Priya Iyer, Chairman & CEO at Vee24 explains why Live Engagement could be the answer for online retailers looking to differentiate themselves in a very crowded marketplace.
It’s November. Christmas is around the corner and shoppers are getting ready both on the high street and online. In 2017, Ecommerce was responsible for around $2.3 trillion in global sales and is expected to hit $4.5 trillion by 2021.
Consumers are inundated with options of where to buy from and it’s more important than ever to differentiate your brand. With that being said, it’s not too late to offer Live Customer Engagement for a competitive advantage this season.
Take cameras for example. Have you ever tried to research and buy one, have all your questions answered using the content you can find on the website, and leave the site happy that you’ve found the best product for your budget?
There are dozens of brands across multiple websites at every price to suit your budget. It could take hours to research them all, check features, read reviews and decide based on what you can read; and 88% of shoppers will do exactly this – researching online before making a purchase¹. The options are overwhelming and sometimes you just want to ask a couple of questions before making that decision.
Live Engagement could be the answer for online retailers looking to differentiate themselves in a very crowded marketplace. A platform where online shoppers can ask quick questions, receive timely answers and move quickly to making a buying decision.
Back to the camera. You’ve read the reviews and you’re happy with the price. But you need a little more information. Is the battery rechargeable? What’s the warranty? Live Engagement allows you to chat with an online product specialist without the need to phone the company and get routed through a call centre. Live chat response times are typically faster than calling a call centre – at an average 23 seconds to get a response.
Calls can start with a sophisticated ChatBOT, move to a text chat conversation with an agent, and then move seamlessly into a video chat call, where you can see the agent and even see the product close up. Not only that, but you could bring a friend into the same online conversion to help make a decision or ask the agent to find an available camera expert if the questions get too specific.
48% of customers are more likely to return to a website with Live Engagement, so it’s no longer a nice feature on the website, but it’s an essential part of business strategy for retailers globally. Agents are trained to deal efficiently with calls, help customers navigate the website, assist them with form filling and check out, and to upsell products that the customer would have missed without the agent’s guidance.
Live Customer Engagement technology is also a perfect tool for customers who have issues with an existing product. Instead of visiting the closest store or calling their help desk, customers can immediately engage with an online agent. And with video chat and mobile camera capabilities, the agent can look at the product and help troubleshoot, removing the need to ship the item back for repair or try to explain the problems over the phone.
With 3.95 billion Internet users in the world as of June 2018, and millions of Ecommerce sites, there’s no shortage of choice for online shoppers. Most shoppers’ pathways will be broadly similar – decide what they need, research options online and find a suitable site that has the right product at the right price. The fact is that they can find any number of these quite easily, so how does a retailer differentiate? Live Engagement offers a different type of online shopping experience – one where the customer’s needs come first and there’s somebody there to answer questions, find products, offer expert advice and deal personally with complaints.
This time of year is critical to retailers – and the perfect time to show what makes you different. Live Engagement should be top of your shopping list this coming year.
About the Author
Priya Iyer is Chairman & CEO at Vee24. With over 25 years of diverse international experience in nearly every facet of software, Priya is a proven, high-growth entrepreneurial CEO with a leadership philosophy centered on engaging clients and employees to build industry leading SaaS software platforms and delivering exceptional stakeholder value to achieve sustainable competitive differentiation.
Demonstrated success in developing and scaling a strong entrepreneurial and innovative culture, attracting and retaining top talent, cultivating a sense of ownership throughout the organization, and leading successful teams. Priya was awarded New England Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014 and ranked on the 2015 top 100 Entrepreneur list by the Boston Globe.
Prior to Vee24, Priya was most recently Chairman & CEO of Anaqua, Inc. which she founded in October 2004 and grew into a global SaaS solutions provider for Intellectual Asset Management. Prior to Anaqua, Priya headed Operations at Steelpoint Technologies, a legal software provider for Fortune 500 companies and global law firms, where she drove the company from the red to profitable quarter-after-quarter growth. Prior to Steelpoint, Priya was Managing Partner at AGENCY.COM where she founded and grew a financial services practice to $250 million in less than 5 years. Priya has also held senior positions at Bell Labs and Foxboro Systems.
Priya holds a bachelors and masters in Computer Science and an MBA from the Sloan Fellows program at MIT Sloan School of Management. She serves on several boards, women executive panels, and is a regular guest speaker at various business schools in the Greater Boston area.