Real-time communication built into your website is a great tool for handling customer queries and up-selling. It could also easily become an essential tool for day-to-day communications between web users. As we have mentioned previously here at Drum, time has become increasingly important for both the business and the consumer. However, with instant communications combined with home delivery, are we as consumers likely to become lazy and leave the house less frequently, due to the increased access to businesses?
It could, indeed, give consumers an additional reason to not leave the house and complete more purchases online. While this may be a convenient and positive progression for businesses, it can pose a potential health issue for consumers. Consumers would no longer recognise the benefit of making the additional trip outside the house to visit local retailers.
Consumers may suddenly find themselves spending more time in the house, with orders being processed online and delivered with a click of a button. In addition enabling the consumer to
connect via audio and video instantly re-enacting the face-to-face interaction.
One benefit of having the entire purchasing experience online is to ensure our roads remain clear whilst considering the environment. Our carbon footprint may begin to decrease with less traffic driving through city centres visiting shops.
But what does this ultimately mean for the high street shop owner or the dot com
Firstly there will be a dramatic increase in accessibility to the customer. The customer is no longer a statistic on your Google Analytics account but a real person communicating with you in real-time. The reliance on calls to action on your website can be reduced, assisting business owners to ensure the unknown becomes the known, when understanding the visitor experience.
Larger variety of stock can be stored within the website accompanied by an external warehouse which is not reliant on shop floor space in a prime location. Reducing costs and increasing stock variety can subsequently drive greater business growth. The customer gains access to a wide variety of stock through the website at a click of a button. Products can become lost or overshadowed, when in-store, whether it be a large footfall of customers or an overwhelming selection of items distracting the customer.
The website visitor becomes dependant on the business owner deciding to take the more simplistic route to talk with a customer assistant or the business owner. Eliminating the need to scour the website or use site searches. The visitor can occupy substantial amounts of time from customers assistants when searching for the ‘perfect’ item.
The increased investment in time comes with great benefits. Business owners begin to control the user journey driving up-selling opportunities and reducing cart abandonment. Both aspects of the customer journey can affect the business overall performance. However, with this comes the need to invest substantial amounts of time with each customer. Whilst this is perfectly feasible for a small boutique shop or a tailored service it may not be quite as effective for organisations targeting the mass market.
Subsequently website visitors may become lazier and we as consumers expect the completion of a purchase and receive what we are looking for quicker than ever. Amazon is possibly the best example of meeting this need. Using algorithms and studying trends, Amazon pre-stocks warehouses attempting to predict demand ensuring there is little or no delay once the order has been placed by the consumer. The potential use of ‘drones’ continues to expand on this potential reluctance or need to leave your place of residence.
Are we, as digital consumers, becoming lazy? Will WebRTC make us lazier, when visiting a website, expecting the information we need to be even more accessible through a personal aid? Live chat functionality, currently on a variety of websites, is already removing the need for website visitors to search a website. Visitors simply enter into direct dialogue with a customer assistant regardless on the importance of the question to find the answer to their questions.