Salesfire: Optimising Conversion Rate with AI – Tackling One of Ecommerce’s Biggest Problems (James Lees, Head of Client Services)
With massive shifts in consumer behaviour seeing more and more customers shopping online, ecommerce companies are constantly seeking new ways to adapt. For anyone running an online business, it’s key to stay up to date with the latest trends affecting your company.
Every week, Graham Broughton, co-founder and Managing Director of Storesome (a turnkey marketplace solution and part of the We Are Pentagon Group) interviews thought leaders in ecommerce to explore the latest developments, from payments, logistics, to the newest technologies.
In the fifth episode of the new season focused on search, Graham was joined by James Lee, Head of Client Services at Salesfire. Established just over four years ago, Salesfire provides intelligent conversion rate optimisation products to influence the customer journey on-site, converting visitors into paying customers.
In this discussion, James pulled back the curtain on Salesfire: What are Salesfire’s origins? How does it work and what does the installation process look like? How does Salesfire’s solutions impact conversion rates? What effect has the pandemic had and what is on Salesfire’s radar for the future?
This is a summary of a live podcast episode on July 13, 2021. You can listen to the full 28-minute episode here: https://bit.ly/3hyIX7k.
The Birth of Salesfire
As mentioned, Salesfire has been around for just over four years. According to James, originally it was born out of an innovation labs program at Visualsoft. Four years ago, it moved aside and became its own entity. It started off as an overlay solution, where if someone is leaving your website, it will serve them an overlay or a pop up that will give them a discount code or other reason to stay on-site. James points out that this is a “cost effective solution for SME ecommerce retailers trying to increase conversion rates and buying on their website, or increase the amount of time on the website”.
So, that is where it all started. Since then, Salesfire has been growing: they now have their own site search which, in James’ opinion, “has been a huge part of our growth over the last 18 months in particular”. In addition, they now offer multiple products to help businesses, such as product recommendations and abandon basket solutions. But their newest technology is potentially the most exciting yet: visually similar search.
Visually Similar Search
So, what is visually similar search? In a nutshell, when searching for products online, there will be a button at the bottom which will say ‘search visually similar products’. As James points out, “when a user clicks that button, it analyses the image and shows you every product that looks visually similar”.
For example, if you’re shopping on ASOS for a grey t-shirt, as you might expect there’ll be lots and lots of options. However, perhaps you will come across one with something specific that you like, such as a certain pattern or specific shade of grey. That’s where the visually similar search comes in: it lets you hone in on those specific features that you’re attracted to, displaying products with similar characteristics and improving the overall shopping experience.
In addition, James points out that not only does this improve the customer’s experience, it is also beneficial for the business: “It’s great for upselling and for adding multiple products to a basket”. Let’s say that you are a fashion retailer and you want a t-shirt to match some trousers or perhaps a top – Salesfire can do that for you.
The next question that Graham brought up is around how this solution would be implemented for anyone who is interested in working with Salesfire. According to James, it’s as simple as “one piece of code on the site itself”. During the onboarding process, all clients have the opportunity to trial the product for two weeks free of charge to see if it works for them.
Once a client has decided they want to trial the product for two weeks, Salesfire will design the button for them and load it onto their site via a piece of code, which is “done very easily”. Salesfire will then do the rest, as well as provide you with some assets to use via social media. This is important since it is a new piece of technology – it is not like a generic keyword search which people are already more familiar with.
In fact, this is something new, so it is crucial for retailers to educate the customer about this new piece of technology on their website. As James points out, “ultimately, it’s a new USP for them”. Therefore, the process is very simple and the setup very easy; one piece of code on the website, a free trial for two weeks and social media assets to educate customers about the new tech. Provided the retailer sees a satisfactory change in revenue, they will continue to work with Salesfire.
As mentioned previously, naturally any company satisfied with Salesfire’s two week trial are likely to continue doing business with them; but what kind of impact can a retailer expect in terms of increasing revenue? Of course, this is largely going to depend on specific circumstances such as the type of business, but according to James, “generally, we are seeing an increase in conversion rates and with that, an increase in revenue”.
Another really crucial aspect of this, is being able to track the positive effect that Salesfire is having on a business. Within the platform itself, every client that works with Salesfire has full access to the dashboard, so they can see exactly how much revenue they have influenced.
For example, some clients will have engaged with multiple products such as site search and product recommendation in addition to the visually similar search function. This is all tracked, and the client can see within the dashboard which specific products have influenced which amount of revenue across different touchpoints.
The Future of Salesfire
Finally, James rounded off the discussion by giving us his insights into Salesfire’s roadmap for the future. As he describes, “we’re constantly updating our existing product”. One aspect of site search in particular that they have been working on (which was released last week) is clients can now optimise certain products for site search.
In addition, Salesfire are in the process of rolling out their new version of product recommendations, which – according to James – should be ready by the end of the month. It’s also important to note that Salesfire will roll that out to all existing clients – meaning everyone gets the updated versions as standard. Even those who have joined Salesfire two or three years ago will always get the latest updates for free.
Furthermore, James mentioned that they are in the thinking stage regarding changing the way overlays work, as well as potentially bringing out more AI shopping assistants to Salesfire. This would take the separate overlay solution and combine it with the prompt solution to bring a more AI driven personalised shopping experience, with possibilities to also integrate their live chat too. So that’s the next step that is on the horizon for Salesfire: having a hub with various products all rolled out into one.
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