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How Retailers Can Bridge the Omni-Channel Gap

by Steve Gehlen | 08.18.15

Note: This is the 2nd in a two-part blog series defining the omni-channel gap between physical stores and online stores and explaining how retailers can bridge this gap, inspired by our white paper: Live Interactive Video: A New Omni-Channel Touchpoint.

In my last blog post I discussed the omni-channel gap and how it presents a challenge for retailers. You can review that post if you haven’t read it yet, but the basic premise is that a consumer experience gap exists in the space between a brand’s physical stores and their online store. In that omni-channel gap there are opportunities for brands/retailers to create a new middle-ground touchpoint to bridge the gap by bringing the best of both worlds together.

A Volusion study found that 58% of retail executives say that a seamless customer experience is important, but only 12% have executed a seamless approach.

In this post I will explore how to bridge the omni-channel gap, bringing the authentic human touch of physical stores to the digital one-to-many realm via live interactive video, which includes video, social and product information.

Retailers need to deliver consistent product stories told by product experts, deep product detail, click-to-buy convenience and a unified brand experience to help close the omni-channel gap.

Live interactive video events provide brands and retailers with a new middle-ground touchpoint that gives consumers the convenience of online, along with the authentic human connection and real-time interaction they can get in a physical store. The best of both worlds.

According to statistics collected by Digital Sherpa, videos increase people’s understanding of a product or service by 74%, and 90% of users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision process. Live video marketing builds on this foundation by adding the human touch of real-time interaction. During a live interactive video event, a retailer can deliver a one-to-many message in an authentic manner.

Best Buy recently created an example of this type of middle-ground consumer touchpoint with a live interactive video event using the Brandlive platform. They partnered with GoPro to broadcast live from VidCon 2015 in Anahiem, CA. The event featured the founders of the production company Corridor Digital, who shoot many of their popular YouTube videos on GoPro cameras.

The host was a product expert from GoPro, who facilitiated a discussion with the Corridor team and encouraged interaction with the audience participating in the event through various digital devices.

The focus of the event was on the new GoPro HERO4 Session camera. Product details were available to the audience and they could click to buy the product on BestBuy.com.

As this example shows, live interactive video not only brings human interaction to digital, it can give consumers access to top experts who wouldn’t normally be available at a local store.

It’s imperative for retailers to bridge the omni-channel gap with a new middle-ground touchpoint, and live interactive video is the key.

Download our white paper to learn more about the omni-channel gap and how other retailers have successfully bridged the gap with live interactive streaming video >>>




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