Introducing The HypeHive: A Digitally Transformative Hub Of Four Video-Powered Solutions
If you can believe it, we’re almost halfway into 2020. Oh, what a year it has been. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions have disrupted life as we know it, throwing countless businesses into chaos and completely flipping the retail industry on its head. In fact – compared to March of 2019 – total foot traffic to U.S. retailers was down a whopping 97% and spending on Amazon was up 35%. Additionally, 24% of consumers say it’ll be 6 months before they feel comfortable shopping in a mall. Needless to say, it’s been a challenging time.
However, challenging times call for creative ideas. And – as life has proven again and again – you have to be creative in order to create innovative things. In response to COVID-19, BDS put its core value of “agility” into action to flex with the changing conditions and embrace its digital transformation as an agency that’s operated in the industry for 35+ years. By turning potential “what ifs” into solid “do nows,” BDS decided to accelerate the launch of The HypeHive, a years-in-the-making hub of four video-powered solutions.
Introducing: The HypeHive
The HypeHive is a hub of digitally transformative solutions that create brand buzz, influence social fandom, and convert more customers. We already know the consumer journey and path to purchase is more convoluted than ever before. 70% of global consumers say they are spending more time on their smartphones, a whopping 95% of consumers are participating in digital media consumption inside the home, and 43% of consumers find it reassuring to hear from brands they know and trust – especially during times of uncertainty.
The HypeHive is leaning into that disruption and taking advantage of the new way in which consumers are evaluating brands, contemplating product choice, and spending money in the digital space. The HypeHive is comprised of four video-powered solutions, scalable for any type of brand, company, or retail partner: StoryStreamsSM, Tap-A-TechSM, BrandfluencersSM, and BrightShopsSM. The collective goal of each solution is simple: to help brands and retailers connect with their fans – everywhere.
The #1 HypeHive Solution: StoryStreams℠
It’s no secret that live streaming is taking over the omnichannel industry. According to Vimeo, live streaming topped 1.1 billion hours in 2019, where 80% of consumers would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog and 82% of consumers prefer live video from a brand to social media posts. During the COVID-19 outbreak specifically, more brands are turning to live streaming to connect with their core audience and keep people engaged.
The HypeHive’s StoryStreams solution will allow brands to keep the conversation going, even when consumers aren’t allowed to shop in-store. At our “streamory” locations throughout the U.S., StoryStream team members foster conversations with a brand’s target audience, all in a controlled studio environment. Live streaming is already a $63 billion industry in China, accounting for almost 9% of all e-commerce sales. With StorySteams, brands and retailers alike can take advantage of the domestic market share and create real connections with online shoppers through live video.
The #2 HypeHive Solution: Tap-A-Tech℠
For many people, the in-store shopping experience is elevated by retail associates who can assist shoppers, answer questions, and provide product recommendations. For many brands, customer service interactions are the only way to get one-on-one face time and real-time feedback from an actual customer. And since we are, by nature, social creatures, that personal connection helps to build brand loyalty. According to HubSpot, 50% of customers increase their purchasing with a brand after a positive customer service interaction, and 86% of customers would pay up to 25% more to get a better customer service experience.
E-commerce is emerging as the clear winner of 2020, with online orders surging 108% year-over-year. While the rise of AI has made online customer service more widespread, nothing can fully replace the human connection. Until now. The HypeHive’s Tap-A-Tech virtual sales solution is the closest you can come to getting the full retail experience. Tap-A-Tech empowers store and brand associates with embedded video and chat technology on their own devices to guide customers to the right products instantly, no matter when, where, or how they’re shopping, all with a simple click of a button.
The #3 HypeHive Solution: Brandfluencers℠
Over the past decade, “influencers” have taken over social media. According to to Influencer Marketing Hub, influencers are people who make regular posts about specific topics on their preferred social media channels and generate large followings of enthusiastic, engaged people who pay close attention to their views. Influencers often endorse specific brands or products in exchange for financial compensation; it’s a smart way to get a brand or retailer’s messaging out to a target base of loyal, trusting followers in a friendly and approachable format.
We’ve watched the rise of the social media influencer, and we’ve seen the power they have to disseminate information online. The HypeHive’s Brandfluencers solution piggybacks on the social media influencer trend, yet aims to amp up the excitement surrounding a specific brand, product, or service in an extremely authentic way. Instead of relying on random social media influencers to inform potential consumers about a product’s benefits, The HypeHive’s Brandfluencers will consist of a unique blend of product experts and nano-influencers who provide product recommendations, influence purchase decisions, and create brand fans on a micro level.
The #4 HypeHive Solution: BrightShops℠
Mall vacancy across the U.S. is at an 8-year high, and New York City is seeing the rate of empty storefronts jump by nearly 50%. Does that mean consumers are no longer shopping? Not even close – they’re just doing it online. According to Geoff Ramsey, cofounder and chief evangelist of eMarketer, “Mobile is by far the fastest-growing retail commerce channel. Those phones are really active buying machines.” Additionally, e-commerce spend is expected to reach $666 billion in 2020 and will account for $1 out of every $12 paid toward retail products.
With the rise of online shopping and assisted shopping services such as grocery delivery, many brick-and-mortar retailers have opened “dark stores” to keep up with demand. Although a dark store contains the products that consumers most crave, only employees are allowed inside to do the shopping for them. With the HypeHive’s BrightShops solution, we are putting a positive spin on the current state of empty retail spaces and virtually bringing brands and consumers together in a socially distant world. With BrightShops, the unique retail experience is anywhere and everywhere, always available to consumers.
Retail Will Likely Never Be The Same, But It Might Be Better Than Ever
There’s no denying that COVID-19 has changed retail in a big way. However, it’s important to remember that life will return to normal, and when that happens, shopping will come back stronger than ever. With the new HypeHive e-commerce solution from BDS, we are getting ahead of the curve with the most integrated retail, digital, and experiential strategy that consumers have ever experienced. Together, we will pave the way for a positive post-COVID-19 retail experience.
Are you ready to be in on the buzz? Join the Hype Hour to get a fresh perspective on current retail trends and digital solutions that solve real-world challenges.