Increase Retail Sales + Reduce Returns with Professional-Driven Content
We’ve all been there. We see a product somewhere and decide to check it out in person. But even once you’re holding it you still want to know more before you buy. So what do you do? That’s right — get out your phone and look it up.
Let’s say you’re finally ready to make the switch from over-the-ear headphones to wireless earbuds, because your morning jog looks and feels uncomfortable running with those huge headphones on. Maybe your main concern is spending all that money and then they end up repeatedly falling out when you run. So with an open mind, you head to Target because it’s the closest brick-and-mortar store with the options you’re interested in. You want to feel the weight and see what the ear tip sizes look like.
And then you find them: the Beats Studio Buds. They seem perfect. They are light-weight and the design seems more likely to stay in place since they’re smaller than all the other ones there.
But once you hone in on the right pair, you may realize there might be a lot more to consider. Is Target’s price the best? How long is the battery life? Does the noise-cancelling work? How do they compare to Apple AirPods? What do most reviews say about the sound? Queue a very awkward silence as you stand there doing research on your phone. And what’s worse, as you search, you find contradicting opinions — from tech articles to random Youtube dads filming unboxing videos in their garage.
It’s easy to go from feeling confident in a potential new purchase to feeling like you’re making a mistake. So instead of purchasing them, you head home to do more research and as you do, you come across an enthusiastic video review from US soccer star, Alex Morgan. You think, “if she can train with these, there’s a good chance they’ll survive a few laps around my block.”
Well, Target just lost a sale because it was more convenient to purchase on Amazon once you were already home and like many people, your credit card is already linked, so it’s convenient. However, you’re sure if you would have seen Alex Morgan’s review while in Target you would have been much more compelled to make the purchase on the spot and take advantage of leaving with them that day.
This happens more than retailers know since it’s so hard for them to track. In fact, research tells us this type of behavior is common:
- 94% of consumers do research online before visiting a store.
- 71% of shoppers who use smartphones for research in-store say that it’s become an important part of the experience.
- 93% of consumers have reviewed product ratings before purchasing an item.
- 82% of consumers are influenced to complete their purchase thanks to product reviews.
And more retail marketers are taking notice. A recent study reports that 48% of marketers said bringing a digital, online experience into stores as one of their top three priorities. Luckily there are simple ways that you can begin to bridge this gap.
Since we all agree that consumers regularly use different channels in conjunction, encouraging them to find quality product information while in your store means there’s less of a chance they get distracted by misinformation or your competition. Providing the opportunity to easily access content such as trusted product videos, reviews, and how-to’s are an important part of the purchasing journey and a powerful driver of whether or not a consumer will complete and keep their purchase.
With so many competitors offering similar products and services, retailers seeking to enhance their in-store shopping experience while seizing the enormous benefits available in the expanding digital universe might want to look at creating this digital content that can easily be accessed in-store.
How It Works
When your in-store shopping experience offers the same access to information as shopping online — both shoppers and retailers win. Though sophisticated in concept, the way it works is simple. While in store, a shopper considering a purchase is able to scan a QR (quick response) code located next to the product. This immediately pulls up not only expert reviews of that product but instructional videos as well, no searching required. This allows the shopper to read the review and/or watch the video while actually touching and feeling the product — the best of both worlds.
The first step is finding the right solution to produce professional video content at scale, in the form of product reviews and recommendations from experts such as well-known athletes, high-level trainers, celebrity beauty specialists, and more.
It’s important that the people who review and discuss the products are not social media influencers who may or may not truly be experts, but rather “trusted” voices that can speak directly to the shopper. For example, a shopper looking for a beauty item might pull up a video in which a make-up artist for Rihanna or Pink provides instruction on how to apply the product or which type of skin it targets. Another shopper looking to buy a foam roller can listen to an NFL player to describe how that roller helps with recovery — or how a certain protein powder helps him perform at his best.
In 2020, returns topped $550 billion and the main reason for those returns being that the product didn’t function or work as the purchaser had expected. But as people become more informed about their purchases, the result is often less returns.
By offering expert reviews and videos to shoppers at the point of purchase, brands are better able to help those shoppers with their expectations and ultimately to make the most informed purchases which cut down on returns.
With more information available to shoppers than ever before, your shoppers are going to want to have that information without having to hunt for it themselves. Creating content and having it available to them is a good experience for the consumer which they’ve come to expect and it puts you in a great position, as a retailer, to open your doors to your customers once again.