video chat in retail

video chat in retail

Video chat also in the retail industry

7 tools for video chat in retail

 

 

Find out:

  • Why video chat tools are a chance for the retail industry?
  • Which video chat tools you could use for your store?
Reading time: 5 minutes

Especially this year, video chat solutions have become more and more important for us to visually get in touch with friends, family, colleagues and customers even at a distance. So why shouldn’t this technology also be used in retail to advise via video chat right now and in the future and to allow customers to take a closer look at the products from their smartphones or tablets?!
Due to the current situation, customers are increasingly staying away from brick-and-mortar retail. However, with the help of video chat solutions, you can continue to personally advise your customers despite social distancing and bring them home the shopping experience from brick-and-mortar stores. Offer your customers the opportunity to experience products, their colors, sizes, fits and more as on-site in-store.
There are already some dealers who have decided to incorporate video chat solutions into your consulting concept. There are also a few points to consider when it is a wide selection on the market. The following is an overview of 7 different solutions and their advantages and disadvantages

Apple FaceTime

Apple’s video chat solution for all IOS devices, whether on the iPhone, the Apple Watch or the MacBook, with FaceTime, Apple users can chat with up to 32 people simultaneously for free via video. Facetime conversations and group calls can be started directly in the FaceTime app or iMessenger and are unlimited in time. However, since FaceTime is only available for IOS devices, you can’t advise all your customers here.

Conclusion: Only available on Apple devices, proven good video quality and pre-installed on any IOS device.

WhatsApp Video Call

The American instant messaging service WhatsApp offers its 2 billion users worldwide the possibility to connect with up to eight people simultaneously via video chat. WhatsApp video chat is possible for all WhatsApp users whether Android or IOS operating system on laptop or smartphone without any time limit. Create a corporate account and use voice messages and video calls to provide more targeted and personal advice to your customers.

Conclusion: Many users worldwide but with a subscriber limit of 8 people and the chat must be left to send and open files. As with all WhatsApp services, there are data and security concerns.

Facebook Rooms

With the new Facebook Rooms Messenger, you can now make a group video call with up to 50 people at the same time on the Facebook platform. There is also good news for all non-Facebook users, because even people without a Facebook account can participate in group video calls with an invitation. Facebook also offers participants unlimited chat. By allowing you to launch the Facebook Rooms directly in your news feed, private or public group or event, you make the video chat publicly visible to your customer and allow them to join spontaneously.

Conclusion: Up to 50 participants, rooms can be made publicly accessible, no account is necessary to participate, as in general with Facebook data is collected here as well.

Zoom

With the Corona Pandemic, the American video conferencing solution Zoom also came around the corner, even though Zoom has been around since 2011. Zoom offers very good options, such as screen splitting, the option of setting up a virtual whiteboard that can be used during conferences, especially for conferences and business meetings. It is precisely the sharing of the screen that allows you, as a retailer, to present your latest products in catalogue form. In addition, files can be sent in the chat function and communication can be continued in writing. Zoom Meetings can be joined directly in the app or on the web with the Meeting ID. With the free version of Zoom, up to 100 people can attend a meeting for a maximum of 40 minutes. If a Zoom Call exceeds 100 participants and should last longer than 40 minutes, there are still paid offers from Zoom.

Conclusion: No account is required to participate. There are ways to share the screen and talk to multiple participants in the conference. In recent months, there have been growing security vulnerabilities and concerns. The free version is also limited in time.

Microsoft Teams

The American technology company Microsoft also offers a video chat solution with Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams is a free addition to the Microsoft 365 package that can be held online video meetings or even larger live events. It is possible to contact up to 10,000 participants at the same time. Participants can participate without the Teams app with an invitation through the web browser.

Conclusion: Number of participants with event size, integration with other Microsoft apps, screen sharing possible. Required for professional use of Microsoft 365 Business License.

Google Meet

Google Meet is the video communication service developed by Google, formerly known as Google Hangouts. Companies can make video calls with up to 100,000 subscribers. In addition, Gmail customers can start video chats with Google Meet directly from their mailbox sidebar. Google will be offering free video chats for up to 24 hours until the end of March next year, but these will be limited to 60 minutes. The use of artificial intelligence is intended to enable calls made to Google Meet, which automatically improves the image in low light conditions and filters out disturbing background noise.

Conclusion: AI to improve video quality has been positive. Unfortunately, the free version is limited in time.

mPocket

We at mPocket have also adapted a video chat solution specifically to the needs of customers and retailers. In our video chat solution, you can integrate your product catalogue directly and thus advise your customers more specifically. In order to offer the customer a simpler and more pleasant shopping and consulting experience, the shopping cart of your website can also be connected for ordering directly from the video chat. Give your staff and your customers with mPocket the opportunity to experience the consultation they know from brick-and-mortar stores despite the distance between the rooms.

Conclusion: Works on all mobile devices. Quick and easy setup. Very high comfort for customers and customer advisors. Product consultation, ordering, reservation and payment possible directly from the video chat.

Markus Demirci

Founder & CEO mPocket

Use video chat also in your store!

Prepared for local Christmas shopping

Prepared for local Christmas shopping

Prepared for the local Christmas shopping!

Find out how to prepare for the upcoming Christmas, especially this year.
 

 

Find out:

  • How will Corona continue to influence us and our brick-and-mortar stores?
  • How can you prepare your brick-and-mortar retail business for the upcoming Christmas business?
Reading time: 4 minutes

Corona infection numbers have now reached a new peak in Germany. In the Netherlands, the “partial lockdown”has already been called because of the high numbers, and restaurants, cafés and pubs are being closed again. The Corona situation is also uncertain in Germany, so brick-and-mortar shops should be prepared for everything. Digitalization and a sophisticated omnichannel strategy in particular can help here. At mPocket we want to help you prepare for all possible circumstances and the upcoming Christmas business.

Buying behavior and sales strategies have changed

Early 2020 especially March and April were the worst time for retail because of the Corona pandemic. Especially the brick-and-mortar shops and restaurants in our inner cities had to close temporarily. Thanks to the cross-border easing, the shops were gradually reopened in compliance with the hygiene measures. However, the purchasing behavior of customers has also adapted to the situation and many have moved to online shopping. This has already led to an increase in sales of EUR 2 billion compared to last year. Customers want to avoid contacts and have become accustomed to the convenience of online orders and deliveries home. But brick-and-mortar retailers have also tried to adapt as quickly as possible with new strategies and measures. More restaurants have offered deliveries and online orders. Dealers have started to advise their customers virtually, or have even teamed up with taxi companies to deliver their goods directly to the customer. Especially for the upcoming Christmas business, brick-and-mortar retailers need new solutions to meet the new buying behavior of their customers.

 

Respond to your customers’ new buying behavior

Last year, 62% of Christmas purchases were made in brick-and-mortar stores, and this is likely to change somewhat this year. Customers are less likely to stroll through the stores and more likely to make targeted Christmas purchases. With a personal consultation and the direct availability of the goods, you can continue to convince your customers even in their more targeted search. Even though many purchases are currently made online, 59% of respondents said in a survey that they would switch from pure online retail to a brick-and-mortar business with automation solutions. Since the local brick-and-mortar store has also despite the current COVID-19 situation still its advantages for the customers contrary to the pure online retailer. Especially when it comes to the topic of regional and local, brick-and-mortar stores are still the customers’ first point of contact. In the store, customers have the opportunity to test products for functionality and appearance and take them directly instead of waiting days, sometimes even weeks, for delivery. Offer your customers the opportunity to reserve the goods in your shop or to pick them up directly. In this way, you help to reduce their stay in public shops to the essentials and further protect them. Offer contactless payment options to reduce the risk of contagion for your customers and service personnel. In the event of another lockdown, you can deliver to customers in your area on the same day with a possible ordering and delivery option. This not only allows you to continue to pursue your day-to-day business in the best possible way, but also to convince your customers of you and your shop. Offer your customers specific appointments in your store to avoid large-scale gatherings in the premises and continue to offer more personal advice. As you can see there are some solutions for you as a local brick-and-mortar-store and part of a city/village community, how you can prepare for the coming weeks and months, to get out of another crisis better this time.

Contact us and learn how we at mPocket can support you with our digital solutions right now and also help you save your Christmas business.

Markus Demirci

Founder & CEO mPocket

Together, successful in the new “normality

5 video chat tools free of charge

5 video chat tools free of charge

5 video chat tool free of charge

Thanks to video chats, more visual contact in a contactless time.
Reading time: 3 minutes

We all know them and have just appreciated them during the contact restrictions in the pandemic. Virtual meetings, parties, birthdays, regular tables, live shopping or club meetings are part of our everyday life this year. Thanks to the countless video chat solutions from various platforms, we can see each other despite the social distancing regulations and communicate face-to-face with friends, family and colleagues. There are countless solutions to connect virtually with others via video chat, below we will introduce you to our top 5.

Apple FaceTime

Apple’s video chat solution for all iOS devices, whether on the iPhone, Apple Watch or MacBook, with FaceTime, Apple users can chat with up to 32 people simultaneously for free via video. FaceTime conversations and group calls can be started directly in the FaceTime app or iMessenger and are unlimited in time. However, FaceTime is only available on iOS devices and not for Android smartphones.

WhatsApp Video Call

Facebook’s American instant messaging service WhatsApp offers its 2 billion users worldwide the opportunity to connect with up to eight people simultaneously via video chat. WhatsApp video chat is possible for all WhatsApp users whether Android or iOS operating system on laptop or smartphone without any time limit.

Instagram Videochat

Facebook’s social media platform Instagram also offers your users the opportunity to communicate with up to six people in video chat. However, the company has already announced that it will soon offer a new feature in which you can start a video group call with up to 50 people thanks to the integration of Facebook’s Messenger feature.

Facebook Rooms

With the new Facebook Rooms Messenger, you can now make a group video call with up to 50 people at the same time on the Facebook platform. There is also good news for all non-Facebook users, because even people without a Facebook account can participate in group video calls with an invitation. Facebook also offers participants unlimited chat.

Zoom

With the Corona Pandemic, the American video conferencing solution Zoom also came around the corner, even though Zoom has been around since 2011. Zoom offers very good options, such as screen sharing, the option of setting up a virtual whiteboard that can be used during conferences, especially for conferences and business meetings. In addition, files can be sent in the chat function and communication can be continued in writing. Zoom Meetings can be joined directly in the app or on the web with the Meeting ID. With the free version of Zoom, up to 100 people can attend a meeting for a maximum of 40 minutes. If a zoom call exceeds 100 participants or should last longer than 40 minutes, there are still paid offers from Zoom.
Stay in touch during a contactless time!

Markus Demirci

Founder & CEO mPocket

Stay in touch during contactless times.

The “in-between” for your customers

The “in-between” for your customers

Why the "in-between" is crucial right now

Right now, your customers no longer want to have to choose between online and stationary shopping - they want an in-between.

Find out:

  • What has changed for your customers in brick-and-mortar stores?
  • Why do you need to offer your customers an “in-between”?
  • How can you create an “in-between” for your customers?
Reading time: 4 minutes

Even before the Corona crisis, the trend towards online shopping away from brick-and-mortar retail became clearer and was further strengthened by the crisis. We are all already aware that this is not a temporary trend. Not only does the risk of infection deter customers from longer shopping trips, but the contact restrictions also prevent them from sharing the shopping experience with others. With contactless solutions, you can create an experience in-between pure online shopping and shopping in your store and prevail against the great online competition.

Our “old brick-and-mortar shopping” has changed

With the crisis came the first lockdown for brick-and-mortar retail, stores had to be temporarily closed. Although 25% of respondents of a German Trendmonitor study are happy that they can finally shop back in stores, this mood has also been depressed. With the reopening of the stores, not only has the hygiene concept in brick-and-mortar retail changed, but also the changed purchasing behavior and the new purchasing trends of customers became clearer. 66% of the consumers surveyed said that they simply lost the fun of brick-and-mortar shopping. The compulsory mouth-nose masks scare the Germans’ purchases in shops in particular. Already 45% say that for this very reason they shop less frequently in local shops than they have done before. When consumers shop, the trend is more towards thrift, away from spontaneous impulse purchases, especially because of their own job and future uncertainty. Precisely because strolling, as we know it, is no longer possible in our inner cities with bans on contact and the current closures of the gastronomy.

Your customers expect a more social shopping experience in-between

At the beginning of the year, consumers were more satisfied with the stationary shopping experience than with the online one. Now with the Corona crises, the tide has turned faster than we wanted, because stationary customers currently lack the usual experience. When we think about why we like to shop in our inner cities, it is the social, the time together with others. We do not just go to the city on our own, we meet with our family and friends for shopping. We want to enjoy the time, stroll a bit, have a coffee in the café around the corner and just advise each other – whether it’s clothes or the gifts for the upcoming Christmas. When we look into our inner cities right now, we still see people shopping, but mostly alone or at most in pairs. It’s no longer a stroll, but rather the making of quick purchases. There is no fun, no coming together. Especially during the first lockdown it has been shown that digital solutions, such as voice messengers and video chats can help a bit to bring us back together. These digital contactless technologies can also help you as a retailer to help customers relive a shopping experience between online and offline. The demand for contactless technology is there, according to a study, 77% of customers want to use more contactless technologies now and in the period after that.

Convince your customers again with “In-between solutions”

With contactless solutions, you can offer your customers the security they are looking for right now, especially in brick-and-mortar retail. In a survey, 46% of respondents said they would prefer a brick-and-mortar store with automation solutions to pure online retail. Right now, give your customers the opportunity to contact and interact with yours from their safe home at any time, to get advice from you and to be supported in their purchase decision. Also, return the personal character to your advice online by allowing your customers to contact you via voice message or live chat. You may even go beyond it and incorporate Augmented Reality (AR) into your customer interaction. Offer your customers the opportunity to combine the stationary shopping experience with the security and convenience of online shopping with omnichannel solutions. By continuing to enable your customers to reserve their products online in your store, you continue to offer a comfortable, targeted, if shortened, stationary shopping experience. Start to give your customers a real shopping experience not only online or on-side, but in between.

Markus Demirci

Founder & CEO mPocket

A shopping experience for your customers ‘in-between

Successful Christmas business 2020

Successful Christmas business 2020

Successful Christmas business 2020

4 steps for your successful Christmas business even in the crisis year 2020

Find out:

  1. Step: Digitize your profile and products for more visibility and clickability
  2. Step: Interact with your customers in real time right now
  3. Step: Enable a smooth Christmas business at all touchpoints
  4. Step: Convince your customers of your business with automation
reading time: 4 minutes

Already at the beginning of November 2020 you should prepare as a trader for the upcoming slightly different Christmas business, it is even probably already much closer than you think. This year, 34% of consumers want to have all their Christmas shopping done before December, right now. But there is also good news for you and your Christmas business. 53% of Germans surveyed said they still want to spend as much in this crisis year of 2020 as they did for Christmas last year. With these 4 easy steps to a more successful Christmas business:

1. Digitize your profile and products for more visibility and clickability

In 2020, customers’ buying behaviour has changed significantly towards online shopping, especially due to the Corona crisis and the temporary store closures at the beginning of the year. Although there are fewer customers this year than before, 52% of consumers still want to buy their products in local shops this Christmas. Nevertheless, your customers usually also inform themselves online before they shop in the store. That’s why it’s important, even if you don’t have an online store, that your products are visible to customers online. Digitize your products and keep your product catalog up-to-date in your Google MyBusiness account. For example, Productscup can support your product data in the most relevant channels, such as Google Shopping Ads, Facebook Ads, etc. In this way, you and your assortment become more visible and discoverable for customers, which leads to a visit to the shop the following day, especially with local searches in 76% of cases. A clear competitive advantage for the Christmas business.

2.Interact with your customers in real time right now

Especially this year, interaction with customers is important, communicate that you want to support your customers in the Christmas business again. However, in order to reduce the risk of infection, customers no longer simply go to the store to learn more about products and their availability. Advise and inform your customers about your products in real time, no matter where the customer is. Already, 64% of customers expect to be able to interact with companies in real time. Especially online chats, live chat engagements, messenger apps are becoming more and more important to customers here. Use the various platforms and services to be there for your customers, answer questions, advise them and convince them of your business.

3. Enable a smooth Christmas at all touchpoints

Especially in the Christmas business, customers prefer to have the products immediately and avoid missing availability and nerve-wracking delivery difficulties in the best possible way. That is why it is important right now that you always have an up-to-date overview of your inventory in the shops and warehouse. You should also link your online channels to your brick-and-mortar store. This allows you to offer your customers more easily to reserve and pick up products online, in-store. Order management solutions such as Fluentcommerce’s can provide you with enormous support. With omnichannel solutions such as Click& Collect and Buy Online Pick-Up In-Store, you can help your customers complete all Christmas shopping online and stationary in good time and guarantee your sales. You cannot deliver from your warehouse at the same time in every region. Apple has already taken on this challenge this year and is now also using the Apple Stores as a warehouse and delivering directly from there to the customer. Take advantage of the proximity to the customer and offer delivery to your customers in the area.

4. Convince your customers of your business with automation

Your clients are all different in their own way, one wants to seek advice the other wants to be left alone and right now during the crisis many avoid personal advice in the business. With the help of automation technologies, offer your customers to decide for themselves whether and when they want to interact with your staff or how they want to pay. According to one study, 46% of consumers would switch from a pure online store to a brick-and-mortar business with automation. With automation, you can also gain a competitive advantage over pure online retailers and at the same time offer online comfort in the brick-and-mortar store.

Contact us and find out how we can support you in all steps.

Markus Demirci

Gründer & CEO mPocket

Stay informed!

Second Corona Lockdown

Second Corona Lockdown

Second Corona Lockdown

How you and your store can get through the second Corona Lockdown

Find out:

  • How do you have to act now in the second lockdown?
  • How do you save your revenue with digital solutions for your customer touchpoints?
  • Why different forms of interaction can help you?
Reading time: 4 minutes
Our economy has just tried to recover from the first lockdown in the spring of 2020, and some industries are already hitting the second partial lockdown. Retailers, restaurants and service providers in particular were hit by the last lockdown and are now being hit directly again by the closures and restrictions. Many industries fear that this lockdown in autumn/winter could further damage and destroy the livelihoods of their businesses. For this reason, you should react and act immediately this time.

Act as quickly as possible

After the number of infections in Germany has risen steadily in recent weeks and months and is still rising, the government has decided to go into the partial lockdown. In contrast to the last lockdown, however, the lucrative Christmas business is already just around the corner. That’s why it’s important to react right now to get the best out of your business. Even after the last lockdown, it became clear that customers are now only shopping specifically when needed,instead of strolling through the inner cities and shops as before. Looking back on the temporary business closures, however, it is also clear that more and more is bought online instead of in brick-and-mortar stores. Because of the bans on contact, temporary business closures and reductions in visitor numbers, you can probably already prepare for missing customers now. Be prepared with digital solutions to secure at least a part of your customers and your revenue.

Think in touchpoints during a contactless time

Any contact you have with your customers is called touchpoints. From the point at which you draw the customer’s attention to you and your products with your advertising, to the all-important purchase, which perhaps even convinces the customer to become a regular customer and fan. Right now, it’s important that you pick up your customers wherever they want to get in touch with you. Respond to the purchasing behavior changes during Corona and offer your customers the convenience and security of online shopping also in brick-and-mortar. With Omnichannel solutions for your retail, you can also be available for your customers for shopping under the restrictions and guarantee your ROI. Offer your customers to reserve or pick up products in-store to guarantee availability and reduce on-site stays. Especially during the Christmas season, availability and delivery time will play a decisive role in customers’ purchasing decisions. In addition to shipping from the warehouse, you can also use the shop to ship goods to your customers on the same day, especially for local orders. For example, use the Endless Aisle solution as an extended counter in the store and offer products in your store without having them directly available. This allows your customers to select products and variants in the store and get them safely delivered directly to their home. You also allow the prescribed distances in business premises to be adhered to while making it more visually inviting to customers.

Convince your customers with the right customer interaction solutions

Especially in this difficult and still very uncertain time, the interaction with your customers has become even more important than ever. Communicate that you are still there for your customers and want to be at their side, like every year, to help them find the right gifts for their loved ones at Christmas. Of course, personal interaction directly on site in the store has become more difficult right now due to the distance rules and also the mouth-nose mask obligation. That’s why it’s time to communicate in person in other digital ways. You can advise your customers in-store or outside with online messengers, social media, WhatsApp and other media, because the majority of your customers are already online anyway. To make the whole thing even more personal and visual, there is also the possibility of a live or video chat. Here you can show your customers products using real-time interactions to continue to advise them personally even during the contact restrictions. Combine the ordering option directly into Messenger and continue to provide an interactive, personal shopping experience despite the limitations. Shopping becomes a digital shopping experience like in brick-and-mortar retail.

Markus Demirci

Founder & CEO mPocket

Use Google Shopping Ads – Especially Now!