Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Use Click to Call To Build Interaction

How people shop, in general, is tied forever to the internet. People do their research on line and then, pop into their car, drive into town, handle the product, try it on, listen to it, ask a few questions, and buy. How they form their initial attitude towards the product is probably formed from their online research, the recommendations of friends, and prior experience. New research from Accenture goes into some detail on this: (reported by ZDnet)
the majority of consumers use the Internet as part of the shopping process even if they go to stores to purchase or pick up items. While two-thirds (67%) of survey respondents said they prefer to make purchases in physical stores respondents also said they research product features online (69%), compare prices online before shopping in a physical store (68%) or use the Internet to locate items online before going to a store to purchase (58%). Only 13% of respondents said the Internet has not improved their in-store shopping experience. More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents reported that, when shopping in physical stores, they often find too few registers are open and more than half (54%) say there are not enough sales people available. Many respondents said they will go elsewhere if they don’t find the appropriate selection at a certain store; this is particularly true for items such as footwear (81%); music, movies and books (78%); and jeans (76%).
KelseyGroup, specialist analysts in Local Commerce solutions, add the point that for purchases above $500, 90% of all transactions are completed in store, even where there was extensive research conducted on the internet. If an online site could offer the customer the ability to call their local stockist, and ask them if they have the product available, and any few questions they might have, you have now engaged the customer. From our own domestic shopping experiences at home, I know that if the stockist says, hey we don't have it in stock today, do you want me to get one brought in from our sister store, you can see it here on Friday.... inevitably we say yes. In turn the store gets the reputation of being helpful, reliable, and the place you go to first to for products in that category. And you know, when we arrive at the store, we usually ask for the person we were dealing with by name..... now that's relationship building.

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