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Connecting with Customers in the Age of Assistance

Nowadays, customers become more and more aware and demanding. Price is not a determinant anymore when it comes to purchasing decisions. What counts is holistic customer experience represented by multiple factors and subjective impressions.

New technologies enable online stores more personal and automated actions than ever before. E-commerce industry highly depends on the usage of innovative solutions. A combination of those and maximising the convenience of shopping is a recipe for success.

E-commerce in the Age of Assistance

Age of assistance simply means the approach focused on customers and their needs. It can be implemented in various ways and on many platforms. Thanks to technology and human input brands can quite their customers and help them with making decisions.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence enable tools to take over some of the tasks that before were handled by people, and in many cases, they do it even better and faster. This concept mirrors how much customer experience is crucial for businesses an clients, and moreover, it gives assistive e-commerce a competitive advantage.

Need some proofs?

  • “59% of the customers said a bad experience caused them to stop buying from the company.”
  • “80% of businesses believe they provide excellent customer service, but only 8% of customers agree.”
  • “52% of customers said a good customer service interaction influenced them to purchase more from the company and     58% of those customers recommended the good companies to others ”
  • “89% of people are likely to recommend a brand after a positive brand experience on mobile.”
  • “95% of consumers talk about poor customer service experiences with other people”

Today customers have a wide choice when it comes to brands and products. You’re probably not the only merchant, even if you act in a niche.

Consumers still have a lot of options. In the globalised world, there are basically no limits for e-commerce. The brands that are more assistive are those that will grow the fastest in the 21st century.

How to create assistive e-commerce?

First of all, let’s take a moment to discuss what is it that customers need. Of course, every industry is different and has its own specifics, but in general, consumers value few things:

  • Immediate response
  • Customer-friendly catalogue
  •  Relevant content
  •  Convenience (short customer path)
  •  Security of payment
  •  Fast delivery

What innovative solutions can help e-commerce to fulfil these needs?

Distributed commerce

A concept which makes customer journey more convenient and shorter. The goal is to get to consumers where they spend time (i.e. on social media) and therefore, don’t redirect them to original site but enable to finalise shopping within this platform.

Chatbot

It’s a program which thanks to a scenario or artificial intelligence can automatically answer the questions. It can be implemented on the website or Facebook page. The most significant advantage is a precise and immediate answer.

Image search

The ability of a system to search through a catalogue via image. Customers can download a picture, and they’ll get a list of products similar to those on the pic. It can be extremely useful for consumers, as clothes or other items are not always easy to describe.  

Notifications

Automatically send a message via push notifications on mobile or web push notifications to customers who did a specific action on your website. For example, you can send a reminder about abandoned carts or information about special offers for those clients. System collect data about your website’s visitors which help to personalise the shopping experience.

Recommendations

Suggest your clients the most suitable products for them based on the previous purchasing. It’s also a matter of automation and artificial intelligence in use. The more accurate recommendations are – the more possible purchasing is.

Voice search

Using virtual assistants via mobile devices or smart speaker become more popular with every day. It makes shopping extremely convenient and fast. Once a customer configures an app with only a few commands clients can finalise shopping.

Content marketing

Find out what problems you can solve. Maybe customers need some guidance or tips in using your products? Prepare a list of topics strongly connected to the goods you offer as well as more general regarding your industry. It’s a great way to build trust between brand and consumer or potential clients.

Showroom

Thanks to augmented and virtual reality customers can see the preview of the products in use which can help with making a decision.

Drone delivery

This innovation maximises the fast delivery so that customers can receive products as soon as possible (within an hour).

The age of assistance in practice

It comes as no surprise that customers started demanding useful, personalized and assistive experiences from the brands they follow and interact with. After all, they give up a lot of personal information when buying a product or service, so it has to be worth it for them in the end.

Especially since they are fully aware that nowadays brands use powerful tools to reach the right customers with the right message at the right time. Why wouldn’t all customers expect personalized treatment, then?    

It’s important to assist your customers, rather than impose random messages on them. Knowing that many brands around the world are already trying to meet the expectations of their clients. And rightly so. Especially since Google is making it much easier to search for desired products or services.

That’s precisely why brands are now optimizing their websites, investing in search ads and creating relevant content. As a result, they attract potential customers that are already interested in their products or services somehow, rather than bombard every Internet user with unnecessary ads.

Here’s another example. Buying smaller, everyday items is not limited to brick-and-mortar stores anymore and is not driven by brand recognition or impulse buys. Actually, shopping for such goods is becoming more personalized than you think – and Dollar Shave Club is here to prove it.

The whole shopping experience starts with telling them a bit about your needs, in order to get a set of trial size products to check them out. Then, you’ll be shipped a proper Restock Box with all those products that you liked. Of course, you can always adjust the list of the products, as well as the frequency of shipments.

Sephora also knows how to adapt to the age of assistance. Its Virtual Artist lets you “put your makeup on” without buying anything. However, once you like your new look, you can easily add the items to the shopping cart. The mobile app is also full of pro tips that can make the whole shopping experience easier – and tailored to your needs.

How to take advantage of the age of assistance

In order to make it in the age of assistance, brands have to become more visible, attentive, and act fast. Basically, you should be everywhere your customer expects you to be – as the more proactively you reach out to your audience, the higher the chances of boosting sales in your online store.

How to deliver those assistive experiences to your customers, though? Here are a few tips to get you started.

–  Make sure your online store is well-optimized, intuitive and mobile-friendly.

–  Implement live chat and other forms of customer support, so that you can be reached easily in case of any questions or concerns.  

–  Invest in quality content that your audience is actually searching for.

–  Monitor discussions on social media and take a stand whenever you can.

–  If possible, apply AI and automation to analyze data faster, drive better decisions and personalize your messages more effectively.  

–  Experiment with new technologies. Customers like to be surprised (positively, that is).

 

Watch out for the emerging technologies and make the most of it for your e-commerce!