The popularity of online shopping is impossible to ignore. In 2019, 83.5 percent of Americans purchased goods online. While malls used to be a place millions frequented daily, their appeal dwindles with each passing year.
Speed, convenience, lower prices, and the absence of crowds are just a few of the benefits that keep people shopping remotely. Companies all over the world are working hard to replicate a live experience without the downsides of in-person shopping.
Let's discuss online shopping must-haves your business may need to tweak.
Live interactions are the top reason why some people still choose malls over online shopping. This is especially true for older shoppers, who don't want to change their habits. According to Statista, 67% of millennials shop online while only 41% of baby boomers and 28% of seniors do.
Meanwhile, some industries require personal consultations to drive the sale through. For example, beauty industry experts need to see the client to recommend the right products.
While many people would prefer to have in-person interactions with a sales representative, the majority of them don't want to lose the convenience of an online experience.
Online shop owners struggle to meet these conflicting requirements. Video live chat solutions can be an answer to this problem.
Quick Problem Solving
One of the reasons why malls are failing is the lack of time faced by many shoppers. It's much faster to make a few clicks than to leave the house, get into a car, and drive to the mall and back.
While online shops win speed-wise, when it comes to making a purchase, they are behind in the quick problem-solving department. About 37% of online shoppers don't complete an online purchase because they want to ask a question but can't find an answer.
Contacting a representative online is usually time-consuming. Shoppers want to get answers immediately as they do when shopping in a brick-and-mortar store.
Many online shops work on boosting their virtual support options to avoid abandoned purchases. By integrating a live chat, it's possible to provide immediate answers to customer inquiries and help them complete the buying cycle.
According to a recent study, 44.7% of American consumers said that it was important to speak to someone to make a final purchase decision. The convenience of online shopping is often offset by the lack of communication with a live person.
An experienced salesperson can easily sway the client toward making a purchase decision. Highlighting benefits, learning the customer's preferences, and improvising are just a few tricks sales experts use in malls.
Seeing the customer's face when providing advice can give the salesperson valuable information about their mood, preferences, and willingness to buy.
Pressure from salespeople is one of the reasons why malls are failing while online shopping is on the rise. Meanwhile, some people don't realize they need this "pressure" to make a decision. Salespeople affect customers' emotions and often sway them in the necessary direction.
Online stores that use video live support options can offer customers an opportunity to receive shopping advice at any convenient time.
People who enjoy online shopping for the chance to avoid nagging advice can simply ignore the feature.
Streamlining Customer Experience
About 23% of customers who choose malls over online shopping say they do so because they enjoy the experience. While it's impossible to reproduce the ability to touch and feel the items before buying, online shops are going out of their way to make the customer experience more "real". They provide:
- Clarity of the labels
- Easy check-out (without registration)
- A wide variety of photos
- Order progress indicators
Is it enough? What if something goes wrong during the shopping experience? If it happens in a brick-and-mortar store, the customer starts complaining to the staff.
In many cases, these complaints can be resolved immediately, allowing the shopping to continue. According to one study, 45% of consumers changed their minds about a problem in a shop after a simple apology.
When customers find a reason to complain in an online shopping experience, they simply press the "x" button. The inability to talk the issue out immediately reflects on the quality of customer experience.
By providing virtual video support options, online stores can mimic the offline environment to solve problems on the spot, listen to customers' complaints, make apologies, and improve the overall experience. Video interactions help build trust and encourage clients to share their problems.
Improving the shopping experience and boosting sales depend on the feedback received from the customers. In a brick-and-mortar shop, buyers have an opportunity to share their feelings and thoughts about products with a salesperson even if they don't go through with the purchase.
In an online store, you are likely to hear feedback only when the purchase is completed. If the customer doesn't buy, they are likely to be unhappy about something. However, you can never learn what it is.
How can you get this valuable feedback without sending somewhat annoying follow-up emails?
By offering a video live support option on your ecommerce site, you are increasing your chances of acquiring priceless insights about customers' shopping behavior. You can use the information to improve your marketing efforts, boost customer experience, and cut costs.
Improving Online Shopping Experience
Improving the online shopping experience is on the agenda of any virtual shop or service provider. As the popularity of online stores is growing so is the need to streamline their operations.
Many industries that switch from brick-and-mortar shops to virtual stores suffer from the lack of in-person client interactions and all the benefits that come with them. These companies are losing clients due to their inability to offer quick support, valuable advice, and fast problem resolutions.
Seeing customers while listening to their queries is the next huge step toward mimicking the offline shopping experience.
At ScreenMeet, we are offering innovative face-to-face video chat options. This real-time video tool can help you improve customer experience, gain valuable insight, provide advice, and solve many problems immediately.