IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 1 Aug 2011

Ask Alex

Alex IevinsOver the last few months we have implemented an instant chat feature on our websites. This is aptly named ‘Ask Alex’, as you can ask me, Alex, Retail Assist’s Marketing Manager your Retail Assist related questions. Since the initial launch of this facility and after the Sales team had their fun in using it to request cups of tea from the Marketing team, we are now finding that the chat feature is being used much more regularly for enquiries relating to our managed services and solutions, and providing us with valuable information.

This feature has brought us closer to our website users as we are able to talk instantly to our visitors, and help them immediately with their queries. So not only do we speak to clients via the website, but also potential prospects, and potential employees who have questions for us. It also helps us in understanding visitor traffic and the journey that website users take. Whilst also helping us to update the website with any additional information that people are regularly asking for.

For retailers we felt this could be a useful tool to help increase basket size, and to bring them closer to customers. Potential buyers may want to know instantly if for example a particular dress was tight fitting, what the material was like. It may also help customers to understand some of the newer multichannel options available, such as click and collect. For example, some may wish to know if they ordered online, which store could they collect their purchase from, Anything which helps to overcome some of the online ordering fears, and positively influence the buying decision of the customer is surely valuable.

Information requested, and questions posed via this facility can help to modify the website, and information displayed on it so as to become ever more user friendly and tailored, and as a result increase sales for the retailer.

Are these ‘chat’ tools something you are planning to use in your ecommerce strategy? Or have you already integrated them into your existing website? What are you thoughts about using them?

Ask me your questions via ‘Ask Alex’ at and and we’d be happy to get your feedback.

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