The Rise of Selfies in E-Commerce

June 21, 2017

Over the last few years, e-commerce has evolved from a supporting act into a leading role. Retailers globally are looking for e-commerce to drive their future growth. As a part of this effort, retailers are realizing the benefits of providing an exceptional customer experience for their online shoppers.

Coupled with the 21st century shopper, who no longer enjoys an abundance of time to spend on shopping activities, the importance of providing an online customer experience that saves the time of shoppers has become more important than ever.

The maturation of existing technologies, including computer-vision, has provided retailers with the possibility to create compelling online customer experiences that drive results, increase customer conversion and loyalty as well as provide retailers with a wealth of information about their shoppers.

Selfies and computer-vision in general are making their presence felt in the online customer experiences of retailers and are quickly winning the attention of shoppers. Solutions targeting specific e-commerce verticals, such as Amazon’s Outfit Compare for fashion, Smart Picture for home improvement and interior design or Revieve’s Digital Skincare Advisor for beauty are examples of offerings that are attracting the attention of e-commerce executives as they strive to grow their online businesses.

The most important benefit of leveraging selfies as part of creating a compelling customer experience for your shoppers is saving their time. Through selfies, shoppers are able to find products relevant for them and their desires faster than ever. And in a world of abundance of distractions and scarcity of time, this in turn transforms into revenue for the retailers.

Furthermore, selfies are becoming an increasingly important factor in building true one-to-one personalization into e-commerce experiences. Savvy online shoppers are no longer fooled by personalization techniques that treat them as part of a specific buying or behaviour group and many are put off by being considered as such by retailers.

The most progressive retailers are realizing the impact these experiences can have on the end-consumer and understand the importance of using technologies like these to help create a more compelling, interactive online shopping experience for consumers.

The fundamental shift being created by technology-lead solutions targeting specific verticals has to do with recent acknowledgements that not all online shopping is alike. The expectations of online shoppers vary widely across product groups and categories and retailers can no longer afford to consider their e-commerce visitors similar across verticals.

This results in the need for retailers to create specific, vertical- or category –focused customer experiences to meet the needs of online shoppers and presents a change in the mindset of most e-commerce retailers. Although selfies are a relatively novel way of interacting with the shopper online, they represent an important opportunity for retailers in creating a competitive advantage through the online customer experience and helping combat against the dominance of Amazon. The days of building “one-size-fits-all” experiences for shoppers online will soon be but a distant memory.