23 March 2022

Live online shopping - the new customer experience

While the pandemic has changed many of our daily habits temporarily, the shift of where and how to shop is continually a moving target. From shopping in a store to ordering everything online, consumer expectations continue to shift. How and where we shop is different.

As an avid shopper, I take my purchases seriously. Whether shopping in person, on an e-commerce website, or app, I still look for a superior customer experience to bring me back again. What types of experiences builds brand loyalty and how can companies ensure they are meeting all the expectations of their customers?

One of my top priorities is the attention when looking for superior customer experience. There are a myriad of avenues to travel down for shopping without ever leaving your home. My social media feeds are filled with shopping ads that are derived from a recent search online or an algorithm dictating what might interest me. I have found many of those shops lack basic customer care and almost no customer experience when problems occur. Online and app shopping are other popular ways to make a purchase. And while I shop from both platforms often, there is greater room for discontent in my purchase followed by an often-poor customer experience. Without the ability to try on, touch the fabric, or visualize the color next to my skin, I am often left less than pleased with my purchase.

The last couple of years retailer LuLaRoe and its brand ambassadors have sold in personal homes, out of tricked-out recreational vehicles, and online. The most impressive is the live stream sales that allows the ambassador to virtually shop and interact with you as they share the latest patterns and designs. This live show allows shoppers to interact, ask questions, and get a better understanding of the products in real-time. Live shopping is a great enhancement to the customer experience that far outweighs a static shopping page.

Recently I read an article on the latest livestream shopping app - ShopShops. The Retail Dive article shared the news of recent funding raised for US expansion for ShopShops. In the article, Liyia Wu, ShopShops founder and global CEO stated "since founding ShopShops, the vision has been to allow customers all over the world to shop global, like a local, from the palm of their hand,".

I can’t be more excited about this. When I can’t be in a store physically or the store is on the other side of the globe, I can still have the in-person shopping experience in a virtual world. But how does this create a great customer journey? From interactions with the seller, the ability to ask questions about colors, sizes, fits, and fabrics, the virtual experience will far surpass the static shopping page, in my opinion. This is a great enhancement to the customer experience.

As more e-commerce/retailers look to new avenues to enhance the customer experience, additional support will be required to achieve the ever-evolving customer journey. Are there any specific areas of the customer journey that you believe will require more attention by e-commerce/retailers? Will live, virtual shopping enhance or detract from your online shopping?


Published first on Linkedin by Katrin Langley, June 2021.