- E-commerce platform Shopify is now integrated with virtual shopping technology from Hero, letting merchants provide a more immersive experience for their customers, per an announcement shared with sister publication Mobile Marketer. Hero for Shopify has several features including video chats for shoppers who want to talk to store employees, per a blog post from Hero.
- Clare V., Ministry of Supply, Heyday, Neighborhood Goods, Naturopathica and The Detox Market are the first merchants to use Hero for Shopify in their online storefronts. The virtual shopping tools let merchants answer product questions, provide advice and check inventories, similar to an in-store experience.
- Hero for Shopify helps store employees build relationships with key customers through mobile text messages that have personalized recommendations and links to buy products online. The platform also provides a way to credit retail employees with sales made online or in physical stores, per the blog post.
Shopify's integration with Hero's virtual shopping features aims to give merchants a way to engage consumers with a more immersive experience as e-commerce surges during the coronavirus pandemic. Until shoppers are more comfortable visiting stores that are gradually reopening, they are likely to shop from home more often. U.S. online sales jumped 76% to $73.2 billion last month from a year earlier, per Adobe Analytics, indicating a significant shift in spending habits that may prove to be long-lasting.
With the rise in e-commerce, retailers are using Hero to connect with customers, maintain key relationships and drive sales. In the past six months, more than 1 million shoppers have used Hero to connect with salespeople from nearby stores, making them 21 times more likely to buy products than they would if unassisted, per data cited by Hero. More than 80% of merchants that use Hero have been able to keep part or all of their store teams employed by using the platform to connect with shoppers. Credo Beauty, a seller of makeup and personal care items, generates 15% of its total revenue through Hero, per the blog post.
Shopify's integration with Hero is among the e-commerce platform's latest efforts to support retailers amid the surge in online shopping during the pandemic. Shopify last month began a partnership with discount chain Walmart to add 1,200 merchants to Walmart.com's e-commerce marketplace for third-party sellers. The collaboration gives small- and medium-sized businesses a way to reach customers of Walmart's website, whose sales jumped 74% in Q1 from a year earlier. In April, Shopify introduced a shopping app called Shop to help merchants reach mobile consumers, an effort that followed the introduction of built-in support for 3D models and video on online product pages a month earlier.