New shopping experiences

New shopping experiences

Social commerce allows consumers to purchase a desired product directly on the platform or social media app where they learned about it. While thriving in China, consumers in western countries are more hesitant to embrace it. Meanwhile, Augmented Reality is getting a foothold, as it is proving its use to furniture shoppers.

Western consumers are not into social commerce yet

Live commerce has rapidly become a core feature of Chinese e-commerce sales, with projections for 2022 surpassing $400 billion (accounting for 15% of total e-commerce sales). In the US, meanwhile, livestream e-commerce sales in 2021 exceeded just over $11 billion. Nevertheless, experts anticipate a sharp increase and various parties have announced new live shopping projects, with Amazon Live, Instagram and Pinterest as some of the foremost examples. Bytedance on the contrary, being one of the more successful companies in live commerce in China, recently abandoned the expansion of its livestream shopping activities into the EU and the US as it struggled to gain traction. Their retreat poses the question what constitutes the apparent reluctance of western online shoppers towards social and live commerce adoption. Part of the explanation may be the absence of super apps in the West and a greater attachment to privacy, while a lack of trust in social commerce also plays a role. With its more fragmented market and fundamentally different consumer habits, the bullish bets of industry experts for live commerce in the West may be too optimistic.

Broaden Your Horizons

  • Investor and analyst Matthew Ball has written a book about the metaverse. In this Recode podcast he talks about what he thinks the metaverse is going to be, what it’s not going to be, how long it might take to get there and why you may or may not care about it.
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Augmented Reality might soon dress your home

While augmented reality (AR) is often associated with games such as Pokémon Go, the technology is now proving its potential for commerce, in particular for furniture shopping. Ikea, Amazon, Target and Home Depot all offer their own furniture apps. Meanwhile, the RoOomy app enables professional designers to share 3D designs with clients, who can then buy the items at Amazon or Wayfair. Additionally, Pinterest offers an AR shopping feature that allows online shoppers to place items virtually in their homes, using the app’s Lens camera. Even more interesting, however, is where AR could take us. Instead of a standard product list on a website, you would enter your virtual living room where AI chat bots will be your virtual assistants that help you to make optimal use of the space in your home. While current AR applications are supporting brands to go beyond an online shopping catalogue, future applications will create completely new immersive shopping experiences: be prepared for them to bring the store into your home in unexpected and unpredictable ways.


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