Following the viral outbreak, e-commerce became the preferred mode of shopping. In the absence of a choice, what was once a convenient alternative became an absolute necessity, despite its disadvantages. Why? Because customers are rarely satisfied with placing an order online after just looking at the product pictures. As a result, as soon as the lockdown restrictions were relaxed, there was a significant spike in footfall at physical stores.
People prefer interacting in person with salespersons to understand features, seek recommendations and negotiate the price. They like to touch and feel the product before purchase, something that the online platform can not offer. The lack of evaluation during purchase also causes issues such as wrong selection, incorrect items shipped and not meeting expectations, and eventually, customer dissatisfaction
And, with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, footfalls at offline stores will not last. This will again take retail businesses back to square one; they can either risk losing customers or digitally transform their businesses by embracing e-commerce.
But, simply listing their business on e-commerce platforms or creating a storefront on WhatsApp may not be enough to sustain revenue. Retailers can offer what pure e-commerce sellers cannot – product touch and feel, relationship with a salesperson for personalized shopping, and most importantly, the opportunity for the customer to negotiate the price. And if all of this could be done digitally at a click, then retailers will gain a significant advantage over third-party resellers on e-commerce platforms. Thankfully, Video Commerce can exactly do this and take physical retailers, mom-and-pop stores, local D2C brands, and smaller e-commerce players to deliver next-level shopping experiences
How Video Commerce can Help Offline Stores Deliver Improved Customer Experiences
At its core, video commerce helps offline retailers provide a superlative purchase experience to their customers by combining online shopping’s convenience with in-person interactions.
Here are some of its advantages that offline stores such as jewelry shops can benefit from:
1. More convenience, Authenticity, and Safety
The touch and feel of a product are an important part of the shopping process, which video commerce can replicate by making the online experience more human-interaction oriented. For example, customers can initiate a call with a jewelry store by clicking on a web link accessed via the website or sent directly to the customer via SMS or WhatsApp. These video calls allow in-store sales representatives to connect, showcase designs, help with selection. Finally, the stores can send the selected jewelry to the customer’s home and collect the payment.
In this manner, local stores can make the entire shopping experience, from product discovery to purchase, smoother, more engaging, and personalized for the customer, leading to better experiences and increased sales.
2. Elevating the Shopping Experience for Enhanced Cross-Selling and Upselling Opportunities
Through video commerce, the salesperson can showcase the entire product range to the customer while addressing their queries and concerns in real-time. This provides a critical advantage to physical retailers over e-commerce platforms as quick problem resolution is associated with good customer service. Leading video call-based solutions also allow real salespersons to pitch the product by sharing presentations and A/V content with the customer. This enhances the likelihood of upselling and cross-selling. The final price can also be negotiated over the video call while the shortlisted items can be delivered to the customer's home where they select the final product and make the payment. Stores can thus deliver an augmented virtual shopping experience that is as closest to real life as possible.
3. Better Analytics Equals Better Experience
Leading video shopping solutions record all calls for audit-related purposes and in-depth analysis. The data so harnessed empowers retailers to gain a 360-degree understanding of the customer and match it to similar customer profiles. As a result, they can personalize the shopping experience for each customer by sharing the most relevant information and product recommendations.
Live Video Shopping is poised to become a key component of the retail landscape in the coming years as the industry tries to balance the need for convenience and modernity with a sense of security, trust, and authenticity. The shift to a more interactive channel of communication will bring about a new experience, one that will involve more personal touch, empathy, and understanding. That this will happen is no longer a matter of possibility but merely that of time.