Ecommerce has been growing at a phenomenal rate for years. It has given birth to giant firms such as Amazon, Shopify and others, who have ridden the wave of this incredible market opportunity. Yet, ecommerce comes with its downsides. Many retailers who are managing the transition to ecommerce, find that they lose their ability to create that human touch that made their service so unique and created powerful customer experiences. Transitioning to ecommerce without losing the human touch that many retailers thrive on, is one of the great challenges of this historic shift to digital. One firm has risen to the challenge. SWIRL believes that it can help retailers through its live video platform, which comes as close as you can get to recreating the human touch on a digital platform.
SWIRL, founded by Kaizad Hansotia, recently secured $250,000 in funding to grow its business. Hansotia believes that retail needs to recreate the experience of being in a physical store, if it’s to continue to engage the attention and loyalty of consumers. Hansotia believes that the next stage of ecommerce will be about engaging with customers through live video platforms and using this digital analogue of the human touch, to turn engagement into sales.
Retailers have been disrupted by the winds of ecommerce change. From food and drink to fashion, no retailer has been left untouched by the shift to digital. Physical stores face an unforgiving competitive landscape at a time in which ecommerce firms have proven more agile and more responsive to the needs of customers. The pandemic only accelerated a long-term decline in retail. Yet,online retailers are inferior to physical retailers in one key aspect: they are cold, distant and removed from any sense of humanity. With competition in ecommerce becoming more and more intense, especially as the tools to create great online stores become increasingly democratized through platforms such as Shopify, online retailers need to find an edge.
SWIRL offers a way to recreate the experience of being in a physical store. Customers can, at the touch of a button, get access to a live, interactive video experience with their retailer. SWIRL offers three options for its customers. Firstly, retailers can broadcast on a many-to-one basis, allowing customers to ask questions and buy products all in real time. Secondly, retailers can offer a more personalized one-to-one broadcast, similar to how a personal shopping assistant would help a customer in a store. Thirdly, SWIRL offers its clients the opportunity to pre-record video clips and post them on their media channels for their customers to watch.
SWIRL believes that customers are more likely to buy products when they have had a human interaction to discuss the product, learn more about it and alternatives to it, and get feedback from a real person on how the product works for them. This kind of personal touch to ecommerce will certainly change the face of ecommerce and lead to a completely different view of what shopping online means. We can even imagine a day when we shop Bradington Young leather furniture online through a live video platform. Technology is offering up incredible possibilities.