5 MIN READ

If you’re looking for a way to connect and communicate with your online customers as you do in-store, you might want to consider implementing live chat for your eCommerce website. 

Done well, it’s the perfect way to bring the personable and supportive in-store experience online. When working in-store, you can greet customers when they come in, ask if they need assistance and help with their buying experience first hand, but this can be lost when shopping online. Bring it back with live chat! 

With constant advances in technology, retail is seeing huge transformations in a number of areas and thanks to clever chatbots, you can give your online customers the fantastic and memorable experiences they want and deserve. 

You might be thinking that it’s not suited to a smaller eCommerce operation, but this technology is no longer just for big-name retailers. The availability and affordability mean this software is benefiting smaller retailers now too. Live chat and chatbots can be super easy to integrate with your website seamlessly. 

So, why should you consider live chat for your eCommerce site? 

The benefits 

 

Live chat puts customers at ease

When shopping online, it can be difficult to get the full scope of the product, so without being able to touch and feel items, customers need as much guidance as possible. With live chat, you can answer questions about products in real-time. Pair knowledgable live chat support with flawless images and killer product descriptions, and you’re onto a winner here.

Increase conversions

According to Forrester, consumers are 2.8 times more likely to convert when using live chat for eCommerce and even spend 60% more. Having the direct contact will help when customers have queries that may put them off (things like delivery, or product information requests), or if they can’t find what they’re looking for – a simple chat pop up can help them with this instead of them navigating off-site and going elsewhere. 

Lower support costs: This is especially something to focus on during peak seasons when there are higher volumes of inbound contact. You can deal with multiple customers at once, whereas this is something you can’t do face to face in a shop.

Give a personalised experience

It’s all about personalisation in eCommerce right now, customers want to feel seen and valued and the retailers making this happen are reaping the rewards. Live chat is a great way to do this! You can use live chat integrations to see what pages they are on and tailor your initial pop up message. You can also use their email address if they’re a registered customer and access their details and order histories to base your responses on and speed up query response times while you’re at it.

Save valuable time

Customers don’t want to be traversing your website in search of something, they want the information and products in front of them, ready to action super quickly. With live chat, you can save them this bother and point them in the direction they’re looking for, suggest items and answer questions much more quickly than via phone or email.

Other things to consider

Those benefits all sound great, don’t they? It doesn’t stop with them. There are other positives to consider when it comes to using live chat for eCommerce, and how you can use it to grow and develop your business further.

Data and insights

You can gain much more detailed insights into your customer interactions and website through live chat integrations, with different third-party platforms offering a variety of reporting tools you can use.

Acquiring customer feedback 

Customer feedback is a vital part of any business, especially retail as 93% of people say online reviews impact their buying decisions. Live chat is a really effective way to gather customer sentiment and feeling following an interaction with you. A simple scoring system so they can rate you or a Q&A style form can be implemented following chats to gain these insights.

Automation and chatbots

You may want to venture down the avenue of trying chatbots and automated replies for easier to solve queries. This will benefit you in terms of support costs while saving you time. Whilst your trusty chatbot is answering the basic questions, you can be dealing with the many other things you’ll no doubt have on your plate!

Out of hours forms 

Of course, you don’t want to be sat on live chat night and day but appearing available to your customers is key. With an out of hours form that you can switch on and off, you can still capture customer queries and data when you’re not working so you can respond later. Just make sure your message is clear so they’re not waiting around for a real-time response!

What not to do with live chat for eCommerce 

 

Overly scripted responses 

You don’t want your customers to feel like they’re speaking to a robot – especially when they’re speaking to you, or a member of your team.  It’s really frustrating for users as their queries are met with standard templates that are unhelpful and don’t address their concerns. Make sure you approach chats with a helpful, human touch – be careful of this especially with any automated messaging too and make edits where possible. 

Manage time expectations incorrectly

There’s nothing worse for a customer than being left waiting around. Manage time expectations if you know you’re not going to be available to give an immediate response. Capture data with forms and let them know you’ll reply at a later time.

Don’t misuse data 

Using data and offering personalised experiences is great, but you also don’t want your customer’s shopping experience to turn into an episode of Black Mirror. Pulling in open data can end badly especially if they’ve not actually used your website before and shared that data with you directly, making customers uncomfortable about going forward with you. 

Final thoughts 

Implementing live chat for eCommerce can be a highly lucrative addition to your website. From boosting sales, increasing conversion rates and offering better customer experiences to rival in-store, it’s easy to see why so many retailers are now using it. 

 

If you want to chat about how we can help you use live chat on a new, super-fast, beautiful website – get in touch with our team!

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Charlotte McKee
19th December 2019

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