Consumers love a bargain and, as one online jewelry retailer is learning, consumers love to negotiate on price.
But Savvy Watch, a five-year-old online retailer selling timepieces and born from a brick-and-mortar retail business founded in 1949, didn’t deploy PriceWaiter, an e-commerce negotiation technology, to deliver on just those consumer wants.
The etailer was hoping to engage deeper with shoppers, drive customer loyalty and foster a greater customer experience. And since deployment in 2015, the tool has been delivering on all those expectations and more.
Before deploying PriceWaiter, which lets customers post a bid price, the third generation company's shoppers had the typical e-commerce experience – browse, select and buy a watch. They had the option of calling the company's customer service to inquire about a lower price or discount but often such shoppers would just end up leaving the site to shop somewhere else, CEO Ryan Wilson told Retail Customer Experience
"Such is life in the world of online retail; price comparison has always been part of the industry, and customers would bounce around site to site looking for the best deal," he said. In deploying PriceWaiter, Savvy Watch was provided an opportunity to convert that customer on the spot, before they leave to price compare elsewhere.
"We get the conversion, and the customer feels rewarded in their search for a value on a quality product. Additionally, PriceWaiter gives us the ability to collect an email address on each offer, allowing us to keep in contact with that customer, create loyalty and increase conversion rates down the line," said Wilson.
Not only is the negotiating feature also spurring repeat customer business, it's improving customer site retention rate and brand loyalty, said Wilson.
"With PriceWaiter, we've seen an increase in conversions of about nine percent – a significant bump by e-commerce standards," he said, adding that the feature's exit intent banner tool is helping engage and convert even more shoppers than before the technology deployment.
"One in every five offers we get through PriceWaiter ends up in a converted transaction. It's without a doubt one of our top-performing lead sources," he noted.
The successful return-on-investment reflects the fact that price is the No. 1 factor in the buying decision and online retailers are leveraging negotiation to convert price-conscious shoppers, PriceWaiter COO Andrew Scarbrough told Retail Customer Experience
"When retailers engage a comparison shopper with negotiation we're seeing over one-in-four offers turn into a completed transaction. And that's a transaction where the shopper gets a "win" and the retailer can drive additional profitable revenue, their own 'win'," he said.
His company's technology reflects the innovation taking place in ecommerce, he noted. And how retailers big and small are focusing on conversion tactics to better convert hard earned traffic.
"Consumers and retailers value both time and money, and PriceWaiter saves consumers both," he said, adding that a consumer will often "upgrade" original purchase intent because a larger purchase, at a negotiated price, is now within their reach.
"We've seen an eight percent uptick in average order value for retailers using PriceWaiter," he said. "For the consumer, the ability to negotiate simply, quickly and privately on the spot is more efficient and often more satisfying versus comparison shopping or haggling over the phone."
The technology uses both human and machine learning to drive efficient and favorable negotiations, he explained.
"Maintaining customer loyalty and brand connection is precisely one of the reasons why we created PriceWaiter. Amazon continues to post record numbers and essentially requires that online retailers sell on Amazon.com to be relevant," Scarbrough said, adding, "as former online retailers, we felt this pressure and felt what was lost when a shopper purchased our product via Amazon."
No retailers, he said, wants Amazon taking any more of their margins, or their customers.
While the tool has the word price in its name, the model, said Scarbrough, is focused on helping make a transaction and not about price.
"PriceWaiter is a tool that actually helps retailers engage customers, in a way that allow much more than price -- for example, service, quality, etc. -- to enter into the conversation, where in many cases before, a retailer would not have had the opportunity."
/ Judy Mottl is an experienced editor, reporter and blogger who has worked for top media including AOL, InformationWeek and InternetNews. She’s written everything from breaking news to in-depth trends. She loves a great pitch so email here, follow on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.