“They are 100% putting their trust in you to give them the right advice”
– Carly Russ, Live Commerce Agent, Snug
Live video technology is disrupting the retail space both online and offline. It allows eCommerce brands to engage with their customers face to face for the first time, whilst brick and mortar stores can offer hybrid working to their shopfloor staff.
In our Future of Retail Teams series, we will sit down with people who use Confer With daily and find out the impact technology has on their role.
Who are Snug?
The Sofa in a Box company, Snug, is one of the leading furniture brands, known for delivering sofas in as little as a day. Sales jumped from £7.1m in 2020 to £31.6 in 2021.
Meet Carly and Archie
Carly and Archie work as Live Commerce Agents for Snug and had a lot to say about their virtual roles. We touched on points that illustrate the graceful transition to a digital environment where shopfloor conversations happen, online.
What a typical day looks for a Live Commerce Agent
They split their time between working in Snug’s showroom and at home. When in the showroom, they will set up, catch up with customers and prepare for any scheduled appointments. Meanwhile, both are readily available for walk-in calls (calls initiated on the website without any pre-booking).
What Carly and Archie think of this new way of working
Live video shopping has opened new opportunities for Snug to engage with its customers. Both mentioned that even though they are not talking to customers face to face you still get that connection through video.
Archie continues to say not only can they see the sofa, but any questions are immediately answered meaning customers always leave the call feeling satisfied and confident in purchasing with Snug.
Carly drew to her passion in making people happy and as a result, Snug’s Trustpilot reviews often reap in 5* reviews.
This makes Carly and Archie feel more appreciated in their roles, especially as customers will go out of their way to compliment them. Carly mentioned that one customer phoned in ecstatically to express her happiness in the recent purchase.
Innovative technology that is easy to learn
Live video shopping technology is in its infancy and has not been used widely by the public. For people like Carly and Archie who before Snug had no experience using connected video commerce, they understandably had their uncertainties.
Typical worries include not knowing what buttons to press, to how long it will take to finesse new software.
But for Carly and Archie, all uncertainties vanished during their training with Snug and Confer With. The training covered both product and technical, but by day two, they were feeling confident in using Confer With.
But more importantly, the customers find it easy too
Confer With’s accessibility means customers can adjust to video calls as they see fit. Archie mentioned that many customers are quick to learn what happens in a video call, even up to the older generations.
Confer With offers video and text chat across a wide range of devices. The immersive element is easy to navigate, the expert can share, recommend, and add items to the basket.
From there, the customer simply clicks “add all to checkout” where it is directed onto the final checkout page.
Building customer relationships is easier on video
Both made a point to say when customers make an appointment with Snug, they already know the agent’s name, email address and what they look like before the call has even started.
They said customers like to reach out prior to a call, which supports personalising the experience even more and maximising each sales opportunity.
Looking back to their time in physical retail, where you’d be lucky to even know a customer’s first name. Live video technology has enabled them to forge a connection with the customer where they feel comfortable enough to reach out throughout the entire customer journey.
Customers trust video and the product
Usually, customers looking to purchase high-consideration and high-ticket products would suit a physical environment. They can engage with an expert, make side-by-side comparisons, and make well-informed decisions.
Yet, Carly and Archie have not had a customer end the call, saying they were nervous about purchasing a sofa online.
They can have all their questions answered and because they have a Live Commerce Agent helping them through their buying journey, customers re-engage after a sale.
Considered purchases also take time to complete. Archie highlighted that one customer joined on a video call after five months of placing their order. This shows the power of nurturing customer relationships over a period.
Without digital dialogue, the customer may have switched to a competitor, or decided to visit physical showrooms. Instead, Archie established trust and remained a reliable point of contact for his customer.
How Confer With helps retail teams excel in their jobs
Carly and Archie come from a solid sales background and are highly confident in face-to-face sales. Both found leveraging live video shopping technology in an eCommerce environment has enabled them to perform better in their jobs.
We shared our experiences working in retail and one area we agreed on is the inability to build customer relationships in a physical setting. Very rarely did we speak to the person post transaction unless they had to return an item in-store.
By combining Snug ethos and Confer With technology, both have more influence over the customer buying journey and feel they are responsible for delivering such memorable experiences.
Through the utilisation of video, Carly and Archie can articulate product knowledge with the support of Confer With features. This includes product descriptions and image assets to further immerse the customer during the call.
It highlights the importance of educating the customer as much as possible so they can make informed purchase decisions.
And finally, is this the future of retail?
Carly and Archie said with confidence that going forward live video shopping is a game-changer and one to watch. Considering their previous in-store retail backgrounds they thoroughly enjoy working with new technology and building customer relationships virtually.
Retail and sales are synonymous with unsociable hours, stress, and low job satisfaction. However, the future of retail shares a glimpse that working in retail can be a rewarding job role with the power to influence and develop valuable skills in the workplace.