Can an Ecommerce Player Offer Personal Service?

Interesting Ideas to Offer Personal Service to Ecommerce Shoppers

Personal Ecommerce Service
Personal Ecommerce Service. GaryAlvis / E+ / Getty Images

If you have read my article about the disadvantages of ecommerce, you know that I rate the lack of personal touch as a huge negative. Do you think that ecommerce websites can evolve to a point where they can offer personal service to shoppers? Is that too much to expect? Or are we expecting customers to change their behavior, and no longer expect personal service? Can discounted online prices substitute personal service?

What Is Personal Service, and Why Is it Necessary in a Retail Setting?

Unless we are only purchasing basic commodities, I think that personal service can make all the difference to the customer's purchase process. I come from an era where physical stores were the only venue to make a purchase. And I am old enough to proclaim that I have shopped with online retailers for a shorter period than I have shopped exclusively at offline retailers. So I might be biased in my belief that personal service is highly desirable. Despite how strongly you feel about this matter, you will find the following futuristic suggestions interesting.

Can Ecommerce Provide the Human Touch?

When I enter a physical store, there is usually someone who smiles and greets me. Can that be emulated in an ecommerce setting? When I face a dilemma or run into a problem, someone in the store empathizes with me, if not offers a solution.

How do I get that at an ecommerce merchant?

Is It Possible to Simulate the Customer's Need to Converse With a Salesperson?

I am not a big talker while shopping, but several people are chatty shoppers. Could there be an opportunity for an ecommerce developer to create a slick piece of code that would interact with the customer during the purchase process?

Can an Ecommerce Website Offer Suggestions, Like a Salesperson Would?

Most ecommerce websites have a widget that makes product recommendations, but that is a mechanistic approach. Would we reach a point where data mining and analytics would become sophisticated to the point where suggestions seem as if they were coming from a friend?

Would a Customer Be Able to Bargain on an Ecommerce Website?

Many customers hate bargaining, and would rather deal with a fixed price, but bargaining drives several offline markets. This can reach a point where customers enjoy bargaining as a sport. In a limited sense, an auction website, such as eBay, offers some ability to dictate price. But research in developing true bargaining algorithms is at a nascent stage. If there were enough consumer interest, would there be some ecommerce websites in the future that would allow bargaining?

Can the Ecommerce Software Offer Product Opinions to the Prospect?

"Do you think this pair of jeans is too blue?" I don't know about you, but I have often asked questions of this type. And I rue the fact that an ecommerce website does not permit me to do that. Would the ecommerce website of the future make it possible for customers to get human-like opinions?

Most of the points raised in this article would be regarded as impractical today. But if they are also regarded as desirable, then I hope that the time will come when someone goes ahead and makes them technologically possible.