The True Value Company is among the world’s leading hardline wholesalers using a globally recognized brand supplying its clients in over 60 countries an expansive product set with market-customized assortments at highly competitive prices, superior product availability, innovative marketing programs and a la carte value-added solutions.
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For retailers with a presence both in physical and online stores such as True Value, developing a continuum of their online-offline customer experience is vital for brand loyalty and driving sales. Marketers are constantly on the lookout for better ways to bridge the disconnect between what happens in shops and what happens on clients’ screens.
This report provides an overview of how True Value added 360-degree images for their marketing mix and improved results for their online channels, together with some insight about the structures they had in place that made their success possible.
Background: True Worth’s Digital Marketing Infrastructure
Today’s marketers have many tools at our disposal — sometimes, it seems like too many. It’s easy to become distracted by the”next new thing” and forget about why we do what we do. At True Value, we have discovered success in part because we have been disciplined about keeping our goals in sight: send exceptional experiences to clients wherever they are searching and shopping.
We consider an experience”excellent” if it supplies a product or service that both is related to the customer’s present life and delivers on what the customer expects from our brand.
By way of instance, if a client in Michigan is surfing Facebook daily before a major snowstorm is predicted to hit, we may want to serve an advertisement of a snow shovel that has received high customer ratings.
That client might see the ad and think,”That is perfect! I need a scoop this season! And salt!” Then put an order to pick these items up in their community True Value store before the first flake falls.
To make those kinds of experiences possible, we have several things in place:
- Geo-targeting: This allows us serve the most relevant content to each client, as in the case above.
- Machine learning: All these techniques help us adapt our efforts based on changing weather conditions. By way of instance, 2018 saw a late spring in much of the country, which meant lower earnings in regions that typically observe a spring rush. As a result of machine learning, we could push extra content to those men and women who had been experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures and consequently had more need for gardening and outdoor products, which helped balance sales nationally.
- Client data plan : As we know more about our clients — age, life stage, hobbies, etc. — we use this information to deliver content we think they will enjoy. Someone who regularly purchases equipment for pipes jobs, as an instance, won’t receive the identical content as somebody who buys gardening supplies .
- Social media advertising: This helps us reach customers in a very private and intimate manner so we are able to deliver content that’s related to where they are in the consumer buy cycle.
- Online retargeting and email advertising : These platforms help us remain in front of site visitors who leave without making a purchase. These efforts keep us top of mind and make it simple for customers to complete transactions as they surf the net.
When we add 360-degree photography into the mix, every one of those efforts performs better.
Improving Online Conversions with 360º Pictures
Our product assortment is vast; we carry several sizes and variations of our SKUs in addition to many well-known national brands. We all know that 44 percent of clients visit TrueValue.com before visiting their community shop, so we needed a way to supply them with as much information as possible on the internet to assist in their purchase decisions. The inclusion of 360-degree photography to our site was a critical next step.
To take that step, we worked with a firm called Snap36 to capture 360-degree pictures of products which are often browsed online, in addition to, key promotional products.
Our thesis was that, if clients could rotate and interact with a 360-degree picture of a product, they would find a better feeling of what it looked like without physically touching it. They would, in other words, have an internet experience that closely mimicked what they would experience in our shop.
And the beauty of electronic marketing is that it is possible to test this sort of thesis since it is possible to monitor the success of every effort closely.
What we discovered was remarkable: on social networking, content that comprised 360-degree images afforded a 4.5 percent conversion rate — almost twice the industry average of 2.4 percent.
On our site, the results were even more dramatic. Pages that comprised 360-degree spinning pictures saw the following:
● Bounce prices decreased by 27 percent.
● Add-to-cart rates rose by 35 percent.
● Conversion rates (from product views to orders) increased 22 percent.
We are encouraged by these results and have plans to expand our library of 360-degree pictures in the forthcoming quarters, such as in our wholesale perpendicular and in additional digital marketing assets for our retail clients.
Making 360º Images Work
As I mentioned previously, 360-degree images enabled us to improve the operation of our electronic marketing. The brands that stand to gain the most from an investment in 360-degree images are the ones which have an active digital advertising program and are seeking ways to enhance its performance.
To enjoy maximum ROI out of 360-degree graphics, I recommend the following:
- Bringing them into an existing advertising ecosystem. Whether that is a web catalogue, online advertising, email advertising, or any combination, the infrastructure has to exist. Spinning images can not perform in a vacuum.
- Selecting an image vendor that may function as a consultant and partner. Chances are, your organization has never used or had these pictures before. Pick a photography partner that not only lets you capture 360-degree pictures at scale but also offers insight into how you can use them to improve your current marketing efforts and create new ones.
- Using a strategy to monitor performance. This should go for any electronic advertising activity, but it is worth mentioning anyway. Knowing precisely how 360-degree images alter your ability to sell lets you choose how and to what level to scale your investment.
As consumers spend more time online and less time in shops, retail brands will need to find ways to interpret the intimate physical buying experience into electronic formats.
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