Shop Direct, Sofa Workshop find new ways to optimise online sales

Two UK retailers have this week revealed how they are utilising new eCommerce technology to better engage their online customers, and solve historical challenges related to shopping on the web.

Size matters

Littlewoods and parent company Shop Direct is in the process of deploying an online tool that aims to ensure shoppers fully understand the size of the items they are purchasing. The Tangiblee system virtually compares item sizes with a model in the customer's own size or in comparison to items they already own.

Used on, and, the technology has helped Shop Direct boost mobile sales conversion across a number of product categories such as handbags and luggage.

Jonathan Wall, group eCommerce director at Shop Direct, remarked: "We're committed to working with innovative partners that can make our customers' online shopping journey the best it can be.

"Tangiblee's technology is helping us do that; giving our customer confidence in the actual size of items before she buys. Our tests indicate the feature can support sales growth."

Shop Direct started working with the Tangiblee team and their platform in late 2014, and the relationship has now extended to a trial of its eCommerce technology for jewellery and watches.

The personalised piece

Meanwhile, Sofa Workshop, which operates 20 stores across the UK, is using two-way live video communication to ensure that online shoppers can receive a personalised service similar to that which would be offered in a physical shop.

The retailer wanted to provide customers who would normally shy away from calling the customer service team with an alternative way to receive help and assistance, so it worked with Vee24 to roll out the technology firm's Live Chat platform.

Customers perusing can now either select Live Video Chat from the website, or they can respond to a 'nudge' from the retailer's team encouraging shoppers who may need help to connect.

Once embroiled in the video conversation, consultants can discuss a customer's individual requirements or perhaps show them something online that they otherwise may not have considered. Bravissimo, Goldsmiths and Bathstore are among the other retailers using the Live Chat service from Vee24.

Arron Burton, online operations manager at Sofa Works, commented: "This customer-led initiative is all about providing a great customer experience and linking the online and in-store processes together.

"We wanted greater online customer engagement that would drive to in-store purchases. Sofas are bespoke products that come in many different styles and several thousand different fabrics. We are finding that customers often start the browsing phase of the product online and then purchase the items in store where they can touch and feel the product."

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