How do you give a great online product demo?

The global pandemic isn’t responsible for all the changes we have seen in consumer behaviour. The trend towards eCommerce was already well established of course and it’s been documented widely that Covid’s role was largely that of an accelerant. Undoubtedly Covid fanned the flames that had been burning brightly for some time. As necessity really did lead to invention, we saw a swathe of developments aimed at improving the online shopping experience and in some cases at dragging that experience up to parity with that of the physical store visit.

As brands and retailers clamoured to remove friction points from their online customer journey and add some interest to a website that suddenly grew in importance, solutions began to emerge that could add a new dimension to an interaction that had often previously been viewed as transactional. For significant purchases, it soon became apparent that helping consumers get conversational advice, perhaps with an online product demonstration or link to customised, relevant documents, was a step in the right direction.

Imagine how a consumer feels when faced with a technical purchase or a decision between two products that appear very similar.

Until recently their main hope of an answer rested with knowledgeable friends or relatives, sheets of FAQs, an email address, or the text on a product page. If they were lucky, maybe there would be a video that addressed the exact topic that concerned them or explained that feature, they were unsure of.

So, how do you go about transforming this experience, driving online sales, and adding some sparkle to that virtual shopping scenario?

For us it’s about putting the consumer at the centre, understanding their needs and expectations so that we can deliver a solution that addresses both. We believe that any product that benefits from live demonstration and consultation is perfect for online product demos. Alongside that group of complex products sit categories where the level of investment felt by the purchaser also makes this a viable solution. Whilst the investment may be financial, it could also be emotional. For example, a consumer invests heavily in a high-priced, premium watch and invests emotionally in a pot of skincare because getting that decision right really matters in both cases.

As we developed our own online product demo solution, we’ve gathered learnings along the way, and continually refine how we deliver the customer-facing experience. We spoke to the people that do this day-in-day-out and they shared some insights that they’ve gained along the way.

“Customers really like how personable the technology is, they feel like they have a personal shopper”

We’ve found that consumers enjoy the opportunity to create a rapport with a real-life human. Who’d have thought?

Whilst these are people that feel comfortable shopping online, often seeking convenience, it’s important to remember that for many it’s still an “experience” and one they want to enjoy. Our online product demo solution is built on technology, but it’s the people that give it a heartbeat, and it’s that personal touch that strikes a chord with the consumer.

“Giving your brand a human face in the virtual, digital world allows you to create a relationship and connection with individuals that often gets lost when the consumer feels like they are moved along a pre-defined digital journey”

To add depth to this relationship our agents can see the customer’s personal online journey meaning they can avoid the frustration of repetition and quickly get to those crucial conversations. The ability to be able to talk to the same agent is a feature customers like and makes the journey less pressured.

So, we know that consumers enjoy creating a relationship and having the opportunity to go back to a familiar face, and someone who already knows about their journey, what they are looking for and the challenges they want to overcome. This sense of familiarity is something we have seen with our in-store work over the years. When a real connection is made there is often an eagerness to revisit that same brand ambassador as trust has been established and the pain of starting a conversation all over again has been removed. We have lots of amazing examples of satisfied shoppers taking the trouble to go back into a store to give personal thanks to that person who helped them find a product that has made a positive impact on their lives. We now have similar examples of returning customers wanting to pass on their personal thanks after their online shopping experience. Often, we see the strongest reactions from consumers that are exploring unfamiliar categories, choosing a gift or looking at a level of technology that is new to them. These are times when that human touch has a hugely positive impact, as the alternative can be jargon-filled documents and tech-heavy text which don’t answer what could be a straightforward question or concern.

“The personal touch, and being able to show and tell is really easy”

Many of us learn more effectively when we are “shown”, rather than “told”. The ability for our online teams to combine narrative instructions and anecdotal comments with a live view of the product itself, perhaps with links to relevant, additive content has driven great levels of satisfaction. There is no pressure on the consumer to jump into a live online product demonstration, the sales assistant only offers that option if it’s the right thing for that consumer at that point in their journey. Being able to switch seamlessly from text chat to live video and back again gives real flexibility and ensures the experience is tailored every single time.

“The fact that we can show people round the back of a product is really helpful, they like that its quick and easy to do from the comfort of their own home”

We have all seen those helpful 2D images on a product page, designed to show the width of a TV. The experience becomes much more impactful when the camera can be moved effortlessly and in real-time around the product, highlighting relevant features and even dimensions. For the potential purchaser suddenly their concerns over whether a product will fit into a room, whether it will look too big or whether the depth could create an issue can all be eased. If they feel comfortable doing so a customer can even show the agent the precise location they have in mind in their own home. So much easier than taking a photo into a store.

Some of the most productive conversations take place when the consumer feels most connected with the brand.

Finding the right space to host online product demos really matters. This could be in a store, but certainly doesn’t have to be, and we’ve found that some of the best conversations occur in surroundings that have been carefully designed and created with this specific purpose in mind. It’s not surprising that consumers appreciate being able to see a product demonstrated in a branded environment that is befitting of the brand itself, this is all part of that “experience”. Every customer has come to expect excellence in their brand experience, wherever a meeting takes place, so giving your conversation a professional backdrop puts that customer at ease and instantly builds confidence in the conversation

Create amazing online product demos for your customers

So, there you have it. These are learnings gathered from the amazing people that power our own online product demo solution and consistently deliver brilliant experiences to consumers on behalf of brands.

Drop us a line if we can do the same for you.

Or give us a call on 0118 2300 433.

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