How Intercom Creates the Best Shopping Experience

22.07.2016

A few weeks ago the Atomic Reach team attended the Inside Intercom event in the Daniels Spectrum community culture hub in Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood. At the time, we were struggling to come up with an organized way to approach the many ideas we had for growth and customer retention. 

After attending this event, we left with great strategies that would help it all come together.

The Inside Intercom World Tour focuses “solely on what it takes to make a great product”. Each speaker told their personal experiences from working in the product marketing industry. The topics in this two-part series will highlight:

  • The Shopping Cart Experience (Part I)
  • Customer Support (Part 2)
  • Product Engineering and Marketing through work culture (Part 3)
  • Product Marketing for Intercom (Part 4)

To give you a bit more info as to what or who Intercom is, they are a “customer platform with a suit of products for live chat, marketing, feedback, and support.”

We use their app on our website and within the Atomic Reach platform, to ensure that users or visitors always have a way to talk to us. We love it.

Here’s what we found super useful from the Inside Intercom Toronto event.

Abandon Your Shopping Cart

linda

Coming from their San Francisco office, Linda’s team handles recent product launches and the steps to create that experience. The team’s vision is to transform software, shopping, commerce, and software education into a more human and personal experience.

She points out that the online shopping experience should be approached from a real-world perspective.

Problems with Pricing Pages and Packages

Linda lists real problems with pricing pages she’s seen, and guilty to say, but we’ve also committed some of them. Here’s what you should be cautious of when designing your own:

  • Not showing enough information or too much all at once
  • Having to fill in long forms when you just want to try the product
  • Requesting too much information even before people are ready to purchase
  • Too many packages that do not suit customers’ needs

Takeaway: Only ask for one thing at a time, show them a buying journey that is short, simple, and determined by their actions.

Bringing a shopper’s mentality from the real-world to online

Linda says that we often think that doing something ourselves saves us time and hassle.

Take for example the self-checkout service at your local grocery store. In your mind you’re tired after work and don’t feel like chitchatting with the cashier. You confidently head to the self-checkout area where you can efficiently pay for your groceries without having to turn your brain on to talk to someone when you’re tired.

Technology has reduced the time brands might have with a customer. This change takes away from customer discovery and making personal emotional connection.

On the flip side, she highlights that all isn’t lost.

For example, people more than ever, love going to farmer's markets. This kind of shopping experience combine technology and business innovations with person-to-person conversations and connections. Visitors often love tasting the food, talking to the makers of the product, and are now able to pay for products using technology like Square, Ritual, Apply Pay, and portable card machines.

Linda reminds us all to “remember, full service customers might also start off as self-serve customers”. In this aspect we should:

  • Figure out what our goal is in the shopping process
  • Think about how we want to improve a customer’s shopping experience AND their lives.
  • Design a shopping cart experience that is tailored to our products and our values

Improving your site and pricing page interface

To keep your customers focused on the key details of your site, Linda says to highlight certain interfaces and design them for your customer. You can encourage visitors to actually read and be engaged with your site by avoiding technical feature terms. Keep the message short, fun, and on-brand.

pricing

In the midst of the buying process, lay out what they need to do, one step at a time with identifiers like numbers. If they require a custom plan, you can make this a separate step, and encourage them to continue the conversation though Intercom.

Coming up next

Linda's talk was the first of four sessions we'll be writing about. From the first instalment of this Intercom series, I'd love to know what made for a great online shopping experience for you. Tell us in the comments below and share this article!

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