In online business, we spend copious amounts of time on marketing and attempting to aggregate eyeballs – from SEO (search engine optimization) to Google AD spend to social media posting. When we’re lucky enough to get some traffic to our website finally, it can be thrilling. However, when we find that conversions are just not happening and our sales are dwindling, it’s time to reassess our tactics – such as what is working and what is not working. How can we improve? How can we increase interactions and conversions?
We live in a new age of online retail, but we also live in a new age of communication. Passive technology is increasing in large numbers – as a mechanism of convenience. Convenience is always key when it comes to your customers. That is why we are discussing live chat and chatbots today so that you can increase customer acquisitions and drive more sales. I’ll be covering key statistical information to support the importance of the subject today – such as live chat customers spending 60% more per purchase. Let’s discuss how to increase sales and customer acquisitions with live chat and chatbots.
Table of contents
What is online chat for business?
Live chat, also called real-time chat, is a method of communication where the conversation is live, with messages being exchanged in both directions. Customers can communicate directly with your agents through text while they are accessing and interacting with the website. Live chat can be highly effective if used correctly. It’s a way to engage with your customers, allowing them to get in touch directly with you – anytime, anywhere. It’s a great way to offer support and answer questions. It’s not only convenient for customers but preferred. One survey has shown live chat is the preferred customer experience method for people between 18 and 49.
The importance of online live chat for customer acquisition and sales
Your website is one of your best tools for customer acquisition and creating a strong base of fans. The business of getting customers is a never-ending battle that no company wants to lose. When you have attention, converting those customers into sales is important. Customers expect more from online retailers today, meaning more means of communication. Businesses need to start thinking of live chat as a lead generation strategy.
Live chat customer service online is comparable to a real person in a physical store. When customers have questions that will inform their buying decisions, they need immediacy. It’s that instant gratification that encourages the sale. Unanswered questions create downtime. This is the downtime where minds aren’t made up – meaning money is being left on the table.
Millennials and Gen X’ers largely occupy a majority of important consumer demographics online today – and they are used to different levels of communication. In fact, 63% of millennials prefer to have their basic customer support queries answered by live chat. Most people don’t like calling and waiting on hold for service – the type of thing your parents and grandparents were used to. Times have changed.
Other powerful stats for customer live chat
Consumers want passive technology that provides instant gratification. This information studied at the analytical level by retailers is proof of that.
The largest retailers offer online live chat for business
If you do the keyword research for live chat nowadays, you will see just how important this trend really is. By studying some of the largest retailers – I’ve found approximately just how many customers are inquiring for online chat services. For example:
- ASOS – Asos is a leading online fashion and cosmetic retailer. According to Google search, their monthly search volume (just for the UK) for the phrase “live chat Asos” is 27,100.
- Amazon – Arguably the largest online retailer – According to Google search, their monthly search volume (just for the UK) for the phrase “live chat Amazon” is 90,500!
- Sky – Sky is one of Europe’s leading media and entertainment companies. According to Google search, their monthly search volume (just for the UK) for the phrase “live chat SKY” is 22,200.
The actual numbers of chats that happen monthly via these companies are much larger because these numbers reflected above are what users Googled. People are busy. They have kids, work, or just prefer to type than talk. It’s obvious within these numbers. People want to chat. Not everybody – but this is becoming the new normal. A recent survey found that 73% of customers find live chat the most satisfactory form of communication with a company
Online engagement and customer conversion
Customer engagement is the key to success in eCommerce. Using live chat helps customers with easy access to support – pushing conversion rates. Users are more likely to interact with your business when they are online and while they’re in the checkout process. On average, using live chat on your website increases conversion rates by 20%.
Live chat should be carefully considered as a revenue stream gateway. 63% of consumers are more likely to return to a live chat website than one without it. Customer service will always be a cornerstone of successful enterprises, so live chat is quickly becoming the go-to mechanism for online retail.
Live chat business success stories
It’s always helpful to get first-hand knowledge from online business owners like yourself who have had success with converting customers. Here are a few examples of companies that saw increased sales and more customers after implementing live chat on their websites.
This online retailer sells bottle-less water coolers. They get a lot of inquiries, and live chat has helped them to grow their business immensely. After some careful surveying, they realized their conversion rate was 40%. As one worker said, “If we can get them to engage in a chat conversation when they’re kicking the tires, we can often get them to sign up. If we see they’re stuck on a page, we can send a coupon to offer a discount, like if they sign up by the end of the week. That helps put them over the top.”
Forrester is a leading global market research company. They reported a 10% increase in their average order values when reviewing the sales from customers who engaged in a chat before making a purchase – than those that did not use live chat.
ICMI discovered that visitors that engage with a company via their websites are worth 4.5 times more than visitors that don’t.
Inflow is a digital eCommerce marketing agency. They revealed they saw a 3.48% increase in conversion rates after using live chat – meaning a 6% increase in overall revenue. This was a simple change that everyone is happier with – both customer and the business. What would a 6% increase in revenue do for your business?
How to set up online chat for business
You can add live chat to your site with a few quick steps. It will typically be included as part of your plan with your website host (Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix). They typically recommend you to simply install a “widget” to get this setup. After this is completed, a chat icon will appear in the bottom right of the website. It takes just 10 minutes and is very simple to complete. Afterwards, simply select settings and messaging options to customize your experience.
For Shopify, customers go here
For WooCommerce customers, go here.
For Wix, customers go here.
What are chatbots?
Business moves fast and far beyond borders. Many online retail companies work with customers all over the world. For companies that want to scale rapidly, this is a huge benefit. However, businesses may not be available at all times of the day. Customers in other countries may inquire about products or services outside standard operating hours. This is where chatbots come into play.
Customers today have more expectations about brands – including being available more often. One survey showed that 51% of customers want businesses to be available 24/7.
Chatbots are computer programs powered by artificial intelligence that can have conversations with users. They’re made to understand what a human is asking and then provide an appropriate response. Chatbots are also used during standard operating hours in customer service, reducing call centre volume and improving the customer experience (CX) – while enabling interactions when human agents aren’t available. Chatbots have the capability to become an enabler for your business and help you incorporate Artificial Intelligence into your online strategy.
How to setup chatbots
Because chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate conversations with humans, they act like a computer – and are not sentient, obviously, so they can’t do everything for you. There are automatic answers that reply for you to the most commonly asked questions – which you set up prior. Again, setting up chatbots is helpful for online business owners because they’re easy to use, inexpensive, and provide an interactive interface between your brand and its audience.
Step 1 chatbots
Decide which platform you want to work with. There are various options, including Manychat, Chatfuel, and Mobile Monkey.
Step 2 chatbots
Go to your automation section to setup up “triggers.” These are answers and questions responses. You want to go through your “FAQs” typically used on your website and more relevant and detailed questions you think of for customers. It is ok to say, “we are closed, but I am a chatbot.” Customers appreciate transparency.
Step 3 chatbots
Build a flow process. What links do you want to send users to? Do you want to direct them to a support page for common questions or inquiries? Etc. Based on the questions asked will dictate what action you’d like them to take next.
Besides your website, I also highly recommend chatbots with Facebook Messenger as well. Facebook has over a billion users that use messenger every month. Chatbot integrations via Facebook make it easy for businesses.
Customer acquisitions with online chat for business and chatbots
Online chat and chatbots are the new storefronts. You can create a positive customer experience and increase conversions by increasing engagement. Connect with your customers at any time without worrying about call studies. Online chat and chatbots let you get a better idea of what your customers are looking for so that you can provide the right solutions and opinions to increase conversions and close sales. Chatbots will also help save your customers time and make the sales process more efficient. If you are interested in our 3pl fulfilment services for your eCommerce store, schedule a free, no-obligation discovery call today.