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6 challenges of online retail that you can overcome with Guided Shopping

6 challenges of online retail that you can overcome with Guided Shopping

To the German article

The requirements of ecommerce are becoming more challenging every day in a wide variety of ways. Your shop must be clearly structured, easy and quick to use, but also has to be appealing and emotionally engaging, for example with inspiring products, content and offers. The demands on the customer journey are also growing, as customers increasingly expect impeccable service, preferably still tailored to them, as well as personalised content, across a wide range of channels. Moreover, in these times of the coronavirus pandemic, merchants have to grapple with new kinds of changes – be it in terms of customer demands, digitisation or political decisions.

But now for the good news: There is a solution for everything – you just have to find it. To support you in this, we present a feature in this article that can help you with at least some aspects of the challenges mentioned above. 

Guided Shopping can help you…

… if the stores are closed

Planning ahead is difficult. New variants, new numbers, new regulations – and the extent of the situation differs from place to place and country to country. This means that the safest drivers are those who are prepared for anything and position themselves in such a way that they can still rely on digital distribution even in the event of shop closures or restrictions. Even if customers are not staying home because of the external circumstances, many people have also started to enjoy the convenience of home shopping since the pandemic began.

closed-covid-19

So the benchmark here is the existence of an online shop with smooth checkout, shipping, and all the other advantages this entails. But what about stores that survive primarily by establishing personal customer contact? For example, stores that are known for their high-quality consulting services, stores that depend on customers taking a closer look at the products, or stores selling products that simply require a lot of explanation? In these cases, it is important to offer options in your online store so that the customer can take advantage of these demands. This is an important consideration, especially when it comes to our next point. 

… if your customer does not understand the product

Some products require a longer customer consultation before a purchase decision is made. This may be because the product is quite complex, the purchase costs are quite high, or the customer simply has a few more questions that they cannot answer by doing their own research or would prefer to have answered personally.

In all these cases, Shopware's Guided Shopping feature offers a solution. That's because this feature allows you to present your products digitally – and right in your online store. You can prepare a presentation tailored to your products and customers, and use it to advise your customers, explain the product to them, highlight relevant products, respond to individual questions and, if desired, even complete the checkout process for your customers. You can tailor everything to your customers’ requirements. Offer relevant product bundles, show additional items or alternative products, and ultimately increase your sales.

Guided-Shopping-Product-Focus

The sales consultant leads the presentation and can highlight individual products for the customer.

… if you want to minimise your return rate

The aspects mentioned above naturally also have a significant effect on the return rate. This is because the more intensively customers interact with the product before buying, the more their questions can be clarified in advance and the more confident they will be in their purchase decision. Conversely, the likelihood that they will not like the product after all is even lower. It is well known that the high rate of returns in online retail is a problem. But Guided Shopping can help reduce your return rate.

Guided Shopping is not only useful in the cases mentioned above, but also…

… if your customers miss the social aspect of online shopping

Whether online or at the mall: there are people who prefer to go shopping alone. Complementary to this, however, there are also shoppers who value the social aspect of shopping, and for whom shopping is a social event. These people love interacting with others, like to obtain opinions and recommendations from others and appreciate it when shopping turns into an exciting and engaging event. 

Maybe this is why live shopping works so well. This trend from China is now enjoying great popularity worldwide. Products are presented via live stream, and can be ordered directly in connection with an ecommerce system. This is linked with interaction opportunities, for example via emoji reactions or a chat function for questions and sharing. 

guided-shopping-live-shopping

Live shopping is often associated with influencers who showcase the products.

Guided Shopping can also adopt this trend. The sales consultant can present products, provide advice and answer questions over a video stream. People can sit alone at home in their living room in front of their tablet or smartphone – and yet they are in fact not alone. Shared participation creates a sense of community, which has nowadays also proven successful in watch parties (shared streaming of video content) or other interactive online video formats (Twitch, live streams, etc.). It is also important that the reactions of the other viewers can be followed using chat, voice or reactions. With Guided Shopping, such forms are also imaginable. And it is always possible for viewers to give likes to products or add them directly to the shopping cart. The sales consultant can present an item to a general audience or to a select group of customers. The latter option is perfect for the situation we will go into next. 

… if you want your customer to feel like a king

customer-is-queen

In an ideal world, your customers should feel like royalty at every opportunity. But how do you create this feeling? You can achieve this by making your customers feel respected and valued, ensuring they experience excellent service and receive quick and satisfactory responses when they have a concern. Good customer relationship management plays a role in this, but Guided Shopping can also help you with these requirements. Crown your sales strategy, for example, by allowing a select group of customers to enjoy a presentation with an individual catalogue and special offers. With Guided Shopping, you can define this customer base according to demographic data, previous purchases and other characteristics. Present your customers with selected products thanks to integrated analysis tools, or analyse their behaviour during the presentation afterwards to get to know your customers and their requirements even better.

But Guided Shopping doesn't just help you reach end consumers. It is also useful in the context of B2B…

Guided-Shopping-video-conference

… if making a journey is too difficult

Does your sales team want to pitch to a potential trading partner? Or present the next season's products to a B2B customer? Apart from a long and costly journey and the associated loss of work as well as costs for accommodation, expenses, etc., there are other problems that could arise nowadays. For example, a sudden quarantine case or obstructive new entry requirement. One thing is certain: there are many reasons why it can be difficult or too costly for a member of the field staff to travel.

But nowadays, when everyone is talking about a metaverse, can't it be so much simpler? How about a digital pitch or a product presentation via Guided Shopping instead? The presentation tool is also suitable for this. Design the presentation from the Shopware administration and set the date. Guide the audience through the presentation. You can even add products to the shopping basket for them and complete the checkout process for them. You can also give them a presentation that they can watch on their own. 

The best thing about all this is that you save a lot of time because you don't have to switch back and forth between different tools. Inserting screenshots from the product catalogue into PowerPoint, sending appointments via email and linking them to the video conferencing system – all these are a thing of the past. With Guided Shopping, you only need one tool that can directly access your shop, product data and customer data. All this ensures that your work steps for the preparation as well as for the execution of the presentation flow seamlessly into each other.

 
man-prestens-in-video-conference 

Side note: What is Guided Shopping anyway?

Use Guided Shopping to merge appealing Shopware Shopping Experiences with video shopping. This new state-of-the-art Shopware feature enables customer-oriented and interactive live video events. These take place directly in the online store – so there is no need to switch between presentation tool, video conferencing system or shop system. Instead, you offer your customers a seamless and interactive shopping experience. Simply design presentations and catalogues in advance with the already familiar and intuitive Shopware CMS, so that they are optimally tailored to your target groups. Demonstrate the benefits of the products, respond to their needs and reactions and create an unparalleled, personalised shopping experience.

Conclusion

Whatever the applications for which you want to use Guided Shopping, tailored to your personal business model, there are probably a number of scenarios that can work for you. What they all have in common is that Guided Shopping is an innovative way to interact with your customers and encourage them to make a purchase in your store. Do you want to know more about the feature, have questions or are already ready to test the framework yourself? Then get in touch!

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