Unified communications
5 Min Read

The next generation in retail customer services via virtual showrooms

The retail industry has faced numerous challenges in recent years, with 2020 proving to be the most demanding yet. However, while there’s a distinct separation between brick-and-mortar stores and eCommerce-only businesses (think Primark vs ASOS), the pandemic has only accelerated the industry’s vast digital transformation.

Integrating the online buying experience with the physical one – with services such as Click & Collect and Scan & Go – retailers are now matching, if not improving, their in-store experience. In fact, the proportion spent online soared to the highest record of 30.7% in April this year, with omnichannel retail fast becoming the new normal.

Even pre-pandemic, the world was witnessing an increase in mobile shopping, with customers enjoying seamless shopping experiences via apps and mobile wallet solutions. And while the industry has faced widespread store closures, many retailers are redefining the role of their physical stores, by allowing customers to shop and interact with their favourite brands via a host of touchpoints – websites, apps, mobile devices, catalogues and call centres to name a few.

The future of omnichannel retail

Now, consumers actively seek out an alternative to in-store shopping. That’s not to say the need for brick-and-mortar stores will become obsolete, as there are many advantages to in-store shopping that can’t be replaced by eCommerce, such as trying on a coat for example. However, the convenience and comfort of online shopping is unlikely matched by the physical store experience.

To bridge the gap and continue adapting to the ever-changing habits of customers, retailers must offer a more physical and immersive experience. One that hinges on human interaction, while remaining purely digital or ‘virtual’ in nature. And virtual showrooms are giving brands this alternative to in-store shopping, with customers now experiencing a more convenient and personalised shopping journey than ever before.

Virtual showrooms: the next step in customer engagement and omnichannel retail

Offering an immersive online journey that allows customers to experience a 360-degree view of a product before they buy and talk to a sales representative face-to-face; real time virtual assistance is the next step in the customer journey.

Just picture this. A customer wants to upgrade their car or view a necklace in finer detail but they’re unable to visit the showroom or store. With the website only offering a list of technical specifications, measurements, features and selection of images, it’s difficult for the customer to decide whether it’s the right option. Think how convenient it would be if a sales representative could give them a closer look at the car – its dashboard, glove box and engine. Or a closer look at the necklace’s pendant.

‘Teleporting’ the customer to a physical store, providing them with more a more valuable customer experience, and differentiating the retailer from its competitors.

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With Richcall’s virtual showroom, your business can offer this service. Creating exciting experiences that allow you to connect with customers, acquire new ones and retain those loyal to your brand. Just a 5% boost in customer retention equates to a 25%-95% boost in profits, so it’s never been more important to adapt.

Virtual showrooms: the next step in customer engagement

Proven to keep customers on your website for five to 10 times longer, virtual showrooms are a critical game changer in customer engagement. And with 57% of customers feeling more confident in making a purchase after watching a product demo, imagine what could be achieved with a bespoke, personalised one-to-one tour and Q&A session.

In a recent survey, 68% of customers claimed that a service representative is key to a positive experience, alongside 67% who want more virtual options. Plus, with forward-thinking companies increasing employee engagement by 20% via CX initiatives, now is the time to empower your sales team and build stronger online customer relationships.

And it’s simple. An online shopper makes a video call to your sales team from your website, where your sales representative can easily switch between cameras to show the product live. Using WebRTC and HD video to teleport your online shoppers to a physical store, you can equip your remote sales experts with a selection of HD video cameras, allowing you to showcase your products online via a live video with:

  • A fixed HD camera connected to a PC, suitable for compact products such as electronics and jewellery
  • A mobile phone camera. By switching the video call to their phone, a sales agent can provide a virtual tour of cars, furniture, kitchen worktops and other large products

Available for both cloud and on-premise deployments, RichCall offers live video support, click-to-call, co-browsing and video chat customer services and is the only live video support solution that can be seamlessly integrated with contact centre software: Cisco Unified Contact Center Express and Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise platforms. Alternatively, you can use RichCall in stand-alone mode with embedded PBX. Click hereto find out more about the only live video calling site that can integrate with Cisco UCM and UCCX/UCCE.

If you’d like to see a demo of how RichCall works and what it can do for your business, call UCtel on 0333 344 4417 or email us at sales@uctel.co.uk.