Through our extensive experience in delivering eCommerce solutions for leading companies, our mission is to also support retailers with best practices, actionable recommendations, and insights to guide them through their digital transformation journey and help them improve their competitive advantage. Together with our partners from Innoship and Streams.live, we met last month during an on-site event at the Zitec headquarters to discuss the late eCommerce customer experience trends: live shopping, visual commerce, and last-mile delivery.
In this article, you can explore a summary of these findings and other actionable recommendations that will inspire your business decisions and strategies.
1. Visual commerce can enhance customer experience when done right
Mihăiță Pașcaniuc, Creative Director at Zitec, tackled visual commerce and its importance in improving customer experience. He shared some interesting statistics and insights into customer behavior and noticed that we, Romanians, are still reluctant in ordering online: 88% internet users but only 38% online shoppers. The main reason for this missing out on the experience of shopping online is that they don’t have the same experience as in a physical store. This is a challenge that can be solved or improved through visual commerce. Here are some highlights from Mihăiță’s presentation:
- Product photos is the most important factor in a shopper’s purchasing decision – even more than the shipping cost, customer reviews, or the price of the item itself;
- On average, you need between 5 and 8 product pictures per item for your online store;
- Opt for lifestyle photos of what the product looks like in real life or when in use;
- 360-degree product photography can increase conversion rates by up to 50%, reduce return rates by 15% to 50%, and increase online visitor duration by up to 32%;
- Use content-rich descriptions for your products, as 40% of consumers usually return to an online purchase specifically because of poor product content while 30% of consumers who abandon the shopping cart do so because of poor product descriptions;
- Make use of UGC (user-generated content), considering that 90% of customers say it’s more important to them than the content produced by the brand, UGC leading to 29% higher web conversions;
- Try product demos or tutorials, as 69% of consumers believe that a product demo best assists them when making a purchase decision;
- Explore new trends and opportunities, such as AR and Live Shopping: according to Shopify, products advertised with VR/AR content see 94% higher conversion rates than products without. Moreover, live-stream purchasing increased by an average of 76% worldwide;
- Use product videos, as 72% of people prefer to learn about products by watching a video while 80% state that product videos give them more confidence when purchasing a product.
2. The future of shopping is LIVE
Mihai Mănescu, Customer Success Manager at Streams.live, discussed the future of shopping, starting with a comparison between live shopping and teleshopping. While there are similarities and differences between the two, Mihai believes that live shopping takes the best of teleshopping and much more than that. Here are the most important remarks from Mihai’s presentation:
- Live shopping can be seen as a necessary step in the evolution to Web3 and decentralization;
- While shopping, answering customers’ questions right away exponentially increases their purchasing decision. Through live shopping, customers have the chat at their disposal anytime, and you can easily answer their questions and influence the buying process;
- Another benefit of live shopping for retailers is the video content that can be further leveraged in marketing activities;
- Anyone can sell products, even brand representatives – you don’t have to call an influencer or a professional actor to go live, talk about your products, and sell products to your community;
- McKinsey expects live commerce to account for 10-20% of total global eCommerce in 2026; moreover, in 5 years, live-stream shopping is expected to be as popular as podcasts.
3. Turning last-mile delivery into a competitive advantage
Andrei Paul, the CTO and Co-Founder of Innoship, one of our business partners, explained how to turn last-mile delivery into a competitive advantage by using data intelligence. In a world that is always “on” and instantaneous, Andrei believes that getting the delivery experience right is of utmost importance for retailers in an increasingly digitized world. Moreover, product and price are no longer the only considerations to winning sales and delighting consumers. Delivery has taken center stage as a key factor when deciding where to purchase online goods. A great delivery experience translates now into a strong competitive advantage. Here are other key highlights from Andrei’s presentation:
- Why is last-mile delivery important? For online retailers, last-mile delivery is the only direct touchpoint between a customer and a brand. The front door has become the new storefront. Giving consumers the products they want is important but ensuring a delightful experience from order to delivery is now the Holy Grail for retailers worldwide.
- Why is data-driven decision-making important for retail businesses? By aggregating data, retailers can automate courier allocation, claim management, and recipient interaction. From 95% delivered parcels and 5% exceptions, their focus should be on the 5%, as customers are more likely to remember damaged parcels or parcels that didn’t arrive (in time) than smooth delivery situations. In this case, buyer satisfaction increases when the focus is on the exceptions.
- Customers are interested to see what’s going on with their package. Therefore, retailers can add marketing elements in this stage of the delivery process along with automated notifications, following a personalization approach. A branded tracking page can contain, for example, a dynamic FAQ section, depending on the status of the parcel. This is an important point of contact with the customer where they can find all the info they need, to free up support departments and ensure a smooth process for everyone involved.
Stay tuned for other eCommerce and digital transformation highlights from Zitec and our partners or send us a message if you have any inquiries or want to learn more about optimizing customer experience before, during, and after the sale! No matter how complicated or ambitious your idea or project is, we are prepared to take it on.