Shoptalk

The future of e-commerce at Shoptalk

New features and tools offer more value to customers

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Now that every retailer has a website—this was not the case even a few years ago—brands are tasked with improving the ecommerce experience to offer the most value to shoppers, and encourage repeat visits. At Shoptalk 2019, several brands, including Macy's, Cosabella and the Bouqs Co., discussed the future of commerce with Ad Age.

Macy's is taking its learnings from customer behavior online and using that to inform new fixtures and applications in brick-and-mortar. For example, Macy's found that customers liked to shop online for fragrances by scent, but inside stores, the category is arranged by perfume brand. Macy's recently entered a new partnership with Perch Interactive that will include fragrance finders in stores so consumers can browse by scent in person, as they do online. The company is doing something similar with skincare.

In addition, Macy's is exploring new technology like augmented reality to give consumers even more choices. Now, shoppers can try on endless shades of lipstick through the retailer's beauty app.

"There's really nothing harder than trying on layers and layers of red lipstick," says Nata Dvir, executiv VP and general business manager of beauty at Macy's, noting that shoppers can narrow down to a few shades by virtually trying them on before testing the colors out in physical stores. "This brings the shade to life by using the technology."

Cosabella explores new online destination

Unlike many of the brands at Shoptalk 2019, Cosabella has been around for more than three decades. The high-end lingerie company is nevertheless challenged with attracting new consumers and remaining relevant at a time when many digital competitors are rising up in the underwear space. The company is exploring additional web experiences beyond Cosabella.com in order to cater to different types of customers. For example, last year, the brand debuted a line aimed at tweens, Bella by Cosabella. The company is also personalizing new web formats for its maternity and bridal collections.

Unlike many of the brands at Shoptalk 2019, Cosabella has been around for a long time—more than three decades. The high-end lingerie company is nevertheless challenged with attracting new consumers and remaining relevant at a time when many digital competitors are rising up in the underwear space. The company is exploring additional web experiences beyond Cosabella.com in order to cater to different types of customers. For example, last year, the brand debuted a line aimed at tweens, Bella by Cosabella. The company is also personalizing new web formats for its maternity and bridal collections.

"Seeing your brand in multiple sites, and being able to give the customer a very personalized interaction, especially when it's a familial brand like Cosabella—you need to be able to do that kind of shift," says Guido Campello, CEO and creative director.

Flower startup the Bouqs Co. adds new features

Like many brands today, flower company the Bouqs Co. is touting a marketing message of sustainability. The California-based e-commerce flower seller has a direct relationship with 140 farmers around the world, and those farmers recycle rainwater, reduce waste and use the most organic growing methods possible, according to John Tabis, who founded the Bouqs seven years ago.

On the Bouqs' site, shoppers can watch mini documentaries that delve into the details around each farm before they select a bouquet.

As it grows its own brand, the Bouqs is adding new features to its website in order to enhance the experience for shoppers—and foster continual relationships. The company recently debuted a new scheduling tool that will remind consumers of important dates, like holidays, anniversaries and birthdays, and even automatically deliver flowers for those occasions.

"We're adding value beyond just the purchase and I think that's a big part of the future of ecommerce," says Tabis.

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