Is Shopware 6 Guided Shopping a competitor for offline retail?

In times of digitalization, more and more purchases are being made online. But what does this mean for classic offline retail? Can Shopware 6 Guided Shopping, a new function of the well-known e-commerce system, represent competition for brick-and-mortar retail? This article looks at this question and highlights the advantages and disadvantages of both variants of shopping.

Shopware 6 Guided Shopping is on everyone's lips and is being billed as the future of online shopping. But what does this mean for classic offline retail? Will it be rendered obsolete by this new technology or can it continue to exist? In this article, we will address these questions and find an answer to the competition issue.

At a time when more and more people are shopping online, the question arises whether traditional retail still has a future. Shopware 6 Guided Shopping could be a turning point in this regard and revolutionize online retail. It is therefore of great importance to investigate what impact this will have on brick-and-mortar retail.

The aim of this article is to explain how Shopware 6 Guided Shopping works and to show its advantages for online retailers. Furthermore, a comparison between online and offline shopping will be drawn to find out whether Shopware 6 Guided Shopping is a serious competitor for brick-and-mortar retail.

In 2021, the feature was introduced at the Shopware Community Day. We think that Guided Shopping could compete with local retail. After all, the point of personal advice is often mentioned as an advantage of local retail.

With the Guided Shopping function, this personal advice is now also offered online. Customers can now be advised and store from the comfort of their own homes. The Guided Shopping function fits perfectly into a store's system landscape and works together with the existing e-commerce infrastructure. The aim of Guided Shopping is to actively support the customer in making a purchase decision. By finding suitable products together, the user experience is enhanced.

The core idea of Guided Shopping is that a guide communicates with the customer via an online presentation. In other words, "real human contact" - only online. Your customers can make a live appointment via chat in your store and meet the guide via video in the store. The guide has the possibility to navigate through the store. Meanwhile, the customers can permanently track where the guide is at the moment. The guide has the option of highlighting individual elements in the store for the participants.

This means: Guided Shopping offers you the possibility to organize interactive live-video events without having to change a presentation tool or the online store.

It can be said that Guided Shopping is perfectly suited to advise your customers. It should be said that this function is particularly suitable for online stores that offer advice-intensive assortments. With advice-intensive products, you can create the decisive added value with the right concept of your Guided Shopping approach to offer your customers a special buying experience.

An Example for Guided Shopping from the Homepage of Shopware

What is Shopware 6 Guided Shopping?

Shopware 6 Guided Shopping is a new type of e-commerce technology. It provides customers with a personal assistant who guides them through the buying process and recommends suitable products. The customer answers specific questions about his or her preferences and needs, and appropriate products are suggested. The advantage of a real store visit - but from the comfort of your own couch.

This procedure can also be automated to a certain extent; for many points, a human is then no longer necessary in the background and costs can be saved.

For whom is Guided Shopping suitable?

There are a few technical requirements involved. For technical reasons, Guided Shopping is currently only available with Shopware's self-managing solution. Therefore, it should be said that it is currently only suitable for larger stores. However, this may change in the future. After all, Guided Shopping is still in its infancy and there are already plans to extend it to other editions.

You don't know exactly what PWA is? Here you can find our article about Shopware PWA.

Next, we want to give you a few scenarios where Guided Shopping can be used.

  1. Digital sales presentations
  2. Kitchen planners can be used to design a fitted kitchen in a digital way. IKEA, for example, carries out such digital kitchen planning and navigates the customer through the store in the process.
  3. Live Shopping Events with targeted product presentations

What are actually the advantages of Guided Shopping?

Shopware 6 Guided Shopping offers numerous benefits for online retailers. Personalized advice improves the shopping experience for the customer, which can lead to higher sales figures and customer satisfaction. In addition, targeted recommendations can prevent incorrect purchases, which in turn leads to a lower rate of returns.

The customer feels better looked after and is recommended exactly the product that meets his needs. This also increases the likelihood that the customer will complete the purchase.

On the other hand, Shopware 6 Guided Shopping recommendations can increase sales. Through targeted references to additional products or alternatives, the customer can be led to a higher-priced product or a multiple purchase is encouraged.

So here once again in summary:

  • Seamless integration into your system landscape.
  • Presentation of relevant products through integrated analysis tools.
  • You strengthen the trust in your products and eliminate possible doubts.
  • Your customers can ask their questions and get answers.
  • Through the analysis tools you can offer product bundles and increase your sales.
  • Your customers are special. You advise them in the same way, in an exclusive video call.
  • More effective upsell of other products and thereby higher shopping cart values.

How does the administration of Guided Shopping work? 

You can manage Guided Shopping via three areas in your backend. 

  1. Appointments: In the Appointments section you can manage all data for the presentation. This includes, the user restrictions or necessary links for the presentation. 
  2. Content: Here you integrate all Guided Shopping worlds
  3. Presentation: Under Presentation you have the possibility to define the different types of your Guided Shopping experiences. So for example Live Call or Webinar

The Guided Shopping process itself is started by a separate login of guide and customer. The guide has all options for carrying out the Guided Shopping presentation through an admin panel. 

The guide can follow the entire purchase process up to the purchase of the items in the shopping cart. From the point "Checkout" the guide says goodbye.
After logging in, the customers take part in the presentation and can ask questions at any time.

Online-Shopping vs. Offline-Shopping:

Both variants of shopping have their advantages and disadvantages. While online shopping focuses on convenience and allows you to shop from the comfort of your own home, it lacks personal advice and the haptic experience, which is where Guided Shopping comes into play, at least in part. Offline shopping, on the other hand, allows people to see and touch products directly.

The Corona pandemic has shown how important it is to be able to shop online as well. Many companies expanded or relaunched their online stores during this time. But even before the pandemic, the trend toward online shopping was unstoppable. More and more people are shopping on the Internet and having the goods conveniently delivered to their homes. But what is happening to traditional brick-and-mortar retail? 

Is it threatened with extinction by the growth of online retailing?

There is no general answer to this question. Both types of shopping have their advantages and disadvantages. While online shopping focuses on convenience and allows shoppers to shop from the comfort of their own homes, it lacks personal advice and the haptic experience.

At least the lack of personal advice is now remedied by Guided Shopping. This is now also guaranteed, the only thing missing is the possibility to also perceive the haptics from the couch. Well, let's just wait a few more years, then that will certainly be possible, too. 🤓

With offline shopping, on the other hand, you can see, touch and try out products directly. In addition, you can get advice from trained staff and thus be sure to purchase the right product. However, brick-and-mortar retail also has to face the challenges of online retailing and continue to develop.

However, we all know the disadvantage of this: you have to carry the goods around yourself and, above all, leave your couch. 🦥

Ultimately, however, it is up to each individual which variant of shopping they prefer. Shopware 6 Guided Shopping now brings online shopping one more advantage in any case.

However, there is one thing we can be sure of: Shopping in a store is a social event where you can meet with friends or family.

Overall, we should be aware: The battle between online retail and brick-and-mortar retail doesn't have to happen - both variants have their pros and cons. It's about combining them to generate the optimal experience for customers!

Conclusion: Is Guided Shopping a rival for the local retail?

We think Shopware 6 Guided Shopping is a milestone for the future online shopping experience. Currently, Guided Shopping cannot replace retail, important aspects such as the haptics of the products are still missing. But we are curious how the feature will develop in the future.

Shopware itself has released a Shopware TV episode on Guided Shopping. You can watch it here to get more impressions: Shopware TV about Guided Shopping

Shopware 6 Guided Shopping does pose a challenge to traditional retail, but whether it will really be made obsolete remains to be seen.

Ultimately, it depends on what the customer's needs are and how well brick-and-mortar retailers can adapt to them. A combination of both variants could be the ideal solution.
After all, while guided shopping offers customers a simple and convenient shopping experience, retail can score points by offering customers the opportunity to try out products on site or take them directly home.

In addition, there are also areas such as food or furniture retailing where online shopping has so far only found limited appeal. Here, stationary retail remains indispensable.
Even if guided shopping has changed the way people shop and will probably continue to do so in the future, one thing is certain: the customer remains king. And so both traditional retail and new technologies such as Shopware 6 Guided Shopping will have to focus on the needs of the customer in order to be successful.

You are now convinced and want to set up Guided Shopping at your site, but don't know how? Feel free to contact us, we can help you!

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