How Technology Shifts Change Business
Intimatology Founder, Rich Harris shares insight on three major technology trends
Picture this: You’re standing in a boutique looking at a lingerie set and instead of asking for help you pull out your iPhone and Google the brand.
I know I’ve done this and I’m not alone: approximately 60 percent of searches originate on mobile devices.
“Analytical studies are beginning to show a rise in in-store mobile searches,” says Rich Harris, co-founder of Intimatology. “Big box stores, department store and supermarkets are common places for these quick Internet searches. Consumers see an item on a shelf and look it up online, looking for deals, reviews or alternatives.”
It’s just one example of how consumer behavior evolves with technology. Retailers who don’t adapt risk losing sales or worse. To help, we reached out to Rich to gain his insight on the three largest shifts in technology that intimate apparel companies should be focused on. Read on for his best advice for leveraging each.
Technology Shifts to Watch
One. An Increase of Mobile Usage
Harris says if you’re not selling or facilitating sales on mobile, you should be! “Recently, purchases made on mobile devices have surpassed that of desktop online sales,” he says. “By next year, Google plans to implement their much talked about Mobile-First initiative. Sites that are designed to function well and provide a good user experience on smart phones and similar mobile devices will be rewarded with higher page rankings in search results.”
Harris’s quick tip: Offer free in-store Wi-Fi and promote your own site or app that scans or finds products in store.
Two. Social Media Becomes Primary Communication Form
More than half of all the people alive right now frequent the top 8 social sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr.) And at least 30 million people spend time on the hundreds of other social networking sites, Harris says. The numbers say it all—social media is where your customers are.
To succeed in social media Harris says companies need to learn where their target audience is and generate a marketing strategy that speaks to them. He warns against hastily posting creative work and advertisements on your feed. “Facebook and other social media channels can be misleading as a valuable marketing tool,” he says. “Often, our friends and families are not our target customers. Feedback from our Facebook friends might steer us in the wrong direction.”
Harris’s best advice: Take the time to do your homework before jumping in. “It takes a little analytical capability, a fair bit of software and a lot of patience, but measuring trends, isolating target audiences and predicting consumer behaviors can net tremendous results,” he says. “Well placed targeted marketing, the right social media campaign and a bit of friendly sharing can turn a small brand into a great success, seemingly overnight.”
Three. Online Videos Shine
Bra Courtesy of Johari Montclair.
Search engines are shifting their results to favor related video and interactive content, says Harris. “Interactive content is a sure fire way to engage customers, promote longer page views, which are more likely to become conversions, and create a memorable experience for your customers,” he says.
Harris adds that consumers now feel they can gleam more information from a video than text, and interactive content is more likely to get seen. He often suggests to clients incorporating 3D Photography into their sites. “3D photography is still an unreachable technology for some retailers, but at Intimatology, we’ve made it affordable, even for start-ups,” he adds.