Adopting live chat for business is one of the most progressive moves you can take today as an e-commerce company. That’s right—live chat. Not dropshipping, drone delivery, or VR try-ons, but live chat.
That’s because it’s filling a huge void in the customer experience with tech that consumers already know and love. Customers have had problems with online support for ages. It’s clogged up in email tickets or it’s buried as a phone number on a support page somewhere. It’s never been immediate and available on whatever page a customer needs it to be.
Adding one simple component to your website may not seem like it would overhaul the way your customers behave, spend, and view your brand, but it does. Here’s exactly how.
When it comes to positively influencing purchases, live chat for business is a secret weapon. Customers love having the ability to quickly get their questions answered in all parts of the purchasing journey across industries. It brings that little spark of in-store sales experience onto the digital platform, even on mobile.
In terms of pure conversion rates, live chat for business excels. Live chat increases conversions by 20% for B2B software and customers who chat are 3x more likely to buy than those who don’t chat. It’s not hard to see ‘why’ when you think about the convenience that chat adds to a customer journey. Last-minute questions are easily handled and more extensive questions get routed to a sales expert right when a customer raises a doubt.
Not only are conversions higher, but spending is higher as well. People who use live chat support spend an average of 60% more per purchase than those who don’t use chat. Building customer confidence through great immediate support and keeping them on shopping or cart pages rather than clicking around for answers definitely has an impact on how much customers shop your sites.
The converse of these stats is that live chat also means that abandonment is curbed, which means that leaving live chat off of your sales or product pages can seriously damage your sales. In fact, 77% of consumers will not make a purchase on a page if they can’t find answers to their question through live chat help. That means you’re losing out on money that would otherwise be spent on your site—the consumer was already there.
It’s well-documented that younger customers don’t like to call phone support, but customers across the board show favorable feelings toward live chat. For businesses, live chat is seen as a proactive method of support, something that 77% of consumers favor. It’s a convenient method of support that caters to the way people use e-commerce sites.
Satisfaction is sky-high
Live chat has 73% customer satisfaction—which is great, but it’s even better when compared with email (61%) and phone (44%). This is likely due to a combination of factors, like personalization and speed.
Customers love it . . .
Among lead-generating methods, live chat is the most popular form of chat—42% of customers selected live chat as their preferred method of exchanging information. For support in general, at least 53% of customer prefer online chat to calling a company.
Customers love being able to ask questions right from the page on which they’re shopping, and if they can’t easily find live chat where they’re shopping, 57% of consumers say they are very likely to abandon their e-commerce purchasing on that site.
. . . and they demand it
It’s clear that live chat is a preference, but it’s also becoming an expected part of good e-commerce experiences. Many customers expect live chat on your website, and 44% of online buyers say that live support on websites is one of the most important features an e-commerce company can offer.
The demand for live chat is there and, as companies are adopting live chat, consumers are using it more. In other words, as soon as live chat is available, consumers jump at the chance to use it. So for e-commerce companies to compete, adding in live chat as a support option starts now.
Growth from day one
Even before the current height of the e-commerce boom, live chat was slowly gaining speed. Live chat adoption rates grew from 38% in 2009 to 58% in 2014. This is impressive, especially considering that e-commerce was in its relative infancy in 2009 compared with today:
Growth approaching 2018
Fast-forwarding to the present day, this growth is only getting faster. Live chat for business was anticipated to grow 87% through 2017-18.
Consumers are responding well both to humans on live chat and to AI that automates live chat tasks—great news for support teams. As of 2017:
- 37% of consumers have used an online virtual agent or chatbot from a website in the last 12 months.
- 45% of consumers have used instant messaging/online chat with a live person in the last 12 months.
- 32% of consumers have used an online virtual agent or chatbot from a smartphone in the last 12 months.
Live chat for business has an incredible track record—put it to use
All of the stats that you’ve read here prove that live chat is a great way to influence purchasing and please customers. There are dozens of studies that prove that live chat is here to say because customers love it. If you want to get in on the action, there’s never been a better time to adopt live chat; so contact us today.
Cover illustration by Karthikeyan Ganesh