Social media is an essential part of online retail, says Episerver

Social media is an essential part of online retail, says Episerver
Firm’s Digital Experience Cloud uses Azure-based AI to help retailers connect with their customers 

Elly Yates-Roberts |

According to Episerver’s latest Reimagining Commerce report, social media is an essential part of online retail. The firm’s Digital Experience Cloud uses Microsoft Azure-based artificial intelligence (AI) to help retailers connect with their customers and leverage their preferred shopping channels. 

Episerver surveyed over 4,500 online shoppers in eight countries and found that while voice-assisted devices are becoming more commonly used in online retail, shoppers are concern with the security of the process. Contrastingly, social media is driving this form of purchasing, as 63% of online shoppers have clicked on a social media ad and 33% of them have made a direct purchase as a result.

"Where voice commerce currently lacks, social commerce excels,” said Ed Kennedy, senior director of commerce at Episerver. “Our data indicates social media drives purchases and has massive sway over younger consumers. It has evolved from networks’ early testing of primitive ‘buy now’ buttons to a native part of people’s everyday lives in which scrolling quickly turns into shopping. Retailers looking to prioritise efforts for the remainder of the year need to look at what is currently working and who is helping drive awareness and ultimately purchases.”

Episerver is trying to help retailers give their customers are more personalised experience with the  Episerver Digital Experience Cloud. The Microsoft Azure-based platform uses AI and analytics to deliver specific content to the shopper and insights to the marketer or merchandiser. As a result, retailers can deliver hyper-personalisation from an initial social click such as those from ads, posts or influencers.

Episerver will be demonstrating this retail experience at Microsoft Technology Centers (MTC) around the world as part of Microsoft’s Retail Know Your Customer campaign. 

“From first exposure to a brand to the last, retailers have the opportunity to turn typical transactions into amazing experiences,” said Shelley Bransten, corporate vice president of Global Retail and Consumer Goods at Microsoft. “At the MTC, Episerver demonstrates how retailers can unlock massive value from their customer data via personalisation and analytics. By reaching out to customers in a hyper-personalised way, retailers can turn browsers into buyers and shoppers into fans.” 

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