Accelerating digital shopping habits are driving retailers to adapt to changing digital trends. Today, online shoppers spend a significant amount of screen time on apps like Instagram and TikTok, and social commerce features have enabled shoppers to discover and purchase products through these channels rather than search and find through ecommerce stores. In these online experiences, shoppers seek relevant content as part of engaging experiences that ultimately lead to purchase via a frictionless checkout experience.
Last year the COVID-19 pandemic brought a spike in this already-rising trend as brick-and-mortar shops closed their doors and customers subsequently turned online to fulfill many of their shopping needs. While this shift organically opened the door to new customers, it has also increased competition amongst an already crowded digital space, driving brands to “flex some different marketing muscles than they’re accustomed to,” as Matt Monahan, VP of Product for digital experience platform Arc XP, pointed out in a recent ecommerce technologies report from Digital Commerce 360.
As TikTok and Instagram Reels skyrocketed in views during the COVID-19 pandemic, many retailers took a cue from this trend. The result has been a rise in retailers venturing into livestreaming to drive customer engagement as well as replicate real-life shopping experiences online.
Nordstrom, well known for their personalized shopping services, recently introduced its own Livestream Shopping channel. The channel features premium video content including virtual styling events, live beauty tutorials, and programs featuring designers like Charlotte Tilbury and Anastasia Soare. While this may seem reminiscent of the television shopping networks of the past, Nordstrom has modernized the experience with the addition of mobile access, interactive engagement through live chats and Q&A sessions, giveaways, and the ability to purchase products directly from the livestream.
After only having made the decision to launch livestream shopping this past holiday season upon observing the trend booming in China, Nordstrom was able to launch its livestreaming channel within just a few months. When asked how retailers could quickly implement such new features, Monahan advised partnering with a technology provider that integrates easily with existing systems and provides tools focusing on “content-rich customer experiences through store front and storytelling.”
Monahan went on to suggest implementing a digital experience platform (DXP) solution that brings all the tools needed to deliver the engaging online experiences that are compelling customers to buy. Best of breed solutions include a full-featured content management system, a broadcast-quality video platform and a modern commerce storefront among its tool set.
A SaaS-based, API-first solution, will integrate easily with retailers’ existing systems as a headless commerce platform or as an end-to-end solution out of the box to deliver rich, performant user experiences. As Monahan said, “Retailers and brands that succeed at ecommerce are the ones armed with the tools to take control of their brand story using rich content both on-site and through their marketing channels. Live video is an emerging tactic we see those brands increasingly use to drive repeat visits that begin with brand engagement and ultimately lead to conversion.”
When brands make the decision to implement a DXP solution, they’re opening the door for their teams to self-service and create compelling experiences in-house that meet customer’s changing expectations and needs such as livestream shopping, 360-product video, and augmented reality, to name a few.
By swiftly launching a new feature that focuses on storytelling through interactive media, Nordstrom was able to take advantage of a critical time in online shopping as well as uphold its place in the market as a customer-focused retailer.
To learn more about how headless commerce, DXP solutions, and other retail tech innovations have carved a permanent place in ecommerce, download the report “Tech Innovations that Stick.”