Here at Rakuten Marketing, we’re always on the lookout for new and innovative new publisher models to create new opportunities for our advertisers. One of the key trends which have emerged over the last few years has been live video, which marketers have been using to create stronger customer engagement and drive purchase behaviour.
We’ve recently started working with GoInStore who offer a unique technology that closes the gap between the online and offline worlds by delivering immersive customer experiences via live video streaming. In this month’s Publisher Spotlight, we speak to their Head of Marketing, John Lewis about their platform and how it can add value to advertisers within the affiliate channel.
Can you tell us a bit more about the GoInStore platform and how it works?
GoInStore, the world’s leading immersive live video technology, personalises online experiences and commerce.
Our technology and expert team provide advertisers and publishers with the skills and platform they need to create live video streams. These help to address the vast disparity in customer experience and conversion rates they face between physical and digital channels and solve the key ecommerce challenge of how to convert more onsite traffic into buying customers. GoInStore does this by offering ‘one-to-one’ and ‘one-to-many’ real-time video streaming capabilities, with one-way video and two-way audio.
To experience ‘one-to-one’, customers simply need to do is click a button on a retailer’s website, product or category page that has our platform built into it. The customer is then taken by live video streaming into the physical location where the staff member is located. By using smart glasses or a phone, staff can then discuss the customer’s needs, give a more personalised experience and help to improve conversion rates.
The ‘one-to-many’ feature allows retailers to set up cost-effective live broadcasts for activities like promotions, product launches, news and store openings on their website, YouTube and Facebook simultaneously. These broadcasts can be used to reach new and existing customers and encourage engagement and sales
What are the advantages for retailers working with GoInStore?
By connecting locations, products and staff to online customers in real-time and enabling rich human and personalised interactions, GoInStore successfully increases online conversion rates, AOV and revenue for retailers.
Another advantage for retailers is that it is very cost effective, as it uses existing staff and physical assets, making them more efficient and profitable. It is also a flexible solution; because GoInStore has the capability to only show the button on relevant category or product pages, we can match customers with category specialists based on the staff member’s skills profile in our app. Intelligent call routing also means that stores can cover demand at different times of the day and even for different time zones, giving retailers the ability to provide live personalised customer service to international audiences.
Within the affiliate space, what are the benefits for advertisers working with GoInStore?
As soon as retailers and other businesses work with our live video technology, overall conversion rates increase significantly. For affiliate specifically, our experience shows that when live video is combined with an offer or incentive we have seen an even larger uplift. This uplift is greater than other combinations of channels and interactions that our experienced team has previously seen in their careers.
It is early days for immersive live video in the affiliate space, however, we predict that the technology will be used by advertisers and publishers to create engaging live video content on their sites to evolve them into cost-effective live shopping channels.
We see this concept developing further with advertisers and publishers inviting influencers to guest present on their live shopping channels (promoted by and through multiple channels including affiliate simultaneously). Other developments will include enhanced one to one services like live video personal shoppers and VIP experiences for customers.
What kind of advertisers are you looking to partner with? (e.g. any particular verticals, sizes etc)
We are looking for advertisers in retail and other sectors who want to innovate using their existing physical and people assets, improve customer experience and increase online conversions.
The technology was built initially for luxury fashion and retail, but brands from different sectors and verticals quickly told us that it has a substantial impact on any consideration, technical, or emotive purchases, where people need advice and want to view the products in real-time.
Our largest customer base is retail, so we work with the likes of Farfetch, Axel Arigato, Dyson, Thomann and DFS. As the GoInStore technology solves so many challenges that brands face, and because it is flexible, we also work in other sectors including automotive with Porsche, hospitality with Marriott International and in property with Redrow
Can you share any recent success stories?
We’ve had some fantastic results with all our retailers. Overall GoInStore’s live video technology has increased online conversions by at least 10x and AOV by 56% (January to September 2017).
Due to the uniqueness of our technology GoInStore has generated a lot of interest in the press and we’ve been interviewed and featured on the BBC, Forbes, Daily Telegraph, FT, CNBC, Drapers and Retail Week.
In recognition of the innovation we are driving in retail, we’ve been nominated for many awards including Retail Week Tech Start Up of the Year and Business Cloud Tech 1st, and GoInStore recently won Retailing Technology of the Year at the National Technology Awards.
The demand for and recognition of the role that our technology plays in ecommerce has meant we have quickly grown into an international business with clients in North America and across Europe.
You’ve recently been accepted onto the intu Accelerate programme – how will this evolve and benefit your business?
It has been great to work with a retail giant like intu. As part of the programme we recently set up live broadcasts from intu Lakeside which ran on intu.co.uk featuring brands like Topshop, Mac and River Island.
It’s been very beneficial to the business working with intu, as it has given us the opportunity to see how our technology works for a publisher site and shopping centre business at the same time.
So, we have been exploring how this live video content can be used to support affiliate sales and drive increased site dwell time and instore footfall, as well as applications in shopping centre environments.
Lastly, what are your plans for GoInStore for 2018 and beyond?
We are speaking to a number of high profile fashion and retail businesses at the moment about how they can use our technology, so 2018 will see GoInStore accelerate growth both in the UK and internationally.
In terms of our roadmap, we are working on a richer feature set for even more customer interaction and looking at how we can incorporate other interactive technologies into live video.