The Evolution of Retail Engagement: Introducing SalesChat by Endear

Explore SalesChat, Endear's live chat feature and the future of retail engagement. Seamlessly bridge the gap between inbound and outbound strategies for omnichannel success.

person typing on laptop using SalesChat live chat from Endear

The retirement of Klarna's Live Shopping product, formerly known as Hero, came as a surprise to many given how critical omnichannel engagement in retail has become. As a co-founder of a clienteling platform, I've closely observed Hero's journey - from its launch in 2015, to its acquisition by Klarna, to its eventual retirement next month. While I never quite understood why a Buy Now Pay Later company acquired the platform to begin with, the decision motivated me to reflect on the lessons learned from Hero's success and what its retirement means for Endear and our new live chat solution, SalesChat.

Hero's Legacy and The Void It Leaves Behind

By the time Klarna acquired Hero in 2021 for $160 million, the platform was regarded as a game-changer for omnichannel brands. Hero empowered retail associates to connect with online customers through live chat or video, providing a high-touch, personalized experience previously exclusive to in-store interactions.

While it seems Klarna did not prioritize the live shopping offering after the acquisition, their decision to retire Hero entirely only two years after they bought the company will undoubtedly create a void in the retail industry, leaving Hero’s current customers searching for alternative solutions to bridge the gap between online and offline customer engagement.

Approaching Omnichannel Retail: Inbound vs. Outbound

Both Hero's and Endear’s success has underscored the importance of empowering store associates to better optimize their downtime in-store. Where we differed was in our answer to the problem. While Hero championed an inbound approach, allowing associates to engage with customers who wrote in through live chat, Endear embraced an outbound strategy.

To us, there was a much bigger opportunity around enabling associates to proactively reach out to customers over email, text or WhatsApp, rather than waiting for customers to initiate contact. That said, there was never a doubt in our minds that the best solution would combine inbound and outbound efforts - and let the two strategies work in harmony.

The Birth of SalesChat: Uniting Inbound and Outbound Strategies

While SalesChat has been in development since late 2023, the news around Klarna’s decision to sunset their product allowed us to reprioritize and bring our live chat out of beta. SalesChat is positioned to fill the void that Klarna leaves behind with an even better option for the market, one that unifies inbound and outbound chat opportunities within a powerful retail CRM platform. By seamlessly integrating SalesChat into Endear’s current all-in-one platform, Endear is able to offer retail brands a solution that far surpasses Hero’s former standalone product.

The Key Features of SalesChat:

  1. Omnichannel Intelligence: By analyzing a customer's omnichannel shopping history, SalesChat can intelligently match them with the most suitable associate. This process takes certain factors into account like previous interactions (and with whom), preferred shopping location, past purchases, and associate availability.
  2. Real-time Transaction Tracking: With SalesChat, responding teams have access to real-time activity, enabling them to provide better informed assistance to customers. By monitoring customer transactions and cart behavior as they happen, you can offer more relevant product recommendations, address any concerns or questions, and guide customers through the purchase.
  3. Seamless Integration with Leading Customer Support Platforms: SalesChat also integrates with leading customer support platforms such as Gorgias, Zendesk, and Kustomer in order to streamline communication between teams and connect customers with the right person. Brands shouldn’t be asked to choose between driving sales or providing high-quality support; at the end of the day, it should be about helping the customer get the best answer as quickly as possible, whatever the nature of the question is.
  4. End-to-End Customer Engagement: SalesChat goes beyond traditional live chat solutions because it’s fully-integrated into a comprehensive suite of other customer engagement tools from Endear. A retail-first CRM platform powers not only live chat, but automated email and text campaigns, AI-generated response suggestions, image and product sharing, pre-built templates, business insights, and more. Plus, conversations that start in SalesChat can easily be continued via text or email even if the user has left the live chat.

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Creating a Unified Experience

SalesChat represents more than just a chat tool - it's a catalyst for transforming the retail landscape. By combining inbound and outbound strategies, SalesChat empowers retailers to provide a unified experience across their physical and digital retail. Whether through live chat, text, email, WhatsApp, or future innovations like video, SalesChat enables brands to build meaningful relationships with customers, driving both short-term sales and long-term loyalty.

As we embark on the journey of launching SalesChat, we envision a future where retail engagement is seamlessly integrated, personalized, and impactful. By learning from Hero's legacy and embracing the evolution of retail technology, we are committed to empowering retailers to thrive in the digital age. We hope you’ll join us as we redefine the retail experience with SalesChat by Endear.