NATIVE & WEB APP
We created 'Confer With' to provide retailers with a live stream and advanced tools to bridge the empathy gap of traditional e-commerce experiences.
As part of a wonderful collaboration with the 'Confer With' team, we delivered a novel product that combines a full suite of conferencing options including one and two ways video and chats with a powerful set of tools integrated with the backed of lead e-commerce platforms to provide retail experts with additional information and resources to support their conversation with customers and increase conversions.
Lead Product Designer UX, UI, motion graphics, branding, art & design direction
Through the last decade, and especially in recent years, we have seen an outstanding increase in e-commerce sales, reaching now over a quote of overall sales in value. Despite this sustained grown, many within the retail industry recognize the challenge posed by the empathy gap visitors may experience while visiting their websites opposite to a personalized in-store experience.
The inclusion of chats and live video has been part of the solutions to approach consumers at a more personal level, but they still lack profound integration with their e-commerce platforms and fell short in supporting the experience from the retail expert side of the conversation.
The ConferWith team lead by Serge Milbank had a vision, creating a new tool for retailers to enjoy, simultaneously, the advantages of a face to face conversation together with deeper integration with their e-commerce platforms.
With ConferWith customers enjoy the possibility of a human-friendly shopping experience and retailers can accompany them as if there were at the physical store. From having direct access to products information, alternatives, offers, and related articles, to sharing a common virtual basket with their customers as if there were there next to them.
Confer With users flows derive from two parallel simultaneous users typologies in a shared journey. On one side, the Retail Expert, which can use either a native or the web Expert's version of the App, and the Customer, which experience is based on a web version of the Customer's App on either mobile or desktop versions.
While only retail Experts can access the sales support information through a dedicated navigation bar, both interfaces share a common environment, including a viewport for product information and common access to the 'virtual' shopping basket.
To ensure efficient customisation and scalability the App the design is architecture around a universal UI design system library of visual assets, styles and functionalities.
At first, customers may interact with the App without previous experience. Due to that,ConferWith interface is:
Simple and intuitive to use.
Provide a sense of safety, transparency and control.
Provides appropriate visualization of both, the video feed and the collateral information.
Demographically, the potential users of the platform are highly heterogeneous, with no particular idiosyncratic or early characterization beyond those ones intrinsically related to the type of products/services or specific online stores audiences.
The Retail Expert
The retail experts using the App need useful and relevant information to support their selling efforts. They'll have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the App interface before using it to confer with customers. Despite that, they will need to retain a state of high mental awareness due to the many factors involved (listed below) in the interaction will require for the interface to be highly expedited.
Dialoguing with the customer.
Evaluating the customer’s reactions.
Controlling camera image.
Identifying and sharing related information available (galleries, related products, alternative products...)
Minding the physical environment where they are operating if broadcasting from the store floor.
Evaluating the time dedicated to the conversation and manage availability
Approaching the development of a new digital product from the outset does especially calls for comprehensive research of the context, the actors and the required functionalities to establish an MVP design plan.
This research focused on the validation of the challenge-opportunity to be fulfilled by ConferWith.
Findings included that while over a quarter of retail sales by value are made online over 50% of consumers eventually abandon e-commerce sites if choosing is too difficult....and that, while multiple existing services were facilitating more personal online shopping experiences they felt short in supporting retail experts interaction with customers.
By the hand of retail expert Dan Gardner, and supported by surveys, a full breakdown of desired functionalities was mapped and hierarchically structured.
These functional definitions established the foundations for the MVP product architecture, from voice and video chat and into access, administration, product information, collaterals and virtual basket management.
The features were next incorporated as part of user journeys scenarios to map user flows and further define personas and users types of the platform.
One key competitive advantage for ConferWith is its capacity to fully integrate with the host e-commerce platform, consuming data from Shopify, Magento and others in order to provide live information for the retail experts to share with customers or to guide their presentation of products. Additionally, ConferWith allows in-App addition of products to a visual basket for which the App requires to manage live inventory and product variations.
All those requisites determined by the features mapping for MVP were validated as technically feasible functionalities in close liaison with the development team.
Beyond two and one-way video and chat tools, the platforms core retail functions follow four key stages and goals.
Facilitate matching between customers requesting support and the right retail expertise
Ensure a straightforward and empathetic connection trought video or any other modallity.
Facilitate information and tools to ensure retail experts can offer the best possible support to customers.
A friendly face, quality information and a shared 'virtual shopping basket' increase sales conversion rates.
Confer With seeming integration with e-commerce platforms includes visual customization to match their branding and user's journey through controlling background and icon colours, photos, messages and actions.
For a bespoke configuration, the CTA can be presented in different layouts for different levels of awareness. Retail experts are assigned to specific categories of products by the system administrator.
RETAIL EXPERT ACCESS
As a customer request to confer with a retail expert the platform notifies those currently available and assigned to the product category.
Retail experts can, before accepting the call, preview some customer information such as location, product currently visited by the user, and the conversation mode requested.
IMMERSIVE SHOPPING EXPERIENCES
Retailers have access to a a set of tools that provide them with the resources to offer a highly personalized experience increasing customers satisfaction and sales completion.
VIRTUAL SHOPPING BASKET
As the retail expert, and the customer, explore products and options together, they both can add them to a virtual shopping basket which can be uploaded into the website main shopping cart at any time, ready to complete the purchase.