Need to maximize the value of every website visitor? Afraid the big online retailers are stealing your customers on price alone? Here’s what some small retailers are doing to fight back. They’re chatting online with web visitors so that what might have been an impersonal visit to a cold distant website becomes a shopping experience with personal interaction.
Sam Walton of Wal Mart always told the local retailers who were concerned about his competition to give people what his stores couldn’t – personal service. This is the online equivalent.
Most retailers didn’t seem to listen in the brick and mortar world. Some are taking advantage of the concept online as this WSJ article notes.
The concept works best when you have a product or service with a high enough profit margin to justify the time spent chatting. This doesn’t work for book sites, but if you are a used car lot selling online too, it may be a different matter.
Example cited: Backcountry.com