Retail in the digital age

Technology infiltrates almost every aspect of modern life.

We cannot deny it – even our switch-off moments of total zen are often facilitated by an app, a podcast or gentle music drifting from a nearby device.

Our smartwatches tell us how far we have walked, if we have been sitting too long and even when to breathe.

Mind-blowing when you really stop and think about it. But that is progress for you.

With technology literally at our fingertips every waking moment, we are able to engage, connect and consume with minimal effort and are used to having every whim fulfilled within a couple of taps.

For the retail industry, this means rapid and significant expansion of digital offerings is necessary in order to keep up with society’s thirst for instant gratification.

Unless brands meet this need in appealing and innovative ways, chances of survival in a fast-moving and fiercely competitive market could quickly diminish.

The digital look of retail

Long gone are the days when a bland, functional e-commerce website would suffice to keep your online customers happy.

Today, audience engagement reaches way beyond a simple transaction.

The digital world has moved forward at breathtaking speed in recent years – accelerated further over the last 12 months by the pandemic keeping us all at home and glued to our devices.

Thankfully technology affords us a wealth of capability and opportunity.

For brands up for the challenge, there are endless possibilities when it comes to reaching audiences and wowing them with exciting and meaningful content.

Live streams, video calls, instant messaging, online communities, virtual tours and augmented reality are just some of the ways brands can connect with and inspire shoppers.

Technology also provides the means to capture real-time, valuable data that gives great insight and enables brands to make rapid tweaks to their service to instantly impact effectiveness and, ultimately, increase sales.

Live streaming the Stellar way

We work with brands at the forefront of innovation and together we are delivering the best in digital retail experiences that complement those offered at their bricks and mortar stores.

Live streaming is fast becoming the standout retail trend of the moment and we are fully on board.

Far slicker than the traditional home shopping broadcasts of yesteryear, streaming entertaining and educational live content directly to customers, old and new, is a powerful method of showcasing your brand, your culture and your products.

It also directly connects you to your audience and allows for interactivity, conversation and knowledge sharing – not to mention opportunities to buy.

Facilitated by us, our client Sage live streams masterclasses teaching viewers how to get the most from their luxury coffee machines.
Hosted by personable product experts, there’s a chance to ask questions and get instant feedback from the presenters as well as to make purchases right there and then.

The broadcasts are ticket only and attract significant audiences, selling out time and again.

We have had equal success with live streams aired directly from Samsung’s KX, a brand experience space in King’s Cross, London.

Our knowledgeable team produces, directs and films broadcasts to launch new products such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 phone range, which are available to watch live on the Samsung website as well as on YouTube.

Samsung training team members make for the perfect live stream hosts; not only are they product experts, but also have carefully honed presenting skills thanks to their vast experience in engaging with customers, fronting workshops and leading tours in the physical shopping space.

The combination of passionate, engaging ambassadors and exciting devices allows them to bring products to life on screen in a fun and informative way.

Stellar CEO Emma Ede said: “Our digital offerings continue to quickly grow. We have now launched both live and on demand set up tutorials and demos for Sage and Samsung. These are already delivering an incredible return to Sage and, although we will return to physical retail, our virtual on demand and scheduled events will continue.”

Make it personal

Although live streaming usually carries an interactive element, some shoppers may feel inhibited if they have to ask questions in front of an audience, so to speak.

Others may simply prefer the personal touch and feel they would get more from a one-to-one experience.

By its very nature, live streaming can be offered one-to-many or indeed, one-to-one.

Personal interactions can be enabled via video-call, another trend taking the industry by storm since the world was flipped on its head by COVID-19.

Our Stellar Demo+ service offers customers the opportunity to connect with brand experts and enjoy personalised experiences as they explore the products best suited to their needs or desires.

We use a digital technology platform to create these online retail experiences – coupled with exceptional people who can have real conversations with the customer, who is safe and comfortable at home.

Demo+ also gives complete flexibility in terms of video-call backdrops.

The customer calling in via the brand’s website cannot be seen themselves, but will see and speak to a product expert live, whether in-store, in a showroom or even in a creative space built specifically for conducting bespoke, one-to-one calls.

The way we see it, advances in technology can only grow and enhance experiences in retail.

Use it wisely and watch your brand become an omnichannel triumph.

If you are wondering how you can deliver your next retail experience in the digital age, get in touch with Stellar.

Find more of our insight articles on retail experiences here.

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