How digital makes brands more democratic
Digital is transforming the retail industry. The number of clients shopping at traditional boutiques and shops is decreasing, while ecommerce giants like Walmart, Best Buy and Nordstrom are seeing their profits increase from a growing number of visitors to their ecommerce platforms.
Digital retail platforms are growing faster than traditional brick and mortar stores. According to Emarketer data, the worldwide retail market will reach $27.73 trillion dollars by 2020. The ecommerce market is expected to top $4.88 trillion dollars by 2021 and will capture a fifth of the world trade volume. In fact, online shopping has become one of the most popular ways of spending time.
The popularity of e-shops has tangible reasons ‒ their offers are closely connected with advertising messages ‒ so much that often buyers come to the link with an already completed request. At the same time, it is possible to create a personal offer for each buyer and interact with him or her through various communication channels ‒ for example, e-mail, mobile phone and instant messenger. Ecommerce technologies are constantly evolving. Over the past few years, for example, the security of online payments has improved and the speed of making online purchases increased exponentially.
Annual sales by both Walmart and Aliexpress are at about billion dollars each which is driving traditional retailers to think more seriously about activating their own digital transformation initiatives. With drone deliveries, robots in warehouses and chatbots in e-commerce, even conservative companies such as luxury brands like Tiffany, Chanel and Gucci realize they must go digital.
It’s not quite so simple for them to make the switch. Companies like Louis Vuitton don’t only sell their brand of merchandise; their high levels of service are an integral part of what they offer their high-end clients. Converting high touch levels of service into a digital experience is not a simple effort. However, over the past five years, luxury brands have managed to outpace the global market in ecommerce growth. And this trend is only going to accelerate. McKinsey & Company projects that ecommerce will make up 19% of the market by 2025, up from 8% in 2016.
Luxury brands have no choice but to embrace retail digital transformation. And here’s how some of them are doing it.
LVMH—the French conglomerate that includes brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Dom Pérignon and Sephora—recently announced an accelerator program for international start-ups. Areas of focus by participating companies include chatbot customer service, visual recognition-based predictive technology, biometric wearables and robotic technology that create clothing customized to fit individual consumer’s bodies.
With Gucci’s latest campaign, consumers don’t have to picture themselves living a lavish lifestyle; they can actually do it. (Kind of.) Virtual and augmented reality are the centerpiece of Gucci Hallucination, which is based on the work of Spanish artist Ignasi Monreal. It includes in-store AR and VR installations that allow consumers to be a part of the campaign. There are also scannable ads individuals can use when shopping from the comfort of their home.
According to a recent study from PMX Agency, social media is one of the top sources of website traffic for luxury brands. And none of them do social better than Chanel, which boasts more Instagram followers than any other luxury brand.
Chanel’s Instagram account maintains the brand’s aspirational image, with every photo looking like a magazine ad. But Chanel’s social media presence is just as much about function as it is about fashion. Based on follower demand, Chanel has since launched two additional accounts. One is centered on beauty products while the other is all about user-generated content which creates a sense of community.
Social media is the number two driver of website traffic, according to PMX Agency. Number one is Google, of course. Studying jewelry brand keywords for a summer, L2 Inc found that Tiffany & Co. “shines at keyword visibility.”
Neiman Marcus has the “Memory Mirror” that allows consumers to take 360-degree videos of them trying on clothes and stores the videos on an app that can be perused later. And what may be the coolest one of all is “Snap. Find. Shop.” If you see an item you like, take a picture. The Neiman Marcus app uses image recognition to serve up comparable products.
Modern powerful platforms for e-commerce and content management such as Optimizely (Episerver) are using artificial intelligence solutions which enable retailers to make personal contact with every customer. In the future functions like storing your size and recommendations will be expected in online shopping.
Wrapping it up, ecommerce is another sector that is being enhanced by digital retail transformation – making shopping even more – all about you, the consumer.
Source by ClickZ