The ecommerce industry is getting hotter and hotter. In the last 5 years, investors poured into it $30.3 billion, out of which a third happened in 2014 alone, according to CBinsights. That means the competition between ecommerce businesses is fierce. Hence every player is on the lookout for ecommerce solutions to make the business stand out and get ahead of competition in other ways than simply by dropping prices.
To prep you for the ecommerce war, we’d like to introduce you to the following 3 ecommerce solutions that can make a difference for your business:
1. Visual search
As Hubspot emphasises, humans are visual beings, with visuals being processed 60,000 times faster by our brain compared to text.
Using visual search as an ecommerce solution, users will no longer have to guess keywords to search for a particular product. Instead they can simply upload a photo of a product and see what other similar products are available in the online shop - a process called reverse image search. And inspiration can come from anywhere: social media feed, window shopping, magazine browsing or outdoors muses.
A solution that was already made familiar to us by Google’s search engine, now the technology is available for ecommerce platforms via business APIs from specialised vendors.
Renowned ecommerce players like Flipkart and Lazada are using visual search APIs provided by ViSenze. Tapping into the latest developments in technology, this visual search ecommerce solution is fully automated, as fast as text search and able to scale for large volumes of images.
A study by eMarketer conducted in 2014 shows that when implementing visual search on their ecommerce platforms, retailers experience up to 48% more product views, up to 75% more return visits and up to 11% increase in average order value.
The technology is also beneficial when it is not user-triggered. For example, it can be used to display visually similar items for out of stock items ensuring there is no dead end for the shopper. Alternatively it can be used for a You May Also Like section, showing truly similar items instead of simply showcasing what other customers have bought.
2. Interactive videos
We experience nowadays a booming visual web, and not only of images, but also of videos. As an ecommerce player you might create videos to showcase new collections, product demos, influencers using your products etc. - and these videos would circulate online via social media.
New ecommerce solutions like Wootag make video interaction possible, enabling people to buy or add to cart the showcased products by simplify clicking inside the video. You can see it in action here.
This works by uploading a video and tagging the products inside it. Combined with the previously mentioned visual search, it can also showcase other visually similar items and not just a curated item.
With this interactive video advertising technology that removes friction, spectators can turn into actual shoppers easily.
3. Social media buy buttons
Combining convenience and functionality, ecommerce giant Amazon came up with an innovative way to allow consumers to make purchases - and all they need to do is to add a simple hashtag.
This feature, called Amazon Cart, was rolled out by the company in May of 2014, and involved linking users’ Twitter accounts to their Amazon accounts. Through this, users are given the option to add the hashtag “#AmazonCart” when replying to any of Amazon’s product tweets. The product would then be automatically added to the user’s cart in their Amazon account, lining it up for payment and shipping. This removes shopping friction and taps into the power of word of mouth through social media.
And since then, Twitter itself launched its Buy Now buttons in September 2015, after a year of testing. These buttons are currently implemented by merchants and brands like Best Buy and Adidas. And ecommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, DemandWare and Stripe integrated the functionality to enable their sellers to use them.
Pinterest was already in the game at that time, having launched its Buyable Pins in June 2015 on iphones and ipads, as well as on Android devices as of November 2015. And platforms like Shopify, Magento, DemandWare and BigCommerce already integrated the functionality. What is most notable about Pinterest is their enhancement to the shopping experience beyond just Buy buttons: making images shoppable with visual search.
And seems that June 2015 was a crowded month, with Instagram also launching its Shop Now button. This seemed to be a long awaited feature for the fashionistas out there, especially because Instagram is not supporting links inside posts.
Now that is a lot of social media shopping buttons you can play with.
If you are from outside of the US, sorry to break it but most of these Buy buttons are only available in the US at the moment. However, we’ll probably experience soon a broader release.