Let’s try to understand whether the advantages of traditional communication between the seller and the client can be transferred to online trading?
Worldwide shopping on screen
In recent years, online sales have evolved from an alternative to classic stores and markets into one of the whales on which modern business is based. In developed countries, online stores and marketplaces have either already overtaken brick-and-mortar stores in terms of sales volume and product range, or will soon overtake them.
There is nothing surprising about that. Online stores provide the opportunity to choose, compare and buy products from around the world without leaving home. No offline store or market can provide such an opportunity.
For obvious reasons – thanks to savings on retail space and its maintenance – online stores are also convenient and profitable for sellers. Online, even former pillars of offline trading such as real estate and car sales have moved confidently online. What can we say about household appliances or, say, clothes?
It is no coincidence that many futurologists predict that only flea markets and high-end stores will remain offline within one generation. Moreover, they will stay afloat primarily due to tourist interest – as an attraction, and not a business in its purest form. To this list, perhaps, you can add food markets and other shops selling fresh products.
But no one doubts that the bulk of industrial goods will be sold on the Internet.
The loneliness of the online shopper
With all its obvious advantages, online sales has two big drawbacks that critics never tire of drawing attention to: The buyer is deprived of the opportunity to physically test the product in detail and cannot promptly utilize the services of a sales assistant.
As for the first, modern technologies have dealt with this perfectly. Yes, there was a time when a product in an online store could only be judged by one or two poor-quality photographs. But that’s in the past. Today you can create a product presentation that allows you to study its every detail and from all sides – perhaps even more thoroughly than is possible with your own eyes. Yes, not all online stores use these presentations. Some people still offer hastily taken photos instead of high-quality pictures, videos and 3D visualizations. But this, as they say, stems from laziness and disregard for their success. In the end, even offline, not all sellers spend time on professionally designed counters and display stands, and then wonder why they lose to their competition.
However, no one doubts that the bulk of industrial goods will be sold on the Internet. But the lack of real communication between buyers and sellers has really become a problem. Generation after generation, salespeople have honed the art of conversation with the client and… have found themselves almost out of work in modern e-commerce. The art of answering the client’s questions, even those that they did not ask, making suggestions from the store’s inventory that will suit the customer best, leading someone who “came in to look” to buy in such a way that they were satisfied with the deal – all this is sorely lacking in online sales.
A visitor to an online store ‘walks’ through it alone. No one meets them with a smile and an offer to help with making a choice, and there is no one to turn to with a product question that remains unanswered after reading the description.
Communication between employees of online stores and their customers usually comes down to a call or a message from a manager specifying the details of delivery and payment. Moreover, it is difficult for the buyer to predict or anticipate an operational response – they may be contacted in an hour or a day.
The best that most online platforms can offer is chatbots and callbots, which in a sense decide the issue for the buyer. On their initiative, communication is possible – at least in those online stores that really care about not losing a customer.
Live communication from ROI4Presenter
But what about the owners of online stores who want to fully utilize the talents of their salespeople? Can online merchants be empowered to be as active as they are in traditional stores? Yes, work is underway in this direction. The Roi4Presenter presentation service team has advanced the furthest along this path by offering an original feedback system.
Its main feature is that when someone starts watching the product presentation, the seller receives a message alerting them, and can show a message to the viewer that they are ready to connect to the presentation right then. From that point it is possible to answer any questions, consult, help with their choice, etc. In short, a digital version of the classic “Can I be of service to you?” Of course, the client can also take the initiative, and if the seller does not hurry to them, can use the “Call the presenter” button.
Another handy “feature” is the ability to embed a contact data collection form into the product presentation, which the seller can draw the client’s attention to during communication, asking them to fill it out in order to receive messages about the appearance or availability of goods that may be of interest to them.
How ROI4Presenter works for online stores looks like this:
- Upload a presentation to ROI4Presenter. It can be both videos, from YouTube for example, and presentations for online stores created with special tools, such as PowerPoint and Keynote;
- Set up the feedback system;
- Customize the contact data collection form;
- Embed the video code on a page of the online store (in addition, ROI4Presenter presentations can be placed on sites where you think your potential buyers may appear).
- Respond to presentation views and customer calls.
Does all of the above increase the workload of an online store’s staff? Yes, definitely. Preparing even a simple half-minute presentation takes more time and effort than uploading a few photos. Additionally, you need to change the sales approach – sellers and managers should be ready to instantly respond to any interest shown by a client in a particular product, and not wait until they begin the purchase process. In addition, it will be necessary to train the skill of direct client communication to ensure that the client will be satisfied with the visit and want to return.
But in the face of growing online sales competition there is no other way to succeed, other than the development of new products and techniques that allow you to hook and keep a customer. And what better moment to convert a visitor into a customer than when they are watching a product presentation? By themselves without outside help or influence, in most cases the client will no longer get any “warmer”. So, you need to be able to take advantage of the moment.
More information about what ROI4Presenter is and its capabilities can be found here.
Good luck with your sales!