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How Live Chat Works In Ecommerce

Live chat customer support works like a real-time customer service advisor for your online store. Much like a customer would approach a sales assistant in store to ask questions or be directed to relevant products or information, live chat support can help in the same way, answering questions, aiding in site navigation, and dealing with customer service queries. 

Whether you’re a clothes retailer helping customers deal with returns queries, or a software provider dealing with real-time customer installation issues, live chat support is a great way to ensure that you are delivering excellent customer service.


10 Live Chat Benefits

Here’s a quick overview of some of the main benefits your business could see from installing a live chat service on your ecommerce site. 

  1. Faster problem resolution
    Being able to chat with someone in real-time makes for much faster problem-solving. Waiting for an email response can take several hours and customers may lose interests or look to shop elsewhere. Additionally, live chat allows you to easily send helpful documents or links to customers to support them with their query.

  2. Reduced cart abandonment
    Using live chat to step in at the right time or offer support throughout the checkout process can help to reduce cart abandonment. Being able to offer support when your customer needs it could mean you convert a sale you may have otherwise lost.

  3. Boost conversion rates
    Live chat provides the ability to engage with all of your website visitors, increasing your visibility and trust in your brand. Being able to reach all website visitors could help you to convert someone from window shopping to making a purchase.

  4. Cost-effective
    Live chat support can be up to 30% cheaper than traditional over-the-phone customer support. Online chat gives customer service team members the ability to deal with multiple customers at one time. Additionally, implementing AI chatbots can reduce costs further and can effectively deal with common customer queries, only redirecting them to a team member if it should be necessary.

  5. Gain insights into customer behaviour and concerns
    Connecting live chat with your business analytics tools can allow you to harvest data from your customer interactions. This can help you to gain a better understanding of your customer’s behaviours and makes your website easy to monitor. With this data, you can create reports and make more informed adjustments to your website or products to enhance your customers’ experience.

  6. Improved website experience
    With live chat, you are also able to support customers with website navigation, ensuring they find information or products that they may have otherwise missed. Website errors can also be quickly addressed this way, as customers may use your live chat to question broken links or faulty pages that can then be quickly rectified. Additionally, live chat support has a 73% customer satisfaction rate, compared to 61% for email and 44% for phone support, making it an ideal addition for improving your customer’s experience.

  7. Discretion
    The ability to contact your store as quickly and easily as writing a tweet or social media post can divert frustrated customers away from the public domain. This can help to preserve your brand image and allows you to help frustrated customers more effectively and privately. 

  8. Real time customer service
    Your online store is 24/7 although your customer service team may not be. Offering a live chat service and using an AI chat bot can ensure that you are delivering great customer service around the clock. Live chat and AI chatbots can also help your team cope with busy periods by automating the initial stages of live chat and redirecting customers to relevant pages, ensuring that every customer is getting the support that they need as quickly as possible.

  9. Removes language barriers
    Many live chat services also have multilingual capabilities, so you can more easily reach and assist customers globally, giving you the potential to easily expand your customer base.

  10. Makes your business more approachable
    Having live chat capabilities can make it easier for customers to interact with your store. Emails or long contact forms can be time consuming and off putting, and many customers’ questions and potential sales could be missed without a quick way to contact your business. The option to instantly interact with your brand can allow you to develop more meaningful customer relationships and increase trust and customer loyalty to your brand, encouraging repeat sales.


Adding Live Chat Support To Your Ecommerce Site

So you want to get started adding live chat support to your site? There are a few key things to consider to ensure your live chat gets up and running as smoothly as possible. 

First, consider whether you would like to use a stand-alone or platform chat software. Stand-alone can be a cheaper solution and ideal for smaller businesses, whereas platform chat software means your service is managed by an outside provider. Platform chat providers are integrated into WordPress, Shopify, Salesforce and many other popular ecommerce software. 

Secondly, consider where your live chat will appear on your site. Will it be on the home page, support pages or available on all of your site pages? Take into account when your customers may need assistance the most to ensure you’re on hand to help exactly when they need you.

Finally, research which live chat service provider you would like to use. Some notable live chat providers include Intercom, Drift or PureChat. You can find a range of live chat service providers online, all with different levels of customisation and features to suit your site.


Conclusion/Next Steps

Live chat is becoming increasingly popular in the world of ecommerce. Adding live chat software to your online store could be an effective way to build a trustworthy brand for your business and increase your sales. 

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