- Monday, June 14th, 2010
This blog post originally ran on Power Retail – you can view it here.
We’re currently in the midst of a revolution on the internet in regards to how information is interacted with, digested and shared. Social media has been the main driver of this new era in communication on the internet (both fixed and mobile), so it’s no surprise that this revolution is also impacting online retail. Social media tools are just now being incorporated into most online retail sites which are giving consumers a new method in which to pre-validate purchases through peer feedback. However, interactive video is set to alter the way in which consumers interact with product information by not only integrating what works from social media but also altering the way consumers interact with digital content.
Online shopping itself has to date been a very solitary experience and not entirely interactive. Consumers would often review listings of a product, view respective photos and maybe even see a standard product video – all to base their buying decision on. The Achilles heel of online shopping has always been the lack of interaction with the product itself to make a more informed purchase decision. However, innovative uses of interactive video are quickly changing that perception. Interactive video is providing that next step just short of reaching out and physically touching a product (that’s another installment though as 3D printing might change things in the near future). Some online retailers are even using interactive video as a customer service model to better connect with the online shopper. Though interactive video itself is a technical breakthrough, it will continue to evolve online due to its integration of social media fundamentals. Here are a few examples of how interactive video is changing the online shopping experience:
ZAPPOS’ INTERACTIVE PRODUCT VIDEOS
With a partnership with Nike and Overlay.tv, Zappos is offering interactive product videos for the consumer to get product info and other information all through an interactive video interface. Consumers can also leave their own video testimonial through their webcam. Zappos’experience has shown it increased conversions from 6% to 30% for products that use video.
SAMSUNG PRODUCT SUPPORT TV
Even the customer service experience will be affected as online shoppers expect to deal with a live person versus an automated response. Samsung is offering live video streaming for online shoppers to have a more personable way to solicit information from their customer service end.
AUGMENTED REALITY SHOPPING
Webcam usage is skyrocketing, so it’s only a matter of time until shoppers expect to have the ability to ‘try on’ digital clothing while they shop. Enter Augmented Reality Shopping. Tobi.com recently integrated Augmented Reality into their site to provide this innovation for their customers. (Disclaimer: Zugara created Fashionista based off its Webcam Social Shopper technology)
Webcam sales alone are expected to grow to $3.2 billion by 2015 and video chat services such as Skype are currently handling 22 million users concurrently at any given time. I think it’s safe to say that as interactive video continues its growth on the web, webcam and video chat integration will as well.
Join me at my presentation at the Online Retailer Expo & Conference in Sydney on July 7, 2010 as I show even more demonstrations of how emerging media and technology are contributing to this evolution of both the internet and online shopping.