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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : August 29, 2014

Expert Advice: Use in-store techniques to sell online

The holiday and back to school seasons are the two most important shopping seasons for brands. With stiff competition for consumer dollars, brands need to differentiate themselves from the pack from both a product and customer experience standpoint. Live assistance is one way to do this, by providing an engaging way for customers to get the answers they need while considering a purchase.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: How important is the experience factor for online retailers?

Jim Keller, CEO, Vee24: The experience factor is critical for online retailers. Retailing 101 has always emphasized the importance of great customer experience and salesmanship high quality sales experience, and that doesn't change when a customer goes shopping online. A great experience will keep a customer coming back while a bad one could deter them from ever returning. Person-to-person shopping assistance has always been the hallmark of great retail and, with the launch of the Amazon Mayday button and Google HelpOuts, a spotlight now shines on the role of live video engagement in strengthening online retail performance by providing that one-on-one interaction that emulates, and even improves upon, in-store selling best practices.

Kristina: How can this strategy build revenue?

Jim: Customers want to feel as though they're making the right decision and online retail can be a lonely place. By bringing in-store selling techniques that provide needed answers to the digital storefront, brands will see an immediate impact.

Consider this: In the physical store, where customers receive one-on-one, face-to-face help and advice, brands can often convert up to 40 percent of visits into sales, compared to low single digit online conversion rates. Clients using our live video assistance solutions, which deliver the in-store experience online, typically achieve 4 to 5x increase in online conversion with assisted sessions, and 25-35 percent increases in average order value. Along with the measurable ROI this delivers to brands, consumers benefit from real-time, personalized help online with a friendly, knowledgeable agent who can answer questions, provide recommendations and guide them through their shopping experience.

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips for bringing in-store selling techniques to digital storefronts?

Jim: Make it personal - In the physical store, sales associates can shop along with the customer. Now, brands like Amazon, Audi, Mattress Firm and others are bringing the same type of personalized service to their websites with live video assistance. And online, existing CRM, tracking and behavioral tools can make this personalized experience even richer.

Verify they have the right product(s) and see if they need anything else - Does the customer have what they need? Do they know everything they should about fit, product care, color choices and possible alternatives to allow them to make a purchase decision and reduce returns? Utilizing guided selling tools to help them find the right product is key to reducing customer frustration and abandonment and helps deliver the same experience they'd have if they were in a physical store.

"Walk" the customer to the register and help them complete their order - Helping customers quickly and efficiently complete an order maximizes customer satisfaction and reduces abandonment. Next-generation engagement tools let the merchant accompany customers as they fill out forms and complete the checkout and payment process. One last review with the customer to make sure they have everything they need and that their order is correct helps avoid mistakes.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ecommerce, ecommerce experiences, online selling strategy, Vee24

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