Retailer Uses Live Streaming To Bring Personality To Online Shopping
A Dutch cheese shop live streamed its store to add human interaction to online shopping
As online shopping continues to grow, retailers are scrambling for brand new ways regain control over their customers’ experiences. A cheese shop in the Netherlands has an exciting idea. For five days, Kaan’s Kaashandel opened a “stream store” which allowed live interaction with shoppers via the internet.
Instead of having to visit the cheese shop, prospective buyers could visit the store’s URL then sign in to the stream. On it, Kaan’s employees answered questions or gave suggestions about which cheese to buy as though the shoppers were in the physical store.
The system works best for specialty stores like the cheese shop. It maintains strong customer service and it gives the customers individual attention and answers to questions they won’t find on a product page. For stores the size of Kaan’s, there is so much value in the interactions they have with their patrons.
In recent years, retailers have been introducing virtual technologies into offline locations. Smart mirrors, VR technology and iPads want to bring the seamless, tech-driven experience of online shopping to brick-and-mortar stores. Kaan’s Kaashandel’s experiment works the other way around. It gives the face-to-face interaction back the online shopper.
This is even more crucial for online groceries and for sensitive produce. How can you give customers the chance to pick the fresher produce over the rest without them being able to touch, feel or smell it?
Live streaming also has key limitations in scalability. While it is perfect for Kaan’s and the community it serves, it could prove an impossible service for the likes of Amazon Fresh. Amazon’s online grocery processes about $350 million in orders a quarter and giving customers access to dedicated sales personnel would be an expensive gamble.
But imagine the neighborhood wine cellar or butcher streaming, ready to take questions, with staff willing to be your on-demand surrogate shopper. Wouldn’t that be nice?