Even as 2016 draws to a close, e-commerce conversation rates still don’t compare to bricks & mortar stores, and retail sales offline are still out-performing online.
Sure, e-commerce is growing in popularity, but US Census Bureau stats from the third quarter of 2016 show e-commerce sales only account for 7.7 percent of total retail sales in the USA. That’s hardly competition for offline.
In fact many online stores have started up retail outlets, including the biggest of them all Amazon.com, hoping to put the focus on selected products, add the human-touch back into shopping and stand out from the online crowd.
And it’s pretty clear people still go crazy for Black Friday and Boxing Day sales, when they could easily have done their shopping online and avoided the punch-ups!
Why is this? Why do people still prefer to shop in a physical store?
The difference is offline still provides a better quality experience. When someone walks into a shop they are 400% more likely to buy something than when they arrive on a website. Not only are they more likely to buy, they are also more likely to feel happy with their purchase, generally because a shop assistant has helped them pick the best product for them.
This means most e-commerce stores just don’t deliver the level of experience or satisfaction that a physical store can. Some items can be easily bought online but other things need someone to help the customer choose and make them feel like they’ve made the right decision at the same time.
E-commerce stores sure try to provide a better experience. But offering what they call “personalised selling”, showing you options based on your previous buying habits and history completely misses the point when you’re shopping for that difficult aunty or favourite nephew. Asking for help from someone who knows the stock and how to match that with a real person is more-than-often a better way.
So, is there a way to do this online?
There sure is. By helping the customer interact with your product catalogue in a more intuitive way than simple searches, customers will not only be more likely to buy, they will feel more satisfied with their purchase, and be more likely to come back. This is called getting better quality conversions.
There are a number of ways to do this, from live chat to using social media, but the more cost effective bang-for-buck technique is guided selling.
Guided selling takes the customer through a cleverly thought-out, interactive pathway where the result is the best choice for the customer. It’s very cost-effective per sale but usually costs a fair bit to implement in software development.
Not any more. By using Shop Assistant Create, you can improve your conversion rates and sell online like you’ve never done before. Check out this improvement in conversion rate and average sale from a well-known Australasian appliance retailer using Shop Assistant guided selling for just one product category.
Evidence from their Google Analytics above shows them getting 113.8% better e-commerce conversions than the average for the whole website. Better than organic or paid search or any other method of bringing customers to the site. And they are getting higher average order value too.
Guided selling can make a huge difference to your online sales. Find out more here…