Shopping behaviors are changing. Fast. Consumers are buying online more than ever before and they’re looking for an eCommerce experience that is personal, intimate, and human. Simply put, they want the in-store experience delivered online.
More and more retailers are discovering that the solution to this challenge is video chat. When HERO® first launched video calling earlier this year, GQ described it as “like FaceTiming your favorite sales associate with one- or two-click buying built in.” Since then, our partners — from Arhaus to rag & bone — have leveraged video calling to connect with their online customers and they’re seeing remarkable results: video chats convert at twice the rate of regular chats while offering online shoppers the next best thing to actually being in store.
And that’s just the start of it. Here are four reasons why video shopping is the eCommerce experience of the future.
1. ROI You Can Measure
Video is particularly powerful for purchases that require a more consultative approach. Brands like Credo Beauty and DECIEM use video calling to arrange virtual skin consultations and make product recommendations tailored to each individual.
It’s clear customers and brands love it — our beauty partners have seen a 41 percent increase in online conversions over the last few months, and sales through HERO now account for up to 15 percent of their total revenues.
2. Bringing Products to Life
With HERO, shoppers can video call with the store directly from the brand’s site as they browse. Associates can use video to showcase the details of a particular product in real-time, bringing static pages to life without the customer needing to navigate away from the site or to schedule a future video consultation.
Fine jewelry brand Annoushka leverages the dynamics of video to bring their collections to life in a way that’s just not possible with still imagery. Online customers can click to chat with knowledgeable associates directly from a product page and easily see how a piece looks on a real person in real time.
“With a global pandemic in hand, which has almost entirely frozen travel for a population who account for 60% of luxury sales outside of mainland China, never have our virtual sales platforms been more important to us as a business and for our global clients,” comments Annoushka Ducas MBE, Founder of Annoushka.
3. Live & Direct
Video calling has also proven to be indispensable for furniture retailers like Herman Miller and Design Within Reach, who rely on it to help give online shoppers a feel for how a given item will look in their space.
“We’re using video to see customer spaces and resolve their problems,” says Debbie Propst, the president of retail at Herman Miller, who recently spoke to the New York Times. “This is something we were planning on doing regardless of the current situation. But I will say that the current situation is driving new customer behavior. People are being forced to make furnishings decisions they may not otherwise have done without physically seeing the product.”
4. Empowering Associates
While consumers are keen to video chat with store associates once a call is started, many are hesitant to initiate a call on their own. This is why we put associates in the driver’s seat when we designed video calling, giving them the ability to initiate a video call from within a chat.
The data shows that shoppers are highly receptive: 70% percent of all video calls are accepted, two-thirds from desktop and one-third from mobile devices.
We know that in today’s world, going in store isn’t always possible, which is why we’re so bullish on the importance of video chat. And while this trend might have been accelerated by COVID-19, we’re confident it’s one that will fundamentally transform the commerce experience for both retailers and consumers.