The new decade will see more consumers online than ever before. Technology has become an everyday part of our lives, and that’s being reflected in everything we do, especially in shopping. In 2020, the brick-and-mortar experience will continue to decrease at a rapid pace while, at the same time, eCommerce is expected to reach 15% of all retail sales.
When it comes to mobile-friendly shopping, you can expect even quicker adoption. While mobile sales only accounted for 50% of online sales in 2016, by 2020, 70% of online sales are expected to be on a mobile device. According to the National Retail Federation, Gen Z holds a whopping $44 billion in buying power (surpassing Millennials) and is defined as addicted to their smartphones which makes mobile shopping key.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still retail challenges when it comes to online and mobile shopping. There are still many features that shoppers struggle with while shopping online, and overcoming them will be a key to driving more sales and engagement in 2020. With apparel being the most popular online shopping category worldwide, the fashion retail sector is one that can really benefit from offering customers a seamless shopping experience.
The Discovery Experience
One of the most critical elements of any online shopping experience is the ability to search and find products — product discovery. Without the ability to find products easily, you could lose approximately 50% of potential sales.
In fact, recent research reveals that 60% of online shoppers feel that the most frustrating part of their eCommerce experience is the inability to search for the specific items they want.
The problem is that many, if not most websites offer limited and user-unfriendly search capabilities or the search options they do offer are not very accurate and provide irrelevant results. For example, did you know:
- 70% of websites expect users to use the exact jargon the company uses to find the product—blouse vs. shirt or slacks vs. pants.
- 16% of eCommerce sites do not support searching by product name or model number.
- 18% of websites provide no useful results if one single character is typed incorrectly.
- 60% of eCommerce sites do not allow you to search with abbreviations or symbols
This is a significant issue considering the fact that most online shoppers already know what they want, which is why the majority of people only search online to buy a specific item. So, they need a powerful and effective search experience that helps them narrow down and evaluate products just as effectively online as they do in the store.
The Power of AI Visual Search Navigation
It’s for this reason that Visual Search Navigation (VSN) is a game changer for eCommerce in 2020 and beyond. VSN uses AI and computer vision to automatically extract product attributes and enables intuitive and effective discovery leveraging this unique data. This intuitive and effective discovery journey removes shopper frustration (shopstration) and increases sales.
What this means is that the struggle of searching for products by name or jargon is almost completely mitigated. Instead, shoppers can go in-depth into exactly what they want, based on predefined style attributes that they pick and choose from. For example, in the fashion retail sector, this allows customers to find the perfect flared sleeved, printed, boat neck blouse without actually needing to know any of those terms. This makes it much easier for shoppers to find what they are looking for, narrowing down their search results, and refining their product by every attribute in a visual way.
How Visual Search Navigation provides better customer experience and increases sales
The numbers in 2019 speak for themselves. Visual Search Navigation is a powerful tool that can drastically impact the bottom line for eCommerce retailers.
Fashion-savvy REVOLVE had great results when they implemented Visual Search Navigation, by building around data, insights and metrics. Their online conversions drastically increased by up to 16% uplift in Dresses, Tops, and Pants — the three categories where they tested VSN. Based on that initial run, REVOLVE is now prepared to broaden Visual Search Navigation to shoes, bags, swimwear, sleepwear, accessories and more.
AI Visual Discovery offers a personalized customer journey starting from Visual Search Navigation and continuing with style-based recommendations including “Similar Items” and “Complete the Look” - recommendations that match each shopper’s personal style and affinity.
Make sure you have all the details you need in order to include AI Visual Discovery into your 2020 plan. Request a demo today!