How Live Commerce is Redefining the Next-Gen Customer Experience

Live Commerce is here to stay and our product development efforts are directed towards empowering businesses to win in the digital-first market by creating inclusive, open experiences beyond the walled gardens.
How Live Commerce is Redefining the Next-Gen Customer Experience
Sunil Nair

The era of Web 3.0 is upon us – and it is set to change the game for businesses globally. The open web is powering decentralization in every segment that will dramatically alter how consumers discover brands, engage with businesses, and make purchases.
 
The creator economy is booming, GenZ and Millennials are dominating conversations, competition is swelling, and attention spans are diminishing – all of which, collectively, have changed the language of customer experience and engagement. And, Firework is helping brands to speak this language of the new-age customers. 
 
In a conversation with IndianRetailer, Sunil Nair, the CEO of Firework India, walks us through the evolution of customer engagement in recent years and the power that video-first digital experiences hold in creating future-ready businesses.

Edited Excerpts:-
 
Take us through the journey of the brand in detail. What was the idea behind introducing the brand? Highlight the major achievements.

Firework was founded in 2017 by two industry pioneers, Vincent Yang, and Jerry Luk, as live commerce and omnichannel digital transformation platform for the open web. 
 
In the past decade, video format started becoming the default experience for the digital native generation. Businesses quickly took note of this shift and adopted video as a medium to interact with their audience. However, how brands delivered these experiences was limited to the walled gardens of the leading social networks. Firework was founded to break down those walls and democratize the ability to create immersive, authentic, interactive, and personal video-first live commerce experiences on the brand’s owned and operated assets.
 
Today, we work with more than 600 direct-to-consumer brands, retailers, and media publishers and are backed by some of the leading investors in the world including Softbank, IDG Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and GSR Ventures.
 
What steps are you taking to transform the retail industry?

The pandemic accelerated the pace of digital transformation in the retail industry. Consumers started spending more time on digital platforms and online purchases took center stage. Retail brands, big and small, started bolstering their presence in the digital world – through marketplaces, social media platforms, and their own digital properties (website and mobile application). 
 
In doing so, they have faced several challenges, such as – bringing their in-store experience to the digital world, differentiating their marketing strategies from competitors, boosting customer engagement, and revving up growth metrics, to name a few. 
 
We, at Firework, have a singular focus on helping brands build superior and seamless digital video-first experiences. We empower businesses to use video to transform their websites into social and storytelling experience hubs. By integrating live commerce capabilities on their digital properties, brands will be able to have complete control over first-party customer data and foster deeper, long-term relationships with customers. We enable brands to gallantly ride the wave of next-generation customer experience.
 
In essence, we help brands bring their digital store where their customers want to be, with the experience they enjoy.
 
Tell us in detail about the solutions that you provide?

At Firework, we provide shoppable video and live streaming commerce capabilities for retailers, consumer brands, and publishers that want to tap into their own customer data to build engaging and interactive video experiences across their digital properties and social channels. 
 
As a social commerce enabler, we combine content capabilities with commerce integration to power customer engagement and business growth for every open web entity: Publisher, business, media outlet, retailer, and individual. Our solution suite for digital transformation comprises Livestream, Short videos, Amplification, and Social Commerce.

We provide the deep technology infrastructure to help brands create immersive video-first engagement experiences across the customer journey – from discovery to consideration to purchase. 

Which segments in retail are you catering to? Any plans to foray into any new segment?

Some of the leading fashion, beauty, personal care, e-commerce, and food & grocery behemoths trust Firework to boost their customer engagement rate and improve their conversion numbers. We are doubling down our focus on partnering with direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies to help them create digital customer experiences at scale on the open web. 
 
In the next few months, we plan on expanding our reach in the consumer technology space to welcome clients from the fintech and healthcare segments.
 
Share a few case studies with us to highlight how you have helped transform the brands.

We are privileged to work with leading global brands across industries.  
 
Fresh Market has been one of the early adopters of Live Commerce in the US. The brand has been leveraging Firework to translate its in-store success to the digital space. Since integrating Firework capabilities, Fresh Market’s video engagement has increased by 5x, largely attributed to organic discovery by way of video on The Fresh Market's homepage. Since going live with Firework during the peak holiday selling season, the specialty food retailer has also aggregated more than 12.9M video engagements and over 220 days of watch time. 
 
DTC Homecare brand FLUFF is creating a powerful and unique online shopping experience for consumers that is mobile-optimized, video-first, engaging, and immersive. Firework’s proprietary shoppable video capabilities have catapulted average session times by 359 percent, conversion rate by 89 percent, average order value, and other crucial KPIs for the brand.
 
We are also transforming the digital publishing experience. To quote an example, we work with Canada’s top digital publisher Narcity which leverages Firework to create an immersive publishing experience. Narcity’s readers get their daily news fix through an immersive short-video content experience. The platform’s average time spent per user has shot up by 52 percent, which stands testament to the power of Firework in creating transformative digital customer experiences. 
 
Tell us in detail about the new solutions that you are planning to introduce in the future.

With the shift toward Web3, we are aggressively investing in our technology and product development to bolster existing offerings and bring in advanced capabilities. Our vision is to become the infrastructure on which the next generation of the internet is built and run. 

Live Commerce is here to stay and our product development efforts are directed towards empowering businesses to win in the digital-first market by creating inclusive, open experiences beyond the walled gardens. 

By partnering with Firework, businesses will be able to bring enhanced live commerce capabilities punctuated with human connections to every owned and operated digital property, such as websites, mobile applications, emails, etc. We are actively tailoring solutions to decentralize, open, and connect brands and consumers globally over the next few decades. 
 

Sunil Nair
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