In a crowded marketplace with high levels of competition, today’s online retailers need to lean into every available opportunity to elevate their customer experience. Paying close attention to the concept of the modern digital showroom is key to differentiating your offering from close competitors, giving customers a reason to stay engaged, loyal and converting.
What is meant by the digital showroom? Sometimes referred to as the digital shelf, the digital showroom represents the way that your customers experience and interact with a product on their pathway to purchase. It’s made up of a wide range of digital touchpoints, and no two experiences are likely to be the same.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways in which the concept of multisensory experiences within the digital space can help give your business the edge.
As online retailers, it’s our responsibility to ensure that we’re delivering the richest and most informative representation of the products we offer. In order to convey the most rounded and appealing impressions, retailers have long relied on engaging customers through more than eye-catching visual appeal alone.
We’re familiar with the concept of modern store design factoring in multisensory experiences. From specially curated playlists and store-specific fragrances to carefully considered lighting and free samples – sight, touch, smell, sound and taste are commonly used by brick-and-mortar stores to add depth and complexity to their customer experience.
Shoppers have come to expect an evocative purchase pathway that engages their senses. And increasingly, this is an expectation that online retail can weave into its own digital showroom strategies.
While the opportunity to create multisensory digital experiences exists, there’s no denying the fact online retailers face a unique range of challenges when it comes to presenting their inventory in this manner.
Online retail has traditionally been dominated by visual media. We ask our customers to trust in the quality of our products, and hope that images will be enough to present a product experience that is compelling enough to warrant conversion.
The ability to communicate the texture, taste or smell of our products is challenged by the digital divide. How, then, can multisensory experiences be leveraged within the digital showroom?
While lickable screens and digital aromas are in development, there’s obviously a long way to go when it comes to the literal translation of these sensory elements to the online experience. However, there’s a much more subtle and arguably effective way for online retailers to start harnessing the power of multisensory processing right away.
Research into neural networks suggests that the future of successful digital branding will be increasingly multisensory. Exposure to sensory stimuli triggers complex patterns of association within our brains. The impression we gain through one sensory experience (for example, looking at an image of a bottle of beer being uncapped) leads to a series of other sensory activations – how does it sound? What does the glass feel like in your hand? How does the first sip taste?
These associations are complex and layered. Over time, repeated exposure to certain sets of stimuli creates well-defined networks in our minds – subconscious shorthands by which we recognize and understand a situation, concept or brand.
By consciously creating these “brand networks” through the leverage of carefully considered content, online retailers can build up a much richer, more holistic and multisensory impression of the brands they represent.
What issues are commonly faced when attempting to create this type of deep association and recognizable brand experience? All too often, it comes down to underutilizing the assets that could be helping paint these pictures.
The answer: a digital content experience platform that gives you easy access to (and control over) your assets. The Effectus Content Platform helps to highlight areas of your inventory which are lacking in the right level of content – be that in terms of quality or quantity. Better syndication, accuracy across all channels, more consistency for every product and easier ways for your team to collaborate all help to ensure that you can keep on top of brand control at all times.
1. Consistency in brand presentation.
2. Lean heavily on the visual.
3. Pay attention to “brand acoustics.”
4. Track products that are lacking assets.
5. Take a holistic approach to product presentation
Providing a rich digital customer experience has never been more important. Expectations are shifting – customers demand (and deserve) the richest and most consistent experience possible.
Offering control, consistency and automated content scoring to help keep brands represented, ECP’s digital content experience platform is the perfect partner for those looking to lean on an increasingly sophisticated, multisensory customer experience.