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eTail Connect West Recap: How To Keep Up With Ever-Evolving Online Shopping Experiences

eTail Connect West 2022 was a great gathering of today’s modern e-commerce leaders and an excellent showcase of some of the most cutting-edge solutions in e-commerce today. 

At the event, I spoke at a session on “Next-Gen Commerce: New Technologies to Scale Immersive, Personalized Experiences For the Visual Economy.” I shared how new technologies are needed for brands to create scalable, immersive, and personalized experiences for the visual economy.

As the opportunities for personalization in e-commerce grow, so do shoppers’ expectations about how immersive their shopping experiences will be. Here I’ll discuss key takeaways I shared on stage with eTail Connect West attendees on significant shifts happening in the retail industry and how innovative technologies can help brands and retailers keep up.

The last few years have been marked by technological advances and changes in consumer behavior. The technology available can create online buying experiences that are immersive, almost lifelike, and nearly as impactful as physical ones. 

This is the visual economy in an e-commerce world, and brands are catching on: retail e-commerce sales amounted to approximately $4.9 trillion worldwide in 2021 and are forecasted to reach $7.4 trillion by 2025, representing a 50% increase.

The key to unlocking a share of this enormous market is personalizing the customer experience across every step of the shoppers’ journey. It’s hard to ignore the business impact of personalization in the visual economy; brands that successfully personalize tend to generate 40% more revenue than those considered average performers. They must also give customers what they didn’t know they wanted, such as:

  • Near-live shopping experiences
  • 360° views
  • Augmented and virtual reality and customization

There is an ever-growing number of rich media assets to manage,  and managing them grows more challenging when you factor in the number of products a brand has to offer and the customization options available.  To compound this, there’s the work that goes into optimally sizing those assets to fit different devices, screen sizes, network types, regions, and audiences. A single visual asset can require several versions of itself. Managing these myriad visual assets isn’t humanly impossible. 

What brands need is to adopt tech that can help them go to market faster, save time or eliminate repetitive tasks. One of many leading brands using Cloudinary to manage their vast asset holdings is the French sporting goods giant, Babolat. Guillaume Serdon, Digital Project Manager at Babolat, stated,  “…about 90% of the cropping and resizing is automated, saving us significant time and resources.”

Brands need a way to create engaging visual experiences for their customers that relieves them of the burden of visual asset management. 

Enter the Media Experience Cloud (MXC). This set of technologies elevates the shopping experience. 

MXC can automate rich media asset management and the resizing and optimization required to ensure a seamless experience for shoppers regardless of location, device, screen size, or any other variable. The right MXC should be API-driven and offer low-code/no-code experiences so teams can easily use it without having to siphon off precious software development resources that could be directed toward other value-added projects. 

The visual economy is bursting with new opportunities. To capitalize on them, brands must make their products the stars of the show with powerful online brand visuals and imagery.

This is where Cloudinary MXC comes in: it’s an end-to-end set of technologies that can help you elevate the shopping experience for your customers, integrate with your e-commerce stack, and control brand access with your retail channel partners where needed. It also uses AI to perform a series of functions such as automatic background removal, automatically crop videos, perform image modeling to convert 2D to 3D (and vice-versa), and much more.

Making the most out of rich media requires brands to use flexible architectures like Cloudinary MXC to remain agile and adaptable and continue delivering rich media shopping experiences that increase conversions.

Contact us today to learn more about how Cloudinary MXC can help your organization make the most out of the visual economy.

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