Wearable technology brings human connection to online shopping
A handful of retailers in the UK have adopted a new wearable technology solution to improve conversion rates by connecting online shoppers with store associates in real time.
GoInStore allows sales associates to demonstrate product features – live – to a consumer browsing from the comfort of their PC or mobile device.
GoInStore co-founders, Andre Hordagoda and Aman Khurana, told Internet Retailing the system helps close the gap between online and offline retail experiences.
Founded in July 2014, the solution aims to address the discrepancy between the conversion rate online and offline; retailers have a much higher success rate when a shopper walks into their physical store compared with clicking through a retailer’s online store.
The founders discovered the biggest thing missing from the equation was the human connection and, developed a system using Epson’s Moverio smart glasses to inject an element of human interaction into the online transaction.
The process begins online, shoppers click the “GoInStore” button on the webpage, which connects to a sales associate in store, who is wearing the smart glasses. The button only appears online at certain times ie. when a sales associate is available and on high value products that are currently in stock.
The call is directed to the most relevant sales assistant, initiating a two-way voice call and a one-way video stream. The camera on the side of the glasses streams video back to the shopper, showing them exactly what the sales associate is looking at.
The smart glasses, which are similar to Google Glass, allow sales associates to walk through a showroom with their hands free to demonstrate products to the online shopper sitting at home in their pyjamas.
Epson’s smart glasses, which retail for around $US700 a pair, are transparent glasses with an augmented reality screen that appears in the wearer’s field of view, displaying what is visible on the shopper’s screen at home. Sales associates can also use a smartphone instead of the smart glasses to stream video and chat with the shopper.
GoInStore went live in September 2015 and has seven clients in the UK, including Dawsons Music and luxury car dealer, Amari.
“Our sales team know every single detail of these cars, even to the level of knowing the tyre pressures,” said Sheikh Amari, CEO of Amari. “This knowledge is difficult to bring across online and we have been looking for ways to bring our expertise into the online environment.”
Using GoInStore’s solution, Ali Keyhani, sales and head of operations for Amari, was able to sell a BMW i8 for £100,000 to a customer based more than 200 miles away – on his very first call.
“Our customers – who include investors and collectors – are very busy people, based all around the world, who typically know what they want but often have to rely solely on the pictures that are on the website,” Amari said.
“This new technology enables our customers to travel to our showroom in real-time and experience the cars remotely – giving us a competitive edge and the ability to close sales quicker, providing our customers a totally unique, convenient and trusted car buying experience.”