.

Kristina: What impact is virtual shopping having on physical retailers?

Adam: As well as increasing foot traffic to physical stores, virtual shopping also gives retail locations a new role in helping accelerate eCommerce sales. The technology allows shoppers to go "inside" a physical retail store from home, where they can interact with in-store associates, often in a store nearby, to find products they like and ask detailed questions.

For example, In addition to the sizing and fit of items, our partner rag & bone found that around 25% of chats initiated by customers related to availability of items in-store. Seamlessly blending the online and offline experience, product experts at rag & bone used virtual shopping to help customers continue their shopping experience in-store by inviting them in at a time that best suited their schedule.

Kristina: What about virtual merchants? What can merchants of all sizes do to begin competing better against the giants like Amazon?

Adam: Virtual shopping bridges the gap between online and offline for all retailers. For online only merchants, they use Hero to add the human touch to their eCommerce store. Amazon has made it possible to have nearly any product at your door in 24 hours - they're winning in terms of price, selection and speed of delivery. So where does this leave every other brand and retailer? As convenient as online shopping is, consumers still crave the personal nature of the in-store experience. Even as stores open back up, the ability for store associates to build and maintain close relationships with customers across digital channels will remain critical for anyone looking to compete with Amazon.

Associates humanize the shopping experience in ways that chatbots never could. As stores - temporarily or permanently - shift more online, retailers must retain the human edge as their competitive advantage. In fact, we have found that customers routinely spend up to 70% more online when able to have a personalized visual shopping experience. And they are 21x more likely to purchase online after interacting with an in-store associate.

Kristina: What are Hero Stories? How will they change ecommerce?

Adam: Stories, powered by Hero, brings the familiarity of social style stories to online shopping for the first time. Store associates and product experts can easily shoot Stories using the Hero app, tag videos with the relevant SKUs, and share their creation for review. Stories can then be approved and will contextually appear on product pages to inspire and convert shoppers. Head office teams can easily track sales, engagement and the overall impact of each video.

Static product images and boring text descriptions simply aren't cutting it. Today's shoppers want to see real video content about their favorite products, from experts who know them best. And brands need to meet them with this video content where they are -- shopping online, while looking at items they want to buy.

Tags: ecommerce, ecommerce experience, ecommerce experience tips, ecommerce personalization, HERO, personalized experience, personalized marketing

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