Could these digital shopping assistants replace sales associates?

As we previously reported, Facebook is developing its own digital assistant called Moneypenny, which will directly rival on-demand concierge service, Magic. Now, Scratch has entered the ring, with an app aimed at connecting consumers with real people to help them buy products and services online. The Boston-based startup recently raised $US3.6 million, reports TechCrunch. However, one major difference that sets Scratch apart is the claim that its prices are the same as purchasing from a retailer, charging no additional fees for delivery. Scratch also offers a “Best Price Promise,” meaning that if a customer finds a lower price online within 30 days of purchasing on Scratch, they will refund the difference. It is also available on the web, in addition to its mobile app.

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E-commerce companies are making greater use of shopping assistants whose job is to act almost like a retail store associate — helping shoppers making decisions during their visit. This strategy allows online retailers to remove a major advantage that brick-and-mortar stores have: on-site customer service. And we know that many consumers stillvalue the assistance provided by in-store sales associates.

  • 90% of US shoppers said they would be more likely to make a purchase when helped by a sales associate, according to a survey conducted by TimeTrade. Shoppers turn to sales associates to determine the product’s value, quality, and reliability.

Here are other stories you need to know from today’s E-COMMERCE INSIDER:

  • ORDERING FOOD ONLINE IS TAKING OVER DELIVERY
  • A FINAL LOOK AT PAYPAL AS PART OF EBAY
  • COMPANIES IN THE NEWS

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