E-commerce professionals operate within a highly competitive environment. Across every sector, businesses with an online presence need to stay abreast of the latest trends in customer service if they want to stand out. Personal shopping is one such approach. By focusing on influencing the consumer purchase decision process, this method promises an increase in conversion and greater customer satisfaction. But what is a personal shopper, exactly? What does an online shopper do, and why can it make such a difference when it comes to boosting your sales? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Personal Shopper?
Many online retailers are choosing to include a personal shopping service to their offer as part of their omnichannel strategy, bringing the human touch of physical retail into their web shopping experience. But what is a personal shopper, exactly?
In the simplest terms, an online personal shopper is a person who assists your customers with their purchase decisions. Through a one-on-one video chat functionality, they provide a personalized, in-person experience. By offering customers unique advice and in-depth information about the products you carry, a personal shopper ensures the satisfaction of your clients.
What Does an Online Personal Shopper Do?
What is a personal shopper’s role on your website and how do they assist your customers? It’s worth keeping in mind that an online personal shopper is an actual employee, not a bot. The point is not to provide an interactive FAQ, but to truly bring a human touch to the online shopping experience.
While customers might respond well to automatically generated recommendations based on their browsing history, nothing can replace practical advice from an expert. For instance, let’s say that you are a clothing retailer who offers thousands of items. A customer is looking for the perfect pair of jeans, flattering yet comfortable, trendy yet durable, and proceeds to browse your online store. After sifting their way through many items and narrowing them down to the colors and cuts they prefer, they still find themselves hesitating between over half a dozen options. Without truly being able to tell – from a few pictures – which one they are sure to love, they soon decide to give up in frustration.
What is a personal shopper going to do about this? The idea is to call upon them before the customer even begins to browse. Their mission will be to help the client find their dream pair of jeans by combining an extensive knowledge of your products with their own styling expertise to create a streamlined experience. An online personal shopper will assist the customer with their purchase decision by asking them some key questions. This will help narrow their search down to a handful of curated pairs of jeans (in this case) that they are sure to like. From there, they will help them decide which one to pick.
What makes this service unique is that customers get individualized recommendations based on their very own criteria.
Personal Shopping: Why Does It Work?
What is a personal shopper’s biggest strength? Well, being a person, for a start. Once your customer has spent half an hour speaking with a professional wholeheartedly dedicated to delivering a high-quality service, how likely are they to buy nothing at the end of the call? They answer is “very unlikely”, because of how bold a move that would be. The fact is that almost no one would have a chef prepare them an entire meal and then, once it’s ready, leave without at least eating some of it! And this is exactly why an online personal shopper can influence how the purchase decision is made by simply being a part of the shopping experience.
For a customer, speaking with a personal shopper online is also a great way to get information on your products and to discover items they may never have thought about looking for in the first place. Thus, if your customer is shopping for a formal dress, for example, their personal shopper will take this opportunity to recommend additional items they may want to pair it with to complete their look.
How to Optimize Your Retail Strategy with Personal Shoppers?
Offering an online personal shopper service to your customers is the best way to be there for them in person even in a virtual environment. This brings an entirely different value to your customer experience and showcases your products in a whole new way.
The key to running a successful e-commerce business is not necessarily to keep adding more and more products to your selection, but to make sure that every customer finds exactly what they are looking for. A customer who asks for advice is one who is as close to making a purchase as can be. By being proactive and taking control of the situation, your sales agents can boost your conversion rate significantly. The idea is to streamline the customer purchase decision process as much as possible. You could even have your personal shoppers place the final order for your clients to make it that much easier for them, and more effective for you!
By offering a level of service that aligns with your price point, you can ensure that your customers will be glad to give personal shopping a try. You could even choose to provide several levels of support, so there’s something there for everyone. Some also choose to let their website users interact with an online personal shopper for free, knowing that the increase in conversion alone will be enough to meet their ROI objectives.
What is a personal shopper service, ultimately? It is mostly an enhanced version of customer support, which, when utilized to its full potential, can increase your sales significantly. Whether they are looking to save some time, to get personalized recommendations, or to have someone walk them through a buying process they may find complicated, a personal shopper can appeal to most clients. And for yourself, a personal shopper is a great way to sway your customers’ decisions in your favor!