The old adage, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak,” is as true today as when it was introduced in the 1930s by legendary salesman, Elmer Wheeler. Savvy retail sales and marketers understand that engaging the senses and pulling on a buyer’s heartstrings by selling a lifestyle, feeling, or status around a product works much better than promoting its actual features. In fact, 95% of all purchasing decisions derive from our emotions and subconscious mind. Trust is also a key factor in consumer behavior. 90% are willing to pay more for something when it comes from a brand they have faith in.
So, to stay in the hearts and minds of consumers, brands must create an emotive, memorable, and trustworthy experience at every touchpoint in the buying journey. One of the best ways to deliver such an experience, in today’s über-digital world, is by leveraging the power of video.
Live video engagement: The much-needed trust factor for online customer experience
Whether it’s looking into someone’s eyes, seeing them smile, or nod their head, these types of non-verbal cues are crucial to communication, social bonding, and building trusting relationships. Non-verbal communication actually accounts for as much as 80% of all human communication.
Unfortunately, with the rise of online shopping, much of the face-to-face human touch has been lost. This has been particularly difficult for luxury retailers. Their lifeblood has always been the ability to offer a concierge, personalized, and trustworthy experience. As they pivot to digital, they’re finding that the best way to fill the virtual void is through live video engagement.
The luxury watch and jewelry retailer, the Watches of Switzerland Group, has transformed its digital business by leveraging video in a virtual boutique. This type of online engagement incorporates both video chat and high-definition cameras. With a click of a button from their company’s website, a shopper can enter a virtual boutique where they’re connected, face-to-face with a watch or jewelry expert. These product experts are well trained in virtual sales and service. They know how to maintain eye contact and smile through the video chat window. This makes for a deeper connection and builds more trust while they attentively listen to the buyer’s needs.
Next, they can offer them personalized advice while actually showing close-ups of real watches from secondary, down-facing, high-definition cameras. The product expert can also seamlessly add in cobrowsing if, for example, the customer needs help finding certain information on the website. The agent may also want to take advantage of cobrowsing as an upselling opportunity by pointing out a complementary item.
But the journey doesn’t stop there. The agent can also cobrowse a customer to their shopping cart to assist them with the actual purchasing transaction. They’re even able to connect the customer to an in-store agent or help them schedule an in-store appointment on a day that’s more convenient for them if desired.
This highly visual and immersive engagement mimics the in-store experience. And customers love the personalized service and extra attention they receive. Online consumers give video engagements, on average, an impressive 93% customer satisfaction (CSAT) score. Agents also appreciate the experience as it empowers them to consistently offer exceptional service as well as makes their jobs easier and more productive.
Visual, emotive experiences sell
When retailers meet customers face-to-face, not only do they delight their customers, but they also sell more. The Watches of Switzerland Group, for example, increased their conversion rates by 5X and average order value (AOV) by 54% when they introduced video. It’s easy to see why video is so successful. It offers socially connected, personalized experiences wherein agents gain the buyer’s trust. In this environment, buyers are more open to recommendations and feel more confident with their purchases.
Full-service, end-to-end shopping experiences from “Hi” to “buy”
One effective way to start their journey is by adding a pop-up window (we call them nudges) on your homepage or designated product pages. Here they’ll be prompted to connect with a live agent in a virtual video boutique now or can schedule later at a more convenient time. When you combine all these capabilities — video, nudges, appointment setting, and cobrowsing — in one platform, you’re now providing a complete, end-to-end, effortless experience from “Hi” to buy.
Trust isn’t built over a text message, so harness the power of live video engagement and other visual capabilities to drive emotive connections. You’ll never miss a sales opportunity and will ensure customer and agent satisfaction, as well as brand loyalty, for years to come. Here’s to your success in 2022!