It’s that time of year where resolutions are planned, questions are raised, and predictions are made. As we look into 2021, there are plenty of unknowns, but there are several quickly emerging trends that have customers looking and brands questioning what comes next in the retail landscape. For agencies, these trends represent opportunities to deliver standout services to clients in a multitude of industries, if they are prepared with the appropriate tools and partners.
A Continued and Exponential Growth in E-Commerce
2020 was eCommerce’s year to shine, with the number of online shoppers jumping 30% in the US alone and growth expected to continue to accelerate through 2021. Whether it’s out of necessity or convenience, consumers are turning to eCommerce for a wider variety of products, and they expect the same level of experience from brands as they receive in store. For brands that quickly rushed to the online space due to COVID-19, or even brands who have been online for years, a serviceable customer experience with little flair was accepted by consumers; but as we enter 2021, the competition has increased, and the tolerance for a less than stellar buying experience won’t stand out in a crowded market. Agencies looking to deliver next level service to their clients must be prepared to help them curate and optimize the customer journey online, from product discovery, to evaluation and purchase.
This is not Google image search; visual search uses artificial intelligence to execute a search query based on an image as opposed to text. Instead of typing “new powerboat” into Google and finding links to sites or scanning through the thousands of images to find the style they are looking for, buyers are able to search using an image of exactly what they are looking for and discover where they can find that perfect boat. Why is this important for brands and agencies? SEO is no longer solely reliant on links and keywords; the imagery on websites, and particularly the product pages of the site, can become assets or detriments depending on the level of accuracy in representing what the product looks like offline. One of the leaders in this space? Pinterest. With over 600 million Pinterest Lens searches per month (part of the over 2 billion average), the visual social platform has become a key destination for consumers. 62% of millennials and Gen Z want to be able to use visual search in their online shopping journey, so whether they use Google, Pinterest, or another search engine, they know what they are looking for and how to find it. Brands that prepare their sites for visual search will be the winners as this trend continues to grow.
3D Product Visualization and Augmented Reality
One of the tradeoffs of shopping online versus in store is the personal experience of engaging with a product. Buyers in store can pick up an item, see the detail, and often peruse the color and material options available. While consumers aren’t likely to be able to use their sense of touch while online shopping any time soon, 3D product visualization, product configurators, and augmented reality can be utilized to offer as close to an in store experience as possible. Consumers want to be able to fully evaluate the products they are purchasing online; not only to see the options available, but to increase their confidence that what they are ordering is actually what they are going to receive. Digital interactions and product configurations also create a sense of ownership and attachment, increasing the likelihood of the customer converting to a sale. ATLATL Visual provides the solutions for brands and their agencies to create those dynamic experiences, with web based technology that integrates with leading eCommerce and website platforms for a seamless experience from developer to customer.
Ready to see how product visualization software can elevate your clients’ online experiences? Let’s connect!