Can digital (re) enchant e-commerce?

While e-commerce sites today tend to become standardized, driven by conversion and performance issues, can virtual worlds be used to enhance and warm up the online shopping experience, taking the best of both worlds?

If we often talk about re-enchanting the user experience at points of sale, this topic is ultimately still relatively little researched for e-commerce. Certainly because it is not experiencing a crisis and, driven by the pandemic, continues to grow 15% in 2021. After the development of live shopping, will Web3’s promises meet the need for e-commerce to a new stage, integrating more satisfaction, human and unexpected into effective , but perhaps an overly formatted online shopping experience?

Behind the industrialization, the standardization of the interface is questionable

E-commerce interfaces also translate this necessary industrialization well and today follow a well-established mechanism: a design that meets the graphical guidelines of the OS or templates offered by e-commerce platforms; navigation and structure optimized for automation of user actions and response management; quick way to shopping; check-out in guest mode; elegant screens so as not to divert sales; inspiration by using social media codes … E-commerce sites and applications face more or less the same performance and conversion challenges and rely on the same tools. The multitude of interfaces to be piloted (sites, applications, markets, vendor and customer interfaces, etc.) also logically pushes players to subscribe to streamlining logic (platforms and tools, advanced technologies, design systems, etc.) that reinforce this standardization. Risk? Switch to a certain coolness, so that the act of shopping itself takes precedence over its experiential aspect, and forget about the interaction between the customer and the brand, which is increasingly hidden behind its product lists and CTAs with one click. However, if the purchase is current, what is left after payment?

3 Examples of product list pages in e-commerce applications

3 examples of product pages in e-commerce applications

71% of customers now admit that they feel frustrated by impersonal shopping experiences and, at the same time, 84% say they prefer the experience over products (Source: Cegid). Shoppers therefore come to the store: to find a link, advice (43% of them believe they are more likely to buy an item in contact with the seller) and to experience emotions that cannot be aroused online … or almost. Also, online, issues of size and fit, material and touch, visualization in space, still create friction and costly logistics of return for many players.

L ‘infinite scroll is that the only answer to a walk through online shopping?

In recent months, the Web3 wave has flooded the media and LinkedIn feeds – this article will be no exception – and brands seem like Eden to be conquered as soon as possible for fear of missing out on the next revolution. Creating and varying products in a virtual version, buying land in Decentraland or The Sandbox, accepting payments in cryptocurrency, tokenizing loyalty programs based on NFTs … There is no need to go back to many initiatives that allow brands and retailers to step into this world .

What interests us here is the potential promise that these interfaces carry – in 3D and virtual reality – that they will bring more into a well-established online experience, without creating new frictions. Let’s see if, by reincarnating the point of sale and recreating these warm spaces in digital form. we could get the best of both worlds. Inventing new experiences that make endless browsing through product lists is not the main expression of the pleasure of searching while shopping online.

Prospectively, we also worked with SNCF (feu voyages-sncf) on thinking about buying train tickets in virtual reality, whose creation and experience are still visible here.

SNCF virtual experience from USERADGENTS

We recently created digital Christmas shop windows with La Redoute, which, in a rich way at its peak, came to translate this hybridization of e-commerce codes by taking over those Parisian department stores that attract young and old every year around.

Showcase “Toys” in La Redoute by USERADGENTS

The emergence of the “metaverse” (Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox, The Sandbox, Decentraland, Horizon, etc.) has somewhat drawn attention to these existing audience crossroads. Aside from questioning the audience of these platforms and their adequacy targeting specific brands, many of them only offer builders to build their presence, today severely limiting creation and standardizing experiences, with game-oriented DNA.

Without interoperability or a common development language, these audience hubs will also require significant investment, while waiting for indirect solutions that will facilitate implementation, as is the case with markets today. Connecting to e-commerce infrastructure (PIM, DAM, PSP) in relation to the need to use other technologies pre-integrated with these platforms will also make maintenance more difficult.

Meanwhile, some brands such as La Redoute are developing new experiences on their own digital ecosystem (site, applications) based on augmented, virtual and mixed reality technologies. Actors such as Balenciaga (among the first) or P&G Beauty (recently) presented and put on sale their new product collections in 100% virtual version, in stores on their website. Creating a virtual experience on your site, in your application, means meeting consumers by creating a space of visibility that can carry your DNA, already creating brand preference by focusing on visuals, animation, audio, already offering reliving moments of differentiating your client. We no longer offer him only a description and visual representation of the product he can buy, but we offer him to look at it in 3D, to buy a virtual version, to try it out through an avatar created in his image and measurements. , but also completely immerse yourself in the universe of the brand, have fun thanks to the mechanics of games, benefit from services and privileged relationship, cooperate … and even tomorrow, who knows, be advised by the avatar of a personal sharp-eyed customer or the ability to touch product texture haptic gloves.

The enchantment of e-commerce is starting again in Printemps

It is with this approach that we have supported our client Printemps in creating a virtual point of sale built into Aware that the challenges of virtual commerce are being created today, we decided to go step by step and take an educational stance, promoting the discovery of this new space for online sales.

In particular, the visitor is invited to enter a 3D boutique inspired by Printemps Haussmann and discover the famous atrium in which nature has reaffirmed itself. As he walks through lush floral arrangements, he discovers a selection of 30 exclusive and cult products available for purchase and can access the enchanted hanging garden located in the heart of Paris. Every week for 6 weeks, 5 randomly selected customers can purchase NFT, a digital work by painter Romain Froquet, and one of them will win the author’s original canvas. Through this operation, the goal is not only to offer a whole new experience, but also to get users to understand the interfaces of tomorrow and support them – also – in their first steps in Web3.

My first virtual store from Printemps & USERADGENTS

To learn more about the origins of the Printemps virtual store, listen to this episode of the podcast Little Talk!

To find out all about augmented, virtual and mixed reality, download our special study “Artificial Reality” for free.

Want to create your own virtual shopping experience? USERADGENTS can guides you in your choices and helps you answer all the inevitable questions before you start. Contact us!

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