How web stores outperform stationary retailers when it comes to advice

How web stores outperform stationary retailers when it comes to advice
Published on: Jun 15, 2020
Updated: Aug 18, 2022

With mouth-nose protection in front of the face and long lines in front of the stores, shopping in the city is currently only moderately fun. But many consumers still believe that good advice is only available in a store and not on the Internet. It's time to prove consumers wrong. Because it's a myth that good advice is only available on the shop floor. On the contrary, online retail is often even superior to brick-and-mortar stores when it comes to guiding customers to the right product.

Selecting the suitable product in the webshop


This starts already with the rough sounding of the assortment. Let's assume someone wants to buy a hair dryer: In the retail store, he then usually stands in front of a long shelf with hair dryers. The product label shows the price - and at most the wattage. And there's not a salesperson in sight. A web store with a focus on perfect online advice can make it easier for the user to make a preliminary selection at this point, for example by using talking product lists. In this process, the most important advantages of each product are presented with disruptors. These can be notes such as "price-performance winner", "best drying performance" or "for shiny, long hair". It is precisely these notes that help customers find the product that best meets their needs. In addition, a good online store usually has many more filters, such as "special features" or "customer reviews", according to which the right product can be sorted and selected.

At MediaMarkt, you can select your hair dryer based on various filters. (Source: MediaMarkt)

Bringing the seller to the webshop


Another way to bring customers closer to products,

are dealer recommendations. In brick-and-mortar retail, salespeople try to bring customers

their own doubts by affirming, "I've looked at this product.

I bought this oven myself and I'm totally satisfied." This sales trick

also works online. If you're a brick-and-mortar retailer with a high level of customer trust, you can

can also give web store visitors the feeling of being able to rely on his

recommendation and to offer products which, in his opinion, are a

products that he or she believes are worth buying.

The filters already mentioned above also fulfill a similar function to talking product lists. Done well, they query the needs of customers by brand, size, or product characteristic and narrow down the assortment according to individual needs. However, you often find online stores that base their filters on what product data is available in the first place rather than looking through the customer's lens. This tends to confuse consumers rather than help them. Another problem is that customers need to know their needs if they want to use filters to find the right product. This is where purchase advisors can provide important assistance by first informing customers which criteria they should even consider for their purchase decision.

Live shopping - the latest advice trend in digital commerce


Product presentation also pays into an online store's advisory performance. Anyone who shows products in different views or uses zoom to point out specific product details is already replacing the haptic experience on the shop floor to a large extent. However, the real crowning glory of good online advice is product videos in which salespeople (or, depending on the target group, influencers) personally demonstrate and explain the product. This improves conversion rates, especially for more complex or higher-priced assortments. Live shopping as a more modern form of teleshopping also offers the opportunity to present products perfectly - and also to respond to the questions of the target group in real time.

The British online retailer ASOS has already been working with videos on the respective product pages for quite some time. (Source: ASOS)

A frequently still sparsely used

Advisory feature are also customer reviews. Thereby studies show always

the importance of customer reviews in the purchase decision process.

However, the example of Amazon shows that even e-commerce giants are not able to

to master this topic, to provide serious reviews in sufficient quantity, and to

and to comprehensively delete fake reviews.

Finally, it is also important for online retailers with a strong advisory service to recognize that good advice does not end with the click on the buy button. With good post-sales support, you can inspire customers today - and retain them in the long term.

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