Depending on the industry you’re in, your online store converts around 1 to 3% of your website visitors into customers.
If your visitors are converting even higher than that—say, 5% or 7%—you should be celebrating. After all, you’re doing better than the average of your competitors!
But here’s the issue: this still means that out of 100 people that visit your online store, 95 of them leave without making a purchase.
Not just that: they often do so without leaving a trace (like an email address) or telling you the reason they haven’t bought anything this time (in other words, they don’t proactively reach out for help).
This is hardly a surprise. If your visitor can’t find the right product (or the right color, size, or other variation), the world wide web helps them move onto the next store. This switch only takes seconds.
Contacting you through phone or email can be time-consuming and require a lot more effort than simply finding another place to buy from.
This isn’t just an assumption we made: Forrester’s research found that 53% of US online adults are likely to abandon their online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer to their question.
Does this come in red?
How long will it take for my order to arrive if I order this evening?
Can you suggest other fashion items I can pair my new shoes with?
Which product can I use to clean and preserve my new dining room table?
How can I…?
You get the point. Brick-and-mortar shops have the advantage of answering questions and providing advice on the spot. They can also see which products their visitor is looking at, proactively approach to offer help, and literally take them to the right section of the store.
They can suggest products that better suit their customer’s needs and recommend complementary products to go with them.
Luckily, you can do exactly that in your online store with live chat, and in this guide, we’ll cover exactly what it takes to make it happen.
The why behind ecommerce live chat
Let’s not pretend like we’ve just uncovered some new, unknown way to make more sales online. Folks from eMarketer covered the helpfulness of live chat for ecommerce a full decade ago!
At the time, they came to a simple conclusion: while live chat cannot solve every ecommerce problem there is, it’s a valuable service that helps encourage your visitors to buy—and to keep coming back to buy again.
With this in mind, it’s surprising how many businesses make incorrect assumptions around customer support preferences. Kayako’s research asked businesses what they think consumers’ preferred support channels are:
The same report found that 41% of consumers prefer live chat for support—more than phone, email, and social media.
If you’re wondering what customer support has to do with ecommerce sales, consider the following statistics:
- It’s 10 times easier to upsell existing customers than win new ones
- Happy customers have a six times higher lifetime value than others
- 83% of customers are willing to refer after a positive experience
Not only will great customer support help you sell more to customers you’ve already won—it will also attract new ones and create a ripple effect.
Live chat adds nicely to this picture because:
- Site visitors that use web chat are 2.8 times more likely to convert than those that don’t
- A buyer who chats will spend 60% more
- The average customer satisfaction rate for live chat is 83%
There’s a chance you still haven’t implemented live chat in your ecommerce store because you’re understaffed or unsure how to make the most out of it.
Will live chat open the floodgates and make it impossible to get back to everyone quickly?
Will you make the experience worse for your customers instead of making it better?
When should you even offer the live chat option during a browsing session?
To make you confident about using live chat, we’re diving into the most efficient and scalable use cases for ecommerce live chat.
Use case #1: Welcome messages for new and returning visitors and customers
You know when you walk into a brick-and-mortar store and one of the shop assistants says hi, smiles, and gently nods to let you know they’re right there in case you need them?
This is exactly the purpose of a great welcome message from your ecommerce chat.
It’s there to implicitly say: “We know there’s a lot to choose from. If you need any assistance from us, we’re just a click/tap away.”
As a general framework, there are three different scenarios to use an automated welcome message in:
- A first-time website visitor
- A returning website visitor (they’ve visited before, but haven’t purchased)
- A returning customer (they’ve purchased before and they’ve come to your website again)
You don’t need to make your welcome message long or complicated. Here are simple examples of what your welcome message could say in each of these scenarios.
First-time visitor: Hi and welcome to [store name]! Feel free to browse our products. If you have any questions, we’re right here!
Returning website visitor: Hi and welcome back! Are you still looking for the best product for you? Let us know if we can help in your search.
Returning customer: Hi and welcome back! We hope you’re enjoying our product. Let us know if we can help you find the perfect addition to it!
As long as you’re sending these with a slight delay (20 to 30 seconds at least), you’re providing your visitors with value without being intrusive.
Use case #2: Recommend the right products or product variations
If your website visitor spends a lot of time looking at just one product or browsing a specific product category, it’s a signal they might have questions about it before they choose to buy it.
Same goes for visitors who’ve come to this product or category page from a specific marketing campaign, such as email promotion or a Google Shopping ad.
In both scenarios, the nature of the browsing session is the same: the specific interest is there, but there’s something that’s keeping them from making a purchase.
This is where you can jump in with a message that offers assistance.
Here are some examples:
- This product comes in X colors and Y sizes. Can we help you choose the right one?
- Can we help you choose the right option for you from our range of [product category]?
- Still looking for the right [product category]? Tell us your requirements and we’ll help you choose the best one for you.
Using signals like time spent on page and product categories will help you deliver the right message at the right time. This way, you can encourage purchases that you would otherwise likely miss out on.
Use case #3: Recommend complementary products
With real-time information on what your customers are looking at and adding to cart, you can create an even better experience by suggesting matching products.
The idea isn’t to sell a more expensive product or trick your customer into buying what they don’t need. Instead, you want them to feel the delight of having a complete experience with your product instead of realizing they’re missing a crucial part of it later.
Here are some examples:
- If they’re buying a bicycle, they’ll need a helmet, a bike lock, and lights
- If they’re buying leather shoes, they’ll need a cleaning product
- If they’re buying a mattress, they’ll need bedding and pillows
So when your customer adds a product to their cart, let them keep browsing through your products. If they don’t add a complementary product to their cart soon, use your chat to suggest it!
Use case #4: Proactively ask about concerns before checking out
According to the Baymard Institute, an average 7 out of 10 people will abandon their cart.
For your store, this can mean thousands of dollars of loss you’re not even accounting for. Recovering just a portion of it could make a huge impact on your store’s growth!
There are many reasons shopping cart abandonment happens. Here are some major reasons:
Live chat comes in handy here because you can address these issues head on. Maybe even more importantly, you can collect data on what it is that’s making your customer hesitate.
Here are some events that could signal potential cart abandonment:
- Adding products to cart, then becoming inactive
- Viewing the shopping cart or the checkout page and not moving forward
- Adding products to cart, then viewing pages with shipping and returns information
In these cases, you can use your live chat to offer assistance. Your message can be as simple as:
“Is there anything we can do to help you finish your purchase?”
You can leave it as an open-ended question, or you can offer a list of answers your customer can easily click on, along with an option to add their own answer or expand upon their selection.
After some time, you may notice certain patterns in reasons your customers hesitate at checkout and use them to update your shipping and returns policies, your checkout flow, and other areas of your ecommerce website.
Use case #5: Use high-intent signals to attach products to chat
The worst thing you could do with such an open communication channel is pushing your products at every chance you get.
The best thing you could do? Offering your products at the exact moment your customer wants it.
These high-intent purchase signals could happen in any of the use cases we’ve covered so far, or they may come up naturally as your visitor reaches out with questions.
And when they do, you can use your live chat to let them make their purchase right there and then. At this point, you don’t want them to have to jump through hoops just to buy the product—it should be as simple and frictionless as possible.
With Jumper’s option to create fully customizable automated flows, this is exactly what you can enable:
Based on earlier scenarios, you may use this approach with the following messages:
- When your customer confirms the product size they’re looking for, your message can say: “Perfect! It comes in three colors. Just tap the one you’d like to go forward with the purchase!”
- When your customer says they need a bike lock along with the bike they’re buying, your message can say: “Here are our two bestsellers. Just tap the one you’d like to buy!”
Chatbots versus human support and what to keep in mind
Before you run off to launch your ecommerce live chat, here are a couple of things to consider first.
Monitor your live chat and make the most out of your data
The great thing about live chat is that a lot of what we covered can be automated and scaled. You can set up your own rules, custom flows, checkout templates, and more in order to convert more visitors without spending more time or hiring more people.
Jumper lets you edit every message and rule to make the most out of it:
However, customer issues can come up that are more complex than a predefined flow could solve.
This is why it’s crucial to keep an eye on all the automated sequences going on. By doing this, you can jump in at any point, as well as understand the portion of conversations your chatbot can handle on its own.
You can then improve your templates and custom flows, as well as predict the number of people you need at any hour of the day to provide the hands-on support that your customers need.
The longer you do this, the better informed you’ll be thanks to data such as number of conversations, purchases, and questions your customer support system handles.
You cannot scale empathy
Automated responses from chatbots are very good at offering answers and products based on clear-cut messages from customers.
However, when an issue warrants more than a pre-written reply and requires rich information or dealing with emotions such as dissatisfaction, a human interaction is essential.
The biggest mistake you can make is to pretend that’s not the case and ignore your customer altogether. Make sure they’re always able to ask for a human agent to talk to, and make it obvious during which periods of the day can they count on reaching an agent quickly.
If you don’t do so, your customers will end up in frustration. That won’t help your case or make them loyal to you. This was brilliantly captured by Marketoonist:
Take action on ecommerce live chat now
The verdict is clear: live chat for your ecommerce store can do wonders for your growth and success.
Your customers will buy more often, spend more money per order, enjoy their customer experience, and happily refer their friends to you, too—but only if your chat made it a more practical, delightful, streamlined buying journey than it would be without the chat.
Ecommerce Live Chat 101: How to Grow Your Sales With ConversationsBecause of that, make sure to know exactly which points of that purchase journey you can improve and simplify with live chat.Make sure to check out Jumper to create fully customized checkout experiences, both real-time and with automated chatbots!
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