As shoppers, most of us, whether we admit it or not, need help. Finding the right size, feeling confident about an outfit we’ve styled and ensuring we are staying within our price range can easily turn the excitement of shopping into a stressful situation full of hesitation and doubt. In physical stores, associates can offer help, but online customer service is typically a desolate realm, a self-sufficient domain where fortune favors those who forge their way alone. Wanting more doesn’t mean we want all of our shopping done for us like subscription services allow; for industries like furniture that’s a downright scary thought. We tend to like having control over what we buy – we just need a little help along the way.
Shoptelligence is turning this notion on its head by making online customer service not only a reality but a valued and integral part of the customer journey. With the help of an AI-powered style assistant, shoppers can finally receive guidance that can help them have a successful and satisfying shopping trip based on their own styles and preferences.
The Emergence of the Assistance Economy
It’s no secret retailers are doing their best to entice customers with personalized experiences. But the lesson most are starting to learn is that promotion, by itself, won’t translate into securing a customer’s business for the long haul. The rise of online shopping specifically has created a unique need that still doesn’t receive enough attention: assistance.
Logging onto a retailer’s site means being presented with extensive options. Whether shopping with a specific product in mind or just browsing out of curiosity, guidance can make or break a sale. Any assistance a customer would have normally received when roaming a store’s aisles from a sales associate is sacrificed online with just a few clicks. The lack of sales enablement can lead to uncertainty about a product that can deter a customer from going through with the purchase. Instead, online customer service not only provides recommendations but becomes an extension of an in-store sales associate that is crucial to retailers’ end goal – sales and loyalty regardless of channel.
Catering to Customer Intent
Another realization enlightening retailers is that today’s connected and mobile shoppers provide a window into their intentions based on the digital processes they use. Understanding a customer’s motivations for buying is the first step, and with machine learning, companies can finally predict intent rather than struggle to keep up with it. Imagine logging onto your favorite retailer’s site to see a curated assortment that matches your interests versus what you searched for last week. This type of online customer service is now available through easy-to-deploy technology solutions. A forward-thinking approach to giving customers what they want will help encourage shoppers, leading them down a path to purchase.
A New Incentive to Online Shop
As retailers set their sights on fitting into the assistance economy, online shopping is set to become more convenient, fulfilling and best of all, fun. The ability to predict customer intent allows retailers to meet their shoppers halfway. Upon visiting the site, they will have access to products tailored to fit their interests and needs at that moment in time. With this approach, shopping becomes less of an endless maze and more of an exciting adventure, capitalizing on the self-discovery aspect of the process.
By going beyond chat features and call centers, retailers can offer a true convenience service and style support that could otherwise only happen in a store. This assistance is something consumers can rely on and look forward to as they continue to navigate the online shopping world.
Discover a Long-Term Solution With Shoptelligence
We provide a Style Discovery Platform that unleashes this kind of online customer service and believes it will close the “experience gap” between what shoppers expect and what they currently receive. The solution also becomes more intelligent the more that shoppers engage with it. Rather than providing experiences for ‘just another customer,’ Shoptelligence helps identify each customer’s shopping intent at that moment, their unique style and makes them feel like the best version of themselves – every time, even the first time.