Staffing Sales Online with Streaming Video
Wednesday, July 20th 2011 by Nick WoolseyDespite the growth of online sales, 90% of purchases over $500 that start online finish offline in a brick and mortar storefront. Customers' main complaints include that they want to see the product, talk to a trained sales staff member, and feel reassured about their purchase. Using live streaming video, it is now possible to bring the brick and mortar experience online to help customers to start and finish shopping in one place, giving cost benefits to everyone involved.
To establish this type of sales staff, follow these 5 steps
Video chat software, like Skype and Gchat, are great for communicating on a one-to-one basis. This software makes it possible to have a video conversation directly with a customer, which could make them feel engaged and listened to. Skyp also has a "Call Now" feature that can be built into websites. Unfortunately, many customers do not want to have such a direct confrontation with a sales person online, and prefer more privacy. Other customers may be unable to engage in the conversation due to hardware or software issues. It will also be a challenge to serve multiple customers quickly since calls are limited to a few number of users at a time.
Screen sharing software, such as gotomeeting and webex, give users the ability to show their computer screen to others, which is great for technical training on computers, or software sales demonstrations. However, if the information is not computer based, like a physical product, person, or environment, then it is not the best solution. For use in a sales function, it is critical to be able to see, hear, and interact with the salesperson as they demonstrate a product that may or may not be computer based. The other hurdle is that it is not possible to integrate a "buy now" button on screen sharing software, which limits the likelihood of sales conversion.
brandlive, which is a form of streaming video broadcasting, involves one-to-many communication with a video presenter and an audience who type comments and questions in a live feed. This strategy helps to keep the conversation uncluttered, but has the flexibility to respond to viewers in real time. The system runs on Adobe Flash, so viewers will not likely have to download anything extra in order to participate. The disadvantages with brandlive are the extra cost and inability to read an audience's facial expressions to interpret their reactions.
Here is how a branded example of brandlive looks:
Once the online sales staff system has been established, customers will benefit from higher personalization from specialized staff, and the company will benefit from maximizing staff time through utilizing both sales and online marketing functions. Most importantly, customers and online retailers will both save time and money by starting and finishing sales online!
At brandlive, so far our clients have been using live streaming video sales promotion with staggered, limited time events coupled with a price promotion. The results have been encouraging in that regardless of the attractiveness of the price promotion, streaming video has caused online sales conversions and per visit value to rise to three times higher than average.
With an online video sales staff member online during regular business hours, we believe that the benefits we have seen in online sales event promotion will largely transfer given the following conditions:
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