Leading communications technology enables retailers to conduct highly personalized, one-to-one interactions with the customer – at scale.
While many observers lament how technology is making our lives less personalized, or how advanced AI tools like ChatGPT are becoming too personal, many retailers and retail solution providers are busy using technology to offer shoppers a real human interaction.
Here’s a look at how consumer electronics brand Apple, wedding retailer David’s Bridal and payment technology platform Klarna are connecting customers with human expert assistance with digital interfaces.
Apple has new shopping live on its US e-commerce site. The consumer electronics giant is introducing a virtual service called Video Shopping with an Expert that connects US customers looking to buy an iPhone with a retail associate through a secure, one-way video shopping session. With this new service, customers can browse models, explore features and learn about offers such as trade-ins, carrier deals, switching to iOS and various financing options.
Customers can visit a dedicated page on Apple’s e-commerce site and, with a few clicks, instantly connect with an Apple associate for advice on choosing the best iPhone model. Once connected, customers can compare features, colors, sizes and find the best deal through Apple’s trade-in program or their carrier.
Shop with an Expert via video is available to US customers from 7am to 7pm PT daily on the Apple website. During the session, an Apple associate will be in front of the camera, sharing their screen, but will not be able to see the customer. If customers find that a session is unavailable or access the page after hours, they can reach an associate by phone or chat 24 hours a day.
David’s bridal shower
Customers can now connect with David’s Bridal at any time of the day or night through the LivePerson-based mobile CRM tool Zoey to book appointments, text with stylists to resolve questions or get advice, and make sure orders. David’s bridal shower originally launched Zoeywhich combines automated technology with real people to deliver personalized customer service at scale, in January 2020.
In addition, David’s Bridal allows customers to virtually book and carry out personalized, personalized shopping. Hundreds of stylists will now be available to help brides and bridal parties from around the world on the Zoom video communications platform.
After booking an appointment online, the client will be emailed a zoom link for their video styling session. To personalize their watch, customers can fill in their style profile and look. Both tools outline questions that will help set the mood for the bride’s wedding day and give their stylist an idea of dresses to personally recommend based on the client’s style and budget.
Customers can share Zoom connections with anyone they like. After the bride chooses a dress, David’s will place the order and email the personalized details.
Appointments with an expert stylist can be scheduled directly from the website. David’s stylists can show dresses, color swatches, give advice on styling veils and more. The retailer also offers dedicated video meetings to review accessories.
Global payment and shopping platform provider Klarna uses live video and messaging to connect the digital experience with in-store shopping. Klarna’s virtual shopping solution, used by brands including Levi’s, Hugo Boss and Herman Miller, connects online shoppers directly with human experts in physical stores via live chats and video calls.
Customers are connected to an in-store expert when they click on the virtual shopping icon in integrated stores from merchant websites. Once connected, they can chat, receive photos and videos, follow product recommendations, and have two-way video chat. Klarna’s goal is to recreate the experience a customer would get in a store.
Once enabled with the solution, retailers can gain insight into shopper interactions and sales. To connect with online shoppers, in-store experts can use the retailer-centric Klarna Store app to engage consumers via text, chat and video for interactions such as making personalized recommendations and scheduling in-store appointments.