What if Amazon Had No Search or Product Pages?
It’s a bit of silly question maybe. What if Amazon was a bit more like physical retail and had a browse mentality? No search bar to find products. You have to go by department and category. And what if Amazon had no product pages to explore. What if it were just hierarchies of products and prices. What would that look like? What would it mean for Amazon?
Imagine the beauty section. Thousands of products organized by category (skincare, makeup, lipstick, haircare, etc.). Similar to how it is now.
In each category, you probably have products densely packed together fighting for your attention. You’ve got limited space on the page and so you probably only carry a limited number of products that are top sellers or that the brands pay you to promote. Similar to now right?
And Here Is The Catch... No Product Pages!
The problem is you have to convince people to buy from here. How do you do that? You’ve got limited space so you make the product image and packaging as large as possible to fit in the box. You probably focus the packaging of each image on brand, product name and price, but you have to jam any other explanation of the product, benefits, how tos or ingredients in 4 point type you can barely read.
Can you imagine how hard it is for customers to pick the right product? How badly would conversion rate and shopper satisfaction hurt? Would anyone use this terrible site? UGH!
Can you picture it? I can. Every single time I go to the grocery, local pharmacy or big box retail. You’ve seen it too.
What Did We Lose? A Lot!
In a world with amazing product content, none of that makes in-store. Because you can do something online that you can’t do in-store – click on a product. That click is the most important indication of interest, which as a result takes the customer to a product focused page. Yes, demographic or personalization messaging can help. But as a signal, nothing is more important than product interest. That's why product pages have prices, related products, dimensions, ingredients, videos, reviews, and so much more.
Product Touch is the Click in Brick-and-Mortar Retail
So what is that crucial product click in-store? What is the physical brick-and-mortar equivalent to a product click? It’s touching the product!!! It’s the most important behavioral sensing you can do in store. More valuable than demographic, or heat map traffic analysis or time of day – any other signal. It’s permission to tell the product story. To educate, entertain and engage.
That’s why I believe what we have built at Perch is so valuable. We have patented the use of computer sensing in any form (camera, optical, RFID, Bluetooth accelerometer, etc.) to detect which products customers are touching so that you can magically respond with the digital media that aids the shopper in that journey. We bridge the Physical and Digital and provide a shopping experience that combines the best of both worlds; the ease of search and serendipity with the breadth and depth of content for education and entertainment.
With product touch as your “click” of permission, you can message and give new tools to the consumer.
Configuring the product, such as with the kate spade new york “Make It Mine” bag line
Understanding the right product such as Coravin at Bloomingdale’s
There is so much discussion of personalization in the future of retail. The ultimate personalization is a message based on real-world physical behavior. Whether you call it Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality or Physical+Digital, product touch opens up the world of retail marketing from brand-level marketing to true product-level marketing. It’s a new dimension of in-store marketing that’s relevant and engaging and empowers brands to deliver their product marketing messaging with fidelity.