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Today officially marks the first of April. Longer days, bank holidays and profuse Easter chocolate consumption is on the horizon… and you know what? It feels good!

The first of April is notable for another reason (and no, it’s not April Fools Day. Sorry.).

For the fiscal calendar, April 1st marks the beginning of the second quarter of the year (Q2). It’s a time for businesses to reflect on their Q1 turnovers, assess whether they hit their targets, and rethink their current strategy. If you’re a retailer, Q1 of 2022 would have been an interesting time. It was, arguably, the first quarter in two years that wasn’t plagued by COVID uncertainty and new variants. In fact, after two years of unpredictable circumstances, Q1 was expected to see stabilized spending across the retail sector.

However, as they often do, our good friends Expectation and Reality failed to match up. Retail sales online fell to 27.8% in February 2022- their lowest proportion since March of 2020. And in-person shopping hasn’t seen much luck either; the iconic Oxford Street in London has struggled to return to pre-pandemic levels, with footfall down a massive 46% on pre-COVID levels. 

What does this tell us? Well, retailers need to re-think their current strategy, and fast.

Our day-to-day habits saw a complete overhaul during the pandemic, and it’s clear that a lot of these changes are here to stay. Our affixion on doing things from home has remained steadfast (say I if you’ve been personally victimized by having to go back into the office…); and this is also represented in our shopping habits. In 2021, there were 2.14 billion online shoppers, and according to BigCommerce, US eCommerce revenue could reach $707 billion. 

The takeaway? Well, online traffic is growing, and in-person footfall is slowing. 

But, as we know, whilst online traffic is traditionally high, conversion rates are low; with the average eCommerce conversion rate sitting at a measly 2.86%. In comparison, in-person shopping results in conversion rates of between 20-40%. The discrepancy between the two is clear: one channel offers a personalized experience, and the other doesn’t. In-person shopping allows customers to receive human assistance, see products up close, and get to know their in-store advisor. Online shopping, whilst more convenient, is impersonal and often fails to keep the consumer engaged. 

But what if we could combine the two, for the ultimate selling experience? Good news. You can- and many of the world’s top retailers already have, by utilizing live video shopping. 

What is Live Video Shopping?

Live video shopping delivers the in-store experience, online. It allows in-store sales associates and product experts to engage with customers either in one-to-one instances or one-to-many instances. Consumers are intelligently matched with specialists who have an in-depth understanding of customer needs and product specialisms. Live video shopping has gained traction quickly, as retailers recognise the need to deliver an immersive experience that replicates the physical, whilst ameliorating the friction that is so often associated with it. 

The truth is, when people go shopping, they’re not just looking for the latest garments or electronics: they’re looking for an experience. Now, more than ever, consumers crave the feel-good factor when they shop, with over 86% of consumers attesting they’d pay more for a better customer experience. At Go Instore, an Emplifi company, we recognised this long before the pandemic. That’s why we started our platform in 2014, and have since developed a multitude of high-tech features and offerings; including appointment services, two-way video, and ShopStream, our esteemed one-to-many feature. To read more about ShopStream, and see it in action, check out our press release here.

We also recognised that not only was live video shopping here to stay, it also had a broader role to play in delivering the ultimate customer experience online. Consumer behavior has changed, as we know, with many increasingly engaging with their favorite brands via social channels. Social commerce has grown exponentially in the last few years, and to that end, we wanted to rapidly broaden our reach and function. In September of 2021, we officially became a part of the Emplifi family. Emplifi is the world’s leading global CX platform, built across three clouds that encompass social commerce, service, and social media marketing. We’re only just getting started with our Emplifi family, and have already seen great success with the addition of our offering to their platform.

The Results from Live Video Shopping

Retailers and brands using the Go Instore solution see game-changing results. With a massive 20-50% conversion rate uplift, a 38% increase in Average Order Value, and a 94% customer satisfaction rate, live video shopping is not a need for retailers this Q2- it’s a must. 

If you want to learn a little more about our customer successes, check out our case study page here

Out With The Old, In With The New

We’ve established the monetary rewards from live video shopping are huge, the customer satisfaction rates are through the roof, and in-store staff are booked, busy and happy. What are you waiting for? Book a demo with one of our specialists today, and kickstart your Q2 retail strategy.

“By partnering with Go Instore, we’re able to deliver the same level of expert advice and guidance regardless of how customers interact with us. We couldn’t be prouder of our store colleagues, so this a perfect solution to continue driving our pet care experience forwards. Go Instore's live video solution has helped Pets at Home deliver for our customers when and where they need it the most. As a pet care business that offers a wide variety of services and product solutions, we want to create a joined-up pet care experience so that our customers know they will receive the same great level of service however they choose to shop with us.”

“90% of customers want to sit on a sofa before they purchase it. This isn’t always possible due to the often remote locations of our stores. Go Instore’s one-to-one solution has enabled our customers to trust the sales expert on the other side of the line to test out the sofa for them before completing their purchase. Our Sofologists are able to create an instant connection with customers and remove any friction from the buying journey.”

“Cycle Show, one of our biggest marketing exhibitions, was cancelled due to the pandemic – so we decided to take it online with Go Instore. The reach exceeded what we would expect to see at the in-person show with tens of thousands, possibly even hundreds of thousands, tuning in. ShopStream is the best way of leveraging our top of the range showroom and committed store staff to build a true omnichannel business that millions of customers around the world can enjoy.”

“Our M&S Video Expert service helps us to offer our customers flexible, easy and rewarding shopping experiences whether they choose to shop online, in-store, or both. We are building a shopping experience that’s fit for the future as our colleagues offer the same renowned experience expected in-store, to online customers, having started on Furniture, we have expanded to menswear and will launched on Lingerie in September 2021.”