3 trends in cutting-edge content, technology and retail

Brands are increasingly selling and communicating online, and as a result, compelling content has become increasingly important. Emakina takes you on a journey through 3 trends that are guaranteed to catch the attention of your consumer and which you leave the competitors behind.

Social live shopping
What is it? Most brands now use their social media as sales channels, but social commerce offers a great new option: live shopping. Brands promote their products in livestream shows, often with influencers for reach, validation and creative input, and viewers can buy the goods right away. Social commerce combines the convenience of online shopping with the networking effect of social media, and live shopping adds the power of impulse buying. Who does that? One of the pioneers in live shopping is Alibaba, after which most Asian brands have also started using it and it has now almost become a permanent part of the marketing mix. But enough Western brands like Adidas and Tommy Hilfiger have now embraced the marketing tool. How can I start? Think about which social platform is most valuable to your brand, and begin to understand what drives your target audience to buy. Look at existing opportunities on Instagram and Facebook, and explore new opportunities. By the end of 2022, YouTube will roll out new features worldwide that will enable live shopping. Our social commerce specialists are eager to think with you.

Phygitalization
What is it? An omnichannel strategy still all too often considers offline and online as separate islands, but its strength lies in optimal integration: phygitalization. The modern consumer is hyper-connected and expects a completely hassle-free experience across all channels. Expect not only to receive online support as in real life, but also to experience a digital experience in the physical store. Farfetch’s retail innovation arm announced the Store of the Future in 2018, a series of innovations aimed at digitizing the shopping experience for high street retailers that is still relevant today. From logins that digitally check a customer into a store, to providing salespeople with purchase history, brand preferences, and browser behavior. Imagine that the sweater you have stored online is already hanging in the rehearsal room when you walk into the store, ideally not?

Who does that? Brands like Nike are actively building an ecosystem where customers are able to connect with the brand on multiple levels, channels, online and offline. Burberry’s concept store in Shenzhen celebrates eventful shopping and aims to integrate social media and games into a physical retail environment. Augmented reality allows customers to virtually test makeup and clothing, offline via magic mirrors and online via virtual sample. The Korean SK-II can even scan a face and recommend skin care. Tablet-assisted sales allow you to connect your warehouse with your online warehouse, and Amazon Go’s virtual box allows customers to leave the store without physically checking out. Endless possibilities for connecting online and offline. How can I start? Try to understand what your customers value and need from you as a brand, to know where to focus your energy. By using online data from customers, you can offer an increasingly relevant experience, both online and in-store.

Web 3.0
What is it? Web 3.0 represents the next generation of the Internet. Following a first generation of only consumer content and a second generation of consumption and creation, this latest iteration adds blockchain to transfer the power and influence of big tech to individual users. From digital NFT collections to land purchases in Metaverse, you can literally become part of a virtual world. At the moment, as a brand, it is mainly a good tool to be a pioneer, to offer your target audience immersive content in an innovative way and to grab the press. But there is also growing criticism that these ideals cannot be realized. And the adoption is going slower than desired, so Meta is considering promoting Metaverse with physical stores. It sounds like a paradox, but it’s really true. Who does that? Consumers need to express themselves the way they do in real life, so fashion brands are still at the forefront of this field, creating stores or fashion shows in the virtual world. Many brands are engaged in NFTs. Nike is investing heavily in growth and recently even acquired the agency RTFKT, which specializes in creating NFTs. Subway and Lay’s have jointly released five digital ‘Crispy Puffer Jacket’ NFTs, to also make their snacks fashionable in the virtual world. How can I start? Projects like this combine creativity and technology at a high level, so if you do not have it in-house, it is best to look for a partner who can help you with both aspects. Emakina is happy to help you. Look at inspiring examples and find out where you can add value as a brand and be truly relevant. An NFT is a first step that events in Metaverse will follow.

Emakina believes that as a retailer you need to keep an eye on trends to know what your customer is thinking. We are happy to help you develop a future-proof content strategy, and as a full-service agency we are also happy to handle the implementation. From video production to copywriting to AR and VR.

Emakina is part of EPAM, a pioneer in technology and has worked for more than half of all brands on the Forbes 2000 list for the past 25 years. Together we work for brands such as Burberry, Adidas, Nike, Ecco, Kitchenaid on various projects.

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