GhostRetail leaves stealth to put in-store experience online

  • October 13, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Canadian firm GhostRetail emerged from stealth mode last week to unveil a one-to-one live video shopping platform that creates a complete in-store experience online.

The aim is to drive scalable growth for enterprise retailers through a personalised, guided and seamless co-shopping experience. The platform, available now, is designed for large enterprise retailers looking to augment their in-store and ecommerce sales channels with personalised live video shopping.

Fortune 500 brands including American Eagle, Authentic Brands Group, Canada Goose and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment are either live in the market or finalising implementation of GhostRetail’s white-label platform to launch ahead of the end-of-year shopping season.

With its scalable, flexible and seamless architecture, GhostRetail augments in-store and ecommerce channels for enterprise brand manufacturers, retail chains, direct-to-consumer merchants and direct marketers. It enables them to drive top- and bottom-line growth, increasing a brand’s current ecommerce conversions by eliminating friction in the online purchase process through live, in-person sales consultations and integrations that create a seamless experience from discovery to checkout.

GhostRetail also opens opportunities for brands to activate influencer communities and extend traditional sales forces as it can be used in-store, in studios and at home.

Guided by the experiences of early adopter merchants and their customers, the platform enables real-time live one-to-one streaming video, real-time user behaviour and haptic feedback, integrated product catalogue searches, in-app wallet and checkout, appointment-based co-shopping, associate and customer ratings, in-app barcode scanning, and branded lounges.

“The pandemic has accelerated the personalisation of the ecommerce experience,” said Karen Peters, senior vice president at American Eagle. “The need for real human interaction on digital channels has never been greater and the American Eagle brand’s AE Live app, powered by GhostRetail, provides an innovative, cohesive shopping experience that enables our brand ambassadors to connect with our customer community in a way that is fun, engaging and will help to drive traffic.”

Coresight Research CEO Deborah Weinswig added: “During the pandemic, we’ve watched a massive shift in consumer shopping behaviour take place. In the next stage of this shift to online shopping, live commerce offers an innovative approach to replicate the in-store experience for online shoppers. Platforms like GhostRetail will become the integrated backbone for any retailer who wants to capitalise on what is essentially a new channel that combines a high-quality in-store experience with the convenience of ecommerce. GhostRetail’s interaction between the customer and sales associate offers a solution that keeps the customer in a single interface throughout the entire experience. In addition, it offers sales associates a phenomenal opportunity to engage with consumers in new ways in new channels.”

Retailers using the platform can personalise online shopping with sales associates interacting with shoppers over live video anywhere, any time. Live nurturing emulates the in-store experience, ensuring that shoppers complete online purchases and incentivises associates to upsell and cross-sell.

Retailers can add virtual live video one-to-one selling to existing sales channels without incremental staff or marketing budget. Shoppers are given the ability to speak live with product experts, offering uninterrupted sessions with sales associates that remove impersonal barriers associated with traditional ecommerce purchases.

“Retailers are at an inflection point right now, needing to transform to keep pace with consumers’ changing behaviour while maximising the value of every penny they spend,” said GhostRetail co-founder and COO Jimmy Furlano. “We designed GhostRetail specifically for that purpose, by blending the offline and online channels using the two-way video and influencer guidance shoppers seek out to create a human connection. Then we took it a step further to integrate key retail back-end processes inside the app for a seamless approach that drives conversions up.”

The immersive, interactive live co-shopping experience goes from discovery to checkout. Retailers can establish deeper brand connections with consumers by providing a warm and friendly virtual store environment that feels comfortable and easy to navigate. This helps them humanise their brand with personable communications in a medium they enjoy, with associates they trust, focused exclusively on their needs.

“GhostRetail has brought a unique solution to market first during an incredibly explosive time in the retail industry,” said GhostRetail board chairman Adam Arviv. “Seeing it in action is looking at an experience that aligns not only with how the world wants to shop, but also with how large enterprise retailers want to drive revenue growth. We’re excited by the opportunity to capitalise on it and build value for the long term.”