5 Ways to Bring the In-Store Experience to Online Retail
If you’re not planning to bring the in-store experience to your online retail, you may need to brace yourself. Why? Because the world of retail has shifted unequivocally towards online first, whether or not the purchase takes place through your eCommerce, or physical store.
And, although most people still prefer the in-store experience, in order to stay competitive, you need to provide them with a consistent shopping experience which, 9 times out of 10, starts online.
So here are 5 ways you can bring the in-store experience to your online retail.
1. Live Chat
Using live chat is one of the best ways to drive revenue. When you do it correctly, you can boost your conversion rate up to 45%. Here is how live chat can help you achieve the best result possible when used online.
When shopping online, trust is almost always the most significant issue that arises. Most of the time, if you have any doubt at all about the product, the security of the transaction, or the product quality, you will simply exit the site. Many online businesses, especially the new ones, have to spend a lot of time and money trying to gain customer trust.
This is why retail live chat is so helpful. It can show that you’re ready and happily available to address any concerns and issues that customers may have. It allows you or your live chat agents to proactively begin a conversation with visitors, guide them through finding products, and answer any questions.
Picture this: You’re using a help desk tool and have a problem. You email the support team and ask for help because you need access to the tool to answer inquiries as soon as possible. After sending the email, you get an automated response telling you someone will support you within two business days.
This is incredibly frustrating. Just reading that probably made you angry! Your customers will be the same. They want support when they need it.
This means that they want their problems to be solved quickly. If you’re not yet convinced, here are some statistics to help you out:
- 90% of consumers will mark an immediate response as important or very important when they have a customer service question.
- Around 2/3 of buyers expect to receive a response within 10 minutes when it comes to any sales, marketing, or customer service inquiry.
- 82% of consumers will mark an immediate response as important or very important when they have a sales or marketing questions.
This proves that eCommerce live chat is the very best thing for your online business. Better yet, video live chat is becoming even more popular than just live chat itself. If you thought live chat was a great option, video live chat is even better!
Customer communication can be made even more personal with the video live chat option. You can assist, sell, and solve issues with quick and easy video chat meetings. Better yet, your customers will know that they’re speaking to a real person who truly cares.
Sometimes, live chat can be run by bots. This makes people hesitant. But, with live video chat, you will be set as the number one competitor in your field.
2. Virtual Showroom
Online brands and retailers often use virtual showrooms to bring the entire buying and sales process online. This makes it much easier for everyone involved, but it also brings the in-store experience to online retail. Rather than having to schedule appointments with buyers to show off the range, retail buyers can easily visit whenever it suits them.
A virtual showroom adds a lot of convenience for both shops and customers. Traditionally speaking, this would usually happen at a brand’s physical showroom or a trade show. However, in-person showrooms often require a lot of scheduling and can only accommodate a certain number of people every week.
Brands use virtual showrooms to expand their reach greatly. It also allows them to streamline the sales process. When the buying process begins, multiple buyers will be able to view your showroom and purchase simultaneously.
3. Live Product Demonstration
Regardless of what kind of product you’re trying to promote and sell, many brands are likely facing competition in their chosen category. In order to cut through the noise, businesses need to figure out how to make their product stand out and how their product differentiates.
A live product demonstration is a great way to find out how your product is different. It will allow you to highlight all of the differences and show your customers what they could be experiencing as a result of your product. Creativity is key here.
The more innovative you can be about your product, the more people will be excited to try it. This is a great way for you to bring the in-store retail experience online.
4. Offer Convenience
There is no denying that fast delivery, free shipping, and an easy return process are important to consumers. However, we aren’t saying that you absolutely have to offer free delivery. Instead, you should be honest and open.
For example, if you’re a small business, be honest by stating that you have to charge for postage to maintain your products’ quality. Or, instead of this, you can set a minimum spend threshold for free delivery.
In fact, 74% of shoppers will buy more to qualify for free shipping. By including a minimum spend amount, you will also be able to support product discovery because customers will search for smaller items to qualify. Though, whatever you do, do not add any unexpected extra costs at checkout.
Unexpected additional costs can often lead to high cart abandonment rates. Not only will your customers search elsewhere for products, but they will also feel very misled by your brand. Most of the time, they won’t ever return.
5. Make It Personal
Your website is essentially the online version of a friendly and smiling shop assistant. Your website greets customers and welcomes them to view and buy their favourite products. Well, it should be.
You should try hard to learn about your customers via their on-site behaviour. These can be normal things such as gender, age, and location. Once you have the crucial information about your customer, you can target your messaging based on what you know about them.
Personalizing their experience is the best way to build loyalty and have return customers.
The Bottom Line
If you’re interested in bringing the in-store retail experience online, the tips above will allow you to do just that. Here at Storey, we provide virtual retail solutions for businesses to help them maximize their online selling potential.
Are you ready to see your sales numbers jump up? If so, check us out and see how we can help your site thrive.