Contentsquare promised to show you the money at Shoptalk 2019 and we did. We held an interactive booth that put Shoptalk attendees to work on our wall, in search of hidden insights. Our guests went sleuthing for the code to our secret room, while our robot hung out with some of the visitors. Our team of UX-perts were on hand to demo our fabulous suite of digital experience analytics. And we also reaped a lot of knowledge regarding the intersection of retail and digital. Here are a few things we learned at Shoptalk 2019.
Influencer Marketing is Ramping Up
Influencer marketing, the practice of using influential people for brand awareness, is huge right now, and many brands are capitalizing on this magic formula of endorsement and audience rolled into one. What’s more is that it has the potential to not only raise brand awareness but to up revenues as well. Andrea Fasulo, the head of Consumer Products Marketing at Nickelodeon, divulged that Nick’s partnership with JoJo Siwa, a 15-year-old YouTuber, has increased their revenues as JoJo’s star rose. (The kid’s network added JoJo to their shows, apparel and toy lines). She now is worth about $1 billion and has a YouTube viewership of millions.
The success of this influencer partnership comes from her alignment with Nick’s brand. To infuse the influencer partnership with a feeling of validity, brands are pairing up with public figures who are passionate, or at least interested in their niche and products. In other words, with the right influencers, a business’s brand messaging looks less like an ad and more like genuine interest/usage of their offering.
But brands don’t necessarily need to reach out to big-name influencers; influencers with a relatively moderate to even a small following can go a long way for e-retailers. Cathey Curtis, the VP of Global Marketing for the surf and snowboard gear company Billabong, has revealed that the company’s Instagram posts that feature micro-influencers get 3 times more engagement than those that feature regular models.
Big Data Has Spawned the Rise of Artificial Intelligence
Data proliferation is no longer unusual, with most businesses pumping out onslaughts of data by the minute. The reliance of data is only increasing and when there’s an excess of data, it loses its digestibility — at least to human eyes and minds. That’s where artificial intelligence and machine learning come in. AI is at the fore of both data processing and how data is delivered to us.
Russell Scherwin, the CMO of Watson Commerce at IBM, spoke about AI at one of the sessions. “If you aren’t addressing AI, you’re behind,” he said. AI technology can help you discover the goings on of your website, without having to scout through a tiresome load of data. With AI technology at hand, brands can easily parse through their data and analytics to optimize their UX, personalize the customer journey and understand the most pressing issues regarding their sites.
Personalization is a Winning Strategy
E-commerce consumers are becoming more and more in want of a shopping experience tailored just towards them, or one built closely around their needs. With the constant bombardment of advertisements and brand messaging, usually with personal elements, consumers are looking to get the same kind of experience while perusing websites that are selling to them.
Personalization comes as a specialized strategy for UX optimization, as it will be different based on the different types of customers in the market. While many retailers have relied on creating emails that tap into their customers’ unique shopping tastes and experiences (ie, abandoned carts, product recommendations), there are far many other routes to take on the front of personalizing the customer journey.
Some of these methods include digital shelves, custom products, endless aisles, geo-targeting, personalized upsells, style finders and more.
Bouqs Co., an e-commerce flower seller based out of California has added special features to its site to increase the personalization factor.
These new features include giving customers the option of watching mini documentaries on the site. The documentaries exhibit the details of the farms which produce the bouquets before shoppers buy one. “We’re adding value beyond just the purchase and I think that’s a big part of the future of e-commerce,” said Bouqs founder John Tavis.
Implementing New Service Delivery Models to Meet Your Customers’ Needs
As part of a strategy to continue product subscriptions as well as to gain customers for single purchase goods, retailers are creating new delivery models. The revamping of delivery methods is part and parcel of the CX, or customer experience.
In this way, CX is an amalgamation of digital with physical experiences. The receipt of a delivery occurs in the physical world, while ordering it comes from digital.
Although customers may spend long periods of time scouring e-commerce sites, they may not always convert, not least where a delivery is involved.
Executives from Madison Reed, a hair care company, and Brandless, a food, beauty and personal care supplier, held a discussion on the fusion of digital and physical experiences. A major area of concern for this merger is the implementation of new service delivery models.
These new models include white label options, subscription boxes and various delivery methods to give brands the edge in a competitive retail market.
Signing off, we want to say that one of the best shows at the junction of e-commerce and retail certainly lived up to its name. Shoptalk 2019 was an outstanding and enlightening experience for us at Contentsquare and the visitors alike. We’ll definitely be back and we look forward to what the future of digital holds.
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