Breaking Down Experiential Commerce: What is It and Why is it Important?
Consumer behavior is evolving in nature, and we have been experiencing it significantly over the past decade.
During Covid-19, shoppers and travelers were stuck at home. This caused a shift in how shoppers wanted to engage with brands. That’s when the shift to experiential commerce from brick-and-mortar stores to digital increased.
92% of today’s consumers have concerns about purchasing from unknown sites. One major disadvantage of online commerce is that the shoppers cannot feel the products. Online shoppers rely on the descriptions, photos, and videos of products and services to make a choice. This is why online brands need to invest in Experiential commerce.
So, what is Experiential Commerce?
Experiential commerce is a customer-centric selling strategy focusing on building relationships between brands and consumers by bringing in unique virtual shopping experiences. It is powered by innovative commerce technology like 3D visualization, virtual reality, and alternate reality. The overarching goal is to offer the best possible online experience for discovering, exploring, and purchasing products.
If experiential commerce looks so impactful, there would be some top-class benefits too. Let us talk about them here:
- Experiential Commerce boosts consumer confidence. Against the typical e-commerce experience, experiential commerce offers opportunities for shoppers to engage with or test the product virtually before purchasing.
- Showcases a unique brand experience. The experience-first commerce strategy offers opportunities to brands to showcase their brand in the best possible way.
- Builds personal relationships with customers. Modern customers do not just want to purchase. They want a long relationship with the brands they love. Experiential commerce aids in this.
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A Few Top Brands Driving Shopping Journeys with Experiential Commerce
Maxi Roller Skates
Maxi Roller Skates is a DTC brand thriving amongst a community culture of skating. When an individual visits its website, they can easily find:
- “Virtual Skate Shop” where customers can book consultations with a skating expert.
- They have a “Welcome to your Skates – Choose your Adventure” section, that helps a buyer through every step of using and learning about new skates.
- They also feature an “Arts and Culture” section with resources for movements, cultural trends, and artists in the skating community for shoppers to explore.
Maxi Roller Skates has created a site showing off its brand individuality and its deep connection with the roller-skating community.
And that is how they are adding immersive experiences for their shoppers.
The next brand we talk about is Yeti Cycles. The brand has leveraged a headless framework to offer creative brand experiences to its customers. The experience targets both customer engagement and e-commerce performance. This new headless architecture allows them to quickly make updates to their user experience based on changing trends.
After launching their headless site, Yeti Cycles saw a
- 53% increase in users.
- 44% increase in sessions.
- 36% increase in their pageviews
Whole Latte Love
Experiential commerce lays its foundation on augmented and virtual reality. One good example of this is Whole Latte Love, which utilizes a 3 dimensional (3D) and AR view of their products. On mobile and tablet devices, shoppers can use the AR tool to view their coffee makers, espresso machines in their kitchen. While checking the products from a desktop, shoppers can view the product from all angles in 3D.
Customers are more engaged when they can live their imagination. Whole Latte Love goes beyond the simple video technology and offers next-level 3D images to manipulate to place the equipment in the kitchen.
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Future Trends – Experiential Commerce
Whether brands are working with micro-influencers at much more affordable rates or the most popular influencers at a steep price, this kind of marketing is working because it is influential. Popular influencers like Jimmy Donaldson have thousands of followers because he has mastered experiential e-commerce. He earns by creating immersive experiences for his viewers.
Augmented Reality is changing the store shopping experience
We have already seen a shift from online shopping to augmented reality shopping. This is how experiential e-commerce will continue to grow. For example, the virtual ‘try-on’ for shoes, shirts, pants, or even the furniture can be experienced right in your environment.
Experiential e-commerce is the next logical step in online sales. Whether it is an online contest, a game, or being able to see how the piece of furniture will look in the living room, people will only click the link if they know they are getting something out of it.
Look what Amazon has been doing it for years; leveraging the AR features of the app. We can expect other brands to join the bandwagon in 2022 and beyond.