For years, the retail industry has been talking about allowing consumers to shop anytime, anywhere. The intent is to deliver the ultimate commerce experience—one that is emotive, inspiring and frictionless.
But, today, the reality is that most have failed to deliver on this vision. While it’s true that consumers may interact with a brand across a number of applications and devices—a mobile app, wearable device, social network, email, digital display, etc. —they are almost always redirected to a website to actually make a purchase. It’s a disjointed process that results in lost enthusiasm on the part of the consumer and misses the mark on customer experience.
In fact, according to a recent survey we conducted, nearly half of consumers (46 percent) are unable to make a purchase at the moment they identify a need or fall in love with a product. Brands and retailers are missing a huge opportunity to provide a truly seamless customer experience by enabling purchase at the moment of inspiration, and an even greater opportunity to unlock new revenue channels for their business.
So, where and how should retailers and brands be further engaging consumers—beyond the traditional website or store? Here are five places to rethink the path to purchase, and drive more sales by delivering better experiences and enabling commerce across the funnel:
- Fitting Room –The consumer is never more engaged than in the fitting room. Give them the options they need to make an informed purchase—in the moment. Consider equipping your in-store fitting rooms with smart mirrors or magic mirrors that allow shoppers to access product information, contact a store associate to request a different size and/or complete a purchase right from the fitting room.
- Social Media – According to a recent survey from PWC, social media is the No. 1 source of inspiration for consumer purchases. Social-savvy consumers love to share images, ideas and opinions on fashion, beauty, food and just about anything else. Embed commerce in social applications such as Instagram and Facebook, and allow consumers to buy within those experiences, instead of redirecting them to a website to complete the transaction. They see it. They love it. Make it easy for them to buy it—in the moment.
- Video Games – According to Gartner, 87 percent of North American retailers are planning to use gamification to engage customers by 2021. By design, video games are fully immersive, emotive experiences. Embedding commerce in gaming technology takes the experience all the way to the shopping cart—allowing consumers to shop in-the-moment.
- Email – Brands send email promotions and discounts to their customers every day, but require them to leave the email and visit a website to make a purchase. After all you’ve invested in your email campaigns, imagine if you could enable commerce right in the body of an email or chat window? Your customers see it, they love it, they gotta have it.
- Conversational Commerce –Voice shopping is expected to grow to a whopping $40 billion-plus in 2022, up from $2 billion today across the U.S. and the U.K. This opens up tremendous opportunity for brands to leverage Internet of Things (IoT) devices to make shopping convenient, easy and innovative.
What’s stopping most retailers
Traditional commerce platforms were built for traditional commerce channels. Truly enabling commerce in any channel or device requires a modern commerce architecture—one that is not constrained by the limitations of the web browser.
We must arm retail developers and marketing teams with better tools that enable the fast and flexible deployment of these commerce experiences. A headless commerce approach, including API microservices, can be used to augment and extend the traditional platform to enable new commerce experiences in any channel, and allow consumers to finally purchase at the moment of inspiration.
It’s time to stop talking about what’s possible in commerce and, instead, do the possible. The technology is here. We have the skills. Now, let’s deliver on those great digital experiences that consumers want and increasingly, will demand.
Moltin describes itself as “an API-first digital commerce solution that embeds commerce into any channel, device or experience.”