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Online - Personal service leads to more purchases

Online - Personal service leads to more purchases
Tuesday August 1 2017

More than three quarters of consumers claim that receiving a personal service is important when purchasing online highlighting the need for human interaction to be available in real time through customer service channels, according to new research.

The study, from conversational commerce platform iAdvize, looked consumer expectations of customer service when shopping or researching online.
Key findings:
• More than half of consumers believe instant online advice is the most convenient way to get questions answered
• ‘Good quality answers’ (95%) topped the list as the most important aspect when shopping online
• Nearly a quarter of UK shoppers (22%) want online queries answered within 5 minutes

Original research in the latest report, Two way street, by iAdvize found that 40% of online shoppers have a window of less than ten minutes for retailers to answer questions before they give up on purchases, with nearly a quarter (22%) only waiting up to five minutes. This not only highlights the decreasing attention span of online shoppers, but also indicates the need for retailers to ensure that customer service is authentic and efficient to to prevent basket abandonment and lost sales.

The research suggests the service shoppers expect from live engagement with a brand is also shifting. ‘Good quality answers’ (95%) topped the list as the most important aspect when shopping online, followed by speed of response (93%) and being able to access the help when needed (92%). More than three quarters (80%) of consumers also stated that receiving a personal service is important to them, demonstrating the need for human interaction with online advisors that can tailor the customer’s shopping experience.

Speed of response was also a key conversion driver for shoppers, with 79% of customers saying that they would find a conversation with a savvy peer who knows the products very well, or a loyal, previous customer helpful when seeking information to influence their buying decision.
A further 35% of shoppers said that customer service via social media would be helpful and 38% want the option to converse through messaging apps, such as WhatsApp. This illustrates the changing behaviour of shoppers who want to be able to receive genuine advice from an expert in real time, no matter what platform they are using.
Julien Hervouët, CEO at iAdvize, commented: “As e-commerce growth continues at a rapid rate, we are witnessing more demand than ever before for retailers to instantly engage with the customer wherever and whenever they need information. As a result we have seen growing popularity for channels such as messaging apps and social media.” .