by Sunny GandotraApproximate read time: 5 minutes
Providing excellent customer experience is and will continue to be the holy grail in every business’s goal regardless of industry or vertical. Have you ever heard anyone say “I enjoy terrible customer service”? Neither have we! Many online merchants may be unsure about how to incorporate a human touch in their virtual shops, however there are certain traits that can be applied to enhance and maximize a shopper’s virtual shopping experience.
According to an article by PWC,
32% of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after one bad experience. Any ‘bad’ experience translate into an unpleasant situation - from employee rudeness to lack of attention received by customers. Luckily, online stores can curb these scenarios as customers are not interacting with employees directly when shopping on the site.
So how can merchants avoid banal shopping experiences and replicate the instore friendliness for their online stores ? There are several ways an online website or application can add tools to replicate the human experience and build rapport with customers to establish a relationship that pushes returnability.
One way to do so is by incorporating a live chatbox on your online shop. Online stores such as Forever 21 and Pacsun already incorporate such chat options on the sidebar of their online website which serves as a method for customers to quickly resolve any inquiries with an online assistant for simple questions, and an actual employee for more complicated situations. According to eMarketer,
63% of customers that chatted online using this utility said they were more likely to return to the online site, and 62% responded saying they were more likely to return for another purchase because of their memorable friendly experience.
2. Visually Stimulating
It’s common sense why shop owners in the physical world display their proudest product in the shop’s display window. It is usually a visually stimulating showstopper which acts as a hook, inspiring them to take a closer look at the item and enter the store. This concept to please the customers' sense of sight has not only been reinforced, but also reinvented as advances in technology has allowed online sites to adopt a different method to virtual merchandising.
Many successful online merchants in 2020 have already adopted advanced methods to boost the attractiveness of their shop, making it difficult for web designs to differentiate a store from their competitors. Most have already been implementing a color scheme, creating graphics, and becoming photo-savvy by taking high quality photos of their product that they display online.
While these visual elements may catch a customer’s attention,, they won’t be what sets a store apart in this modern era. One method that will, however, create uniqueness and assist buyers especially in times of COVID-19 is Augmented reality (AR). Augmented reality allows for customers to virtually try on products in different clothing sizes in accordance to their own body shape, navigate within a store, see how an item would appear in their own space, and much more.
Stores like Sephora have adopted this feature in which customers are actually able to test out makeup looks on a virtual avatar to see how different shades would look. This allows women to confidently purchase items from the online site as they would have ‘tried’ these products on. Similarly, customers would be able to ‘try’ items through your stores provided AR features, allowing for a simulation of testing the product for themselves before purchasing.
The final customer experience that really enhances satisfaction is convenience. Many of us can recall a time where we were lost in a huge store such as Target, and couldn’t find the exact product we were looking for, or similar products to our personal taste in general. Employees at stores, especially in retail or beauty, are trained to intuitively seek out a customer’s taste, and show them items they might be interested in based on a simple conversation of what they were trying to find in the store.
This is where personalization comes in. Instead of having an employee approach a customer, integrating artificial intelligence based tools into your e-commerce platform can track buying patterns of individual shoppers, identify trends within demographics, and display items the software believes will be of interest to each individual customer. Not only does this save a customer’s time in not sifting through irrelevant or already purchased items, but also maximizes the number of items purchased during their visit. By leveraging smart product discovery,customers will be presented with similar/related products, alluring them into buying more products they would probably not have discovered organically. At BoffinAI we advise e-commerce merchants to incorporate personalization to deliver a great virtual shopping experience to their customers, which in effect will help maximize their revenue. To learn more about how BoffinAI’s powerful recommendation engine and smart product discovery features, request a demo