Nine West's live-chat success spurs mobile expansion
July 3, 2014
Footwear and accessories label Nine West plans to expand its live chat to mobile after seeing an increase in sales and customer satisfaction with the feature online.
Realizing the importance of a live-chat option within the omnichannel space, executives hope to provide a way to research on the mobile site while consumers are shopping at its partner retail stores. Consumers have shown an affinity for live-chat systems that can lead to more informed purchases.
I believe a multi-channel, multi-screen approach to customer engagement, lead generation and support is essential in 2014, said Gary Schwartz, president and CEO of Impact Mobile, New York. As evident in this Nine West integration, retailers will require a heightened intelligence across all their touch points.
Mr. Schwartz is not affiliated with Nine West but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Nine West did not respond to inquiries by press deadline.
Data warrants more innovations
Nine West has seen a 10 percent rise in average order value through offering live chat experiences, a 15 percent rise in conversion rates and 3 percent rise in overall customer satisfaction following live chat sessions.
Nine Wests live-chat system involves agents engaging in no more than two conversations at once, allowing a better consumer experience. The system also includes a set of frequently asked questions for faster responses.
Targeting high-value customers, the software uses a number of features combined with targeting rules to create proactive chat interactions such as product name, price and user information. Click-to-Chat buttons are located at the footer, on product pages and in the shopping cart.
The brands desktop and mobile sites are both powered by a Demandware platform. Nine West expects this will allow for easy conversion to LivePerson's cloud-based Click-to-Chat capabilities across both components and smooth the transition to mobile.
Picking up speed
These developments will help bring Nine West up to speed with favored mobile capabilities. Previously, Nine Wests most recent innovations were in early 2013 and during the holiday season in 2012 involving Apple devices.
The Jones Group equipped store associates with iPod touch devices to complement traditional registers and better assist customers on the floor.
With an iPod touch in hand, The Jones Group store associates are no longer tied to cash registers, meaning they can get out from behind a register to assist shoppers. Customers can also pay via a credit card and checkout by an associate using an iPod touch device (see story).
In 2012, the Jones Group-owned Nine West armed sales associates with iPads during the holiday season to provide modern-day customer service and serve as an internal sales tool.
The Jones Group worked with EachScape to develop a mobile application that was used internally by the company. With growth in mobile direct and influenced sales during the holiday season, retailers were increasingly turning to in-store devices to help shoppers (see story).
Mr. Schwartz agrees that enabling a simplistic purchasing system on mobile will move the retailer in the right direction.
The challenge that retailers have going forward is not simply optimizing their various touch points but making the path-to-purchase or consumer mobile journey seamless across their channels and screens, Mr. Schwartz said. For example, moving a conversation from in-browser without friction into a text message chat or in-app chat. The question for retailers is how to continue to optimize this cross-channel journey.
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Marketer, New York
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