Ecommerce has seen a dramatic shift from transactional buying to visual shopping experiences.
In days gone past, consumers used to look at magazines and watch TV programs for inspiration, visit physical stores and speak to salespeople for education, and then read reviews to gain confidence before finally going online to buy. The retailer’s website was the final destination of a long, long journey, offering a very transactional buying experience.
Today, consumers are very different. For a start, they experience much more of their lives through their phone than ever before. And this includes the way they shop, which has shifted almost entirely online.
They get inspiration from influencers on Instagram and TikTok. They build mood boards on Pinterest. They get their education and confidence from watching YouTube reviews and unboxing videos. These services provide a very engaging and visual way of discovering and learning about products.
But when shopping for home decor and furniture, customers still have a bunch of questions and anxiety that holds them back from clicking 'buy'. They can't visualise what products are going to look when they arrive in their home. They don't know if it's going to fit. They cannot imagine how this product is going to work in their life!
Leading retailers have already realised that static transactional experiences are not doing enough to give people the confidence they need to buy. They understand they need to bridge the imagination gap between the product page and their customer's life.