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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : June 21, 2017

8 in 10 online shoppers want a personal customer service experience

Impatient online shoppers want high quality answers to questions answered quickly when researching or shopping online, according to new research.

by Helen Leggatt

The study, 'Two-Way Street', from conversational platform iAdvize, investigated consumer expectations of customer service while conducting research or shopping online.

While the results are somewhat self-serving, they do highlight the increasing demands and expectations of today's consumer. Speed of response and quality of response are key to engaging a shopper and preventing shopping cart abandonment.

Eight out of 10 of those shoppers surveyed by iAdvize said that receiving a personal service was important to them. This, says the firm, highlights "the need for human interaction with online advisors that can tailor the customer's shopping experience".

Furthermore, more than half believe that instant online advice is the "most convenient" way to obtain an answer. And not just any old answer - "good quality answers" was listed by nearly all (95%) of shoppers as the most important aspect when shopping online.

"As e-commerce growth continues at a rapid rate, we are witnessing more demand than ever before for retailers to instantly engage with the customer wherever and whenever they need information," commented Julien Hervouët, CEO at iAdvize.

A third (35%) of shoppers said customer social via social media would be helpful and 38% want to be offered the option of conversing with customer service via messaging apps such as WhatsApp.

Speed of response was also a key conversion driver for shoppers. More than three-quarters (79%) said they would find a conversation with a savvy peer who knows the products very well, or a loyal, previous customer helpful when seeking information to influence their buying decision.

"As this research shows, consumers aren't willing to wait around they expect a prompt and personalised service when shopping online. High levels of expectation can prove challenging for retailers whose customer service representatives are only available during working hours," said Hervouët.

"This is where crowd sourcing can come into play with a demand for brand advocates and topic specific experts who are trained to become customer-facing. This helps retailers provide a 24/7 service and allows customers to receive the in-depth knowledge and help that they require And those retailers that fail to live up to these changing consumer expectations risk cart abandonment and lost customer loyalty."

Tags: customer service, ecommerce, loyalty, online shopping, social media

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