During the last two years, e-commerce has grown exponentially, reaching a level of profitability that exceeds previous projections for the next several years. In 2021, consumers spent $870 billion through US e-commerce retailers alone, opting to purchase nearly everything online.
Previously, consumers would visit brick-and-mortar stores for daily essentials and groceries. During the COVID-19 pandemic, online grocery sales increased by over 100%. In general, consumer behavior has drastically changed. While the situation is beginning to fluctuate again, during the height of the pandemic, people were spending much less on travel and restaurants– instead, that money was being rerouted toward online shopping.
So what does this mean for companies that focus on retail marketing? Even the most compelling, technologically advanced, perfectly-maintained store display won’t capture consumer attention if they never enter the store.
BDS Connected Solutions, the leading marketing and sales solution provider for big-box retailers across the United States, had to make a sharp pivot as the trend toward e-commerce retail became obvious. Luckily, as a company with 40 years of experience in the retail marketing sector, BDS is well-equipped to stay ahead of the curve, just like it has during previous life-changing financial and social trends.
Part of the reason behind BDS Connected Solutions’ success in brick-and-mortar retail marketing is their focus on assisted sales. A dedicated brand representative helps draw customers in, demonstrates product benefits, and keeps an eye on market insights, to provide real-time information on what’s selling, to whom, and when.
However, with people migrating toward e-commerce, the need for assisted sales representatives decreased. Thus, Tap-a-Tech technology was introduced– a service that provides customers with the opportunity to speak with a live product expert.
Tap-a-Tech works both in-store and online. The consumer simply scans a QR code or clicks on a link to put them in one-on-one contact with an expert who’s prepared to provide insight and assistance. This product expert can conduct a product demo right on the spot, just like they would in the store, and answer any questions the consumer might have about its use.
The ability to speak with a qualified representative is a great benefit to the customer, who feels like they’re making an educated decision in their purchase– plus, it’s a great way to decrease abandoned carts and reduce choice paralysis. Simultaneously, it helps brands and retailers increase profits.
This technological development comes at an opportune time. Consumer expectations for retail experiences are only continuing to grow. People want to feel like they’re a valued customer and to be treated like a person, rather than a dollar sign. Brands with fully-automated customer service interactions are a turn-off, influencing people to go elsewhere to make their purchases. In fact, if a customer has a negative experience, they might never shop with that brand again.
On the flip side, customers that feel like they’re being listened to and given consideration will be much more likely to remain loyal to a brand. This is why innovations like Tap-a-Tech are crucial to providing a positive customer experience. Consider the difference between a chat conversation with a support bot or a face-to-face conversation, in which a real person explains and demonstrates the product. There’s really no comparison between the two!
But what about consumers who work remotely now, who are in their pajamas and not exactly prepared for a video chat? No worries– the technology is set up for one-way video, which means that the consumer can see the sales representative (and their product demonstrations!) but aren’t shown on video themselves.
As the retail market continues to evolve, it’s imperative to be an innovator in the field. “The way things have always worked” doesn’t exist in retail marketing. The most important thing to consider is the customer experience; with technology like Tap-a-Tech, the customer gets one-on-one support and an engaging, personal e-commerce experience.
As you move forward, be sure to consider: how can you improve your customers’ experiences?
To learn more about BDS Connected Solutions, visit their website or follow along on Twitter and Instagram. If you’re interested in working with BDS Connected Solutions, please contact Melissa Burke: firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-472-6720.
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