42% of online shoppers struggle to find what they want
According to a recent survey of 4,000 online shoppers, finding the product was too difficult for a shocking 42% of respondents.
The survey, which was commissioned by consulting firm Contentsquare, also found that only 15% of respondents were happy overall with online customer experience.
Improving customer experience has long been seen as a key goal for most online retailers, but if anything customer experience satisfaction rates appear to be getting worse, not better.
We have identified two trends which are driving customer dissatisfaction, and we also think we have a solution.
Shopping habits are changing faster than shopping experiences
The online retail landscape is always changing, but that change has accelerated in the last year thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As late as 2019, shoppers tended to go online to purchase specific items they knew they needed, but still travelled to bricks and mortar establishments to browse or to get expert advice from sales staff.
With so many people around the world currently stuck at home, the types of shopping experience people are attempting online is different. People who would have travelled to a store are now trying to recreate the same experience online, but are struggling.
Most websites are difficult to browse through, and there is often no one to put questions to. It’s no wonder people are getting fed up.
Too many options?
But it is not only Covid-19 which is adding to the frustration. As the online retail industry matures, website inventories are growing. This offers shoppers more choice, but also makes it harder to find the right product.
One of the advantages to selling online is there is no shortage of shelf space. In a bricks and mortar store you can only display a certain number of items. That is a limitation, but it also means shoppers get a more curated experience.
The challenge for online retailers is balancing that desire for a curated experience that most customers want with access to a bigger selection. Too many retailers are opting for the latter – lots of products – and it can make it impossible for some shoppers to find what they want.
How the Virtual Shopping Assistant can help
Like a real life shopping assistant, Envolve Tech’s Virtual Shopping Assistant can help make shopping an easier, more enjoyable experience. It does this in two ways:
The return of browsing: our Virtual Shopping Assistant produces carousels of products for people to browse through.
For example, one toy retailer we work with can respond to questions like, “Can you recommend any gifts for a ten year old boy?” with a carousel of different toy options. If a shopper sees a type of toy that seems like a good fit, they can ask our Virtual Shopping Assistant to show them a range of similar options.
This is totally different from the experience shoppers get when trying to navigate inventory via menu drop-downs or the on-site search bar. Our sophisticated, A.I.-powered language analysis is perfect for helping customers who only have a vague idea of what they are looking for.
Product questions answered: Real-life shopping assistants can offer a level of knowledge that very few websites can match – until now.
The problem is not that online retailers do not understand their products. The real challenge has been for automated systems to properly understand questions and provide relevant answers.
For example, teaching a machine to understand the way humans use the same word differently is much harder than you might think. For example, an “economy” sized tube of toothpaste is usually the largest one available, but an “economy” sized car is usually the smallest.
The Virtual Shopping Assistant is taught the right meanings of key terms for specific industries, making it much easier for it to accurately answer customer questions about any product.
We are also adding important information to the Virtual Shopping Assistant database which websites do not always list in product descriptions, like size measurements and weight.
These advantages are bringing the online customer experience much more in line with what could only recently be achieved in a store.
Would a shopper from 2015 consider buying a sofa online? Probably not. Will the shopper of 2021? We say, absolutely.
Want a demo?
If you’d like to see for yourself how our Virtual Shopping Assistant is helping so many online retailers, just contact our Head of Business Development Dan Harding (for UK enquiries), or Vice President of Sales Marc Blumberg (for US enquiries).
With no setup fees, no subscription fees, and no obligations, the Envolve Tech Virtual Shopping Assistant is the perfect way to optimise conversion of your existing traffic -even during peak demand.