online shopping

Superfront Dressing up Ikea Cabinets.

I am actually surprised that no one else has done this yet. Swedish firm, Superfront  has hitched their wagon to a solid, simple idea – Lets enhance Ikea storage modules. Superfront designs and manufactures new faces, tops, legs and handles for Ikea Kitchen, bath and bedroom storage modules. They offer you an opportunity to enhance, improve and dress up your current Ikea stuff. This is a great idea, and something that can extend the life of, or breath new life into your investment extending its life.

Everything is made to order by Superfront in Sweden. Then items are shipped directly to the customer. They currently have a showroom for design inspiration in Stockholm, but all sales take place through Superfront’s online store. In addition to the physical showroom, there is additional inspiration via Facebook and Instagram where Superfront has uploaded  beautiful lifestyle images and visual feedback from the customers.

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IKEA’s 2013 Catalog Goes Interactive, thanks to McCann-Erickson.

IKEA has always been a forward thinking company and a company that has embraced internet marketing and interactivity from the early days of online shopping. This latest foray is another great example of IKEA embracing technology to create a better customer experience for their catalog shoppers.

McCann-Erickson was enlisted by IKEA to develop the tablet and mobile based application that will launch with the 2013 catalog in a few weeks. The catalog is sent to more than 200 million individuals world wide, and with the rise in smartphone use this should have a solid impact on sales. Using QR code style technology where your devices camera reads a marker on the catalog page, additional content is unlocked enriching the overall experience.

This is a great example of print and digital integration that enhances the overall user experience across the brand.

Shop Virtual Super Markets with QR Codes.

I came across this video on YouTube today and was blown away by the figures at the end of it. This is a great example of integrating an online shopping experience with a traditional bricks and mortar brand.

Tesco, the second largest supermarket chain in South Korea wanted to move to the number one slot without adding any additional stores. Knowing that the Koreans are the 2nd most hard-working country in the world and where grocery shopping once a week is a dreaded task.

Cheil in Seoul, Korea. Tesco did two things, they changed their name to the much more inviting “Homeplus”, and developed a life like shopping experience for busy commuters with virtual stores located in areas like subway terminals. The result was a much more convenient way to shop for busy people, always on the go. The virtual stores blend a mobile based shopping experience into people’s everyday lives at common locations.

The virtual store displays are exactly the same as actual stores using life sized images designed to mirror the familiar setting of the Homeplus store itself.The one thing that was added to the images, were QR codes for each product on the shelf. Users simply scanned a QR code with their phone, and the product automatically loads to their online shopping cart. When the online purchase is complete the products are then boxed and delivered to the customer’s door the same day.

In the four months that followed after this campaign launched in November of 2010, online sales increased dramatically with 10,287 consumers visited the online Homeplus mall using smartphones. The number of new registered members rose by 76%, and on-line sales increased 130%. Currently, Homeplus has become No.1 in online market and is a very close 2nd offline.

3LiveShop, A New Kind of Online Shopping Experience.

It takes a lot to get me to say this is has the potential to reshape an entire industry, or our behavior and experience with a particular service. I have a feeling that 3Live is going to be one of those game changing pieces of technology. One of those things that in a few years we look back and try to remember what it was like without it. Not everyone is going to like 3Live, or for that matter even use it. None the less, this could be a real game changer in the online shopping business.

The 3LiveShop blends a seamless service and sales experience by using the camera on your computer or smartphone to interact with a living person in real-time. What this does is essentially deliver the bricks and mortar stores customer interaction benefits to pretty much anyone, anywhere, online.

What makes 3Live so different from what most of us currently experience (integrated chat application, or the occasional streaming webcam) is that 3Live is real, its seamless, and it is like having a personal concierge to the website while you browse a virtual brochure of products. If you watch the video, you will see how the multi-touch sales agent screen works, with a screen projected from underneath, onto a mirror that in turn is highlighted onto a glass panel with clearly marked navigation and interaction areas. This helps to create a more natural experience for the sales person, and allows them to have better and more meaningful interaction with the person on the other end. With the 3Live experience, the sales person isn’t just dragging, scaling and adjusting the auto-populated content as they take each customer down a thousands of user paths of online shopping. This way they can have multiple options on each screen so customers can clearly see the difference between products and services.

One of the largest benefits of the 3LiveShop is that the system helps take all of the thinking out of the process for the sales staff. The 3Live system helps provide them with the most relevant option at any given time, which allows the customer to be better informed about options.

There are probably a thousand reasons some of you will hate this, and there are somethings that big me as well. At the end of the day though, I could see this kind of system becoming more ubiquitous in our online shopping experiences. Especially as bandwidth becomes faster, and internet connected cameras become more prevalent world-wide. Hmmmm this brings up an interesting point. If you are connected to a person in realtime, helping you with your transaction, how will all the call and fulfillment centers overseas make out? Faking an accent is easy, faking a person not so much.