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Driving next gen e-commerce

Katy White
Katy White
Principal Digital Consultant, Design & Technology
5 min read
10 November 2021

In the second panel of Meta Festival 2021, we talked with Dr. Teo Pham, Diana zur Löwen, Artjem Weissbeck, Tarek Müller and Torge Schwand about the emerging trends in e-commerce and how brands can benefit from leveraging them. Here are the top three takeaways that will help brands master the metaverse shopping world.

The brand essentials for driving sales across younger target groups

Live shopping is the new influencer marketing

Although many of us still think of Gen Z as young people, or perhaps even “kids” in the eyes of some, this target group actually already has a lot of purchasing power, which will only increase in the upcoming years. Since people of this generation are considered as digital natives 2.0, we can no longer lure them with outdated marketing strategies. Search-based e-commerce via Google and Amazon is old news. Even the second wave, using brand and influencer posts via Instagram, is outdated. 

Today, e-commerce 3.0 is dominated by TikTok videos and live streaming, which help users discover brands instead of searching for them specifically. But still, in this new digital world, people seem to want to share their shopping experience live with others, instead of scrolling lonely through online stores. Live shopping makes it possible and is no longer a newcomer when it comes to advanced sales channels. The thrill of this trend is the combination of advice on fashion, shopping and entertainment at the same time. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, since brands vary in their concepts and consumers have individual needs and interests. Companies can choose whether to stream a one-to-many live shopping session for a broad customer base, or go for a one-to-one or one-to-group streaming if the shopping experience should have a more personal and exclusive character. 

China has recognised the incredible sales volume, where almost 20% of all e-commerce purchasing now takes place via live shopping channels. The trend is already spilling over to Europe. Amazon has been experimenting with the concept for years, startups like Popshop are rising in popularity, and at TikTok these types of sales are now commonplace. Long-established brands like Douglas and Gucci are also amongst the first movers of this new trend. These brands offer in-store live streams, which provide consumers with a virtual shopping experience in the comfort of their own home. 

It’s time to take business to the next level and drive E-Commerce through live shopping events.

Social followers are the new customers

Next gen e-commerce goes hand in hand with the shift from “direct to consumer” to “direct to community”. Customers are no longer individual consumers, but belong to a social community which is appealed by content on social platforms, which evolves into a consumer base. By now, a large proportion of customers are recruited from social followers and the trend is rising. In the future, almost 100 percent of customers will be generated through social media. If brands want to grow these days, they have to be active on social media to create awareness.

The trick is to use all kinds of social channels as commerce platforms. Anyone who thought that WhatsApp and Discord were only used for internal communication is wrong. The key feature of creating sales is to contact people where they already spend a lot of their time every day and interact with their community. 

Gen Z is no longer interested in browsing for hot content and must-haves. They want it the easy way and are used to being inspired by social media. The phenomenal trend, “TikTok made me buy it”, shows how the platform’s algorithm regularly creates viral trends which lead to a boom in certain goods. The challenge for brands is to stand out with their social strategy since users are flooded with offers. 

The secret lies in the concept of social commerce, which combines e-commerce with entertainment. In the first place, people open their social media apps for entertainment. Never forget this when creating new commerce content for these platforms.

Visual products will blow your mind

Being present in the metaverse is starting to get a higher priority than in real life. Virtual products are experiencing huge hype and open the doors to new possibilities. Can it be that in the future we will spend more money on virtual fashion than on physical clothing? The pandemic has led brands to display their products in virtual showrooms and engage customers with virtual events. Creating digital shopping experiences in the metaverse has brought e-commerce to a level we could not have imagined years ago. 

Now that the time has come, we can see how much digital natives in particular are enthusiastic about this trend. To realise their full potential, brands should definitely explore all possibilities for transforming their products into virtual ones.

No matter if you are a newcomer or an established brand: passion is the most important factor to drive the next generation of e-commerce and we are to help you along the way. Feel free to reach out to us to discuss your challenges!

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Principal Digital Consultant, Design & Technology

Katy White