March 26, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About Ecommerce Live Chat (and How Your Business Can Benefit From It)

Finding it difficult to convert your online store visitors into customers? Well, here's a nifty guide to using an Ecommerce live chat to do it all for you.

Ecommerce is booming, and how! Today, in 2021, the Ecommerce market is expected to generate over $4.5 trillion, and those numbers will continue to increase in the future. Although it has brought about many significant plus points that ultimately lead to better experience and convenience for the end consumers, there are some drawbacks as well, ones which are essentials being missed from the brick and mortar world.

In the offline world, you could just go up to a salesperson to ask for any help you needed with your purchase. All your queries would be solved right then and there, in the easiest way possible. This, however, is not always the case with online purchases, where we no longer have the privilege of asking for help from a salesperson, so we rely on the information available on our screens.

More often than not, this lack of assistance in completing a purchase or having queries resolved from an actual person leads up to the most dreaded issue with Ecommerce sales - cart abandonment

In other cases, it ends up leading to a high number of exchanges or returns, because customers end up buying the wrong items.

But, and it is a big one, what if there was help available to your customers while they are in the middle of considering whether or not they should go ahead and complete the purchase? 

An actual, digital equivalent of the salesperson we are so used to in the offline world?

Things would be very, very different. And this is where technology like conversational Ecommerce live chat can come to your rescue. 

In this article, we will do a deep dive into everything you need to know about live chat, and how your Ecommerce business can benefit from it, not just in terms of the usual customer support bit, but the more advanced, more tangible, increasing sales and conversions for your online store bit. 

What is an Ecommerce live chat?

Ecommerce live chat is a tool that helps you interact with the visitors and customers of your online store on its website, mobile app, or any other platform in real-time. 

Live chat helps you to resolve customer’s queries and hesitations, provide them with buying assistance, upsell and cross-sell offerings, and much more.

By being present for your store visitors in the moment of their highest intent, an ecommerce live chat like TextChat helps you develop an intangible relationship with them and reflect your brand’s ethos and values transparently.

So, without any further ado, let us get right into it.

How does live chat work?


At its basic, live chat is a really simple and straightforward display of technology enabling business productivity. Here is how the basic flow works: 

  • A visitor arrives on your Ecommerce store and starts looking at a product X because they are interested in purchasing it, just browsing, or any other myriad of humanly possible reasons
  • While they are at it, they come to realize they would like to know something more about an aspect of your product or offering and decide to look for options to reach out to you
  • You have a live chat pop-up ready on your online store, they use the same and ting! A notification arrives on your device (whatever it is you are using - mobile phone, browser, or any other)
  • And it’s done! You could now help a prospect to become a customer, all in real-time, at the convenience of both time, money, and efforts. Magical, is it not?
Don’t have a smart live chat app on your Shopify store? Install TextChat now


But does live chat really work?


Oh, you bet it does. Live chat has so many benefits, that we actually had to go ahead and flesh out this section to make it as in-depth as we could to explain all of those. 

An Ecommerce live chat offers you a bunch of business-related, productivity-related, and brand experience-related benefits, some of which are such that you can not really put a number (any number) to measure its impact, but just know that it helps.

Kind of like how some things are just immeasurable to the T but really essential for your business to grow.

Following are some of the arguments in favour of why and how live chat software for an Ecommerce store really works, in the simplest and most unbiased way possible:

1. Live chat can help you increase sales and conversions by up to 40%


If you are one of those who still think of live chat software as a means of providing support to your customers, think again, and really hard! 

Gone are the days when live chat tools were only meant to hold support conversations with your prospect (there are other, much better avenues to achieve the same so you better not waste the same opportunity here).

Live chat has now evolved to a point where savvy businesses are making the most of it in helping amplify their sales and revenues (and conversions, of course) by up to 40%. They are actually conversing their way into making visitors complete a purchase or even nudging them to check out more products that would interest them. 


2. Consumers today prefer live chat over any other contact channel


According to a report, more than 76% of consumers today prefer live chat as their number one channel of preference when it comes to engaging with a brand. And when so many in your target set have something they would like to be a certain way, you have got to make sure you are doing a good job of providing it as well. 

By providing an option for your customers to live chat on your Ecommerce store, you are giving them a way to reach out to you easily. That speaks a lot about your brand’s transparency and willingness to help them make an informed purchase.  


3. Live chat answers customers’ questions before they become hesitations


When people are roaming about in your store, or whatever is the digital equivalent of window shopping, they want to be able to ask questions. And not just that, they expect to be answered as promptly and comprehensively as possible. 

If, as an Ecommerce store owner, you are not able to provide your customer with an answer to a doubt or query they raised, they are simply going to assume the worst, and that could not be any worse for a brand.

One of the ways that live chat really works for a brand is by giving it a chance to answer a customer’s query, before it becomes a hesitation for them. Just by being present, you can solve for a lost sale or an abandoned visitor, by answering some of the most basic questions about your product and offerings.


4. Live chat helps you cut customer support costs


As a business owner, you would be well versed with the costs associated with running and scaling an Ecommerce business. Over time, some costs add up drastically, making it impossible to sustain a running business. No wonder that nine out of every ten online stores shut shop within a few months of starting up.

One such cost, that is bound to increase exponentially as a business gets scaled are of course, customer support expenses. Having someone to reply to customer queries at all times is similar to a representative in-store.

Live chat, because of its digital interface, doesn't require someone to stay on stand-by for incoming questions from customers. You can manage queries on-the-go by yourself or even with a small team. 


5. Live chat saves time for both your customers and your company


They say time is the most scarce commodity out there, and nothing could be more true about the nature of how humanity works. Especially now, in the twenty first century, when things move at a breakneck speed, both business, and even more so consumers, are always on a look out for getting value out of their endeavours as soon as they can.

Live chat is something that sits right at the heart of this, and helps save time for both the parties involved in the interaction.

Your customer doesn’t have to pick up their phone or shoot you an email with whatever they need help with. They do not need to wait for minutes or even hours on hold to get an answer.

Your support agent or your marketing associate can in parallel serve multiple people at the same time. No one needs to stay on stand-by. It is simply a win win situation for all.

6. Live chat humanizes your Ecommerce store


As much as we pretend for it to be otherwise, at the end of the day, Ecommerce interactions are happening behind an immovable wall. Be it your computer screen, your mobile screen, your iPad, or any other device of your liking. 

And in such an interaction, there is bound to be a dearth of human connection (or more like an abundance of a mundane, robotic connection) that simply can be too overwhelming. We are all suckers for a human connection though, are we not?

Live chat, by its very nature, helps you provide an experience that is tied in how we love to interact - through chat. By telling your prospect that there is an actual, real human on the other side of the screen, you are building a connection that goes far beyond any other aspect of your brand might be able to provide so easily. 

So, isn’t live chat only meant for Ecommerce customer support?


In a nutshell, absolutely NOT. 

We would even go so far as to say that customer support is only one of the two aspects that the live chat on your Ecommerce store should be taking care of.

Live chat is supposed to amplify your online store’s sales and conversions by making the interaction that your prospective customers have on your store proactive, and even more targeted than anything else.

Apart from working as a support tool, you need to start thinking of your store’s live chat software as a sales tool as well.

Anytime a customer is browsing on your store, your live chat should be equipped with assisting them with any queries which might break the deal for them. But more importantly, unless you’re using live chat for what it is meant to be - ‘live chatting’ with your customers, you cannot unlock the revenue it holds for you. 

Think about the last time a store representative talked you into buying a t-shirt alongside the pair of jeans you were purchasing. Just by conversing and not pushing you to do it. 

Below, we’re sharing some examples of live chat at play for an online store.

No matter the type of business you are in, you can always take cue from others in the industry on how to use an Ecommerce live chat app. 

Examples of live chat doing wonders for an Ecommerce store


There are numerous, potentially limitless number of ways live chat can do wonders for your Ecommerce store, but below are some that take the cake. 

1. Use live chat to engage new visitors straight away


What happens when a new visitor lands on your store? They probably roam around for a bit, trying to get a hang of what it is that you have on offer, the deals and discounts that are there, your store promise and policies, and so on. But despite that, a typical Ecommerce store sees a bounce rate of about 45% and having a live chat can bring it down by a whopping 17%.

One way to reduce this bounce rate and nudge this visitor to take an action, is to start a conversation. It could be something that simply says a hi, welcomes them to your store or lets them know that you’re around if they need help with anything. This does two things - shows the new visitor that you’re a helpful brand and two, guides their shopping journey towards a favorable outcome by addressing what’s playing on their mind. 


2. Use live chat to send targeted messages to high-value visitors


A wise person once said, not all visitors or customers that come to your store hold the same value for you. Some give you $ and some give you $$$, you get the drift (what, you thought we would say anything otherwise? Nope, every interaction you have with any person on your online store is a valuable one). 

Hence, it makes sense to engage with your audience in a similar way. Some just want to buy your products for a trial, and some could be your biggest fan and evangelist. This is where you can leverage your live chat software to send messages targeted to your prospects and strike a ‘timely’ conversation. 


3. Use live chat to encourage visitors to complete a task


Think about when you step into a store wanting to buy some bed linen. So you start browsing through the first collection you see on your right. 

Then a store representative walks up to you and encourages you to also check out a limited edition collection that is down the aisle. They also mention that there’s a 20% discount on it!

Both the words trigger the shopper in you to walk with them to the aisle and see what it is all about. The representative, in this scenario, has nudged you to complete a task that is favorable to them.

You can do the same using a live chat software on your Shopify or Ecommerce store. While chatting with a visitor, you can encourage them to check out more products based on their query or direct them to a page that holds more information.

Similarly, you could use this conversation to nudge them to create a wishlist for an upcoming sale or sign up for a customer account to avail a discount. 


4. Use live chat to create a unified customer experience


Let’s say your brand has an offline presence. Your store representatives are always proactively helping out those who step into your store. 

Now you also have an online store. With last year’s pandemic changing how consumers make purchases, most of your offline customers switched to online too.

But the only thing you did not take into account is how they have the same expectations from your brand as offline. This is where most brands, even the successful ones, lose out on their customers.

An Ecommerce live chat helps smoothen this difference between online and offline. It lets you be proactive enough to help visitors with purchases, recommend products to them or just be there during their shopping session.

The unified experience is what goes a long way to win this customer’s loyalty. 


5. Use live chat to be more personal – and personable


Live chat is probably the only human associated interaction some of your audience is going to have with your brand, and you have to ensure it is on point, always, all the time. One of the things you can achieve with your online store’s live chat communication strategy is to ensure you are adding a really personal touch to every interaction that you are having with your prospect. That happens when YOU step in and take over the conversation from a chatbot. 

With live chat apps like TextChat, you get the ability to join a conversation at any given point in time. When a customer drops you a message, you get a link on SMS to join the conversation along with a smart notification. 

All you need to do is click the link and start chatting - no app required. 

This lets you give your live chat a personal touch with your very own personality, while the chatbot can be credited for starting the conversation at the right time. 


When does live chat work?


Just like any other thing in life or business, live chat works when you get the recipe to make it work right. And the most important aspect of a live chat to work is the turnaround time to conversations. 

As a general rule to follow for your brand, it goes something like this: for every chat that you close in under one minute, you end up increasing your conversion rates by up to a whopping 320%!

Despite this fact being a no brainer, so many Ecommerce stores out there, deploy live chat for it to only become dead chat (pun intended). 

As in the customers’ experience is dead the minute they drop in a message.

Why? Basically customers drop a message along with their contact details and then it takes hours for the store to come around, defeating the core purpose of having a live chat on the store in the first place.

Think about the number of times you dropped a query, waited for 5 minutes and then simply left the store. 

Before we get into how a live chat can be made to work the way it should, let’s take a look at the status quo. 

Live chat: what is the status quo?


Typically, how live chat works currently can be summed up as such: a prospective customer lands on your Ecommerce store and drops in a message with their query. 

They receive a prompt to drop in their email ID to be contacted on, or worse, get greeted by an impersonal bot. 

As naive as the customer usually is not knowing that they are not going to be heard as early as they would rightfully expect to be heard, obliges and provides their details. 

Then, after waiting for about a whole minute, they leave the online store, flocking off to many other important matters in their lives that they have to attend to. 

And guess what, you have lost them not just for this once, but potentially, forever. 

By the time you get back to them, there’s a high chance they’ve found another store to purchase from. 

That’s not the only problem. Let’s take a look at the other issues with how Ecommerce live chats are being managed as of today: 

1. It takes a dedicated support agent or sales representative  to manage the live chat all day long


If you are to provide your customers with the personal and individual care that you aspire to, you are sure to be required to put in the effort. And when it comes to live chat, one of the biggest problems facing the channel is the dedication required, in terms of a resource for you to be able to ace it. 

In order to make it work for your business, you have to go ahead and dedicate all the time you can - well, almost - to answer the questions your store visitors may have.

To be able to do this, you’re going to have to remain glued to your screen all day long. Either to a desktop software or a mobile app. 

In general, the most a prospect or customer is willing to wait to receive a reply from your brand is about 2 minutes, give or take. That’s less time than it takes to fix a quick snack in the kitchen or walk down the hall to the restroom and back.

So that means absolutely no work breaks, anytime during the day. Now just try to imagine this scenario if you are catering to a global audience!


2. Hiring live chat agents increases the costs of operations exponentially


As your online store grows, or the volume of the support queries you receive in a given time do, either ways, you are going to end up adding more and more no. of agents to support your live chat channel. And that is just for the support that you would be providing, if you are to go ahead and capitalize live chat as a channel for conversions and sales, even more costs!

So, whether you like it or not, having the means to provide a differentiated customer experience comes at a cost. And while this is a big problem, it is now a good problem to have. Since by being savvy about it, just like thousands of Ecommerce stores have done in the past, you can end up navigating your way around these added expenses. Well, more on it later in the sections below, but now it was important to be stated. 

3. You have no control over your or your live agent’s availability


Let’s face it: you are not going to be available to respond to the plethora of chat inquiries you are going to receive on your online store's live chat software, or would already be receiving in one way or the other. 

There will be days when there is no incoming message. But there will be those days when your live chat is on fire!

Either way, you need to ensure there is someone around to answer the live chat at all times. This gives you less to no control over your or your live agent’s availability, whilst your visitor’s expectations still being the same. 

4. Prospects and customers have to wait all too long to get the answers they want 


Building from the point we raised above, if you are not going to be available all the time, your prospects and customers will end up waiting for response and bounce off to other avenues. 

This, almost always, creates an unwanted perception of your brand that is sure to hamper you in the long run.

A live chat is not meant to be dead. A dead chat is never going to yield any sales.  


5. Managing live chat requires downloading and using clunky apps


To run the live chat software on your online store, if you are running a legacy tool, or one that isn’t made with thoughtfulness, you are bound to feel that you are using a clunky piece of software. 

That experience in itself can break the deal for either you, or whoever you task with taking care of live chat on your online store. 

Most Ecommerce live chat solutions require you to install either a desktop or a mobile app on your store. 

6. People do not like engaging with chatbots anymore, they are just passe


And that is kind of true, back in the day, when they were launched as a new piece of tech, the buzz was something else. Over time, the use of it has saturated into uninspiring ways in which online businesses engage their audience, and it is not a good sight. 

As consumers, we simply ignore a chatbot message by thinking how it isn’t going to give us ‘real answers’.

Especially with the pandemic changing things around us, we no longer believe a chatbot can understand the emotions behind our questions. We want to be able to ‘talk’ to a brand. 


Evolving with the times: Changing how ecommerce live chat is managed


With tools like TextChat, ecommerce live chat has truly been revolutionized to an extent where it is no longer intrusive, time consuming, or a resource heavy exercise. 

By providing you with the convenience of being able to serve your prospects and audience from wherever you are, you can be sure of never missing a chat, providing the best in terms of support, sales, and service, without burning a hole in your pockets.

Earlier, you had to sit in front of a screen to answer customer queries and questions all day long, but not any more.

TextChat makes it as simple as texting with your friend, and we even go to the lengths of saying, “if you can text, you can use TextChat.”

Here are the typical steps involved that make it unique from traditional Ecommerce live chat softwares that have been negating the whole customer experience on your store: 

  1. A customer or prospect on your online store reaches out to you with a question by clicking on the TextChat chat widget and the “Sales” call to action button
  1. TextChat notifies you of the question via an SMS notification on your mobile phone, along with a link to reply to the customer then and there itself, no hassles whatsoever
  1. You click on the link in your text messages and start talking to the customer — no mobile app download required; we use your browser 
  1. Once you’re done, you can close the chat, and go back to doing what you were before the query came in 


Yes, it’s as simple as that and we’d love to show you how TextChat is leveraging the power of both live chat and SMS in one innovative solution. To give it a try, you can get a 14 days free trial here

Best practices for conversational ecommerce live chat

 

Ecommerce live chat has now been around for a while, and savvy Ecommerce and other online brands have been able to master how to get the most out of it. Following are some of the most useful best practices that you can simply implement for your online store, right off the bat. 

However, if you feel any of these could be modified for better impact, or have any other ideas that you feel could give better results, do not shy away from giving those a try as well. So, without further ado, jump right in to read the best practices for Ecommerce live chat:


1. Get rid of clunky software and use a smart live chat solution 


Okay, this is the most important one, which is why we are going to say this first. 

Most Shopify stores and Ecommerce businesses make use of clunky live chat softwares to talk to their customers.

While the widgets work pretty much in a similar fashion, it’s the backend through which you’re required to answer these queries or manage them, that becomes overwhelming.

In most cases, it requires you to install an app on your desktop or your mobile device. Considering the number of tabs we always have open in a browser or the average number of mobile apps we tend to have on our phones, the additional live chat app is just not welcome. 

What’s more? You’ll still end up missing out on notifications if you have a DND mode on.

This is where getting a smart Ecommerce live chat solution like TexChat comes into play. You’re not required to install any app or stick to your desktop screens to be able to manage the incoming questions.

If you receive any message on the live chat widget on your store, TextChat sends you a notification on SMS. This ensures that you get notified at the right time, even if your DND is on. So you know a potential customer is waiting for you.

To join the conversation, it sends you a quick link that you can click on to simply start chatting. It doesn’t require you to install any kind of app, on any device. This makes it easy to manage live chat even when you’re up and about!

Don’t believe us? Get a 14-days free trial of live chat here


2. Improve response time with canned responses


Canned responses are basically just a bunch of default responses that you can send to your customers or prospects based on the nature of their query. More like how you do not need to write down or intimate your store policies to your prospects all the time, there are many other customer queries that are asked more frequently than some others. 

By building a repository of such canned responses for your frequently asked questions, and other messages you would like to send to people chatting with your live agents, you can easily cut down on the first response time and the overall time it takes to close a query from start to end. 


3. Integrate live chat at right places & pages


So, this is an important one, you would have come across hundreds or probably more number of articles telling you how you should have live chat omnipresent on all your online store’s digital properties. 

Well, in reality, while that is a good thing to have, what is more important is to have live chat present in places where you absolutely need them. So, your mandate should be to set up an Ecommerce live chat widget at the right places and pages. 

Imagine a person is on your category page which simply shows what all options you have available, could they possibly have any kind of questions at this point? Probably not.

But now think about the same consumer on a specific product page where they can customize the item to the T before placing an order. Would they have some questions in mind about the customizations or the varying price? 

Most likely, yes.

A good practice is to implement live chat widgets on high-traffic pages. You can also use live chat on pages you tend to see most of your visitors bouncing off from - there’s a high chance they don’t understand what you’re selling.

Do your due diligence to understand when and where your store visitors need help. 


4. Improve resolution time with intelligent routing 


Savvy live chat software comes equipped with features that help you improve not just the productivity of your support team’s members, but also end up creating an experience for your audience that is really convenient. 

One such feature that comes really handy is called intelligent routing.

According to Wiki, “Intelligent routing, also known as skills-based routing or smart routing, is a critical technology in contact centers. It's the system that directs all incoming customer queries — via phone, email, messaging, chat, or any other channel — to the correct solution or agent.” In simpler words, it redirects the chat in a way that maximizes the output in terms of resolution. 

For example, if a customer has a support related question such as the size of a product, you can route the question to a specific member in the team.

But if the customer has a question around bulk orders and how to proceed placing an order, the query should be going to a sales representative instead. 


5. Personalize your conversations with video chat


Although it hasn’t picked up as much yet, video chat for your online chat as an alternative to text is a great way for you to be able to provide a more human, personable experience to the audience. There are some softer aspects of communication that come to shine only when there is human emotion portrayed through our faces, and video chat helps you achieve exactly that. 

What’s more? You don’t always have to do it live with the audience. You can route people on your chat to relevant, pre-recorded videos regarding their queries, and that will work almost as well as the former. 


6. Real time engagement with co-browsing


Co-browsing, also known as collaborative browsing, is an amazing feature in new age live chat softwares that empowers your live chat agents to collaborate with the customer's browser in real time. The agent can view to identify in depth the customer’s query, and jointly navigate over the customer's screen to guide interactively for customer support or sales assistance, or both. 

Although this hasn’t picked up as much in Ecommerce as it has in other verticals, mostly SaaS, this is a great way to ensure you are providing your audience with engagement that helps cut through the siloed, online clutter. 

7. Adopt the right live chat etiquette for your online store 


They say how you do anything is how you do everything, and we couldn’t agree more. When it comes to how your brand presents itself in front of your audience speaks everything about its values, culture and ethos. Hence, it becomes super imperative for you to maintain a live chat etiquette that is consistently aligned with the vision and mission of your brand. 

Not just that, you also need to have all your live chat agents and other members of the team who might be serving or helping customers via live chat inculcate the same ideas and reflect them at all times. The tone, the language, the choice of words, the design of things, everything matters when it comes to adopting the live chat etiquette that needs to be built. 

8. Automate your conversations by using chatbots (but don’t over do it)


We know, we know. We were criticizing chat bots in this article just moments ago, but just hear us out okay? Chat bots do work, okay? It’s just that there is a very specific set of circumstances where you make them useful vs when you end up creating an experience that disrupts the flow of user experience on your online store. The skill lies in knowing (and then doing) it right, always. 

For starters, you should use chatbots for automating the most hygiene things of live chat that you are going to be using for your online store. 

For example, collecting personal details you need for contacting the customer in case they drop back? Order related details? Other stuff that you would prefer you had handy by the time you reach out to serve your customer. All these things are something you can look at when automating conversations on your online store with live chat software bots. But as we mentioned in the headline, do not overdo it!

9. Measure SLAs with the right live chat metrics


No matter how great or amazing your live chat support team is, it is always a better idea to put a number to your performance. 

Mostly so that you can benchmark it against how the industry is doing, or better yet, monitor it to track your movement over time. One of the best practices is to have the right live chat metrics in place, one which your entire team is aware of and follows religiously. 


10. Maintain your customer support quality at all costs


Your customer support is probably the only thing your customer cares about doing transactions with your business. In a survey by Forbes magazine, 82% of the participants in the survey where consumers who preferred customer service interaction experience well over anything else from a brand, the quality of products and services included!

In such a scenario, it becomes essential for you to provide customer support that sits right at the heart of your brand’s customer centric values, and its mission. One of the ways to maintain the quality of your support is to train all your agents in the same way, religiously, and rigorously, so that they are well aware of the kind of interactions to provide to your audience. 


11. Obtain customer feedback after every conversation


What good is a brand that does not believe in hearing straight from the horse’s mouth? Not very. Customer feedback is the breakfast of brands that champion their way to unbounded love from their customers, so if you are looking to build a brand anything like it, consider collecting and actioning on feedback collected from your prospects and customers after every conversation you hold with them. 

One of the easiest ways to do this is through something called the NPS survey (Net Promoter Score), where you ask people to rate you a score from one to ten, and the better rating you get, the more satisfied are your customers, meaning that your business is being run well. If something is a miss, you know what to fix, and how.


12. Collect customer information with pre-chat forms


One of the better tactics to make the most of and also provide an unparalleled experience to your audience is by giving them their time’s worth. When people are reaching out to you, you have a window of opportunity to maximize on the time at hand, by way of gleaning major details and information from them that you are going to need in order to fulfil their service request. 

One of the ways to achieve this is by having a pre chat form in place, one that prompts your prospect or customer to leave in all the information you are going to need. It is proactive, it is non-intrusive, and it is helpful.


13. Categorize chats with tags


Given the plethora of live chat tickets that you have coming in on a daily basis, it probably can get really overwhelming to keep track of them. 

Which is why tagging your live chat tickets basis their matter is a good practise to have. You know, just in case you would want to refer to them later, use them as a canned response, annotate some learning, or anything else you would like to achieve. 

You could have multiple tags based on different needs including priority, type, agent involved, resolution status and more. 


14. Use a typing indicator for your live chat tool


Let’s face it: people in today’s day and age are more impatient than ever. With the average attention span dropping below 9 seconds (which is lower than that of a goldfish, just by the way), people want to know what is happening even before it has happened. 

A typing indicator in your live chat software is just like any other typing indicator that you can find in messengers like WhatsApp, Slack, Telegram, or any other similar tool that you would have come across in your business use cases. They let the person on the other end know that you are typing in the response to them, reassuring them that they need not be anxious about whatever it is they are willing to seek help for, and makes them satisfied.


15. Accept chat requests automatically, always


One of the strongest tenets of building a brand that people adore is to be someone who is always approachable. When people hit you up on your ecommerce store’s live chat, you do not want to give away the impression that you do not care enough about them. 

As soon as a prospect or customer reaches out to you with their query, make sure that you are accepting their request to take it forward automatically, a hundred times out of a hundred. 


16. Send users a chat transcript after concluding the chat


Once you are done chatting with a prospect, it is a good idea to send up a roundup of your conversation to them over their email or with a link to it to their phone via an SMS. This way, even if they forget what it is they needed to troubleshoot their issue, or do not remember what was discussed, they can always refer to it again and get their resolution almost instantly. 

Although this is more useful in the case of a support related ticket, but you never know, what might work wonders for your audience. So go crazy with experimenting when it comes to your live chat software.


17. Integrate your live chat tool with your CRM software


Why? Very simple reason. So that you have a unified view of the prospect or customer your live chat agents are going to serve. It never hurts to have more context about who it is that you are having a conversation with. This especially holds true for sales-related queries that come into your live chat. 


Different scenarios when live chat comes handy for your Ecommerce business


You are probably wondering, would people on my online store even be using live chat for anything other than asking help with their placed orders? 

Let’s just say that you would be very, very pleasantly surprised to know the actual outcome if you do go ahead with testing the same.

The short answer is, if given the option, your prospect and customer will always ask you questions to clear their hesitations, that will help them make better buying decisions, and in most cases than not, help increase your online store’s sales top line. 

Following are some of the scenarios when a prospective customer or an existing customer might reach out to you via live chat:

  • Your prospect needs help with product related issues: sizing, color, fit, and more
  • Your prospect wants clarity on shipping, return and other policies
  • Your prospect wants a second opinion on what product suits them the best
  • Your prospect wants to put in an additional request regarding their order, and more
  • Your prospect is seeking product recommendations based on their interests 

Should you hire live agents for your Ecommerce store?


Honestly speaking, what you should do here is take an objective approach. Your answer needs to revolve around whether or not having (or not having something) will help improve the shopping experience you offer to consumers and drive sales on your store. 

Some Ecommerce companies do it really well and get a major share of their earnings attributed to the live chat they provide, while some others have been doing wonderfully well despite not having a live chat at all.

While hiring live chat agents as your online store grows will definitely impact your expenses, you could think of going ahead with a robust tool such as TextChat that will help you navigate these costs - at least, initially, when you’re a one man army or a small team - by giving you the tools required to manage incoming questions on the go. 

So, before you make a decision, here are a few questions you should ask yourself: 

  • Do your target consumers often have questions around your products? 
  • Are you able to manage live chat on your own? 
  • What is the availability in terms of time that you or your team has to manage live chat? 
  • How much revenue can you attribute to live chat? 
  • What part of the live chat/ what questions can you automate? 
  • What are the scenarios in which you really need to ‘talk’ to the customer? 
  • What are the resources available to you? 

Ecommerce live chat metrics you should be tracking to measure its success


While there are a ton of metrics associating live chat sales, support and customer service out there that you could track and refer to, some of them are plain vanity metrics that you could do without.  We’ve gone ahead and listed down some of the most important, critical ones you need to start paying more attention to, and aim to grow over time. Here’s the list of 6 of those:

  1. Average wait time: How long, on average, do your prospects and customers have to wait before they receive a response
  1. Average chat duration: How long do your conversations go on for, ideally in seconds, or any other metric that makes it easy to normalize
  1. # of chats per day: Tells you the volume of requests, ideally, the lower this is, the better for your store costs and other issues
  1. Customer satisfaction by agent: How each agent is performing in terms of how satisfied do your customers find them to be
  1. First contact resolution rate: How many of the issues that customers are coming to you with are getting solved at the first response
  1. # of missed chats per day: How many chats your team gets missed every single day, the lower this number is, the better it is for your company

And of course, the amount of revenue you can attribute to your live chat in comparison to the investment you’ve made in implementing it. 


Conclusion


Now that you are equipped with all the know-how of live chats and how they can help you do your online store business better, it is time to get your feet wet, or even jump right into the waters to test them. 

By following some of the advice shared in this post, and building on top of your own learnings from your own experience, you can be sure to leverage live chat to create a digital experience that helps delight your customers, ten times out of ten! 

And we’d love to help you get this right. 

TextChat aims at making it easier and more efficient for brands to manage live chats on their Ecommerce store.

We’re using the best of technologies - live chat and SMS, to enable an interface that is as simple as texting your friends. We’re taking the hassle out of managing live chats and we’d love to show you how. 

Get a 14-days free trial of the TextChat live chat app today and see your conversions increase by 391%