Thanks to improved internet access and better technology, online shopping was already an increasingly common part of people’s daily lives around the world. However, when the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, online purchasing reached unprecedented heights. As people faced lockdown restrictions and could no longer shop in stores, they turned to online shopping instead. From January 2020 to June 2020, online shopping increased by over 36%.*

As the way people shop changed, so did the way they interact with those businesses. Rather than chatting with a sales assistant in a physical store, they now have to use digital channels. However, online retailers that provide real-time digital communication—such as voice chat and video calling—can enjoy greater benefits.

Real-time communication leads to stronger customer relationships

Trust is essential in online purchasing. While including product photos or offering text chat helps, nothing quite beats talking with another human being. When a potential customer can talk with an agent in real time, when they can hear their voice and/or see their face, they’re more likely to have a stronger relationship. They’re no longer dealing with an anonymous agent (or possibly an AI chat bot) but are interacting with a real, trust-worthy person, leading to greater customer engagement. By using a service like SnapCall, agents can easily move from text chat to an audio or video call without the customer having to leave the site, dial a number, or install any software.

Digital assistance improves the customer experience

One of the reasons some people prefer shopping in person is that they feel it’s a more pleasurable experience. They enjoy being able to browse the aisles, taking a closer look at items and getting a tailored recommendation from an assistant. Digital calls allow retailers to recreate that offline experience in new and exciting ways. For example, by taking the video conferencing into the store, shopping assistants can welcome visitors, show them different products and give a personalized one-on-one service. This leads to happier customers and improved net promoter score (NPS).

Real-time communication can lead to more sales

Whether you’re selling a product or a service, digital calls also give shoppers the chance to ask questions that might not be answered on the site. This means they’re more likely to get a positive outcome and get the product that’s right for them. For more complex products or services, a sales agent could share their screen and walk the customer through the buying process, helping them choose the right product and potentially even helping them get it set up. This also allows agents to get a better understanding of their customer, so they can provide a better service while identifying any potential cross-sell/upsell opportunities.

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Conclusion

The way people shop has changed significantly. As a result, online businesses need to improve the way they interact and engage with their customers. By offering real-time digital communication—such as audio calls, video assistance and screen sharing—online stores can strengthen customer relationships, create better experiences and increase sales.

Ready to upgrade your online shopping experience with digital communication? SnapCall allows you to jump on a voice chat, a video call, or share your screen with customers, all in a convenient and user-friendly package. Book a demo and start your free 14-day trial today.

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