As customers and brand relationships take center stage, some retailers are opting to use new technology to communicate with shoppers. Talkative, a U.K.-based startup, provides face-to-face communication between businesses and their clients through web chat, and some of Talkative’s retail clients are seeing significant improvements in their customer satisfaction and engagement rates using the technology.
For example, furniture retailer Style Our Home (SOH) managed to improve user experience by implementing a web-calling technology. Supplemented by a co-browsing solution, web calling allowed the brand to track their clients' buying journey and map their browsing patterns utilizing the data provided by call tracking.
When SOH and Talkative began working together in 2016, the retailer was looking for innovative customer engagement tools to differentiate their online offering. SOH hopes to position itself as a leading online retailer of furniture and home accessories, providing a wide range of quality products delivered with efficient, friendly service. The company plans to differentiate itself from other retailers in the industry by providing customer service tailored according to the needs of each client.
Visitors to the SOH website can use Talkative's web-calling software to connect with the company's knowledgeable furniture experts. Instead of dialing a phone number, customers can make the call using their browser, with no phone or plugins required.
“One of the interesting aspects we noticed was how contact options were positioned and presented to customers at various stages of the online journey. Buying products online often needs reassurance, and we learned some lessons about how the availability of human contact helps to convert browsers into customers. It is important to offer customer support at every stage of their buying journey,” a spokesperson from Talkative told FierceRetail.
SOH has experienced several benefits from using the web-calling software. First, the retailer has seen an increase in calls from interested customers browsing their products. Second, SOH can now attribute inbound calls to specific page URLs. Third, customer calls are free and convenient, making the retail experience more personal. Finally, with web calling, customer retention is up and shopping cart abandonment rates are down.
“In our opinion, the hardest challenge is getting online consumers to take action. Many retailers offer polished, lightweight and responsive websites, which helps page dwell times and product discovery. However, turning 'browsers' into 'buyers' is the difficult part,” said a spokesperson. “How do you truly engage customers and give them a memorable shopping experience? In a brick-and-mortar store, this is achieved through human connection and multisensory experiences. The answer, we believe, is to introduce selected elements of the in-person retail experience to online retail stores.”
Despite the technology, Talkative notes that phone calls are still valuable for a lot of retailers. In an age where retail is moving online, it is worth considering how human interactions can be leveraged to stand out from the competition. Moreover, with the increased use of mobile devices for online search, retailers should think about whether they have the capability of optimizing web inbound calls to increase their conversion rates.