3 Digital Ways to Make Shopping Easier for Customers
The current COVID-19 pandemic gave an incredible boost to e-commerce. Many brands have fully switched to online mode, and customers have started trusting the online shopping experience more.
However, the rapid growth of e-commerce popularity has also caused a rise in the competition among online businesses, which are trying to impress customers in any way they can, from offering good discounts to generous loyalty programs.
However, none of these deals will help you retain the customers if you don’t solve their problems. And there can be a lot of them while they move down the sales funnel.
Technology can be a great solution here, and customers say so themselves. According to Smart Insights, 47% of customers want e-commerce businesses to provide them with tech solutions early in the buying process when researching product features and reviews.
So, which digital solutions are available to e-commerce businesses right now, and which problems can they solve?
Let’s take a look.
1. Include Voice-Activated Search
Any customer would name at least one disadvantage of shopping online. Clothes that do not fit, the color of the item doesn’t match the photo and product description, etc.
However, these disadvantages are not related exclusively to online fashion boutiques. Buying makeup and skincare products online is another challenge that many consumers have to deal with, mainly because there is no professional who would give a proper product recommendation.
Estee Lauder decided to solve this problem by introducing Liv, a virtual beauty advisor the brand created in the partnership with Google Home.
Liv is a voice search assistant that provides product advice based on the customer’s skin type and gives recommendations regarding product testing. Its goal is to help Estee Lauder’s customers have a high-quality personalized skincare routine:
Video credit: Estee Lauder
Considering how quickly the popularity of smart home assistants grows, involving more voice search options in e-commerce makes sense. Besides, including adding voice search to your online shop will allow you to remain competitive, as the demand for this technology will keep growing.
In addition to making your business highly competitive, voice search also has in store a lot of shopping benefits for your customers:
- It’s quicker to look for products with a voice search. This is the primary reason why 43% of the global online population use voice search – it helps them find what they are looking for faster, and the precision of search results is the same.
- Customers can shop online anytime, anywhere. According to Katherine Watier, the owner of WO Strategies, a popular SEO agency, 42% of consumers use voice search while driving. So whenever the customer suddenly remembers that they need to buy something, they can do it right at the spot using voice search on their mobile device.
- Consumers get personalized recommendations. Estee Lauder’s bot Liv, as well as other similar bots from Purina, Domino’s, and Burger King that are paired with a smart home assistant, are created to ask customers a set of questions before giving the final answer. This allows for a higher level of product personalization.
In the long run, adding voice search to the shopping experience at your online shop will start paying off. Customers always prefer brands with which shopping is quicker and more effortless. Voice search enables both options and can help you improve customer retention with time.
2. Add a Live Chat Option
Live chat technology isn’t something new, but you’d be surprised how few brands have this option on their websites. But those who do get amazing profit out of it.
Whisker Bag is a great example of that. Using live chat from Tidio, the brand made over $100 a year, and you can see why. When communicating with the brand’s customer support through the live chat, you get immediate replies to any question regarding the product:
Chatbots have the same function. When the customer support is unavailable, customers can still get answers to any question without having to search the FAQ page for hours. MeUndies has a great example of such a chatbot:
With today’s technology, adding the live chat option to your website is easy and effortless, and the benefits you will be able to get from that are amazing. However, if you decide to add a chatbot, it will take you a bit longer to set it up, mainly because a chatbot needs a script.
Writing a chatbot script resembles paper writing a lot in that the chatbot script needs to have an introduction-body-conclusion structure. The introductory and the concluding parts can stay the same, while the contents of the body will depend on the question asked by the customer.
Besides, to make sure that the interaction between a chatbot and a customer goes smoothly, you need to proofread your script. To save you some time, you can use online editors from writing services such as TopEssayWriting or TrustMyPaper. Such platforms also have built-in readability checks to help you make sure that your chatbot answers make sense.
No matter which option you decide to add to your e-commerce website, a live chat, or a chatbot, it will significantly speed up the shopping process. Your customers will be able to:
- Save time. With a live chat or a chatbot, your customers will have all the answers at their fingertips. And, you can anticipate and prevent any possible hesitations and misunderstandings.
- Trust your brand more. Your customers will feel safer shopping with your brand when provided with all the answers right away.
- Have a personalized shopping experience. With the live chat option, your customers can ask specific questions regarding the product and get answers right away.
On top of the above-mentioned benefits, both a live chat and a chatbot give you a competitive advantage. Customers want fast answers to their inquiries, and not all brands can provide that. So, if you want to make shopping easier for your customers and want them to get a great shopping experience, make sure they have access to these two options at any time.
3. Allow a Virtual Fitting Room Experience
With the onset of the pandemic, many brands that have mostly brick-and-mortar stores had to switch to the e-commerce model to retain their customers.
However, customers know very well that buying clothes online has a lot of downsides, mostly related to the inability to try them on and see if they fit well.
Superdry resolved this problem by introducing a virtual fitting room – a digital solution that allows consumers to explore the size and fit according to their body parameters.
The virtual assistant asks you to provide some information about your height and weight, as well as your tummy, hip shape, and other details. In the end, you get fit and size recommendations:
Apart from better customer satisfaction, we found that this solution helps brands:
- Boost conversions. With personalized product recommendations, customers are more likely to complete the purchase.
- Reduce product returns. YourFit solution helps customers select products according to their exact body parameters, which reduces the risks of them returning the product because it doesn’t fit them.
- Track insights for business growth. Apart from integrating the size and fit recommendations into your website, you will also be able to track how much profit you’re making from this technology.
Needless to say, the main benefit of a virtual fitting room and size recommendation is that these options significantly reduce the time customers spend on online shopping. The biggest benefit, of course, is that customers will be able to purchase clothes that perfectly fit them without having to return and re-order them.
Over to You
E-commerce brands always strive to find new solutions to impress their customers and make them stay. Voice-activated search, live chats, chatbots, and virtual fitting rooms can work great in that regard and significantly improve the shopping experience.
The best part about these digital solutions is that they are not expensive. You will get the return on investment faster than you think and will even make a significant profit out of it. But most importantly, your customers will have an easier and more enjoyable time shopping at your online store, bringing you better engagement and satisfaction rates.
About the Author
Nicole Garrison is a content contributor and editor at Supreme Dissertations. She is a dedicated and experienced author who pays particular attention to quality research. In her free time, Nicole is a passionate runner and a curious beekeeper. Moreover, she runs her own blog LiveInspiredMagazine.
eCommerce Paradise was created by Trevor Fenner of Seattle, Washington in 2015 to help you, the entrepreneur, to start and scale your own eCommerce business. Trevor owns multiple 7-figure eCommerce stores and is a digital nomad, traveling the world while working remotely with the help of his team of virtual assistants from around the world. Trevor is currently located in Bali, Indonesia, and is a passionate skateboarder, surfer, scuba diver, photographer, environmentalist, outdoorsman, fitness and tattoo enthusiast.
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