Shopbox's AI Shop Assistant mirrors in-store experience online, adapting to visitors in real-time Elevate engagement and stickiness with dynamic merchandising on Hompage, PLPs and PDPs Seamless shopping for returning users, recalling prior views Effortless implementation, full automation
TileStyle wears the crown as the largest tile and bathroom showroom in Europe. Based in Ballymount, Dublin 24, TileStyle is home to a stunning tile, bathroom, kitchen and wood flooring showroom, covering 52,000 sq. ft.
The company is unique in selling such an extensive selection under one roof. But with much retail now done online, how do you recreate this experience digitally? Such was the exciting challenge for Valerie McCarthy, who joined the company as Head of eCommerce in September 2020. For some time there was a desire at TileStyle to get online, but of course, the pandemic accelerated the decision-making process. Valerie joined with a background in online fashion retail – so her eCommerce and online retail skills were immediately transferable. The company launched its eCommerce store in May 2021. The focus at the time was simply getting a transactional presence online but once it was up and running, it became a question of optimisation and improving the eCommerce KPIs. So, when TileStyle was introduced to Shopbox AI via Retail Excellence Ireland in July 2021, the timing was perfect.
Bringing the in-store experience online
Shopbox now replicates the experience that a shopper has when interacting with a human shop assistant in TileStyle’s physical store. From the visitor’s first click, Shopbox is effectively saying “How can I help you?” From then on, Shopbox’s AI Shop Assistant adapts the store to their unique behaviour. It helps them make decisions in the virtual aisles, viewing more products and adding to their basket as they move through, before reaching the check out. This intuitive experience is very “light touch” and unintrusive.
“Shopbox really enables us to showcase the breadth of our product range online, which is one of our key USPs.” Valerie Mc Carthy, Head of eCommerce, TileStyle
What the site visitor sees is a feature that appears on the bottom left of the screen called Shop Assistant. It guides people based on what they’ve been viewing, suggesting similar and complementary products. This happens dynamically, adapting to the behaviour of the shopper, all powered by the artificial intelligence behind the Shopbox platform. When the shopper then clicks on a specific product, Shopbox opens a carousel with tailored recommendations. Of course, customers don’t have to click on it. Some do and some don’t, but the reporting and dashboards make it easy to identify those who do, and the difference Shopbox makes.
“The other great thing about Shopbox is that it will remember you when you come back to the website, without the need to log in, and it shows you the products you viewed most recently,” Valerie says.
“It’s like walking back into our physical store and the human assistant not only recognises you, but also remembers what you were interested in when you visited previously. This saves our shoppers time and helps streamline their online shopping experience.”
Shopbox AI worked closely with TileStyle during the Shopbox implementation, when discussing ideas about how to enhance the online presence. Shopbox AI offers more than an out-of-the-box solution – it takes a close interest in the retail dynamics that are unique to each customer and creates a customer-specific solution on the Shopbox platform.
Because Shopbox is so flexible and customisable, even very sector-specific pricing is never an issue. The nature of TileStyle’s product offering and pricing is itself very specific. To take one example, you can buy tiles by the box, or you can buy them by the square metre. It was therefore important that Shopbox could pull this pricing information through correctly. “Shopbox AI helped with all this. Working together, we did a lot of testing before we went live, to ensure that the right recommendations were appearing based on shoppers’ website behaviour,” Valerie says.
“We have a very strong brand and Shopbox AI made sure that the aesthetics were just right for our beautiful new eCommerce platform. The implementation itself was very straightforward."
“Even after a month, we were already seeing very good engagement. We now have six months’ worth of figures and it’s looking very good in terms of product views and sales conversions,” Valerie adds. “Moreover, shoppers are delving deeper into the product catalogue and spending more time on our website.”
While 24% of customers browse via Shopbox, this drives 53% of total transactions. Or to put it another way, the sales conversion rate is 2.6 times higher with Shopbox than without. Moreover, Shopbox gives a 23% uplift in the average order value and Shopbox shoppers visit 3x more product pages.
Valerie sums up the experience working with the team behind Shopbox:
“They’re great to deal with – they definitely made the implementation process very easy. Incredibly responsive too, both in terms of following up on questions and listening to suggestions. They are very good communicators, setting the right expectations, delivering on them and sharing results at our monthly meetings.”