The holidays are coming. Is your brand prepared?
While 2020 has already been an unprecedented year for retailers, as the holiday season approaches, it’s even more important to consider how the pandemic will impact what is traditionally known as the busiest shopping time of year.
Recent retail history
Even before the pandemic, consumers were moving away from shopping brick-and-mortar stores. At the same time, online shopping sales began to grow around Black Friday. In fact, in 2019, they surged to the tune of $7.4 billion—an all-time record for the day—according to Adobe Analytics.
Now, with large retailers like Target, Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Best Buy announcing that they will remain closed on Thanksgiving for the first time in decades, it’s time for brands to admit that consumers will not be flocking to stores to do their holiday shopping this season.
According to the latest data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Index, the COVID-19 pandemic has already accelerated the shift away from physical stores to digital shopping by roughly five years. With department store sales on the decline and brick-and-mortar retail locations completely shuttering, the new retail reality is emerging in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Here are four ways retailers can stand out as they plan for the 2020 holiday season.
This holiday season eCommerce will be flooded with more digital content than ever before. In order to stand out among the competition, retailers will need to have their digital presence firing on all cylinders to accommodate lack of in-person viewing opportunities, consumer preferences, and the possibility of the pandemic lingering long into winter.
One way for your brand to stand out is by incorporating 3D. 3D is a great way to get attention for your products and make an impact while giving your customer a better overall online shopping experience. Plus, 3D allows for as close to an in-person shopping experience as can be provided while still keeping things seamless and safe for both consumers and your employees.
Reducing Returns and Exchanges
While product returns and exchanges may seem like an uncontrollable phenomenon, the truth of the matter is, retailers have the power to shape the magnitude of their returns and exchanges. Especially around the holidays and gift giving.
The quicker retailers realize that high resolution images give their buyers the detailed information about a product necessary to make a purchasing decision, the faster these retailers can leverage said images in their eCommerce practices.
According to Shopify, having 3D models of your products has proven to more than double online sales and reduce returns by 40%. This is largely due in part because 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) shopping gives your buyers a better understanding of the product so they can get their purchase right the first time.
Enhancing User Experience
A recent survey of U.S. consumers found that 51% of respondents plan to start their holiday shopping earlier this year, to account for potential shipping delays, and 76% indicated that the majority of their shopping will be online. Of those surveyed, 57% said that gifts will be sent directly to recipients this year, which means the consumer making the purchase may never see the actual product in person until long after its been gifted.
In addition to these new shopping habits that have emerged as a result of the pandemic, retailers must also account for disparate attitudes toward spending this season. As consumers have been affected by the virus on an individual level, some may be scaling back spending while others may be ready to release pent up purchasing demand.
One way your brand can help enhance the user experience while meeting each individual consumer wherever on the shopping habit spectrum their habits may be, is by incorporating 3D images into your eCommerce plans. 3D provides a physical product experience in the comfort of the customer’s own home.
Leveraging Multiple Platforms
For retailers, an enhanced shopping experience brought on by the implementation of 3D services also promises an additional level of engagement across multiple platforms never experienced by brands before.
By investing in 3D content as part of your eCommerce plan, you can not only use 3D on your own website, but you also can leverage 3D across a variety of platforms, including Google Swirl, Facebook and Instagram with Spark AR, Snapchat, and more.
While a significant level of uncertainty remains around the trajectory of the global pandemic, now is the time for retailers to prepare their contingency plans and pivot to adapt to whatever scenarios may arise in the coming months.
This applies not only to the rapidly approaching holiday shopping season but also moving ahead to next year and beyond. Digital 3D capabilities were once seen as longer-term goals to be achieved gradually, but these capabilities are now mission critical. And can no longer be ignored.
Are you looking for new ways to reach your targeted audience? To find out more about how VNTANA can help your products stand out, schedule a demo or contact us by phone or email to discuss your needs.
September 28th to October 2nd
VNTANA’s CEO Ashley Crowder will be speaking at E-Commerce Week. This is a week-long exhibition showcasing businesses and sharing ideas on how to grow eCommerce brands.