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Since 2000 the percentage of retail sales conducted through E-Commerce have grown 1% per year. According to Scott Galloway in his book, “Post Corona, From Crisis to Opportunity”, as of March 2020 18% of retail sales were conducted online through E-Commerce websites. When would-be customers were forced inside and retailers temporarily shut down, E-Commerce sales experienced a 10% growth, to 28%, in a matter of eight weeks. A decade of growth in only 8 weeks. Retailers were now faced with new challenges associated with adjusting to this new normal and tasked with building the omnichannel shopping experiences that their shoppers would be expecting.

Recently Dave Sharma, co-founder and CEO of the AR-focused interactive online fitting room solution, Perfitly, explored how retailers will need to innovate and address the evolving needs of consumers in a post Corona world, with a focus on E-Commerce for an article on Total Retail.

According to Accenture and RILA’s (R)Tech Center for Innovation in their 2018 report “Delivering the New Consumer, The Move to Ubiquitous & Ultra-Personal Shopping”, 63% of consumers wanted personalized recommendations and 61% of consumers wanted help with design ideas. Laura Khoury, CEO of Shoptelligence, started her company when she wanted to be able to walk into a store and only see the things that were relevant to her shopping objective and style, then see how they could be used with other items she already owned. Out of this idea came Shoptelligence’s suite of products, including interactive ensembles and virtual sales assistants powering a seamless omni-channel experience. According to Shoptelligence, shoppers who engage with their platform “add more items to their cart and spend an average of 32% more per order than those that don’t”.

Dave says retailers should also rethink how they think about checkout and payment, “A retailer’s primary goal is to not just make a sale, but create the perfect equation to strategically price items and make the final payment process as frictionless and secure as possible.” he says, “Retailers must strive for customer journeys that are fast, easy, inexpensive and personable. They can do that by ensuring the final step is smooth and intuitive by integrating contactless payments and pickups to cut down on lengthy checkout times.”

Versatile’s Credit Cascade technology helps retailers to build a financing program for shoppers across the FICO spectrum, with a network of over 24 prime, near-prime and no-credit-needed providers. If customers are declined by the primary lender they are instantly transitioned to secondary and tertiary lender, improving their likelihood of being approved for a financing program. Merchants utilizing the cascade notice an average of up to 40% improvement in approval rates.

Moving the shopping experience to the web comes with complications, like how do you try an item on at home? Dave’s company, Perfitly, provides shoppers with an interactive fitting room where they can create a custom avatar from photos or measures and use AR-technology and filters to provide them with a sneak peak of their new outfit — along with size recommendations and other customizations. Perfitly says that “product pages enabled with our virtual fitting room convert at a higher rate”, with some deployments increasing by 50%. Retailers also see up to a 50% decrease in returns.

Marxent provides retailers with the ability to provide shoppers with 3D and AR visualizations of the products they are looking for. Customers can see how their new sofa will fit in their living room, simply by using their smartphone. According to Marxent their customers can see up to a 50% increase in average transaction size, 30% more items per transaction and an 80% reduction in product returns.

With the role of the home expanding to a multi-function space, consumers are re-imagining their spaces and using digital in different ways throughout their journey to create the perfect room. Simplifying the furnishing process by dynamically creating interactive room bundles that fit the shopper’s pre-approved credit is a great way engage shoppers digitally to help them achieve their objectives and maximize transaction size.

It is more critical than ever for retailers to evaluate how they can leverage technology to bring their customers new, innovative experiences to provide them with valuable interactions that help them connect with their products while building trust and confidence with their brand.

Versatile Credit can help retailers to build a financing program on their terms, with the lending partners they trust and the financing programs their shoppers need. Whether retailers need to provide financing in-store, online or beyond, Versatile Credit has the technology to provide shoppers with the same comprehensive financing options wherever a buying decision is made.Reach out to Versatile Credit today to learn more!