In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
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It does that by giving the agent visibility into a database that’s captured whatever order information has been entered by the shopper on the retailer’s site. The eStara technology finds the caller’s order information in the database by means of an identifying code assigned to the order information as soon as it was entered by the shopper, even though the information is not yet attached to a customer’s name. By clicking to call, the customer sends a message that pulls up the right order information, by code, on the responding agent’s screen.
The eStara technology automating that process is gradually being added to the Commerce Service Center product already in use at ATG retailer clients. Promotions, session history and order content will be visible to the agent so the customer who calls doesn’t have to recreate his shopping cart to share with the agent. And that, ATG believes, could boost sales by reducing shopping cart abandonment in such scenarios, perhaps by as much as 25% to 35%, according to Coleman.
The importance of providing a good shopping experience and supporting that with the best possible customer service is nothing new to retailers. But the online channel already has changed what defines success in those areas, and advancing e-commerce technology promises to do more of the same. Whether it’s technology that provides shoppers with a richer interaction at the front end, or gives site operators a more seamless operational execution on the back end, the options for online retailers will continue to expand, leaving retailers with more to ponder and select from in deciding how to best represent their brand.
“That is the focus for us,” says Robinson. “As new technology comes along, we ask, is there something we can do to give the customer a better experience?”
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