A better buying experience has to be built out to enable successful shopper journeys; Patrick Jacobs, Co-founder at Immerss delves deeper:
Tell us about Immerss and what inspired this platform?
Immerss is all about helping brands and customers fall in love. That may sound a little sappy, but it's absolutely at the core of our ethos. We actually see a lot of similarities between online shopping and online dating. A lot of the same decisions are made between selecting a brand or product and person to date. How does it look? Could I see myself telling my friends about this? Does this make me feel good?
So with that in mind we set out and built Immerss, which through live video and shoppable chat enables brands and online customers to connect in a more meaningful way. To build a lasting relationship and want to see each other again.
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Why is live commerce now becoming more integral to online sales experiences and what predictions do you have for this market for 2022 and beyond?
Brands are realizing that often what separates them from competing brands, even more so than their product, is the experience they provide the customer and how that customer feels after a purchase. People like buying from people they know. Until recently that was really hard for ecommerce, but now it’s actually pretty simple.
By giving a brand’s customers the opportunity to have real, human-to-human conversations about their products and answer questions the brand has already differentiated itself. People remember the way you made them feel.
Can you talk about some leading global brands that have been able to build exceptional live experiences for end users and what takeaways can be learnt from these stories?
Well I’m admittedly a little biased, but what luxury bootmaker Lucchese with our 1-to-1 digital clienteling is remarkable.
What makes their use case so interesting is they’ve really gone all-in on digital clienteling. They took an existing wholesale showroom that was not utilized most of the year and turned it into a digital commerce center. They now have staffed sales associates to only take inbound inquiries from the website and help guide the customer across the purchase finish line.
How do you feel eCommerce will evolve as user / buyer trends change and as eCommerce platforms become more sophisticated?
Experience will continue to be the biggest differentiator in online shopping. Customers who prefer to shop from home are going to be more vocal, at least with their wallets, and demand an elevated level of service. In their minds if they can easily hop on FaceTime with a friend or a Zoom call at work, why can’t they connect with a brand in a similar manner while shopping online.
Brands and retailers who provide a memorable shopping experience for their customers will drive repeat purchases, brand evangelism, product loyalty, and lifetime value.
A few top predictions in mind for the future of live shopping and the future of live shopping channels?
We’ll all be running around with VR headsets on shopping in virtual malls sooner than most think. Some of the things being developed and soon to be rolled out in the metaverse in terms of immersive digital shopping experiences are incredible and just around the corner.
Also, customer data that was once siloed and difficult to access and utilize will be delivered in easy-to-digest bites allowing brands to recommend products on-the-fly to customers based on thousands of data points. AI-driven product suggestions delivered through human-to-human interactions is something we’ll be focussing on in the near future.
How will those retailers who are already leveraging live commerce now be the first to succeed with eCommerce in the metaverse?
They’ll be way ahead of the game. We believe that live commerce is a natural segway to metaverse shopping. This new all-immersive shopping experience will be incredible, but it will still be online shopping at its core, just a much cooler way to do it. Most of the same issues that Immerss is solving for today with live commerce will be benefits in metaverse shopping as well.
The ability for a customer to connect with a product expert, or stylist, or designer from the brand in a live setting will be just as applicable in a virtual shopping world as it is in reality today.
Some last thoughts and takeaways before we wrap up?
This is a very exciting time to be around eCommerce. To us, this new live commerce, digital clienteling, and eventually metaverse shopping will become the norm in the not too distant future. So in many ways it feels like eCommerce 2.0 is upon us. Brands that embrace the new tools being developed like the Immerss platform and others will certainly be better positioned to capitalize on the forecasted boom in digital shopping.