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T hanks to the Internet, consumers can tackle many retail issues themselves, from researching products prior to purchase to digitally “trying on” cosmetics. Now some of the most nagging tasks associated with online shopping can be addressed, thanks to a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform.

“People can get more done quickly on the Internet, but what it has lacked is a personal way to shop,” says Yuval Moed, co-founder and CEO of HBR Labs, the company behind VeriShow. “You can buy a book online for less than going to Barnes & Noble, but people still go for the experience and interaction.”

Moed says VeriShow “mimics” the positive aspects of in-store shopping, and believes consumers are more comfortable spending more if they feel there is a human element to shopping online.

“Internet retailers and their customers expect top-notch live help and real-time online sales and support,” he says. “We’ve already seen tremendous interest in the VeriShow solution built on the LivePerson platform.”

Facebook integration
VeriShow has been used for content-sharing and video conferencing and is now blossoming in the retail universe. To further increase accessibility, a new live support feature is available to add to retailers’ or manufacturers’ Facebook pages. Once a retailer partners with VeriShow, the Facebook application is added to its Facebook page and a Live Help button is displayed for their Facebook customers. Clicking the button lets customers chat and view content with no download or installation required.

“We provide the company with the ways to add the call button to their site or page,” Moed says. “When the customers click it, the platform will instantaneously launch on the agent side and the customer can start the communication immediately.” What makes Facebook so attractive, he adds, is that social networking is already an interactive platform — the consumer is engaged and interested in immediate knowledge and information.

“Facebook is another communication avenue and it’s effective,” says Moed. “Companies can use this to encourage customers to come to the Facebook page for support, thereby giving your Facebook interactions a business meaning.”

Consumers have become used to seeing web ads, Moed says, but “add a live help button to your banner or text ad and potential customers will get to a live sales rep quickly and easily — which helps to move the sales process along toward completion. We have found that adding this technology to a banner or text ad increases sales dramatically.”

Leveraging the sales ticket
Showing and telling is extremely important for generating sales, especially for expensive (jewelry) or more complicated (appliances) merchandise. Other applications with a retailing reach include detailing new pharmaceuticals to doctors or pharmacists, or having a home center associate “share” designs for a new kitchen without the client coming to the store.

“It is like OnStar in your car but for understanding a product,” says industry consultant Allan Mottus, who thinks any avenue merchants can use to educate shoppers will separate them from the competition. Mottus adds that live support and real-time collaboration are two of the brightest areas in the web business as companies look to maximize online opportunities.

VeriShow is easy for users because no downloads or installations are required. And to help companies looking to go global, VeriShow features an instant chat translator.