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In this easy-to-follow guide, we’ll talk through what to consider when deploying virtual appointments on your retail website and how to enhance the customer experience. To ensure seamless integration, there are three components to focus on:
Selecting the software
Hosting the virtual appointments with live video
Measuring the effectiveness of the virtual appointments
Focusing on these three factors will ensure a smooth implementation that will transform your website — and add that all-important human touch.
Why should retailers consider virtual appointments?
The retail industry has undergone a mass transformation and, in its wake, encouraged innovative technologies to match the dramatic shift in consumer behavior. Customers browse online to research and evaluate brands, but a great online experience needs clear navigation, authentic reviews, and informative product descriptions.
Brands fulfill this demand by integrating virtual appointments on their eCommerce website. By replicating the in-store experience online, it empowers retailers and their customers with a high level of immersion that has never been achieved through traditional websites.
3 key factors to consider when deploying virtual appointments
Choosing software to complement your website is no easy task — but by following these three factors, you can ensure successful integration with your software partners.
1. How to decide on the right appointment software
Connecting to your online customers on a personable level can be achieved with an effective appointment booking system. There are a myriad of software options to choose from, but there are certain things to consider when selecting appointment tools:
Flexibility. The technical software covers what happens in the back end, but every retailer should have the freedom to customize what goes on in the front end. Having the flexibility to add your personal touch to virtual appointment software is key to maintaining brand consistency.
Calendar syncing. The Confer With platform uses Calendly's Round Robin feature to centralize appointment bookings. By syncing every appointment with your team, it's easier than ever to delegate tasks and monitor performance.
Clienteling tools. How will you personalize each appointment? Clienteling tools enable brands to recognize existing customers, including their purchase and browsing history, to curate a basket that is unique to them.
Integrations. How can the virtual appointment system be integrated? Is it compatible across eCommerce platforms, recommendation engines, customer service tools, and video platforms? The retailer’s ecosystem must manage the entire product inventory while simultaneously managing virtual bookings.
2. How to host virtual appointments with live video shopping
Once you’ve chosen your software, you need to focus on how to fulfill the virtual appointments you can now receive. Retailers deliver virtual services through chat, voice, and video — but to curate hyper-personalized baskets and truly understand customer needs, we highly recommend live video shopping. It marries the seamless online journey and in-store service to present an enhanced customer shopping experience that not only improves conversion rates and average order value, but leads to repeat customers, too.
One example of video commerce technology is the Confer With platform. It integrates seamlessly with Calendly features and creates a frictionless experience for both the consumer and retailer. By allowing sales associates to interact with customers online, it offers a level of immersion that once was not possible on eCommerce stores. What differentiates Confer With from traditional video calling software is the ability to make every product shoppable within the call. Before, video calls were based on guesswork without leveraging data to enhance the purchasing journey. But with the Confer With platform, sales associates can curate a highly personalized basket based on the unique needs of the customer.
Here are some more benefits for live video shopping:
The customer can immerse themselves and discover items by viewing images, videos, and product specifications, all taken from the product inventory.
The virtual assistant can recommend upsell and cross-sell options directly from the recommendation engine.
The customer and assistant can collaborate over a shared virtual basket.
3. How to measure the effectiveness of your virtual appointments
Collecting valuable data on virtual appointments paints a picture of the effectiveness and overall user experience of them. You can gain insight into how your team is performing and which areas need improvement. To gain a thorough overview of how your virtual appointments are performing, track these five core metrics:
Number of appointments made
Number of successfully connected calls
Duration of calls
Average order value (AOV)
Daily and monthly reporting empowers your team with information to develop and identify core areas to improve. Are calls dropping on specific devices? Does the length of a call reflect a low AOV? Data illustrates a story that allows you to effectively optimize all calls in the future.
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