Recreating in-store experiences online

Consumers around the world continue to move their shopping budgets online, with National Australia Bank’s August 2020 Online Retail Sales Index estimating that in the 12 months to August 2020, Australians spent $39.2 billion on online retail, which is around 11.5% of the total retail trade estimate, and approximately 33.6% higher than the 12 months to August 2019. And as McKinsey has written, “in-person interaction has dramatically changed or been supplanted by digital engagement.”

In other words, the eCommerce sector is poised for growth. And with a growing number of new customers, online retailers increasingly look for ways to create delightful customer experiences in ways that drive loyalty and increase revenue opportunities—the same outcomes that good customer service in stores would create. In fact, the same recent McKinsey article recommended that retailers “ensure that the digital experience is truly ‘zero friction,’” and that creating an “in-store feel to the digital experience” will help meet new customer expectations.

Many retailers have already invested in artificial intelligence (AI)-powered solutions such as virtual assistants, live chat, and integrated messaging to not only create these frictionless experiences and help customers in real-time, but also to empower agents and make their experiences as employees just as delightful. Consider, for example, how American grocery company Albertsons recently implemented Nuance’s AI-powered virtual assistant and live chat to assist customers through their shopping experience.

Also in June of this year, Nuance added support for Google’s Business Messages, which helps customers find and message online retailers from within Google platforms, like Maps and search. By integrating this channel into the Nuance Intelligent Engagement Platform, organisations can now manage even more customer conversations, increase agent utilisation, and even leverage biometric authentication to help prevent fraud.

Global retailer H&M is the latest organisation to take advantage of the Nuance Intelligent Engagement Platform, deploying a combination of virtual assistant, live chat, and Google’s Business Messages to assist customers through their shopping experience and provide real-time answers to inquiries. This confluence of technologies can help alleviate some of the call volume in contact centres, so that live agents can focus on customers’ toughest challenges without affecting other customers wait times, giving consumers more choice and flexibility while shopping online, as well as a positive customer experience.

Learn more about the Nuance Intelligent Engagement Platform here.

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Tony Lorentzen

About Tony Lorentzen

Tony has more than 25 years of experience in the technology sector, spending the last 17 with Nuance where he is currently the SVP of Intelligent Engagement Solutions within the Enterprise Division. Before that he served as the leader of several teams at Nuance including Sales Engineering, Business Consulting, and Product Management. A proven leader in working with the cross-functional teams, Tony blends his in-depth knowledge of business management, technology and vertical domain expertise to bring Nuance’s solutions to the Enterprise market, partnering with customers to ensure implementations drive true ROI. Prior to Nuance, Tony spent time at Lucent and Verizon where he led teams that applied the latest technologies to solve complex business issues for large enterprises. Tony received a B.S. from Villanova University and a MBA from Dowling College.