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Study: Digital assistants increase consumers’ purchase confidence

Consumers are warming up to digital assistants to better navigate complex online assortments, and make better purchase decisions.

Not only are more online shoppers craving interactive, conversational decision support on digital channels, 81% said using a digital sales assistant would increase their purchase decision-confidence, according to “Humanizing Digital 2020,” a study from digital advice technology provider SmartAssistant.

According to data, more than half (54%) of consumers have stopped purchasing products from a brand or retailer website because choosing was too difficult, while 42% abandoned a planned purchase because there was too much choice. However, being offered honest, personal advice during the digital shopping experience could change the game for 68% of customers.

For example, 44% of consumers expect proactive product recommendations and tips when shopping online. These services can be provided by digital assistants, intelligence-driven, dialogue-based solutions that guide shoppers to the right products based on their needs.

While only 14% of consumers have used digital sales assistants in the last year, over three-times as many (46%) demanded brands and retailers integrate them on their online sites after seeing an example. Eighty eight percent of customers believe it is beneficial for online stores to have digital sales assistants, and 72% of consumers said that the solutions are most helpful for finding and choosing products.

“It’s clear: e-commerce has made shopping more convenient, but the increased amount of choice is confusing consumers to the point that they’re feeling incredibly overwhelmed, leaving websites without buying,” Markus Linder, SmartAssistant founder and president.

“Customers want interactive, human-like support from technology that can offer personalized help in real-time,” Linder added. “The research shows that retailers and brands that make their online offer more 'human' — by providing intelligent, interactive assistance and guidance — are best placed to fulfill today’s customer expectations and make more sales.”

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