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Inbound Marketing Blog

    5 Key Reasons to Implement Live Chat on Your eCommerce Site

    Posted by Bill Faeth

    Are You Utilizing the Potential of Live Chat?

    An undisputed truth of today’s eCommerce shopper is that they expect a certain level of customer service and interaction from the websites they frequent. A first-time shopper expects much more out of their online experience with a brand than discounts, promotions or product information; they want convenient avenues towards the information they seek.

    Call centers and email-based customer service are commonly utilized by eCommerce sites to answer customers’ questions and concerns; however, both of these methods are time-consuming and subject to miscommunication and misinterpretation, not to mention often requiring a long wait-time for customers to receive responses.

    Fortunately, there is another option for answering customers’ questions and providing them with information instantly as they peruse your website: live chat.

    Live chat could offer a host of benefits for your eCommerce site. Here are a few of the most convincing.

    1. The Majority of Consumers Find Live Chat Useful

    A recent survey conducted by Software Advice found that over half of the survey respondents had utilized live chat features on eCommerce websites in the past.

    Additionally, the survey revealed that 56% of respondents aged 18-34 preferred to utilize a live chat feature rather than talk on the phone to customer service, compared to just 37% of respondents older than 34.

    Additionally, nearly half of respondents reported preferring live chat to answer their online shopping questions.

    It’s clear that a large portion of consumers on eCommerce sites prefer live chat to more traditional methods for getting their questions answered. Live chat helps to reduce the amount of effort your customers must expend to gather information about your company, services or products. In the fast-paced environment of online commerce, live chat is a beneficial element to add to your company’s arsenal.

    2. Live Chat Allows Customers Control Over Their First Contact with Your Brand

    The idea of making a phone call to a sales rep to discuss products or services is intimidating to many modern consumers, especially if they’re still on the fence about purchasing anyway.

    Live chat is a more casual way to interact with a brand, one that doesn’t require listening to a pitch from a sales person. Instead of being forced to interact with a representative who is just trying to close a deal, consumers can sign into and out of live chat at their leisure, without the awkward pushiness of a sales pitch.

    If a customer is making his or her first contact with your brand, live chat offers a smooth, no pressure introduction. The customer gets the information they seek, and your brand can sow a seed with a new potential buyer, without being overwhelming.

    3. Live Chat Can Save Your Company Money

    Implementing live chat can help your company save money by eliminating time-consuming and ultimately expensive phone calls from customers. After all, an employee or sales rep can only field one phone call at a time, creating a bottleneck for immediate response to customers and increasing the amount of money invested in fielding customer calls.

    Live chat enables an employee to field questions from multiple customers at a time, increasing the efficiency and the cost-effectiveness of answering questions. Live chat is an effective way to offset the costs of offering call-center-only customer support.  

    4. Live Chat Can Increase Sales

    A study by eMarketer revealed that live chat increased the likelihood of a customer returning to a website after their initial visit; it also revealed that live chat increased the likelihood of a customer purchase following a chat.

    Live chat enables a company to respond quickly and efficiently to inquisitive online shoppers; this efficiency in response can increase a customer’s confidence in your company, products and policies.

    5. Live Chat Provides a Competitive Advantage

    A recent study by TELUS International showed that the majority of online retailers don’t offer chat to their customers. This means that by providing this method of support to your online visitors, you gain an advantage over the competition.

    Remember: live chat is a great way to eliminate many of your customers’ efforts towards gaining information about your company or products and getting answers to their basic questions.

    Live chat offsets the costs of traditional call-centers for customer support or inquiries and increases the speed and efficiency with which your employees can answer questions. By implementing live chat capabilities on your eCommerce site, you can increase customer satisfaction and provide a reliable avenue of support for each customer that visits your site. 

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    Photo Credit: Michael Coghlan

    Topics: Lead Gen