Today’s ONS retail sales figures revealed that online spending continues to rise. The percentage of online purchases has risen by 8.0 per cent in March 2019 in comparison to March 2018.
The sector has witnessed tremendous growth, with online shoppers forecast to reach 220 million by 2025 – however there is still a desire for in-person human interaction. Retailers with omni-channel strategies retain an average of 89 percent of their customers, according to Teleperformance DIBS. Retailers failing to direct adequate emphasis on customer experience will struggle with retention.
Rajnish Sharma, Retail Practice Leader at Teleperformance Digital Integrated Business Services, comments: “The ecommerce brands coming out on top are experience-led with a deep human focus. Regardless of whether the shopper is interacting with a brand from behind a screen, over the phone or in-person, they want their issue or query solved as quickly as possible. 96 per cent of customers who have to expend a high level of effort to get their issues resolved become more disloyal, compared to just 9 per cent who have a low-effort experience, according to Gartner.¹
Rajnish continues: “Customers expect round-the-clock, real time service – at their convenience. With ever increasing mobile data penetration, the UK consumer can browse and shop at the click of a button, anytime-anywhere. As the retail landscape grows complex, chatbots offer retailers a cheaper, smarter and more efficient way of engagement. While these AI-bots streamline communication, it’s important to note that human interactions are not just cognitive, but social and emotional.”
“Technology acts as an enabler for customer service teams, therefore, brands should not underestimate the emotional intelligence which only comes from human agents. That’s why businesses successfully developing the right balance between artificial and human intelligence will improve service, reduce costs, and decrease customer churn. For one global ecommerce brand, we increased the customer satisfaction rate by 30% and reduced costs by 18%.”