Live Video Makes the Holidays Bright for Retailers and Consumers
This holiday season, retailers are hoping to make virtual shopping merry and bright for online customers. To grab shoppers’ attention in the highly competitive e-commerce environment, retailers need to pull out all the stops and provide an immersive, person-to-person virtual shopping experience that engages and delights. Early estimates predict 2021 online holiday retail sales will rise 11.3 percent to $206.88 billion, accounting for a record 18.9 percent of total holiday season sales. Now is the time for retailers to embrace new digital engagement strategies that will help capitalize on this market opportunity.
Savvy retailers are serving online customers face-to-face to establish a warm, personal connection. From creating immersive virtual boutiques to seamlessly connecting online customers with in-store salespeople, these retailers are providing a highly customized experience. Using video chat technology with real-time collaboration, including co-browsing and sharing, boosts the digital customer experience, increases conversions and average order value, and grows brand loyalty. Here are some ideas on how to supercharge online shopping sales numbers by incorporating live video this holiday season:
Prepare Your Website for a High-Touch, Individualized Experience
The key to online sales success is building an engaging experience from start to finish. Live video chat can play a starring role in drawing customers into an immersive and personalized shopping encounter. Retailers should use captivating images, informative recorded demos, and GIFs with compelling messages to advertise to consumers that video sales assistance is available at the click of a button. Nudges (or pop-ups) can prompt a shopper to engage with a sales agent if they've lingered on a page. Social media, email, and other digital channels should include links to available live chat options to let potential customers know that knowledgeable, responsive help is immediately available.
Build a Beautiful Environment for Virtual Connections
Give your product specialists high-definition cameras that will allow them to both show off product and look shoppers in the eye. Cameras can show a wide product view. Portable cameras allow an agent to move around the showroom floor and provide close views of the quality and texture of products. Multiple cameras providing different views and perspectives can help deliver the immersive feel of shopping in-store. Proper lighting, including backlighting and front lighting, will help best showcase products. Consider using a branded virtual background for a clean, consistent look across all virtual agents.
Create a Memorable Experience
Virtual boutiques. Live demos. Personalized product tours. Co-browsing and sharing for guided product recommendations. A retailer’s sales staff can use live video chat for all these methods to connect with shoppers and provide detailed views of products, as well as demos on how to use them. For example, a cosmetics retailer can provide one-to-one beauty consultations and product application demos in a “virtual boutique,” helping customers choose the right products for their needs. A furniture retailer or an auto dealer can use live video chat to co-browse its website with a shopper to check out different product specs, then take the customer on a live tour of the showroom to see specific products that align with his or her interests. With a dual-camera setup, a jewelry retailer can look shoppers in the eye to answer questions and build rapport, while also providing a high-definition, up-close look at specific pieces that might interest the shopper.
Capture Holiday Sales Success With Live Video
Live engagement can be a game changer for retailers this holiday season. To set the stage for success, retailers must train their agents, test, and optimize the experience to guarantee good results. Sales specialists should be educated in all aspects of available products so they can provide the most knowledgeable help to shoppers. Live online agents should receive the same training as in-store personnel so that customers have a consistent experience that delivers on the promise of the brand. The online experience should center on engaged live service, but also include artificial intelligence that helps consumers quickly locate information, book appointments for help, or immediately connect to live agents.
High-definition video is easier to integrate into the online sales environment than you might think, and with proper deployment and training, it will supercharge holiday sales success.
Joseph Noonan is the CEO of Vee24, a flexible, enterprise-grade platform purpose-built for omnichannel customer engagement.