While ubiquitous in everyday life, live chat technology has existed for more than fifty years. Live chat has grown exponentially since its conception in the 1970s. People used to make new friends with similar interests via live chat. Businesses begin to see their potential, mainly in the communicative aspect. According to Forrester's study, the 24% rise in live chat users is a decisive factor for companies implementing e-commerce live chat software.
The popularity of e-commerce live chat technology rings valid with research published by Zippia in 2022. The study states that 41% of the surveyed consumers preferred to seek support via live chat compared to other channels. The same study also found that 30% of consumers want a live chat feature on a website. These figures show promise, but you may be wondering where to start. Fret not. You can read on to learn what e-commerce live chat is and how it benefits your business.
To better understand the term, let’s break it down into two elements: e-commerce and live chat. E-commerce refers to the business of buying and selling goods on the Internet. Live chat is an application that allows your consumer to converse with your business online via text. E-commerce live chat facilitates real-time text-based communication between your company and consumers.
You may ask what live chat can bring for your consumers and employees. While it can’t fully replace other support channels such as e-mail and phone calls, the benefits of live chat are second to none. Discover how it can enhance your business.
According to a report from econsultancy.com, 79% of the survey respondents liked using live chat to look for support because of the immediate response. Inc also discovered that 42% of consumers loved live chat because they didn’t have to wait for a representative to speak with them on hold.
An article from Thrive My Way states that chatbots and live chat can reduce business costs by 30%.
Live chat reduces wait times for consumers and increases productivity for companies. With immediate responses, consumers save time and resolve issues quickly. Companies can serve more customers with live chat's ability for agents to handle multiple concurrent chats, potentially leading to increased sales.
A consumer’s uncertainties can lead to cart abandonment. Research conducted by Forrester in 2018 indicated that 53% of consumers would forget about their online shopping cart if they couldn’t find an immediate solution to their problems.
Prevent hesitation in consumers with live chat by utilizing chatbots or live operators to answer questions, providing reassurance, recommending suitable products to unsure consumers, and reducing the likelihood of cart abandonment.
Even if you can’t communicate face to face with your consumers, live chat still allows you to maintain your brand identity when interacting with consumers. You can configure your chatbot to greet potential consumers in a way that resonates with how you present your brand.
In addition, you can also change the color of the live chat window, button messages, and even what happens if your consumer clicks on a button in the chat window. While such customization requires knowledge in coding, it’s still possible to do so if you consult the help of an experienced specialist or try to learn the process by yourself.
According to ProProfs Chat, your live chat operators can get to know a potential consumer before approaching them, thanks to the visitor monitoring feature available in most e-commerce live chat software. This way, they can personalize their interactions with the consumers based on their location, product preferences, needs, and even how they knew about your business in the first place.
Most e-commerce live chat software keeps a transcript of past interactions between an agent and a consumer so that you can check how a consumer reacted during the conversation. This feature helps improve customer service and provides recommendations based on the consumer’s prior experiences.
While chatbots can automate most business processes of your e-commerce website, your consumers still seek human interaction and touch during their shopping process. An article by Forbes stated that 50% of the surveyed consumers reported feeling better if they had a real person answering their questions while purchasing something.
In other words, live chat gives your consumers a sense of company, even if they’re not seeing a store employee face to face. Customers can ask questions about a product while multitasking or situated somewhere far. Meanwhile, your live chat operators will be there to recommend or provide product details.
It’s no secret that making your consumers happy with impeccable personalized service makes them want to shop from your business again. According to Digital Marketing’s research, 38% of consumers have purchased a product in the middle of a live chat session.
A report by WhosOn published in 2017 shows that 70% of consumers decide whether they’ll make a purchase or not based on how they feel the business treats them. In other words, if you invest in good e-commerce live chat software and train your live chat operators to provide a personalized experience for each consumer, the consumer will likely make a repeat purchase.
Should you recommend a better product (upselling) or a complementary product (cross-selling) suitable for the consumer, you will see an increase in your average dollar value (AOV). A higher average order value will result in a better return on investment (ROI). Spechy stated that using paid e-commerce live chat software helps you achieve a 305% ROI from sales chat in just around six months.
Hiver states that 80% of consumers will share their negative experiences with a business with the public. This negative word of mouth will taint your business reputation, reducing the number of new and existing consumers. However, live chat can help you satisfy more consumers with your service.
The aspect of customer satisfaction in live chat statistics shows excellent potential as well. According to a study conducted by Econsultancy, 73% of the survey respondents were delighted with live chat compared to other support channels. Comparatively, customer satisfaction with e-mail support in the research is 61%, whereas phone support sits lower at 44%.
While the automation offered by chatbots can’t entirely replace your human live chat operators, they can still benefit your employees. A study from Zippia stated that with e-commerce live chat, a customer service representative only needs 23 seconds to respond to a consumer. Meanwhile, solving the consumer’s issues only takes 42 seconds via live chat.
Chatbots speed up resolution time and reduce workload for customer service. They provide consumers with relevant knowledge base articles while representatives handle complex questions and personalize interactions.
The technology for e-commerce keeps increasing, and the effect also applies to e-commerce live chat software. This software comes with various hi-tech features that you can choose depending on your business needs. However, to keep things simple, you only need to look for some of these features in a live chat application.
Having a uniform template for answers to questions or issues in various contexts saves your employees’ time. They only need to edit the template to include specific information about the customer to provide personalization before sending their reply. In other words, there’s no need for them to type a long paragraph from scratch while they should’ve been able to attend to another visitor.
A knowledge base is essential for frequently asked questions (FAQs). A knowledge base integrated into the live chat software allows agents to look for solutions quickly. On the other hand, customers can find the answer to their questions by themselves in a more convenient manner from the knowledge base.
Creating a ticket based on a chat instance helps document an issue you need to escalate or follow up on according to your workflow. The management feature should allow you to transfer cases to another team. Even if your operator can solve an issue in one chat session, the case documentation serves as a reference to improve your interaction.
Another way to improve customer service and interaction is by asking customers to rate the resolution they received. The majority of modern e-commerce live chat software enables your operators to send a survey to gauge the helpfulness of their response. You can use these survey responses to pinpoint which aspect of the interaction you need to improve or maintain.
Visitor tracking lets your live chat operators see a consumer’s approximate location, past product purchases, current position on your website, and referral to your business. Your operators can use this information to adjust their message and consumer interaction. Additionally, visitor banning will also prevent users who harrassed your employees from starting a chat session with your business ever again. It’s another important feature for you to protect your employees.
To improve your business, you need numerical figures to support your strategies. The live chat software you choose should give you an insight into essential metrics and KPIs, such as customer satisfaction, chat volume, first contact resolution, and others.
Aside from letting you monitor your business performance, the software should have a feature that lets you download a file containing data from a specified time range. This way, you can analyze and report the performance data.
The live chat software must allow you to save chat logs and send a chat transcript to the consumer’s email address. This way, you can pinpoint how your operators can improve their service and interaction with consumers.
Research has shown that to 72% of consumers, having to repeat themselves when seeking support is a sign of subpar customer service. Chat logs and email transcripts will prevent your consumers from repeating the same information multiple times to different people.
The chat transfer feature is necessary if someone needs to escalate a case to a more experienced agent or specialized team. If there are no complicated cases, your operators can use this function to assign a consumer to someone available. Chat transfer will ensure that there aren’t any unanswered or neglected chat sessions.
Sometimes, a consumer may have difficulty explaining the issue they have with a product or describing the kind of product they want with words. That’s why a feature that allows users to upload an image or video is crucial to your live chat software. It will also help your operators better understand your consumers’ inquiries and resolve their problems.
A psychology study discovered that people use emojis to lighten a situation or better express themselves. To make your interactions with consumers friendlier, look for live chat software that supports built-in or custom-added emojis. This feature should apply to both your operators and your consumers. Using emojis in live chat will help your employees create a more casual chat atmosphere, whereas your consumers will be able to express their emotions by text better.
Donut.cx is a WhatsApp first omnichannel engagement platform that helps sell, support and engage better.Donut.cx revives inactive customers with appealing offers, boosts sales through discount coupons for regular customers, and encourages product/service reviews by sending post-purchase review links.
Donut.cx implement chatbots on a case-to-case basis
Zendesk is a leading customer service solution provider. This software is designed to meet the ever-evolving needs of customers, empower teams, and streamline business operations. Zendesk’s goal is to provide customers with seamless support, accessible from any channel at any time.
The Zendesk Suite offers sophisticated and integrated support, including conversational support through AI and bots for instant answers. With Zendesk, your customer service capabilities are elevated, your team's efficiency is optimized, and your business can save time and resources.
Tidio is an exceptional solution for small and medium businesses to increase sales through exceptional customer service. Tidio's live chat software helps you engage with visitors, converting them into satisfied customers. With Tidio, streamline your customer service by monitoring, prioritizing, and assigning requests in a single location. Keep your support team organized and respond quickly to inquiries. Improve efficiency and deliver exceptional customer support.
Tidio also elevate your consumer experience and drive sales growth with easily customizable chatbits as it provides 35+ pre-designed templates.
Gorgias is an ecommerce helpdesk that enhances customer experience through personalized trigger actions. It delivers shipping updates and other key information to customers effortlessly by integrating a speedy chat widget into your storefront. This allows you to communicate directly with customers on your site, resolving their queries before they escalate to email tickets.
Intercom is a versatile live chat solution ideal for large businesses and SaaS companies. It boasts lead qualification, customer segmentation, custom APIs, SLAs, ticket workflows, and comprehensive analytics to help convert leads and improve customer communication while tracking results.
Despite the significant benefits of live chat, businesses may hesitate to implement live chat support on their official website because of the circulating misconceptions. The following subsection will list the three most common misconceptions about e-commerce live chat and why they’re incorrect.
1. You need to be available 24/7
One of the promises offered by live chat is real-time interaction and support. Once you’ve signed out from the live chat application, the chatbot will handle incoming messages outside of working hours to ensure that the potential customer doesn’t feel neglected. The live chat software will keep a record of the previous chat so that when your employees start working the next day, they can contact the consumer and provide them with an answer to their questions.
2. You'll need to spend lots of money and time on it
On the contrary, live chat is 17%-30% cheaper than voice support, as documented by a 2010 study from Forrester. If you are looking for e-commerce live chat software that offers easy integration, you can save time and money when implementing the software. Your live chat operators will also have an easier time getting accustomed to the software they’ll be using for work.
3. It's hard to measure the ROI of live chat
With a simple calculation and analytics offered by e-commerce live chat software, you won’t have difficulties measuring the ROI of your live chat support. Most modern live chat applications should give you an insight into a few of the vital metrics required for your ROI measurements, such as your monthly web visitor volume, the average length of chat, and the number of chat concurrencies.
Zippia’s research shows that live chat has the highest customer satisfaction rate at 73%. This astonishing statistic is partly because live chat can improve your consumers’ shopping experience on your e-commerce site with its features. Here are the ways how live chat can make your consumers happier.
E-commerce live chat lets operators study a consumer’s location and previous purchases. To create a personalized shopping experience, live chat agents can tie how the product is helpful for consumers living in their respective countries and recommend another product to complement their purchase.
Alternatively, the automated feature of the live chat software can also urge consumers to order the product sitting in their shopping cart if there’s a limited-time sale. Either way, this proactive approach may be able to invite the consumer to chat with your operators to ask further questions.
Ultimately, it will bolster your conversion rate, sales, and average order value. A study from ICMI has shown that consumers who use live chat before making a purchase can increase your company’s average order value by 10%, revenue per chat hour by 48%, and conversion rate by 40%.
Zippia’s research shows that 77% of consumers want someone they can talk to before purchasing a product. Your live chat operator can wait for a customer to open the live chat window and start a conversation. However, your live chat operator can take the initiative to approach a customer based on the mentioned statistic.
As live chat allows (almost) real-time assistance for your consumers as they shop, your sales or customer team can answer any questions the consumer may have about a product that caught their interest. Providing a tailored recommendation for your consumer and eliminating any buying objections as they occur will result in a better customer experience.
Live chat software has complete features that simplify and streamline your customer service workflow. As you take your time to study the application’s functions, you may wonder how to maximize the very software designed to make running your business more efficient. Here are some of the best practices you must follow when using e-commerce live chat software.
Best Practices You Need to Follow
When Using E-Commerce Live Chat Software
Asynchronous communication means that your live chat operators can get back to replying to consumer inquiries during working hours. To compare it with synchronous mode, suppose that a consumer starts a chat outside business hours because that’s the convenient time for them.
With asynchronous communication, a chatbot will reply to their inquiries by letting them know that your team will get back to the said consumer during business hours. This way, live chat operators can spend their free time and rest without worrying about unanswered chats. That’s why enabling the asynchronous communication option in your e-commerce live chat software is essential.
Keeping all messages in an organized inbox will give your live chat operators a more manageable time studying past conversations with a consumer, approaching a visitor, and knowing where to look for incoming messages.
The organized inbox lets your employees respond to consumers more promptly, ensuring customer satisfaction. In addition, they’ll be able to tailor their interactions based on the customer’s personality and preferences more easily.
When making a script for your live chat operators and chatbot, you should keep your message content short and straightforward. Some e-commerce live chat software may have maximum character limitations per chat bubble, so all vital information must be in as few chat bubbles as possible. Your consumers will have an easier time reading through your messages.
More succinct template content will also help your employees edit their responses less.
Once your consumer has resolved their problem, you should close every chat by offering another assistance to the consumer. You never know if they have another problem while purchasing a product, so it’s best to ask just in case. If you don’t receive any response or they indicate that everything’s clear, let them know you’ll send them a chat transcript by email.
Closing a chat window will transfer the chat record to a category dedicated to resolving issues. After that, you can use these past instances to find out how to improve your customer service. You can also point out the positive things your team should maintain for the future.
Brands increasingly use e-commerce live chat software to provide real-time chat with customers, saving time and money through features such as automation, case management, and visitor tracking that benefit both business and customers. Live chat is cost-effective and personalizes your e-commerce store. It ensures customer satisfaction, impacting ROI and AOV, making it a crucial tool for omnichannel support.
Choose live chat software with essential elements such as analytics, knowledge base, and chat transfers. Optimize your experience by using async mode, having a dedicated inbox, and closing chat windows after each conversation.
If you’re considering live chat software for ecommerce, Donut.cx can also be your choice. Whether your company is a small business or an established enterprise, our experts can help your D2C brands to sell and support on multiple chat channels from a single platform effortlessly. With Donut.cx, you can sell on chat effortlessly, serve customers contextually, streamline operations efficiently, and centralize all your channels in one inbox.
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A live human agent will answer consumer inquiries in a live chat session with tailored responses. On the other hand, chatbots will give automated responses. Nevertheless, it's worth noting that live chat allows real humans and chatbots to attend to consumers.
On average, for smaller businesses, implementing live chat support for eCommerce websites can cost USD 20-50/chat agent/month. However, for bigger companies, the cost ranges from USD 100-200/chat agent/month. Most live chat software bills you annually, and they also have a free trial to help you test if the tool is right for your company.
Your live chat response should cover all the major points you must convey to your consumers. As a rule of thumb, try to condense your messages to 160 characters or less so that smartphones can display the chat content better.
After purchasing your live chat support plans, you can visit the software dashboard to look for a menu that allows you to copy the chat widget code. Next, paste the code under your website's <body> tag and see if the chat window displays itself properly.
Once you've successfully added the chat code to your website, you can start customizing the chat window appearance to suit your company's image and personality.
After your live chat support is up and running, monitor the chat traffic and see how well your employees serve all incoming visitors. You can consider adding other support channels such as video chat or tweak the live chat widget.
Previous studies have revealed that live chat can increase conversion. Consumers are likely to purchase when a live agent responds to their questions immediately and provides an impeccable experience. Therefore, implementing live chat support for your consumers who need real-time assistance is an excellent way to achieve higher conversion rates.
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