Emerging technologies and innovative tools are truly changing the shopping experience for customers. Forward-thinking brands are leveraging technology as a means to strengthen the human connection they have with their customers. While tech takes care of the transactional elements, customer care teams can focus on the human and emotional components of customer interactions. That’s why it’s so important for brands to hire the right customer care representatives that not only align with their culture and messaging, but also truly care about providing top-notch customer experiences during the busy holidays and all year round.Also Read: Why EQ is Key in an AI World
Technology makes magic happen all year round, but it definitely shines brightest during the holidays. We’ve rounded up a list of how tech is the gift that keeps on giving for customers in 2018 and beyond.Augmented Reality
Innovative brands are using Augmented Reality (AR) to allow shoppers to visualize products within their own lives. AR lets consumers see products close up and from different angles, without ever having to step outside the comfort of their own home. This trend of “viewing before buying“ is being utilized by websites like Amazon, Wayfair and Target.
AI algorithms take note of consumer preferences and behaviors, creating more personalized online shopping experiences and recommendations for consumers. This saves people hours of searching through products to find what they’re looking for. It can suggest the perfect pair of shoes before a customer even knows they want them.
Chatbots are the secret weapons of holiday customer care. The holidays bring huge increases in customer contacts and chatbots are able to guide purchases and order questions, which needed to be handled by humans in the past. They help with interactions that would normally bog down a customer care team, allowing the actual humans to focus on the emotional component of customer interactions.
Seamless Mobile Shopping
Consumers are obsessed with convenience, especially during the busiest time of year. According to eMarketer, mobile shoppers grew at a record speed in 2017, and this year is expected to be the same. That’s why more and more brands are creating a seamless mobile experience for customers with an optimized website, responsive content and quicker site speeds.
As holiday shopping increases, unfortunately so does fraud. Brands are investing in valuable anti-fraud tools to protect themselves and their customers, such as authentication protocols and Address Verification Systems (AVS). AVS checks cardholder addresses against the information on file with the card-issuing bank. Any mismatches raises a flag, allowing brands to contact their customers to verify additional information or cancel the transaction.
Social traffic during the holidays is expected to increase 17% compared to last year, but Instagram is expected to be the winner this year. The app is also launching its own shopping app soon. Instagrammers will be able to browse products from retailers they follow and make purchases direct within the app. Although the launch date is unknown, let’s hope it comes out in time for the holidays.