4 ways to inspire passion in your online shoppers

How passionate are your online shoppersInspiring passion in your online shoppers is no easy task. Without the human touch offered by an in-store sales assistant, online shoppers are free to duck in quietly, lurk around almost unseen in dark corners and then slink off without so much as a by-your-leave.

Simply put, every time an online shopper is left to their own devices they are making decisions that are often based on assumptions. Sometimes those assumptions are correct, other times they are wrong. Even if you have a really strong brand with tens of thousands of engaged followers on Facebook, Twitter and other social channels, you still need to work really hard to ensure online shoppers are buying from you and not the competition.

[box style="quote"]Without the human touch offered by an in-store sales assistant, online shoppers are free to duck in quietly, lurk around almost unseen in dark corners and then slink off without so much as a by-your-leave.[/box]

Around 60% of online shoppers say they would like more options in how they connect with brands online, while as many as 75% say they would welcome some form of support, especially human interaction as they complete their shopping.

4 ways to put the "wow" factor into online shopping

  1. Recognise existing customers and previous visitors.

    Today in our increasingly connected world, where digital channels are enabling communication and conversation in multiple ways, you have to think about how to create an individual experience for your online shoppers. Business is all about "Person-to-Person" or P2P. Make sure that your website visitors are receiving an experience that is tailored to their own needs. Use technology to identify people who have shopped with you or visited the website before, and serve them with suggestions based on previously exhibited behaviour. Beware though, that it can be a spooky experience for some to feel they are being second guessed at every step, so mix up your responses. Show people similar products to those they are looking at, place suggestions in view on what other people have bought after looking at specific items, and make reviews easily accessible.

  2. Provide human interaction live on your site for online shoppers

    Unlike traditional shops, online shopping can be a lonely experience. People often need reassurance, and they need to be guided. Use live chat 24/7 to careful observe behaviour and step in to help as and when people have questions or are experiencing problems. If you have well-trained live chat operators, and a carefully executed live chat strategy that delivers proactive live chat invitations at critical points in the customer journey you will see conversions soar. Forget 4% or 5% traditional online conversion rates, with live chat you will see 25% or more of people who have a live chat then going on to complete their purchase. Abandonment drops significantly, and average order value leaps 10% or often more. It is a fact that people are much more likely to abandon due to unanswered questions. Step in at the right moment, solve their problem or answer the question quickly, and you will do massive amounts to inspire passion and advocacy among your customers.

  3. Offer online personal shoppers to your most valued customers

    If you are using live chat as described in the second item above, it is relatively simple to extend that service to become a bespoke personal online shopping channel. To help inspire loyalty your could offer named personal online shoppers to your most valuable customers. You can get them to sign up, and then make an appointment to meet online with an advisor that they trust. That live chat operator would then be able to escort them around the website, advise on purchases in exactly the same way as a normal personal shopper. This kind of gold star treatment would help set you apart, and see your biggest spenders returning time after time. If this works, you could consider extending the service to include video chat where the customer actually sees and hears the online personal shopper.

  4. Proactively offer discount codes or other incentives

    Get human and get real. As you watch people travelling around your online store and placing items in their shopping basket, you could step in and offer them an incentive to complete the purchase or even to buy more. Online retailers are increasingly building discount codes into their pricing strategy, and given that basket abandonment rates can be so high, why not offer a 10% discount on purchase over a certain amount, or perhaps free postage and returns? If such offers are made unasked for, the customer will feel special, and is more likely to complete their purchase. Most importantly, the customer is even more likely to become an advocate, spread great feedback about the service across social media and other review channels such as Reviews.co.uk. If you are using live chat as described in the second item above, it is relatively simple to extend that service to become a bespoke personal online shopping channel. To help inspire loyalty your could offer named personal online shoppers to your most valuable customers. You can get them to sign up, and then make an appointment to meet online with an advisor that they trust. That live chat operator would then be able to escort them around the website, advise on purchases in exactly the same way as a normal personal shopper. This kind of gold star treatment would help set you apart, and see your biggest spenders returning time after time

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