When it comes to engaging in personalized consumer interactions, many online retailers can feel as lost as a hiker without a compass. Outdoor clothing and equipment manufacturer Marmot braved the online elements by teaming up with live video social commerce platform Your Brandlive to bring the in-store experience online.
Similar to a “QVC-like product demonstration,” Your Brandlive mixes live video, chat, and e-commerce to give the illusion of speaking to an in-store representative, says Fritz Brumder, CEO of Your Brandlive. For example, a brand may use live video to support a product launch, promotion, or customer feedback session; during the video customers can ask questions via chat that a video personality or online sales rep can then answer.
In Marmot’s case, the Jarden Corporation brand decided to take the Your Brandlive plunge after seeing sister companies FoodSaver and Crock-Pot successfully reap the software’s benefits. Marmot uses Your Brandlive to drive brand awareness and transfer the in-store experience online, as well as used it to boost sales during its “peak” fall season, says Andy Meyer marketing manager for Marmot.
In addition to targeting its own e-commerce customers, Marmot aimed to attract customers who shop at its retail partners, such as REI, that have a national presence.
“We knew that Marmot products tend to cost more than a FoodSaver or Crock-Pot item, [with which] we’d seen great success,” Meyer says. “So, we were looking at this as primarily a way to raise awareness for the brand, create a great brand experience, and, hopefully, drive people to the website of our [retail] partners [with whom] we were doing the events.”
Marmot’s objective was more about driving sales for its national partners than for its own e-commerce site. “The price point is kind of high and you’re not necessarily going to go after people that are going to be making a snap judgment to buy a tent or a really expensive jacket,” Meyer says, adding that the focus of each live video was on the retailer partner for that event “to really bring a lot of that flavor and culture in so that people not only understood Marmot, but also understood the shop and the experience.”
Meyer says Marmot hosted three live videos with chat brand awareness sessions last fall and that consumers gravitated toward video as a form of engagement. “It’s not static. It’s moving. It’s dynamic. There’s more to it than just catalog pages and going through the same-old-same-old,” Meyer says.
That dynamism pays off. According to Your Brandlive’s Brumder, 20% of customers surveyed post-event admitted to purchasing a Marmot product during the session. In addition, when asked to rate how much the event influenced shoppers’ decision to make a future purchase, consumers gave an average score of 4.5 out of 5, Brumder says.
In addition, Brumder notes that answering consumers’ questions via live chat and educating them via video mimics the customer service and communication elements that shoppers find in-store.
“In a B2B context space, you’re trying to train [customers] or educate them to better use your product. When you’re in a consumer setting, you want to personalize it a little bit more than that and make it more fun and interactive,” Brumder says. “Rather than the customer being a consumer of the customer information, they’re an engager and initiator of how that marketing content is going be experienced by the rest of the consumer base.”
In other words, the camaraderie of rallying consumers together for the sake of a one-time purchasing experience is part of social commerce’s appeal. “Even though they’re in their own location, they get a sense that there are other people surrounding this experience who are learning about it and ultimately deciding to buy,” Brumder says.