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CSA Exclusive: Video enables online personalization

Video content provides digital shoppers with access to product information.

Retailers can leverage video content to bridge the gap between in-person and online shopping.

In results of a survey of over 1,500 consumers exclusively provided to Chain Store Age by virtual shopping platform Hero, almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents stated that not being able to see products up-close, like they would in-store, is their least favorite thing about online shopping. 

When asked what type of online content would give them the most confidence to buy, 68% of respondents stated that short videos about products they were already considering would provide maximum purchasing confidence. 

More seven in 10 (72%) of respondents said that either a product expert, associate or friend would be most likely to influence their decision to buy a product, with only 9% saying an influencer would be most likely to influence their decision. 

[Read more: Survey: Influencers have little influence on consumer trust]

The Hero Stories solution, enables store associates and product experts to shoot videos using the Hero app, tag videos with the relevant SKUs, and share their creation for review. Stories can then be approved and will contextually appear on product pages to inspire and convert shoppers. Corporate management can track sales, engagement and the overall impact of each video. 

Retailers including Ted Baker, size?, and Faherty utilize Hero Stories to enable store associates to create shoppable, short-form “one-to-many” videos, and share them directly on their online store. These videos can be added to relevant product pages to showcase new collections, demonstrate products from the store and highlight bestsellers.

“Virtual shopping bridges the gap between online and offline for all retailers,” said Adam Levene, founder, Hero, told Chain Store Age in an exclusive interview. “Amazon has made it possible to have nearly any product at your door in 24 hours - they’re winning in terms of price, selection and speed of delivery.

“So, where does this leave every other brand and retailer?” asked Levene. “As convenient as online shopping is, consumers still crave the personal nature of the in-store experience. Even as stores open back up, the ability for store associates to build and maintain close relationships with customers across digital channels will remain critical for anyone looking to compete with Amazon. 

Associates humanize the shopping experience in ways that chatbots never could. As stores - temporarily or permanently - shift more online, retailers must retain the human edge as their competitive advantage. In fact, we have found that customers routinely spend up to 70% more online when able to have a personalized visual shopping experience. And they are 21 times more likely to purchase online after interacting with an in-store associate.”

“Static product images and boring text descriptions simply aren’t cutting it,” concluded Levene. “Today’s shoppers want to see real video content about their favorite products, from experts who know them best. And brands need to meet them with this video content where they are -- shopping online, while looking at items they want to buy.”

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