Phocuswright 2015: Moxie launches concierge bell icon to solve the ‘empty store syndrome’ online

Phocuswright 2015: Moxie launches concierge bell icon to solve the ‘empty store syndrome’ online

A digital customer concierge specialist that works with luxury operator Sandals claims it can “fix e-commerce”, bringing conversion rates more in line with physical stores.

Moxie has publically launched its ‘bell’ solution for websites that allows customers to easily access advice or information, especially on mobile.

The Moxie bell icon sits on product pages, when touched or clicked it offers three forms of help: ‘chat’, ‘information’, or ‘email’, providing a virtual shop assistant experience.

Pitching the company during the Travel Innovation Summit at last week’s Phocuswright conference in Florida, Nikhil Govindaraj, Moxie’s products vice president, said:

“We believe e-commerce is broken. It’s the empty store syndrome. Look no further than conversion rates. Travel is hard, it’s a complicated problem.

“There are layers of complexity and you expect your customers to be travel agents. You get them to your site and then you say go figure it out on your own.”

Moxie says its ‘bell’ enables brands to offer a concierge service and effectively staff an online store as a retailer would a physical shop.

With travel conversion rates at 4% for desktop, 2% for tablet and just 1% for mobile compared to the 20 to 30% seen in stores, it believes it has a huge addressable market.

Sandals has been trialling the bell for three months, it has 49 different rooms types which suits the firm operationally but can potentially confuse customers.

Moxie vice president for marketing, Tara Sporrer, said: “They like the flexibility of having this many room types, but realise it’s overwhelming to their users.

“Now as a customer, they know something about me when I hit that bell and they can offer me only the most appropriate product, the top three rooms types relevant to me.

“It’s a simple idea. When you walk into a store someone reads your body language and decides how the can help you. Conversion rates online are so low because no one is staffing the store.”

Shinola, a luxury fashion retailer Moxie is also working with, saw a conversion uplift of a quarter of one per cent which, while small, can make a huge difference to an online retailer.

The Moxie interface has been designed specifically for mobile so that there is no pop-up but an overlay meaning that the customer does not lose the product page they are on.

It also provides customers with a simple mechanism to adapt and bespoke messaging without having to go through the approval of the IT department, said Sporrer.

Moxie does not offer a click to call function, believing that people today do not want to make phone calls unless they really have to and are happy to communicate on mobile via email.

Sporrer said the value of Moxie as a third party provider is that is can show retailers what is happening on their websites in real-time so they can fix it.

“Companies have a lot of analytics data so they know what happened one hour ago but they don’t know what’s happening right now.

“We have the ability to show to customers what a customer did when we showed them an offer.

“We know mobile folks do not want to use the phone. It tends to be a complaint line. The digital channel tends to be the sales funnel. Phoning is the last resort.”

Moxie hopes the bell icon will become synonymous online with customer service and shoppers will look for it when they visit a site.

Sporrer said clients have asked to customise the bell, but other than changing the colour Moxie is aiming for consistency so that it comes to be known as a service that works.

Moxie also works in the corporate travel sector with global TMC Carlson Wagonlit and outside of the US is focusing growth on the UK, German and South African markets.

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