Why do online shops need live chat?

by Saad Durrani  September 29, 2015

Whenever I go to a shop, I always ask questions.

“Are these eggs fresh?”

“What if this t-shirt won’t fit?”

“Does this phone have an accidental coverage?”

5-Reasons-Why-You-Need-Live-Chat-On-Your-Web-Store

I bet you do that too. Why? Because asking questions helps us in building trust with the product or service we are purchasing. However, online stores have a nasty habit of putting up a page with loads of information. Store owners believe that this way the purchaser (you) will figure out everything and make a purchase.

If you are such a store owner, then stop! You are hurting your purchasing process.

Reason 1: Live chat is an important feature

Yes, it is. According to a study from Forrester Research, almost half (44% to be exact) of visitors having question “middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.” Another study from Software Advice titled The Impact of Demographic on Live Chat Customer Service (IndustryView | 2015) states that 56% of respondents to their study have chatted once on a company’s website. and 49% prefer to talk with a live chat agent during the purchase. The same study concluded that 39% used live chat more than once.

So, what type of people ask questions? If you are thinking “it cannot be millennials, because they are smart,” then you are right about the smart part. They are smart enough to ask questions. The study from Software Advice observed that people aged from 18 to 34 are more likely to use live chat.

And, no! Online shoppers that prefer chatting are not desktop only. A study by chat software company, Moxie indicates 62% expect live chat on all devices and 82% will use it once made available.

Now that I have established my premise of chat being useful, let’s move on to the number that matter: Sales.

Reason 2: Live chat increases sales

Of course, it does. As humans, we always look for good advice. It is a strange thing, but we do trust advices from the seller and if those sellers give you good advice, you tend to go back to them more often. Live chat allows you to build a relationship with your customers.

“Consider live chat as a 1-window solution for your customers that will eventually lead to improved sales and gives you an edge on your competition,” advises Owais Khan, Customer Happiness Ninja at Cloudways. “Through our 24×7 Live Chat Support team, we have been able to convert top-notch clients, resolve problems in good time, and retain customers.”

Cory Miller from iThemes also shares the view. In a blog post on his personal website, he states: “When people can get answers to their questions, they have more confidence in what they are buying and will be more satisfied in their end purchase, which builds trust and should … increase sales.”

Reason 3: Live chat provides insights

Live chat is a great tool. It records the customer experience, especially the negative ones. By monitoring chats regularly, you can create great strategies for satisfactory resolution of your customer’s problems. It can also help in refining your sales and refund policies.

Live chat can be used as a measurement tool. It can tell which products are the most problematic. Perhaps, you might not want to stock such products anymore.

Reason 4: Live chat provides a competitive edge

The good news is that many top-class retailers have yet to implement live chat on their websites. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, BestBuy, Souq, and Jumia have yet to implement live chat on their stores. Nike hasn’t done it. Neither has Next. These big brands have yet to establish a contact with their customers. The conditions might be the same in your industry too.

Since they are missing out the benefits of direct contact with customers, you can beat them in this race. With the right set of marketing activities, you can become an industry giant in no time.

Reason 5: Live chat is light on budget

If you compare live chat and phone calls, chatting is much more affordable. Unlike call agents, chat personnel can handle multiple clients at the same time. Record keeping and management is easy too. Storing audio files requires tons of digital space. The same does not apply on chats. You can store thousands, if not millions, of chats in 1GB of space.

Which software are the best?

At Cloudways, we are using Live Chat chat app to provide 24×7 live chat guidance. It can be easily integrated into most websites. It comes with useful team management features. It allows set ecommerce related goals and also provides reports for insights. It works equally well on most devices.

Olark is also a good option, especially for entry-level shops.

We know there are many excellent chat software available out there. List them down in the Comments section.

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About Saad Durrani

Saad is the Senior Editor at Cloudways - A Managed Cloud Hosting Platform. He is a technology enthusiast who loves to blog about emerging technologies and trends. When he is not blogging, he goes to the beach to find inspiration for his fictional stories.

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