This information is correct as of 20th March 2020
Our mission at Hero is to help stores unlock their competitive edge — leveraging their unique ability to forge human connections with customers, whether in-person or digitally. Stores across the world rely on Hero everyday to connect with online customers via text, chat and video.
During this unprecedented time, our attention has turned to helping our retail partners keep continuity; maintaining connections with their customers, even as much of the world is asked to stay at home and many stores close temporarily.
We wanted to highlight some of the ways our partners are reacting to the changing landscape during the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Bringing the physical store to online customers
With stores closed, partners including rag & bone, DVF and Credo Beauty are encouraging their customers to shop online — and seeing increased web traffic and sales.
Across email, social media and online communications, they are reminding customers that they are not alone, and that their store teams are available to assist them, just like when shopping in person.
As such, we’re seeing significant growth in conversation volume — a 29% increase in the U.S. and a 21% increase in Europe — as consumers continue to shop online, especially between the hours of 9am and 6pm. The number of consumer who made a purchase after interacting via Hero has also increased 42% from the same time period a year ago.
2. Selling via video chat
Earlier this year, we launched a new feature which enabled video calling between store associates and customers.
Last week, we began rolling out video calling to even more partners and stores, ensuring that customers can still get the experience of the store, wherever they are.
This will be an increasingly important feature for our partners as shoppers crave greater human connection over the coming weeks.
Credo stores video calling with customers at home via HERO
3. Store associates working-from-home
Store associates have been less able to work from home like many colleagues in head office, until now.
As stores temporarily close, associates using Hero are able to continue working remotely with their own smartphone or tablet — assisting online shoppers and earning incremental income for themselves and their business.
In the next few days, our partners at Three; the UK’s most innovative carrier, are rolling out Three Store Now (powered by Hero) to hundreds more stores and thousands of associates.
Their CEO Robert Finnegan commented: “We are training all our retail staff to be able to support customers through Three Store Now, a new service whereby customers can chat with retail staff while they are using the website.”
4. Texting with loyal customers
Hero’s Contacts feature enables retail associates to stay in touch with existing customers via text. With these loyal customers typically representing significant revenues — Hero is helping stores and their key customers keep in contact via messaging, even if they can’t shop together in person.
Last week, our partners at Annoushka, the luxury jewelry retailer in the UK and Hong Kong spoke with Internet Retailing about the importance of clienteling with Hero, commenting “never have our virtual sales platforms been more important to us as a business and for our global clients who may be feeling entirely isolated.”
With increased usage of Contacts expected over the next few months, we’ve worked with our SMS delivery partners to provide unlimited free messaging so that retailers can keep growing their global conversations.
As a young business dedicated to helping stores thrive, this is a huge test for both us and our industry — we’re humbled to being playing our part to help.
Every day brings new developments and challenges — we’re grateful to our entire team (now working from home, across London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, New York, Austin, San Diego, Los Angeles and Hong Kong) for their tireless efforts and to our retail partners for the continued support and belief.