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Isobar on the best examples of experience driving retail sales this holiday season. / Alexandre Godreau via Unsplash

That’s how much money people will spend on eCommerce in 2020 as the rush to convenient shopping accelerates. But not every brand is going to benefit. As we blogged recently, only the companies with CMOs who figure out creative customer experiences with digital are going to win.

According to our own exclusive survey of 1,350+ CMOs around the world, CMOs are doubling down on digital technologies to differentiate their customer experience (CX) as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. And the good news: innovative digital technologies are in market, and delivering value already.

Let’s take a closer look at a few examples catching our eye.

Amazon: Surprise and Delight in a Box

We’re not surprised that a retailing disruptor like Amazon would figure out how to use Augmented Reality (AR). But what’s really cool is how Amazon makes product delivery special after someone makes an online purchase. In the run-up to Halloween, Amazon launched an experience that consisted of an interactive pumpkin that you could “carve” and decorate through an AR interface that exists on their delivery boxes. All you needed to do was point a camera at a QR code.

This activation was geared toward families who were probably going to have more of an at-home experience on Halloween. Now, imagine what Amazon has in store for the holidays!

Cadillac: A Virtual Showroom

At Isobar, we’ve been helping many businesses adopt digital long before 2020, giving our clients a head start.

For example, In 2019, we launched “Cadillac Live,” a one-part personal shopper, one-part interactive digital showroom for luxury buyers. Live agents equipped with live-streaming mobile steadicams and Bluetooth headsets give shoppers live one-on-one video tours with multiple dynamic views and modification options for the vehicles.

We have re-imagined what online car shopping looks like to create a human-centered experience that seamlessly leverages technology to deliver next-level personalization, fusing the best parts of the in-person and online consumer journey.

Consumers are now empowered to research and explore every element of the product line and able to ask-an-expert questions in real-time, on their own time, from anywhere – then get connected seamlessly with their local dealership to take the experience further.

Digital is the future of automotive retailing. In fact, Cars.com reports an increase of 30 percent in contact and user engagement for dealers offering virtual options versus those still offering the traditional showroom experience.

Warby Parker: Try Before You Buy

In recent years, retailers have been using AR to give people a chance to try out products virtually before buying them. In 2020, these experiences are more relevant and important than ever because they create a safer way to interact with a product.

That’s a big reason why Harvard Business Review just discussed how AR is redefining retail during the pandemic. HBR shares the story of how Kendra Scott responded to store lockdowns by introducing an AR tool that makes it possible for customers to virtually try on different earring styles from their homes.

We also love what Warby Parker has been doing since 2019. Warby Parker’s iPhone app lets people try on eyeglasses in a very personal way, which cuts down on the time people usually spend trying on eyewear in stores – which is an even less appealing activity now.

The pandemic has hurt the entire retail industry, and Warby Parker is no different, but the company is rebounding. We think the future looks bright for this innovator thanks in part to its willingness to adopt technology for a creative CX.

The Time Is Right to Act

The time is right to take your CX to the next level with digital. And the rewards are compelling. Shopify says that interactions with products having AR content showed a 94% higher conversion rate than products without AR. What’s not to like about that? For more insight, read our global CMO survey, Isobar CX Survey 2020: Creative Experience in the Age of Covid-19.

Jon Reily, SVP, global commerce strategy lead at Isobar and global chief strategy officer at dentsu.