One Dash Founder Rayhan Perera says retailers need to quickly adapt to disruptive changes to survive the pandemic, and, argues interactive content via video may help retailers attract and engage customers, shopfront and shop-from-home.
By Rayhan Perera
Traditional retail in the current shape, form and hue is dying. Brick-and-mortar stores are just another part of a retailer’s omni-channel strategy and they do not enjoy the prima donna position they once held. Traditional retailers were still trying to come to terms with their e-tailer counterparts. Then COVID-19 decided to walk in through the doors.
This is a trying and confusing time for many retail businesses around the world. Retailers need to think about the longer-term implications of the pandemic, not just on their immediate business, but on the customer and the customer relationship. The differentiating factor between the leaders and the laggards will be the ability to adapt to these changes at the speed of new demand and changing consumer dynamics.
We don’t know how long this pandemic or the aftereffects of it will last but what is certain is that the way retailers run their businesses, interact and engage their customers will have changed for the foreseeable future.
How many times have you noticed store assistants neatly folding back shirts and other clothing items that someone just rummaged through? Have you ever wondered why they spend that kind of time and effort to keep doing it? It’s simply because part of any shopping experience is also about ‘touch and feel’. We love to interact with our products, even if it’s on a touchscreen.
Interactive and immersive retail experiences continue to show huge potential. It can help propel the business forward by creating a brand culture of entertainment, fun and learning. Organisations that use some form of video to stay connected to their customer base, in these uncertain times, will eventually realise the benefits of being able to use interactivity to push the experience that much further. Today, a video can deliver more to a given viewership depending on what the media owner wants to do.
The technology exists now to deliver any form of interactivity a storefront or content creator would possibly need in order to achieve message delivery via video. Companies that work with content creators to add layers of interactive information that enables comprehensive calls to action, drive educational experiences, promote walk throughs, conduct surveys, enhance advertising or simply provide more positive shoppable experiences.
According to Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing Survey, 85 per cent of businesses currently use video as a tool for marketing, while 92 per cent of marketers who use video are convinced it’s an critical part of their marketing strategy. Most strikingly, 88% per cent of video marketers stated that video gave them a positive ROI.
Video will continue to be the king of content for years to come. The use of interactivity in videos will complement and reinforce entertainment value, leading to higher user engagement and better consumer trust. As this evolving pandemic has shown, businesses are reinventing themselves to stay relevant and the medium of video is helping businesses continue to stay connected to their audiences. Video also adds the physiological premise of tangibility in a world where physical contact is becoming more of a luxury.
By creating a more seamless path to purchase through interactivity, the sales process for these retailers can be shorter than it normally is. Collaborating with companies that allow the media owner to attach the actual products, the viewership is focused on at the moment.
Although a customer cannot physically visit a brick-and-mortar store, in these times of enforced lockdowns and circuit breakers, they can still see and feel the overall atmosphere and get a personalised virtual walkthrough of the products on offer through interactive videos.
Retailers are actively pursuing other engagement avenues such as live events. These live events are also shoppable, where the retailer simply needs to upload their product line up and take the viewers through their version of a live shopping event using their phones. These digital assets can be easily monetised.
These selling propositions can be strengthened with some great offers, discounts, and other sales concepts.
Finally, interactive content gets people talking and sharing. Getting consumers to share your video has always been the holy grail in one’s content marketing mix. If your digital assets are creative and compelling, people will whip out their phones…
There are no limitations to video. Limitations are only in the minds of the retailers, standing between an engaging or dull shopping experience.