How Buying Online Is Overtaking “Brick And Mortar” Shopping

ecommercestoreMore often than not these days, consumers are staying away from driving down to their local “Brick and Mortar” retail store, but are rather choosing to make the same purchase online. There are numerous reports from a variety of big brand retailers that the growth of Online Shopping continues to out pace their in-store counterparts.

The reason for this in a recent survey suggested that the majority of consumers are preferring to shop online in the comfort of their own homes, purposely for the following reasons: to avoid paying higher prices, limited or poor selection, and the dwindling lack of service and sales staff. You’re also required to drive down to the local mall and fight for a parking spot when doing traditional store shopping.

So as a result, drawing in these Web based shoppers to online sites, with their credit cards in hand, are getting as popular and easy as ever.

The majority of the online retailers are also learning to improving their edge competitively by combining the same human elements as well as the emotions which the in-store shopping experience employs, all this combined with the convenience of purchasing online from your laptop.

Listed are a few tips which can humanize an online eCommerce website while convincing visitors to come back:

Vision Your Site By Seeing Through Your Visitors Eyes
There are now new innovations which are available such as techniques know as co-browsing, which allows your site visitors to be able to use your personalized online guidance as the site proprietor, to personally show them around your site during their visit.

Using co-browsing technology, you’re able to see exactly what your site visitors are looking at, and then you can directly interact with them on your online site, and even walk them through the entire buying process. This can be similar to someone going into a “real” retail store and then interacting back and forth with a sales associate at the store.

Going through this process, the site associate as well as the customer should be able to mutually arrive at the best possible solution for what they’re looking for, and you can both do this together.

What online co-browsing is able to do is it recreates the same experience by allowing your visitors virtual access to a real sales associate which is at the other end of the computer.

Co-browsing also allows you as the site owner the power to do anything with your visitors that you would do if they were in person. This includes everything from locating that exact product that they’re looking for to completing the payment form at checkout.

Employing Customer Relationship Management
If you use or are familiar with Customer Relationship Management or (CRM) software, it will help you in understanding your users behavior habits a lot better. CRM allows you to manage better communication with the information that’s connected to each user.

Using CRM allows you to find new ways which you can maximize your investment. If you’re looking to add new vendor provided services to your mix, such as services like email or live chat, you’ll need to make sure that you’re able to integrate those services directly with your CRM.

For example, if you integrate CRM with live chat, your reps will then instantly have access to a specific visitor’s previous purchases, their demographics as well as how often they visit your site.

The reps can then leverage this information when they are chatting with that visitor in the same way which associates from a brick and mortar store are able to recognize returning customers.

These types of interaction with Website visitors can obviously help in building better rapport as well as trust, by adding a human element to the online purchasing process on your website.

Effectively Analyzing The Results
Did you know that the majority of the brick and mortar stores for the most part, has absolutely no means of doing diligent statistical analysis on, for example, what sales tactics are working the best in their stores.

Other than the established extremely high volume box stores which are selling big famous brands, the majority of stores rely solely on anecdotal associate based feedback regarding what sales tactics are working on their in-store customers, or what isn’t.

One of the best features of doing business online is the abundance of products as well as services which are able to provide “real-time” accurate statistical data regarding your site. This information can then be analyzed and broken down and then be leveraged towards improving overall user experience which should increase sales as well as brand loyalty.

Excellent sources such as Google Analytics are capable of doing the majority of the heavy lifting when it comes to consumer behavior statistics. There are however also a wide variety of other complementary solutions which can help you work smarter as well as more accurately, and not harder.

Make sure that you test the results as well as the options which you have, and you can do so all in “real-time,” by using precise visitor monitoring. Some of the solutions will even allow you to set up custom alerts, such as exact dollar shopping cart amount thresholds, or the exact number of pages which were visited etc.

Listening and then analyzing this individualized trending data will give you the added power to further optimizing the usability as well as the performance of your site, and retaining your visitors by they coming back.

Since online technology is advancing at warp speed and the online eCommerce competition is as fierce as ever, there is a need to differentiate yourself and your site by implementing new ways of transforming as well as improving the buyers experience for your visitors, which is a critical component for continued success.

Techniques which will blend the best tested methods of shopping at a brick and mortar storefront along with the best shopping online methods are set to be the next evolution when attempting to increase conversions, strengthening brand loyalty and increasing sales.

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