Shopify Introduces Virtual Shopping with Hero

Hero’s platform allows merchants to provide virtual “in-store” shopping experiences.

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Need to Know

  • E-commerce giant Shopify has partnered Hero to help its merchants leverage virtual shopping and provide a more immersive experience with features like video, text, and chat. 
  • The first merchants to roll out the feature are retailers Neighborhood Goods, Ministry of Supply, Heyday, Clare V, Naturopathica, and The Detox Market. Merchants can assist online visitors as they would in-store by answering product questions and providing recommendations. 
  • While COVID-19 caused many businesses to completely shutter from March 13 to April 24, the number of new stores on Shopify grew by 62% compared to the prior six weeks.
  • During the past six months, more than 1,000,000 shoppers have used Hero to connect virtually with an associate, an interaction that makes them 21 times more likely to buy online versus shopping unassisted.

Analysis

E-commerce is booming and Shopify knows it. The platform saw a 62% spike in the number of new stores from March 13 to April 24 when compared to the six weeks prior. In an effort to help its merchants adapt and thrive in the new era of commerce, Shopify’s new partnership with Hero bridges the gap between online and offline shopping experiences. 

“Shopify and Hero share a mission of making commerce better. Conversational commerce is a game-changer for omnichannel merchants looking to connect their customers with store associates virtually and grow their business in new ways,” said Ian Black, Shopify’s director of retail.

“Despite businesses across North America slowly reopening with lifting COVID-19 restrictions, many shoppers are still more comfortable with online.”

The partnership allows Shopify merchants to assist customers as they would in-store, giving them critical tools to stay connected. Hero helps Shopify merchants provide top-tier customer service through built-in video, text, and chat features. In addition to answering product questions in real-time, merchants can stay in touch with customers via text, providing personalized recommendations, and direct links to buy online. 

First to roll out the new feature are retailers Neighborhood Goods, Ministry of Supply, Heyday, Clare V, Naturopathica, and The Detox Market but the companies stress that Hero is perfect for stores of all sizes—from multi-location chains to pop-ups. Adding Hero to Shopify or Shopify Plus takes minutes and requires no coding changes. 

Over the past few months, Shopify has been revolutionizing e-commerce helping its merchants adapt and thrive during the coronavirus pandemic, showing why more and of the fastest-growing retail brands are choosing Canada’s golden e-commerce child as their platform of choice.  

Since the Coronavirus pandemic, Shopify made headlines by parenting with the Government of Canada to roll out small business resource hubs, worked with Blackberry to develop a COVID-19 tracing app, and in a groundbreaking move, partnered with Walmart to become its first-ever e-commerce provider.

Jewelry giant Swarovski has begun leaning into virtual shopping by hosting its own virtual shopping events with Go Instore, a video streaming platform.  Not one to be outdone, Google is also hoping to close the gap between customer testimonials and e-commerce with platform Shoploop. With the platform, users can scroll through short video reviews, and if they like what they see they are presented with the option purchase directly though Shoploop. 

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