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Think Commerce

July 14, 2020

The world of commerce continues to shift and change.

No longer are customers relegated to the same, tired linear shopping funnel —the human element that was once missing from this once purely transactional experience is starting to appear.

Brands must be nimble, efficient, and creative in order to stand out. We took a look at a few trends and moments that will define what’s next in commerce…


Owning your Customer
As multi-brand shops and department stores begin to shutter, investing in eCommerce sites is important more than ever.

Stores like Barneys and experiential boutiques like Opening Ceremony have closed physical shops, however, no one is safe. Just last week, it was revealed that edgy, online darlings Totokaelo and Need Supply would shutter.

Brands must invest in proper eCommerce sites that balance brand storytelling and seamless eCommerce functionality.

Designers like Mara Hoffman are using their site as a way to clearly tell the brand story and exhibit sustainable values.



eCommerce Can Be Fun

Create experiences that are more than just a transaction.

Yes, eCommerce must be efficient, functional, and put user experience first, however, an eCommerce site can create brand engagement and convey emotions.

Kanye West’s upcoming iteration of Yeezy Supply merges art, 3D models, and eCommerce to bring the brand to life.

The blend of shopping, art, and entertainment can lend for memorable experiences that keep customers coming back for more.


Evolved Storytelling

How can a campaign and commerce extend beyond traditional sites and typical social media posts?

How can brands build stories around specific pieces and collections?

Burberry’s latest campaign features their monogram logo collection in a futuristic, 3D art setting. Beyond striking graphics, the campaign creates a whole world around the collection through a Spotify playlist and even their B Surf game.

Brands must look beyond typical channels of communications and build alternative ways to engage with their brand and products.



Beyond the Donation

Customers are ready to give back and they want to ensure brands are doing the same. According to a survey conducted by Moda Operandi, they found “that people are more willing to purchase items at full-price if the item is attached to a charitable cause.”

Brands are finding new ways to donate that doesn’t just fit in the form of a charity t-shirt or simply a donation. Simon Miller created a simple raffle that got Instagram followers engaged and donating to a charitable cause. The simplicity and easy entry barrier ($25 per entry) created an engaging way for audiences to give back.

If a brand aligns with a specific purpose,  the brand can find ways to give back in non-traditional ways.




Brands are reacting to the viral success of Animal Crossing and the ability for players to create and customize their wardrobes. Sandy Liang created a pop-up sale for only six people at a time on an island in the game.

Animal Crossing fashion Instagram accounts are even collaborating with brands like Marc Jacobs to create more pieces to wear in the game.

Brands can react and join viral conversations through immediate action and adapting their brand to other platforms.



Squad Shopping

Platforms like Squadded Shopping Party that allows users shop with their network. Shopping with a trusted group of friends not only makes shopping more enjoyable, but can also lead to more sales because of the instant affirmation from trusted sources.

Brands can engage customers through collaborative shopping experiences whether its on other platforms or their own.



For Members Only

More and more, we’re seeing brands create email sign-up gateways in order to see special VIP sales and content. Brands like Mara Hoffman and The Citizenry use the approach for archive and VIP sales. Whilst a very simple approach, the end result is increased email acquisition and making the experience feel more exclusive.

Brands can create an exclusive feel through members-only access.



Shopping in Context

SKIMS offers sizing visualization tools to help inspire, paired with detailed measuring guides to eliminate the guesswork. 1stdibs features VR technology on their app that enables customers to position items within their properties taking the guesswork out of high value purchases.

Brands can use effective tools and VR to place products in the context of customers’ lives.



An efficient eCommerce site is table stakes for customers.

However, the overall commerce experience must be more than efficient in order to stand out.

The whole experience must tell the story of a brand and its purpose, and put products in the context of customers’ lives.
Now is your chance to build a commerce experience that builds strong brand engagement.