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HERO launches "Shoppable Stories" to “bring the store experience online”

Tom Bottomley
19 November 2020

Tech platform and customer experience specialist HERO has just launched its new "Shoppable Stories" virtual shopping app, so retailers and brands can connect with shoppers as they browse.

It aims to deliver a “conversational commerce experience designed to convert,” perfectly embedded into retailers’ online stores.

As of yesterday, Shoppable Stories is available on a handful of beauty and apparel brands, including UK-based apparel and footwear retailer size?

The launch was inspired by the growth of stories as consumers' preferred way to consume video content on apps like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, and the rise of video shopping, especially in China.

The new feature allows brands to deliver a carousel of short, shoppable videos starring their in-store associates, enabling online customers to shop the products featured or to go on to initiate a chat or video call. It's the first time that the story format has been incorporated directly into the ecommerce experience.

HERO founder Adam Levene, said: “In 20 years, the e-commerce experience hasn’t evolved all that much beyond static photos on a web page. In 2020, every retail brand has to unlock its human edge and provide a point of differentiation online.

“With Shoppable Stories, we’re taking the fun, creative and authentic way we communicate on social media and bringing it to e-commerce for the very first time. We can’t wait to see what brand ambassadors create.”

Other brands that have initially signed up for Shoppable Stories include men’s and women’s apparel brand Faherty and clean beauty brand, Credo Beauty.

Shoppable Stories will be broadly available to all Hero retail partners in early 2021, and currently via would-be users can "schedule a demo", to see how it works.

Alex Faherty, founder and CEO of the Faherty brand, commented: “We’re already seeing extremely strong conversion rates with HERO, so we’re thrilled to be among the first to adopt Shoppable Stories.

“It’s one more way that we can bring our in-store team’s passion for quality, timeless style to our online customers, giving them inspiration to put together looks from our collection of sustainably minded basics.”

With Shoppable Stories, store associates become creators whereby they’re able to showcase their favourite products through short-form videos online. In-store associates “provide the human edge for any brand,” and Shoppable Stories puts them front and centre of the ecommerce experience.

When an online shopper visits the retailer's home page or a product page, and clicks HERO, a carousel of shoppable stories appear. From there, shoppers can choose their level of engagement, shopping the story as they browse, liking their favourite videos, or initiating a chat or video call to continue their shopping journey.

Where possible, HERO’s algorithm will direct incoming chats to the associate featured in the video but, if they're unavailable, the shopper will be routed to an alternative associate - often in the closest store to them.

Not only is it brand new, but it's the first time that the story format has been embedded directly into the ecommerce experience.

Shoppable Stories taps into the seismic growth of stories as the world’s favourite way to consume authentic video content on social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.

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