The online customer experience, what does it all mean? Rising customer expectations, blended retail experiences and hyper-personalisation have been at the forefront of retail leaders minds – for good reason. COVID-19 served as a catalyst for the retail revolution, with many consumers spending more time online and subsequently driving record-breaking eCommerce sales. COVID-19 also served as a catalyst for innovation – how can retailers be present at every available touchpoint and utilise their services across every channel? Meanwhile, customers expect to receive a seamless online experience that mimics in-store interactions. To adapt to changing consumer behaviour, businesses are implementing live video shopping technology to replicate those very real physical interactions, online. This article will look at what makes a positive online customer experience and discuss why live video shopping is the key ingredient in the retail revolution.
What to expect:
- Redefining the online customer experience
- How live video shopping enhances online customer experience
- Why do customers prefer shopping online
Redefining the online customer experience
What makes a truly great online shopping experience? A few years ago, many would have argued an optimised delivery system and low prices were a fast track to a customer’s heart, but new features have emerged since the pandemic. Clear product descriptions and images, quick website loading times, easy navigation, product reviews and visual aesthetics grew throughout the pandemic.
According to McKinsey, the stickiness of online spending will remain strong as lockdown rules ease. Some will no longer race to purchase non-essential items but instead rekindle their love for out-of-home-entertainment. McKinsey’s UK Consumer Sentiment Survey revealed that 72% of consumers have tried a new shopping behaviour with millennials being the most experimental sitting at 85%.
New shopping behaviours include;
- Different retailer/store/website (41%)
- Different brand (39%)
- New digital shopping method (26%)
- New shopping method (25%)
- Private label/store brand (25%)
Improving the online customer experience with live video shopping
Customers browse online to research and evaluate multiple brands. What makes it a great experience is the easy navigation, authentic reviews and clear product descriptions. Additionally, changing consumer trends mean customers are eager to try new shopping habits and different retailers altogether.
Retail technology is what will define the next ten years and one strong product is live video shopping. Live video shopping marries the seamless online journey and in-store service to present an enhanced customer shopping journey that not only improves sales but leads to repeat custom.
What else can live video shopping do to enhance the online customer experience?
Curious to learn more about enhancing the online customer experience with live video shopping? Come chat with us today.
Be present at touch points.
93% of shoppers use online resources to research products. Many switch to YouTube to rely on trustworthy reviews. However, live video shopping can place your team at the forefront of their searches whilst they browse on your platform. Not only can you identify needs to personalise the experience, but you can also recommend suggestions and guide them through your product inventory.
Offer a true personalised customer journey
Delivering one to one live video not only mimics in-store experiences but is powered with data-driven actions. Taking a holistic approach to selling will make your customer feel valued, cared for and unique. People’s frustration at online shopping derives from irrelevant marketing messages and spam. It is time for retailers to refocus their attention on what matters most – the customer.
Safety plays a critical part in a smooth in-store experience with 50% of people saying they want stores to follow COVID-19 guidelines. Many customers wish to see businesses follow COVID-19 regulations and social distancing, however, that does not remove the anxiety many people will feel as we return back to normality. Live video shopping offers a safe service that can alleviate the worries that physical shopping brings. For example, those who fall in the vulnerable category will favour an experience that keeps them protected.
Offer a blended retail experience
Live video shopping plays an important role in offering a blended retail experience. With the influx of people working from home to the increase in digital expenditure, retailers who offer a blended experience can be readily available across all channels. This means a customer’s journey can begin online with a video call, equipping your retail team with valuable information to then assisting them in-store and closing the sale. This can all be managed by booking virtual appointments to oversee the entire customer journey.
Be immersive and engaging
The key brand differentiator no longer relies solely on price but how superior the customer experience is. Retail Analyst and Founder of NBK Retail, Natalie Berg shares her thoughts on customer expectations post COVID-19:
In lockdown, retailers have recognised the need to connect online consumers with in-store staff and this will become more of an opportunity to differentiate and develop customer loyalty through superior service
Live video shopping makes every product shoppable and with the addition of showing images, videos and live reactions it can engage customers in an online shopping experience that has never felt so…human.
Why do shoppers prefer online?
Let’s go back to basics – why do shoppers prefer the online experience? Understand these core values to connect with your customers in the most effective way possible and offer the ultimate online customer experience.
- Better navigation: 66% of shoppers prefer online shopping to discover items vs 27% offline
- More suggestions and tips: 59% prefer to go online to get helpful recommendations on what to buy vs 28% for offline
- Better pricing: 59% say they prefer to shop online to get the best deal possible
Sounds familiar, right? Video had a strong influence on people’s searches where they seek product information.
- 80% of people say they switch between online search and video when researching products to buy
- 55% search for a product on Google then learn more by going to YouTube before they buy it.
What drove people to video were the following reasons:
- See a product before they buy it or see how others have used it
- Learn more about a product they have in mind
- See credible authentic reviews
The research was gathered from people performing these searches on Google and YouTube, however, it shines a light on the pressing matters that eCommerce stores were not delivering on customer expectations.
In addition to price, three key attributes contribute to a successful online browsing experience which are:
- Clear navigation
- Trustworthy product information
- Authentic reviews
Therefore live video shopping can harness these attributes and empower retailers to deliver clear navigation, informative dialogue and authenticity.
COVID-19 has served as a catalyst for redefining retail. Customers are looking toward a more immersive experience where they can discover new products to purchase. In the past, eCommerce websites have been absent of any human element and those who do were in the form of chatbots or a contact form page. Now we see retailers, brands and websites introducing live video shopping into the sales mix to not only reach customers at precious touchpoints but to build meaningful, loyal customer relationships. In the future, blended retail will become the norm and as we continue to our path to digitisation, live video is the perfect partner for any retailer looking to enhance their online customer experience.