Hear we are, our 2nd Trendservation post! This time for the trends observed in February. Can you believe we’re already through two whole months of the new year? Time flies. And apparently, so do trends in AR and VR shopping. We’ve also observed continuing trends in BOPIS as well. In comparison to last month’s trendservation, the only item that didn’t seem to have any breakthroughs was bots in retail. Now let’s dig into it February’s e-commerce trends!
February’s e-commerce trends | Visual shopping
Along the same vein as AR and VR applications in retail, visual search is becoming more popular than ever. Visual searching refers to retailers offering their customers the ability to use images to search for products. This is perhaps the most interesting of February’s e-commerce trends due to how incredibly useful it could be. Instead of browsing through dozens (or hundreds) of options, customers can now take a picture of something they like, and stores could search for a product that most fits that inquiry. This requires retailers to possess pretty strong image recognition software.
The implications of this for AR and VR are fairly obvious. Say I’m window shopping on the street and I absolutely fall in love with a specific bed. I could take a quick picture of the bed, and use it to find the most similar product in stores. After I’ve done that, I could use the same information to find pick out the best accessories for that bed too. Image recognition and VR applications could allow us to create the perfect rooms for our homes, all online. Forget Rooms To Go.
In general, more shoppers are even going out to say that they prefer visual search over any other retail content. A picture paints a thousand words, as they say. This trend is especially important for attracting millennial shoppers, who are already using image content – such as likes, GIFs, and memes – in place of text on a daily basis.
In other news
On a related note, Facebook just recently bought a visual shopping startup called GrokStyle. This is a startup that specializes in technology allowing for stores to make product recommendations based on the images that consumers take. We all know that Facebook hosts a ton of consumer data already, and so it’s likely they’re going to use this purchase to bring themselves even closer to our interests.
February’s e-commerce trends | BOPIS
The customer’s ability to buy online and pick up in store (BOPIS) has become an increasingly large factor in the buyer’s journey. A recent survey shows that 50% of respondents specifically look for the BOPIS feature when deciding where to shop. In this same survey it was determined that over 65% of shoppers have made multiple BOPIS purchases.
BOPIS was particularly popular for shoppers this holiday season. This makes sense, have you ever put off your holiday shopping until the very last minute and then it’s a scramble to find everything for your loved ones? When this happens, you can be sure you don’t want to spend all of your time in line. This is where BOPIS comes in, and it’s part of the reason that over 40% of the survey respondents said they used it to streamline their holiday shopping experiences. BOPIS popularity is growing, and it should come to show you that it’s all about offering more speed and convenience to your customers.
February’s e-commerce trends | TV shopping, but online
Recently, Amazon made an interesting move to host a live-streaming shopping experience. Basically, the company posted several 5-minute videos that each showcased a different brand. Customers could then view, and follow the given product links to shop for that item. I couldn’t help but draw the comparison between selling items this way and the corny shopping channels on television. Regardless, it’s still a unique approach to online sales, and so it represents another channel that retailers might want to focus on this year.
Follow this year’s Trendservation with Luminos Labs
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