Humans of Commerce, HERO®’s monthly virtual event series featuring the people shaping the new world of retail, fashion, and commerce, continued with Alex Faherty, CEO & Founder, Faherty Brand, Gosha Khuchua, CMO, The Detox Market, and Kristen LaFrance, Head of Resilient Retail, Shopify on Thursday, November 5.
Set against a backdrop of unprecedented change in retail, the panel discussed what Black Friday and Cyber Monday will look like in 2020. Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) are by far retail’s biggest weekend of the year where brands typically generate 20% of their annual sales.
Alex and Gosha dove into the power of virtual shopping and its ability to deliver the IRL experience online during and beyond BFCM. They also shared their thoughts on how to keep associates motivated during the busiest and most stressful part of the year, while using virtual clienteling to keep those customers coming back long after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Kristen weighed in on the wider trends she’s seeing Shopify merchants embrace as peak trading season approaches and the tools Shopify is offering merchants to make ecommerce feel more IRL and less URL.
To learn more about how retailers and ecommerce platforms are prioritizing omnichannel tactics to keep business booming this peak season, Hero Founder Adam Levene spoke with Alex, Gosha, and Kristen for the second installment of Humans of Commerce.
Revisit the conversation and check out 4 key insights below:
1. Forget ecommerce or retail. It’s all about ecommerce and retail. Every year there’s discussion about ecommerce overtaking brick-and-mortar for good or brick-and-mortar continuing to define the retail experience. As 2020 comes to an end, that argument is simply moot. Instead, it’s all about refining the experience so no friction exists between the two.
“It’s no longer ecommerce vs retail. Instead, it’s all about building ecommerce within retail within ecommerce to offer a holistic customer experience,” explains Kristen.
2. Video is going to be capital-H Huge. It’s no secret video shopping has exploded in 2020. In China alone it’s estimated that 20% of all online shopping is now done through video. The reasons are obvious: motion video creates a deeper connection between customer and associate—and a deeper connection between customer and product.
“Customers are 80% more likely to buy a product after watching a video,” observes Kristen. Diving deeper on the topic, Kristen shares a recent personal video shopping experience: “54 Thrones founder Christina Tegbe listened to every piece of my story to find the right product for me. It got me to conversion in two minutes, whereas before I was receiving abandoned cart email from brands and I just wasn’t buying.”
3. Associates and customers love a curated shopping experience. With stores operating at reduced capacity, customers are craving a curated shopping experience. Store teams are no different. Both sides of the shopping equation are increasingly turning to technological innovations to deliver it.
Says Gosha: “Having our retail associates manage customer interactions both digitally and in-person with tools like Hero is something we’d been dreaming about but hadn’t had the bandwidth to execute on until recently. Everyone—customers and associates—has been saying to me, ‘we hope this stays.’”
4. Don’t overlook the power of text. Often overshadowed by its flashy older brother video calling, text message remains a hugely powerful tool for retailers. It’s a familiar medium for customers, making it a natural channel to deliver a seamless shopping experience.
“SMS is here to stay. It continues to be a huge part of how brands like Faherty interact with consumers, touching everything from information to customer service,” comments Alex.
The next installment of Humans of Commerce is set for December. Keep up to date with HERO® on LinkedIn.