Online shopping is big business! In fact, data shows that in 2022, US ecommerce sales will cross $1 trillion. While “clicks” haven’t necessarily replaced “bricks” (many people still shop in-store), the market is huge, with the pandemic further prompting people to shop online. Of course, there are a few disadvantages of online shopping, however, these hurdles can be overcome when the sales tool provides a more personalized experience – one that uses image questions to inform purchase decisions, not push products.
Online Shopping Today
Nearly 70% of Americans have shopped online, and 25% of them shop online at least once per month. But, Americans aren’t the only ones buying online. An estimated 1.92 billion people worldwide purchased goods or services online in 2019. That’s about ¼ of the world’s total population! Then, in 2020, global retail ecommerce sales surged more than 27%, reaching an estimated worldwide total of $4.28 trillion. Of course, there are still some things people miss about shopping in-store. According to Square, here’s where online shopping is lacking:
- 47% miss browsing products in-store
- 44% miss getting out of the house and walking around
- 41% miss having what they purchased right away
- 31% missing trying our or experiencing products before buying
- 23% miss interacting with store staff and other customers
While some of these “misses” cannot be solved, there are still ways to make the online shopping process more enjoyable and more like an in-store experience. This can be accomplished through conversational marketing.
What is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing is a method of engaging with website visitors through dialogue-driven activities. It’s designed to interact with consumers rather than simply deliver a one-way conversation by the brand. The goal? To create relationships with consumers, build trust through interaction, and making the buying experience as easy as possible. Some websites employ chatbots or live chats to accomplish this, while others make online shopping “smarter” by asking questions and providing answers and/or solutions. Inbound sales developer Hubspot reports that using conversational marketing converts three-to-four times more often than traditional landing pages!
To get conversational, various “smart online shopping” tools have arisen, offering shoppers an experience in a conversational manner. This has led to platforms such as Zoovu (formerly “Smart Assistant”) which “deliver engaging conversational experiences that guide, personalize and deliver the right product every time.” But some of these tools can be expensive, hard to use, and not flexible enough. SurveyLegend provided a conversational marketing alternative!
Conversational Marketing with Image Questions
As you’ve seen when looking at statistics, more than 20% of shoppers miss the interactive experience of in-store shopping. Store employees are able to answer questions, advise on purchases, and direct shoppers on where to go. This doesn’t always happen online, where shoppers may feel they’re simply being “pushed” to make a purchase. SurveyLegend has a solution!
We held an experiment. We had several amazing members of our forever-growing SurveyLegend family try our survey, form, and poll creator, and use it as they would a smart assistant. They found they could achieve the same results for a lot less money and hassle! Check out how it works with this live interactive survey. Click away, just as if you were a customer, and see how it uses image questions to ask what you’re looking for, and then provides answer images. It’s a complete, curated shopping experience!
Smart Shopping Assistant Example with Image Questions
Like what you just experienced? Imagine that your customers could have the same shopping experience! Question and answer pictures turn online shopping into a “conversational chat,” and help in the consumer decision-making process. Of course, there are other benefits!
Five Benefits of Image Questions
Smart online shopping is all about using image questions and photo answers to provide a list of curated products. It also feels like a conversational chat, much like one that a shopper may have with a clerk in-store. Let’s look closer at the benefits!
Better Customer Experience
Providing a good customer experience (CX) is key for online retailing. In fact, 96% of customers say that customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand versus product and price. Gartner even reports that almost 75% of organizations are spending more money on technologies that could help improve their customer experience. One of these is conversation marketing software. Using SurveyLegend like a smart assistant, you can provide a great CX that will keep customers coming back.
Shopify data suggests that 20% of online-bought products are returned, compared to just 9% of items bought in a brick-and-mortar store. Returns can be a real hurdle for online shoppers. However, using image questions and answers reduced the likelihood of a return. Customers can see what they’re getting, and create a curated list of items like it in order to make the best purchase decision.
As previously mentioned, customers like in-store shopping because of the interaction with salespeople, who can point them in the right direction. A smart online shopping tool can provide the same experience, recommending items to shoppers who buy a specific product. For example, when purchasing new shoes, the smart assistant tool may suggest some socks that would complement the purchase.
Anytime you can provide a better shopping CX, your online reviews are sure to go up. And, this is important. 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. And 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
We don’t need to belabor this point; if a customer has a good experience, they’re more likely to return in the future!
Customer experience is king. And while 80% of companies believe they deliver excellent CX, only 8% of customers think that they do. One way to boost your CX is through conversational marketing, using tools such as SurveyLegend that introduce image-based Q&A into the equation. Ready to get smarter about online shopping, and turn SurveyLegend into your own personal smart assistant? Get started now!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Customer experience, or CX, consists of everything from the customer’s first interaction with your company to their last.
Conversational marketing is a method of engaging with website visitors through dialogue-driven activities. It’s designed to interact with consumers rather than simply deliver a one-way conversation by the brand.
In surveys, image questions ask respondents to select a photo/image versus just providing text, offering a better customer experience.