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Virtual Shopping Assistance: The next big thing in the eCommerce industry – AskSid

Virtual Shopping Assistnats

Introduction

Be it virtual shopping or in-person shopping, for retailers and eCommerce brands, it boils down to a desire to meet consumer expectations and provide greater value!  

Superficially, it appears that clients need to remain unchanged – quick delivery, a wide variety of products at a reasonable price, quick resolution, which appear to be being met by Global eCommerce giants! 

A study found that over 88% of retailers’ top investment priority in 2021 for their brand is digital acceleration. Moreover, 69.2% of retailers believe that the application of IoT will improve the customer experience and brand engagement!  

One of the popular IoT tools being used by global retail giants is virtual shopping assistants! Virtual purchasing is based on a simple concept: introducing human connection to online shopping and the end goal is quite simple: to offer customers a holistic omnichannel experience that blurs the lines between online and offline. 

This blog post details why this phenomenon of digital shopping assistants is taking the eCommerce industry by storm and what to expect as an eCommerce brand. 

Rise of Virtual Shopping Assistants

The global retail industry is one of the fastest-growing and competitive segments of the global economy, valued at over 26.7 trillion. The Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the retail scene, forcing many physical establishments to close their shutters or drastically reduce operations due to social isolation and restrictions on movement.  

While on one hand, the virus threatened economic stability, it has transformed many industries drastically due to the boom of technology, changing customer preferences, and the demand for convenience.  

One of the most reformed industries that the pandemic has taken by a storm is indubitably the retail industry with an unprecedented volume of digital transactions being conducted every day. 

In this light, businesses are increasingly turning to virtual shopping to bridge the gap between eCommerce online and in-person buying experiences, and one of the impactful tools in this transition has been Retail AI Solutions or as they are commonly called “virtual shopping assistants”. 

They allow brands to digitally differentiate by looking outside the box. 

6 Reasons Why Virtual Shopping Assistants are the next big thing in the eCommerce Industry

1. Personalization Drives Differentiation 

Customer engagement is vital for eCommerce brands, and having a website that customers like and trust is essential. A crucial step to achieve this is to personalize the shopping experience for the customer in question. According to a study, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. Such is the power of personalization. 

A Virtual Shopping Assistant helps eCommerce firms build a stronger, more distinctive website experience by making clients feel cared for and as if they’re being personally spoken to. By tailoring their offers and personalizing their interactions, they can strengthen their one-to-one relationships with customers, improving engagement and loyalty by giving the same experience that customers seek when shopping in person. 

2. Answer FAQs 

Sometimes, customers can’t find the FAQ section on the retail website. Or they want their queries answered immediately. Virtual assistants can step in thanks to the chatbot feature! 

The chatbot will be present on every page of the website, that way, the customer doesn’t have to click away from the product page to browse through the FAQ sections separately. They can have their queries cleared as they pop up during their shopping experience. 

Virtual shopping assistants provide shoppers with answers during any time of the day, expanding the customer service hours to 24×7. The assistant is equipped with the answer to the most common questions such as returns, refunds, and shipping fees. 

As a bonus advantage, customer representatives can focus on customers that require more personalized help. Virtual assistants lighten the workload for employees, allowing them to respond to customers quicker. 

3. Exclusive Deals and Subscriptions 

Customers love a good discount. Virtual shopping assistants track what items are being viewed by the consumer. Where applicable, the assistant shows the customer the available offers for a particular product. Now here’s where the virtual assistant impacts lead generation. 

The customer simply needs to enter their email address in the chatbox to receive the coupon code. Within seconds, the customer can check out with the coupon code and complete their purchase. The same can be done for customers who are already at the checkout page. The virtual shopping assistant looks up bundle offers or special card offers and informs the customer.  

Retail stores with memberships offer special benefits to their members. Log in with your credentials and the virtual assistant is ready with your members-only offers. None of these require the customer to click away from their current page. The virtual shopping assistant helps create leads and improve conversion rates by promoting these deals. Keeping visitors on site is a KPI for most stores. 

4. Data Gold Mine 

Virtual shopping assistants are with customers every step of the way as they shop. This means the AI tracks every single piece of information about a person’s behavior as they shop. The data collected can help identify a particular user’s tastes and preferences, making it easier to personalize recommendations. 

Why should retailers value personal recommendations for consumers? The conversion rates for data-driven recommendations are 5.5 times higher than the conversion of an average consumer. 

This data can also be used to improve the retail website to make for a more convenient and efficient shopping experience for consumers. Some sites employ more advanced digital shopping assistants that ask consumers questions about their preferences. 

5. Competitive Advantage 

Using an online shopping assistant is a major advantage against competitors. With the aftermath of a global pandemic, most retailers have invested heavily in their eCommerce sites. Retailers that have integrated a virtual shopping assistant onto their website fare much better than those who have not. 

The advantage also extends to providing customers with a customized shopping experience. Virtual assistants can be given a personality through programmed user experience, voice, or design. It helps create a more direct relationship between the digital assistant and the customers. 

6. Boost Sales 

A major issue with online shoppers is that they often abandon carts. Almost 70% of users abandon their cart when browsing online. Virtual shopping assistants can curb this through the data collected. It tracks users that have not completed check out, and what items were left in the cart.  

The virtual assistant then sends push notifications or emails to remind the customer about the items that are awaiting them. This helps in pushing customers to complete their purchases. As a result, Retailers have experienced a rapid channel shift, with practically all transactions taking place online, except for essential goods and services. 

Conclusion

Virtual shopping assistants are a must-have for online retailers in the 21st century. They are an affordable AI solution in retail that offers several benefits for businesses. Customers enjoy the smoother, personalized buying experience offered by these digital shopping assistants.

Virtual assistants are increasingly becoming an expectation rather than an additional feature on shopping sites. Businesses need to invest in the right digital solution to reap the benefits of AI in retail. A great virtual shop assistant will keep bringing customers back.

About AskSid

AskSid is a global conversational solutions company that partners with retail brands to elevate shopping experiences by leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence. Our capabilities extend beyond support automation, extending to insight extraction, analysis, and business opportunity generation, all by leveraging the power of conversational data. We combine domain expertise and cutting-edge technology to build a Retail AI Brain for our clients, that mines insights from conversational data and becomes the basis of the business opportunity creation we offer. The power of actionable customer data has allowed us to create value and bring change to global brands including AkzoNobel, Danone, Wolford, Akris, and Himalaya. AskSid has live implementations in 23+ countries and supports 100+ international languages, managing millions of satisfied customers the world over.