The pandemic has created a major shift in the retail landscape. While customer experience has long been of paramount significance, the experience itself is in need of a change because consumers’ expectations, behaviors, and priorities have evolved in this new environment. Samsung is leading the innovation charge by reimagining retail’s next chapter of digital, physical, and immersive shopping experiences. We are “unwriting the rules” of the traditional shopping experience for both our direct-to-consumer (DTC) and carrier and retail partner channels – with a focus on blending digital and physical realms, as well as offering consumers safe, touch-free options.
Leveraging Live Virtual Assistants to Create Rich Omnichannel Experiences
Samsung has launched its Live Virtual Assistant offering for U.S. customers – a first-to-market video-powered solution for the U.S. consumer electronics space. By bridging the online and offline gap, Live Virtual Assistant provides virtual customer consultations to blend the digital buying experience with in-store human interaction.
We provide the ability to virtually connect with a Samsung product expert, anywhere, through real-time video interactions. The seamless experience is initiated on Samsung.com and fulfilled with our physical location and sales experts.Live Virtual Assistant was developed in partnership with Go Instore, which also supported a comparable customer-centric offering for Samsung in the UK. Here is how it works:
Customers shopping on Samsung.com/US can connect with Samsung Experience Store experts from the safety and convenience of their homes.
Enabled by secure one-way video, customers can quickly explore a range of Samsung products and receive expert advice and demonstrations to help support their purchasing decision.
A new ‘Add to Basket’ feature was recently included whereby the Samsung Experience Store expert can add items to the customer’s cart so they can review and complete their order at their convenience.
To date, Samsung Live Virtual Assistant has powered more than eight thousand virtual calls with a high satisfaction score, averaging 4.5 out of 5. Furthermore, Live Virtual Assistant is bringing the best of Samsung’s Experience Stores, which include brick-and-mortar destinations in New York, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, and Houston, to consumers nationwide via a new DTC virtual shopping experience that’s open during East Coast and West Coast store hours.
Stay tuned for other Live Virtual Assistant features, including live virtual workshops and livestream shopping.
Safety Drives Touchless Mobile, TV & Audio Display Innovations
Consumers are now ever more cautious about what they touch in public due to the pandemic. In March, when many of Samsung’s retail partners temporarily closed their doors to adhere to government-mandated pandemic measures, we began to think about the road to reopening with an emphasis on in-store safety.
Various Samsung business units – from home entertainment and home appliance to mobile and business-to-business, formed a cross-functional task force to conceive new ways in which touchless retail solutions could be incorporated into the in-store experience. With the goal of maintaining the health and safety of retail associates and customers – which is priority number one, Samsung compressed the development cycle of an in-market solution to less than five months.
The results are gesture-based and QR code-driven controls that allow for Samsung product exploration and discovery without the need to physically touch the products themselves. For instance, through a hand gesture to activate a demonstration of a soundbar or a quick QR scan that triggers a ‘retail mode’ on the consumer’s mobile device, we are creating new experiences that speak to modern-day shoppers — individuals who are cautious of heightened global health concerns, but also eager to shop with confidence in a safe in-store environment.
Currently, these touchless solutions are integrated into mobile displays across approximately 10,000 carrier and retail partner locations and in TV and audio displays in more than 150 retailers as part of a pilot program with the expectation of rolling out more broadly in 2021. Moreover, based on positive early data from in-store solutions, Samsung mobile is designing a scalable web-based ‘retail mode’ platform to power online product exploration experiences.
Through the power of bold technology, we are providing customers with the option to get the same unparalleled Samsung service in whichever environment they are comfortable with. Be it through video, voice, online, or in-store, we are fast-tracking innovation to engage our customers in new and compelling ways to meet their needs and provide a safe shopping experience.
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