The important thing to constructing on-line buyer relationships

Scott Ho

Customer service today is very different from customer service a year ago.

From Lucidworks Vice President APJ Scott Ho.

Before the pandemic, retailers' customer service largely relied on the smiling faces of employees. With these faces now covered by masks and plexiglass screens, other means are required.

With social distancing enforcement a priority for businesses, major Australian retailers (including supermarkets) have encouraged the use of online services like click-and-collect and introduced new services like direct-to-boot. The challenge with these services is that they decrease employees' personal contact with brands, which means that their relationship depends on the company's website UX. If the brand's ecommerce and online experience is bad, so is the overall customer experience, which negatively affects the relationship.

The online shopping trend

Online shopping has been on the rise for a number of years and the pandemic has only increased consumer usage as they spend less time in crowded supermarkets or source their shopping needs from retailers who have had to close physical stores. This means businesses need to make sure they are optimizing their ecommerce function as this will act as the primary point of contact for consumers.

If you don't, customers will have a bad experience and become frustrated. If the organization is lucky, the customer will at least find a way to close the sale. In many cases, however, the customer will leave the website and go to a competitor to meet their shopping needs. If the competitor can provide a seamless and enjoyable experience, the customer is lost forever.

Enhance the online experience

It is easy to talk about "enhancing the online experience". But what does this mean? There are a number of components that play a role in customer satisfaction when shopping online, including load times, website aesthetics, information availability, etc. However, there are two factors that are particularly important to businesses: search and e-commerce .

Without an effective AI-assisted search solution, customers will struggle to find the products they are looking for, resulting in "almost sales," that is, sales that were almost successful. The AI-powered search not only compares the search terms entered by customers with product names, but also reads and understands them to deliver relevant results. For example, if a customer searches for “infant formula”, an effective AI-powered search will provide relevant results that may actually be listed as “infant formula”. Even though the product name does not contain any words that match the customer's search term, the customer can still find (and buy) what they want.

On the other hand, effective e-commerce solutions need to be simple, fast and seamless. They allow customers to easily pay for their products the way they want. By perfecting the ecommerce process, customers will remember the simplicity and come back again.

By prioritizing AI-powered search and e-commerce, companies will put themselves in the pole position to build close relationships with customers through online channels. With online shopping being the go-to place for more shoppers than ever before, businesses need to focus their attention on bringing the online experience up to date.

About Scott Ho

Scott Ho is Vice President Asia Pacific and Japan at Lucidworks. Drawing on over 20 years of experience in the technology industry, Scott is focused on empowering customers to get the most out of their AI-powered search solution.

About Lucidworks

Lucidworks develops AI-powered search solutions for many of the world's largest brands. Fusion, Lucidworks' advanced development platform, provides the capabilities businesses need to design, develop, and deploy intelligent search applications of all sizes. Businesses in every industry, from retail and consumer healthcare to insurance and financial services, rely on Lucidworks every day to power their consumer and business search apps.

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