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Better Commerce, Better World: Technology, AR & VR

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At Diff, we understand the impact of commerce on people’s lives and the planet. That’s why one of our agency’s values revolves around the phrase: better commerce, better world. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen the meaning of this phrase demonstrated in the ways that online commerce has quickly evolved amid a changing retail landscape.

The rise of order fulfillment methods like buy now, pay later, and buy online pickup in store have offered shoppers checkout options that suit our new normal. We’ve seen industries like grocery commerce expand to support customers who prefer to order their groceries online. Innovations like these show the way in which commerce is having a positive impact, especially in moments of change. 

In this series, we’re chatting with Diff’s leadership team to learn how Diff is helping to better the world through commerce. In each blog post, we ask one of our thought leaders about the innovations they are observing in retail, and current trends.  

Adrian Gagiu is Diff’s Production Director. He joined Diff in the fall of 2019 to lead projects with operational excellence and efficiency in mind. Adrian says that his goal is to create value by defining and implementing clear processes and promoting best practices. With those in place, he can support a great client experience as well as a team of Differs that understand exactly what is expected of them, and how they can contribute to the overall success of the company. Read on to learn Adrian’s insights about commerce in today’s quickly changing world.

How did you find your way into ecommerce, and what do you love about it? 

I’ve always been passionate about project management as well as operational excellence. My background is actually in software development for financial institutions, but when I began looking for a new role, I felt that the best practices I’ve established could be applied to other sectors of activity. At this stage in my career, I wanted to share my knowledge and expertise with others, giving them the tools to succeed in their careers. I love that at Diff, I’m able to do that. 

When I decided to work for Diff, I was attracted to the company’s culture, the values, and the people I met during the hiring process. Also, online commerce was new for me so I saw a great opportunity to expand my knowledge in this area. I love that online commerce exposes you to all the fundamental aspects of a business: product marketing,  supply chain management, customer acquisition, cross-selling, up-selling, customer service, just to name a few.  

I like the focus on data and behavior analysis, all of which empower us to provide the best experience for shoppers. And beyond that, I love that online commerce makes the world small in a sense. You can shop products from all over the world, from the comfort of your own home. That’s pretty incredible!

What do you love most about your role?

Strategy execution is critical for a company's success. It is well known that a good enough strategy well executed is better than a great strategy poorly executed. I love that my role gives me the opportunity to work with my colleagues to implement strategic initiatives. 

I also find it very satisfying to see ideas come to life. At Diff, we don’t just have ideas, we make ideas happen, and we get to see their tangible results. 

And, it’s very rewarding to bring value to our clients. A project is not successful just because we delivered in time and on budget but rather because we brought value to our clients and positively impacted their bottom line.

What does the phrase better commerce, better world mean to you?

Commerce builds the bridge between a business and its customers. When I think about contributing to a better world, I think about bringing people of different cultures together and facilitating their collaboration. Commerce is helping people to make better choices not only from a quality or price perspective, but also based on their own values. With the right values in mind, we can make a difference for the whole world.

In what ways is Diff bettering the world through commerce? 

Diff cares about working with brands and businesses that fit our company values. You can see this when you look at our roster of clients. Goodee World is a great example of this. They are a conscious minded shop for artisanal products from around the world. Their business is built around transparent sourcing, upcycling, ethical treatment of employees and waste reduction. By working with clients like Goodee World, Diff is directly supporting a growing shift to more sustainable commerce practices.

What innovations are you expecting to see in the near future?

Many innovations are now focused on continuing to improve the user experience. This is challenging, because user behaviors are constantly changing, which means innovations must constantly evolve to keep up. Innovation today is very much about predicting what the users of the future will want, and expect. 

One innovation that I think we will see rapidly evolve in the near future is the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in online commerce. By 2026, it’s expected that consumer groups will be demanding 3D retail experiences. For example, this might mean using AR to “virtually” try on an outfit. Or, you might also use AR to try out a piece of furniture in your living room before buying it. Already, it’s possible to sample a makeup product virtually. 

This is exciting technology because it will reduce the experience gap between brick and mortar stores and online stores. What typically brings customers into a physical store is the ability to touch and try items before deciding to purchase. AR and VR have the potential to remove the need to go to a physical store by offering new ways to experience a product, from the comfort of your home. It used to be that in online commerce, images were the best tool customers had for guiding their purchase decisions. AR and VR might change that!

We’re always looking for smart, curious, and driven people to join our team. Have a look at our job openings, and if you see one that you like, send your application our way. You can see all the roles we are currently hiring for, right here.

This article originally appeared in the Diff Agency blog and has been published here with permission.

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