Turning Chatbots Into Virtual Shopping Assistants

Turning Chatbots Into Virtual Shopping Assistants

These days, brick-and-mortar retail is quickly giving way to online shopping. By 2022, eCommerce sales are projected to reach over $850 billion — and it doesn’t seem like the growth of online shopping will be slowing down beyond that. Many consumers have a preference for convenient shopping experiences — and what’s easier than shopping from the comfort of home? However, what hasn’t changed is the fact that shoppers want assistance if they have a problem or question. That’s where virtual shopping assistants shine.

Virtual shopping assistants are support bots that can directly support consumers as they browse. While being available around the clock, these assistants can answer questions, resolve problems, and provide suggestions to consumers, all from the convenience of a chat window.

In this guide, we’ll provide all the details on virtual shopping assistants, including the benefits to shoppers and retailers, how retailers are using chatbots as virtual shopping assistants, and how to get started with Quiq.

What Are Virtual Shopping Assistants?

A virtual shopping assistant is essentially a chatbot that converses directly with online consumers. These assistants work by using a combination of machine learning and language processing software to understand shopper queries and match them with appropriate solutions. As these assistants conduct more conversations, they learn more about consumers’ preferences and language patterns, making the bot more effective over time.

Digital shopping assistants are commonly installed on a store’s website. When a new visitor comes to the website, these assistants automatically greet the shopper through a chat window, offering assistance and notifying them of any current promotions. The potential consumer can then type responses into the chat window to ask questions or request recommendations, which the assistant will answer in a matter of seconds.

Why Do Consumers Like Virtual Shopping Assistants?

Sixty five percent of American shoppers prefer self-service through tools like chatbots.

Virtual shopping assistants are quickly becoming a staple in the retail industry, especially with younger generations. There are many reasons for this preference, ranging from response time to personalized answers. As a result, 65% of American shoppers prefer self-service through tools like chatbots.

Here are a few specific reasons why consumers enjoy communicating with an online shopping assistant:

  • Quick responses: Digital shopping assistants provide instant answers to all questions a consumer may have. Chatbot assistants can pull information about orders and deliveries, provide recommendations, and even assist with common problems and complaints. If a shopper has a simple question, they won’t have to wait for a response to a customer support ticket, which can possibly deter them from making a purchase altogether.
  • Round-the-clock assistance: Virtual shopping assistants don’t have to work in a certain timeframe. These bots can provide information around the clock, no matter the time of day. Bots can also handle hundreds of inquiries at once, meaning consumers don’t need to wait for the next available agent to answer their questions. With a virtual assistant, consumers can get the answers they need when they need them.
  • Personalization: Chatbots can store information based on shoppers’ accounts, allowing for enhanced personalization. These virtual assistants can use data regarding a consumer’s past purchases and behaviors to make informed recommendations.
  • Faster experiences: Virtual assistants can quickly pull information to answer consumers’ questions, allowing consumers to make faster shopping decisions. Some chatbots even allow consumers to complete purchases from the chat window, making for a speedy shopping experience.

On top of these benefits, younger generations are more open to embracing new technologies like digital shopping assistants and are more excited to use platforms that integrate AI.

Benefits of Virtual Shopping Assistants for Retailers

Benefits of Virtual Shopping Assistants for Retailers

In addition to benefitting consumers, digital shopping assistants can also give retailers an edge in the market. These platforms help retailers achieve advantages like cost savings and increased sales, so an investment in chatbots makes a real difference. Additionally, retailers that want to be on the cutting edge of eCommerce technology can expect to reach and develop relationships with consumers who enjoy those new features.

Some of the most significant benefits online shopping assistants offer retail businesses include:

  • Cost savings: Virtual assistants take the workload off live agents by automatically handling the majority of inquiries. Instead of hiring new members for an internal support team, retailers can implement a virtual shopping assistant that handles most questions and complaints. This concept reduces the number of live agents needed, allowing them to focus on the most complex problems and inquiries while the chatbot resolves questions.
  • Data collection: eCommerce chatbots can easily collect information about consumers and their preferences by saving their behaviors and purchases in a database. This information is invaluable to retailers, providing demographic and preference information that can be used to create powerful targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Improved consumer relationships: Virtual assistants provide 24/7 support and a personalized experience, which helps to create more positive experiences for shoppers. As a result, retailers have a chance to build relationships with shoppers, encouraging them to come back in the future.
  • Increased sales: Online shopping assistants can also help generate more sales through upselling and cross-selling, offering upgrades and related purchases at the check-out window. Additionally, online shopping assistants can send out reminders to consumers that have abandoned their carts, encouraging them to follow through with their purchase.
  • Competitive advantages: All of these benefits equate to an advantage over competitors, especially those that don’t use chatbots. If a shopper sees that a retailer has chatbot capabilities on their website, they’ll be more likely to stay on their website and make a purchase.

Due to the significant benefits of virtual shopping assistants for both retailers and consumers, it’s easy to see why these tools are quickly taking over the retail industry. eCommerce chatbots are expected to increase consumer retail spend to $142 billion by 2024, meaning more retailers will likely adopt chatbots over the next three years. With the continuing boom of eCommerce, retail businesses can use chatbots to meet consumer expectations going forward.

How to Use a Chatbot as a Virtual Shopping Assistant

With all the benefits of digital shopping assistants, many retailers are looking to implement their own within the next few years. While there are many advanced options available, eCommerce chatbots are still the most common type of virtual shopping assistant. These tools are popular due to their versatility and relative ease of implementation.

It’s key for retail leaders to understand how to use a chatbot as a virtual shopping assistant to ensure they maximize their effectiveness. These assistants have several capabilities. As a result, retailers may want to use them differently depending on their unique needs.

Some essential functions chatbots can fulfill to become virtual shopping assistants include:

  • Engage visitors: Chatbots are a great way to engage new visitors on a site without being intrusive. Shoppers can interact with the chatbot as much or as little as they want, but they’ll always have the option available to them. Retailers can also ensure every chatbot offers the same level and quality of information to consumers, whether that’s information about products and promotions or updates on orders.
  • Respond to questions: One of the most common ways to use chatbots as virtual shopping assistants is as an interactive FAQ page. Visitors can type in their questions, and the AI will determine the best response. This way, consumers don’t need to get frustrated while hunting down information — their virtual assistant can provide them learn more about products, shipping costs, refund policies, and store hours with a simple query.
  • Provide product recommendations: Virtual shopping assistants can also be programmed to provide product recommendations. Using data collected about a shopper’s immediate needs and past behavior and preferences, virtual shopping assistants can show one or more product options that would likely suit the consumer. This chatbot feature is a surefire way to enhance consumer experiences, as product recommendations both simplify and speed up the shopping process.
  • Order information: Every online shopper is excited after they place an order online, and are looking forward to getting confirmation and information about their order’s progress. While consumers often get this information via email, retailers can also set up online shopping assistants to provide this information when prompted. This way, consumers can easily track the progress of their order, get tracking information, and check in on updates.
  • Promotion and sale information: Virtual shopping assistants can also be used to offer deals and coupons to shoppers. Different coupons and promotions can be offered at different stages of the shopping experience, depending on the consumer in question. For example, first-time shoppers may see a welcome discount to encourage their first purchase, while repeat consumers may see seasonal offers and product-specific discounts based on their previous purchases. If a shopper abandons their cart, the assistant can even offer a discount as an incentive to complete the purchase.
  • Cart retrieval: Nearly 85% of online shoppers have abandoned a purchase. Virtual shopping assistants can help reduce the rate of cart abandonment by checking in on consumers and answering their questions. If a shopper abandons their cart, online shopping assistants can send reminders when the person revisits the site or social media page. The assistant can even be programmed to offer discounts to encourage consumers to complete their purchases. These types of messages are less likely to be ignored than emails, leading to a higher conversion rate.
  • Subscription management: Chatbots can also be programmed to help with subscription management for consumers with retail accounts. All shoppers need to do is provide their credentials, and a chatbot with this capability can look up their profile and find member benefits, coupons, and rewards. These chatbots can also be programmed to provide information about points systems, including how many points shoppers have, how many points they need for their next discount, and how many points they’ll earn from their current cart. Chatbots can also be programmed to assist with subscription management, helping shoppers increase or decrease their membership levels and subscription schedules.

Many chatbot programs are available for retailers to explore, and they can customize them to fulfill one or more of these functions.

How to Get Started With Chatbot Implementation

How to Get Started With Chatbot Implementation

Virtual shopping assistants are invaluable to online retailers and will be a necessary platform for forward-thinking retail businesses. However, each retailer is unique, so it’s essential to understand how to effectively implement eCommerce chatbots for each retail business’s needs.

Some of the key items to consider before pursuing a chatbot as a virtual shopping assistant include:

  • Functions: First, consider what core functions the chatbot needs to fulfill. Does the retailer have subscriptions or memberships that need to be managed? Is chat-window purchasing a feature that would benefit the retailer? Knowing the most important functions to enable will help inform a retailer’s choices when they start designing an online shopping assistant program.
  • Integrations: Think about the types of integrations the digital shopping assistant will need. What systems does it need to plug into? Does it need speech-to-text or text-to-speech capabilities down the road? Look for solutions that are flexible enough to take on new integrations as the retail business evolves.
  • Updates: Consider how frequently the chatbot will need to be updated. Does the retail business’s product line rotate regularly? Are there new promotions that will need to be added to the system? Look for systems that automatically update product information and can easily undergo manual updates. This way, retailers can communicate the most updated information to their consumers.
  • Start small: Retailers shouldn’t try to implement a robust chatbot system from day one. Instead, focus on the most important functions first, such as a customer support chatbot. From there, the retailer can add more functions over time, testing thoroughly as they go. As a result, they won’t waste time and effort implementing features they don’t need.

On top of these recommendations, retailers should be sure to work with an experienced chatbot provider. An expert provider will help with programming and implementing a virtual shopping assistant, making recommendations for functions and integrations and helping update platforms as the retailer grows.

Demo Quiq Today for Your Retail Business

Virtual shopping assistants are effective tools that help improve consumer experiences and generate sales, all while improving productivity and reducing the strain on retailers’ internal teams. With current generations increasingly favoring online shopping experiences and consumers warming up to AI chatbots, now is the perfect time for retailers to try shopping assistants for their unique needs. There are numerous ways to implement digital shopping assistants in retailers, and various platforms to choose from. If your retail business is looking for a comprehensive solution that can help you get started with chatbots, Quiq is here to help.

Quiq is a conversational customer engagement platform designed for the retail industry. The goal of Quiq is to help retailers deliver exceptional shopping experiences with every interaction, and our chatbot system does just that. The Quiq platform supports messaging across a range of channel types, including text, web chat, social chat, Apple Business Chat, and Google’s Business Messages. Retailers can use as few or as many channels as they need to communicate with consumers effectively.

With multiple chatbot options, rich messaging experiences, and various integration options, Quiq is here to help you build the best virtual shopping assistant for your retail business. Try Quiq for yourself by scheduling a live demo today.

Demo Quiq Today for Your Retail Business

Texting Your Customers: How to Increase Survey Response Rates

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Consumers’ responses to surveys give brands valuable insights that help them overcome challenges, increase competitiveness, and boost satisfaction rates. However, getting that data is often difficult. Shoppers forget to respond or get confused about how to submit their responses. Dynamic text messages let retailers avoid these undesirable outcomes.

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How to Increase Survey Response Rates With Text Messaging

Text messaging enables better communication between consumers and eCommerce businesses. It connects with shoppers in ways they already know and love.

Texting is a preferred communication option in today’s fast-paced world. Its popularity means brands must engage with shoppers and encourage them to answer surveys. eCommerce companies should make interactions personal by including:

  • The shopper’s name.
  • What they bought.
  • When the purchase happened.

Adding a time expectation — such as asking a shopper to complete the survey within the next week — increases the recipient’s chances of taking action immediately instead of waiting. Consumers appreciate getting accurate estimates of how long they’ll spend taking surveys, too.

Adding a direct link to the content within a text message is one smart way to get shoppers on board with giving their feedback. Another approach is to create surveys to take as little time as possible. Formatting a couple of questions so that people can respond by choosing “Yes” or “No” increases interest.

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Texting Your Customers: How to Increase Survey Response Rates With Reminders

Consumers have busy lives. Even those who intend to answer survey submission requests may forget. That’s why eCommerce brands should send reminder texts that prompt shoppers to address unopened or unanswered surveys. Giving a reminder with gentle encouragement reaches the consumer without overwhelming them.

A reminder text also offers a chance for retailers to highlight incentives. An eCommerce brand might offer:

  • Coupons.
  • Gifts.
  • Product samples.

Those perks get consumers interested. Many wonder, “What’s in it for me?” Incentives answer that all-important question and get people excited about giving their feedback through surveys.

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How to Increase Survey Response Rates With Extra Support

Confusion may make recipients avoid answering surveys. Perhaps they don’t understand particular questions or don’t think they relate to what they purchased — even if those survey parts require answers. Increasing survey response rates with texting happens when consumers feel supported and can get prompt help.

Offering assistance through live text message conversations gets to the heart of why people don’t respond and removes those barriers. This approach creates a personal connection between a shopper and a retailer and increases the recipient’s willingness to give their views. A live conversation also lets shoppers clarify things such as how eCommerce stores use their data and their practices for keeping it safe.

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Learn How to Boost Survey Responses

The Quiq Conversational Customer Engagement Platform lets eCommerce companies contact consumers in familiar ways and encourage them to act. Adding text messages and live conversations to content assists shoppers while emphasizing that their voices matter.

Contact Quiq today to learn more. Retailers can also try a demo to see how the platform aligns with survey response goals.

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5 Tips To Enhance eCommerce Customer Service

For many consumers, purchasing a product is about more than just the product itself. Consumer demands continually grow as they prefer faster and higher quality customer service from brands. That’s why many businesses today are choosing to implement a more effective online customer service experience strategy. eCommerce businesses are ramping up their digital customer service to make sure their customers keep coming back to them instead of exploring other options.

How to Improve Your eCommerce Customer Service Strategy

Online shoppers want instant replies and easy answers. eTailers that are catering to their customers in these ways will benefit from consistently refining their service, sales, and marketing communication strategies. Five common ways to improve eCommerce customer service include the use of the following communication channels and automation.

1. Text Messaging

Text messaging for customer service is fast and convenient making it easy for eCommerce companies to connect with consumers to assist in shopping cart conversions and follow-up with pertinent order information. This shopper-friendly channel allows consumers to be on-the-go, and in this busy world, text messaging has become the channel of choice for receiving information, solving problems, and answering urgent questions.

Consumers prefer text messaging because they are able to start the messaging conversation while on a mobile eCommerce site and finish them at their convenience while moving about in their normal life. Imagine an online shopper sending a message to a brand requesting help getting the details of their online shopping cart correct, but then needing to get on with their busy day.  The agent could build and confirm the order and send a link back to the consumer via SMS.  The consumer can then click the link that would send them to a secure mobile web page where they can confirm the contents of their shopping cart and complete the purchase securely.  

An asynchronous conversation like this allows for eCommerce businesses to move at the speed and cadence of their customers, making for better customer experiences and more modern shopping experiences.

2. Web Chat

When it comes to eCommerce and enabling customers with a fast and easy way to get in touch, web chat is the most obvious choice. Customers on your website may have a multitude of options for finding answers, like an FAQ page, sending an email, or calling, but none help customers as fast as the omnipresent option of web chat, typically presented in the lower right corner of your website. 

Online shoppers expect fast answers when they are adding items to their shopping cart or in the process of completing a purchase, similar to when they are shopping in-store.  Without web chat, customers may save their purchase for another day, or find what they are looking for elsewhere altogether. This is why the messaging channel is a critical part of any eCommerce website to ensure customers find what they are looking for and are being helped at every point in the customer journey, from product recommendations to purchase confirmations, and being available for any follow-up questions.  Never miss a chance to answer customer questions or assist in a sale.

3. Social Media Messaging

The market for customer conversations has grown beyond websites and call centers to include social media platforms, which is why more than 90% of businesses today have some form of social media presence. Consumers have not limited themselves to engaging with and conversing about brands to only in-person interactions and are now expressing themselves in more amplified ways across platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

eCommerce companies can engage with their customers across these social media platforms to build advocacy and highlight their brand in the broader marketplace.  These platforms offer more opportunities to connect with consumers in direct messages to answer questions and be a part of the conversation. Consumers are becoming increasingly agnostic to where they expect brands to provide support, and social media is an example of where conversations are happening and where brands need to ensure they are part of them.

4. Outbound Messaging

Online retailers reap huge rewards by keeping their customers in-the-know.  A prime example is regarding order status. Customers feel better when they know what to expect, like if their package may be late or even to hear it’s arriving early.  Never miss an opportunity to delight customers.

Outbound text messaging is an incredibly effective way to communicate with consumers, particularly if you consider they are reading texts at a rate of 98%. With this much attention being paid to text messages, it becomes an great opportunity to entice them with upcoming specials or promotional codes.

The best solutions don’t stop at just sending outbound messages.  Businesses should also enable 2-way conversations so consumers can respond and have agents or bots standing by to help answer any questions.

5. Chatbots

Retailers and eCommerce companies are increasingly leaning on the efficiency and cost savings that chatbots provide.  Chatbots are always available to answer pre- or post-sales questions, assist shoppers with their selections, provide order and shipping information, and answer common questions.  

Chatbots are truly revolutionizing eCommerce to encourage more sales and are becoming a key part of customer service strategies to improve customer satisfaction. Research indicates that the chatbot market will grow to 9.4 billion by 2024 at a growth rate of almost 30%, which means it’s predicted to become mainstream in the coming years.

Chatbots are increasingly important for companies with high volumes of traffic to be able to deflect questions that can be answered with an automated response, to resolve issues more quickly. This is critical in assisting agents and routing the most high-value conversations from consumers for extra-special customer care.

Contact Us for a Demo

You can improve eCommerce customer service for your business in a number of ways, from implementing business messaging software to including automation with bots into your customer service strategy. Whatever your company’s goals, Quiq is here to help you find the ultimate online customer service solution. Contact us today to request a demo.

The Future of Live Chat in Business

As the way consumers spend time online evolves, companies are rethinking the ways they connect to customers. Live chat is no exception.

Historically, many companies have used live chat as a channel for customer support. That is one application for live chat, but marketing teams are increasingly utilizing live chat as a way to convert visitors to their site into sales.

The ability to message customer service from their website makes the shopping process quick and seamless for consumers, increasing conversion rates and satisfaction of your company.

What does the future of online chat support look like? Beyond generating sales and conversions, live chat also provides an opportunity to delight existing customers and create a personal connection.

Why Consumers Prefer to Use Customer Service Live Chat

Consumers have a certain set of expectations when they communicate with customer service representatives. They want service to be fast, polite, and convenient. They expect to engage with experts to quickly resolve their inquiry.. While emails and phone calls can certainly check off some of these boxes, the convenience and speed of service just don’t compare to live chat.

Unlike emails or phone calls, live chat for business provides customers with immediate attention when they need it. There’s no need to wait for an email response or dial a phone number and wait to be connected with a representative. As a result, this has become the preferred method of communication for many consumers.

Live Chat Advantages

What does your company stand to gain from using live chat for business?

  • When agents are able to handle multiple conversations at the same time, in comparison to being on the phone with only one customer, they are being more efficient, which increases productivity and saves costs.
  • Consumers are looking for answers fast and when you compare live chat to a phone call, there is no comparison. Live chat is a faster and more convenient way for consumers to find answers and help themselves.
  • Customers can access live support at their fingertips, while remaining actively engaged on your site.
  • You can smoothly integrate chatbots, along with human operators, so your representatives can help as many customers as possible.
  • Live chat allows representatives to create a personal connection in a way that feels natural, as most consumers are used to chatting online anyway.

The Future of Online Chat Support

What’s next in online chat support? Keep an eye on these emerging trends in the coming years:

  • Chatbots and AI will play a bigger role. As the functionality of AI and machine learning continues to improve, chatbots will be able to understand language and provide solutions in customer service live chats.
  • Consumers will turn to live chat to shop. Nobody likes to shop alone. Live chat will serve more and more as a personal concierge for consumers on your website who may have questions or want to get feedback, rather than just a place to handle issues. Your agents may have to answer questions like, “Will these jeans make my butt look big?” The answer may be, “is that what you’re going for?”
  • Companies will provide proactive support through chat. If customers have any last-minute questions before making a purchase, they can connect with a representative through live chat right away at the point of purchase. The same goes for any support they need after the sale is complete, such as minor changes to the order.

Invest in the Future of Business Communications With Quiq

Business messaging has the power to transform customer conversations. When customers can reach you how and when they want to, they know your company offers reliable service they can count on.

Quiq is powering communication between companies and consumers across multiple channels, including live chat. Browse our site to learn more about us and the work we do for companies like yours.

Want to see our services in action? Try a demo of our solution to see for yourself how communicating with Quiq is a breeze.

See a Demo Today

How Rich Messaging Is Transforming the Way Customers Shop

These days, consumers prefer the convenience of shopping online and are continuing to shift their spending from in-person to eCommerce. In fact, as a percentage of total retail sales, eCommerce sales rose from 11.3% in April 2019 to 14% in April 2020. Why? Because online shopping is the quickest and easiest way for today’s consumers to locate the products they want. Online shopping also comes with the added benefit of being accessible from anywhere, whether that means buying a new laptop on a train during a work commute or ordering a prescription from a mobile device while in the waiting room of a doctor’s office.

As more people transition to online shopping, technology has been continuing to evolve to meet customer demands. However, some companies have been overlooking a critical and budding area that has huge potential to grow their businesses: rich messaging transactions.

How Rich Messaging Can Help Shoppers

Rich messaging is the future. The rise of rich communication services (RCS) is due to consumers’ demand for the rich, interactive messaging experience on Over The Top (OTT) messaging services like Facebook and WhatsApp.

Engaging with customers in more meaningful ways through messaging and chat applications has become one of the key drivers of increased online sales and repeat purchases. Rich messaging provides an interactive and convenient channel for customer engagement.

With such services now being integrated into messaging apps to provide a more browser-like user experience, the future of rich messaging is positioned for growth by offering additional customization and personalization. In Japan and China, almost every eCommerce task, from making payments and gifting people money, has been integrated into rich messaging apps. The Western and European markets are likely to be revolutionized by rich messaging in the same way.

Rich messaging allows effortless, straightforward communication between customer service representatives and customers. Both parties can share interactive media like images and videos, allowing customers to view products within the message window rather than being directed away from the chat to a website. Additionally, consumers can easily interact and respond using suggested replies, which make responses as simple as a tap of a button and can even enable secure purchases. When customers can view, select, add to cart, and purchase all within the messaging window, that’s rich messaging at its best.

Rich communication services simplify shopping with the convenience that customers love.

Rich Communication Services

Customer preferences and technologies are continually changing, so businesses must also evolve by adopting new competencies, skills, and capabilities like rich messaging services.

Google’s Business Messages

Through Google Business Messages, customers can initiate conversations with brands from the world’s largest and most popular search engine. Popular entry points like Google Maps and Google Search position Google’s Business Messages as an extremely convenient method for getting in touch with businesses.

Googles_Business_Messages_Google_Search_Mens_Wearhouse_Business_Messaging

Google Rich Communication Services

The digital-first consumers of today have high expectations when it comes to communicating with businesses online. To meet these expectations, Google introduced an upgraded messaging experience to combine the already popular business messaging channel with a visually rich messaging format, including rich media, branding, interactivity, and analytics to deliver a more engaging customer experience.

Many different industries use Google RCS to enhance customer experience, including retail, hospitality, credit unions, and service providers.

Apple Business Chat

Apple Business Chat is the third name on this list of top rich messaging communication channels. Customers can use Apple Business Chat to reach out to businesses directly via a wholly integrated and native Apple Messages experience on their iOS devices.

Customers can find businesses easily and immediately start conversations from Safari, Maps, Search, and Siri. Businesses can answer their customers’ queries, resolve their issues, and help them complete transactions using Apple Play from their iOS devices.

Advantages of Rich Messaging for Retailers

Advantages of Rich Messaging for Retailers

Here are some applications of rich messaging and shopping — customer service representatives can:

  • Provide recommendations
  • Suggest alternative products
  • Offer helpful resources
  • Explain custom options
  • Process instant payments

Another critical feature of rich messaging is the verified sender process, which verifies every business that uses rich messaging. This feature helps businesses and retailers build trust with their customers by including the official brand name, logo, brand color, and font in all their messages.

How Retailers Can Use Rich Messaging to Improve the Shopping Experience

With rich messaging, businesses and customers can exchange high-resolution images and videos and can even complete secured sales transactions — all within a messaging conversation. Rich messaging provides a modern messaging experience that is best aligned with customer expectations.

For retailers, the biggest benefit of rich messaging is the ability to drive more conversions by sending personalized messages that are more visually interesting, provide more context for the reader, and are easier to respond to. Some additional benefits of rich messaging that help to drive conversion are:

  • Convenient product carousels for customers to scroll through
  • Fast and personalized answers for each customer engaging with chatbots or live agents
  • Direct assistance with actionable solutions in one conversation
  • Sufficient information for a customer to make a purchase at their convenience
  • The capability to process transactions directly within chat windows

8 Ways Retailers Can Transform Customer Services With Rich Messaging

Here are nine ways retailers can transform customer services with rich messaging.

1. Faster and More Accurate Responses to Customers Than Phone Calls and Emails

People have become used to instant gratification. Customers expect faster responses to their queries and want to communicate with business representatives one-on-one.

Traditional channels like phone support, however, are no longer providing the fast support that modern consumers have come to expect. In fact, Harvard Business Review recently reported that call center hold times have increased by as much as 34%.

Conversely, rich messaging is an effective way for retailers to transform their customer services with faster on-demand support. For example, if a customer is searching on their iPhone for a business that has Apple Business Chat, they can just tap the message icon to start conversing with the business directly and quickly receive answers to their queries.

Rich messaging is an effective way for retailers to transform their customer services with faster on-demand support

2. Aid Customers in Completing Secured Transactions

The concept of rich messaging centers around optimizing customer experience while making business interactions as convenient as possible. From browsing a business website to completing their transactions securely, rich messaging can support customers through their entire buying journey.

RCS has helped retailers transform customer experience with site navigation aids to find options within a product assortment. Moreover, customers don’t need to leave the messaging channel to finish their transactions.

3. Engage Customers With Media That Tells a Story

The ability to share hi-res images, recordings, videos, and even GIFs up to 10 MB per message has been a game-changer for conversation-based commerce. Through these more advanced media formats, customer service agents can now easily aid their customers in their purchases or troubleshoot issues.

For instance, if a customer wants to install a new security system but needs to understand whether their current hardware is compatible with the retailer’s security hardware, rich messaging can enable the shopper to simply send a picture of their current setup to an agent for confirmation. In this example, the shopper does not need to schedule an appointment and wait days for the technician to visit them and check it personally. This means less time and hassle for both the customer and the business.

4. Help Customers in Making Reservations

Rich messaging is not limited to selling tangible goods and physical products. Consulting companies, service providers, and travel and hospitality businesses can all use rich messaging to support tasks like booking an appointment or making a reservation.

Hotels and resorts can send reservation cards to prospective guests with rich messaging, driving instant bookings. For example, travel agencies can employ rich messaging to enable travelers to book a houseboat in Bali for six nights from their phone without ever having to call or wait on hold.

5. Share Coupons and Promotions That Are Visually Engaging

Sharing dynamic, visually rich coupons and promotions is simple with RCS. Consumers are more likely to redeem mobile-delivered promotions and coupons since they are easier to use than paper coupons.

Adding engaging media like hi-res images, videos, and carousels brings more engagement. Retailers can share scannable QR codes and coupons with picture messages via rich messaging.

Sharing dynamic, visually rich coupons and promotions is simple with RCS.

6. Help Customers With Product Registration

One of the most powerful yet often overlooked messaging opportunities is product registration reminders. Any retailer selling a product with a warranty, post-purchase offers, or support wants to get their customers engaged. However, product registration is often a boring and manual process for consumers.

Employing RCS enables retailers to engage customers in a more interactive and innovative product registration process and can transition seamlessly to live support if customers have any questions or concerns.

7. Build Trust With Customers With Identity Verification

With online scams becoming more commonplace, consumers are rightly becoming wary of giving out their contact information, which can be a big challenge for eCommerce companies. Many users have blocked numbers and stopped receiving further communication from businesses they were interested in due to fear of scams.

The verified sender feature of rich messaging helps businesses build trust in the market and with their customers. Companies that go through this thorough verification process can use their official brand name, colors, logo, and font in their messages. Customers know they are communicating with a trusted brand and are more likely to engage.

Rich messaging helps to establish trust with an audience. Customers have the confidence that the information they share is private, secure, and stored safely, even when they receive messages from a business they had engaged with previously, such as a promotion or a warranty reminder.

8. Personalized Shopping Experience for Premium Customers

Businesses can provide personalized shopping experiences, powered by multimedia, to their loyal and VIP customers via rich messaging channels. A fun way to do this is by kick-starting a conversation with automated messaging that shares multimedia messages.

From there, a sales executive can easily help customers choose options and explore product customizations that suit their needs. This premium service is especially advantageous when helping loyal customers remotely.

Make the Most of Customer Interactions With Quiq

It’s easier than ever to use mobile technology to connect with customers for a better experience. Make the most of existing technology with Quiq.

Contact us to learn more about how Quiq will digitally transform your business — and try a demo of our software today.