About the author : Alex Pana

Alex Pana is the Marketing Manager at Oveit, the US-based tech company that developed Streams.live. Prior to joining Oveit, he worked with 2 of the world's leading financial services companies. Over the last 4 years, Alex attended more than 100 live and virtual events, understanding how entertainment and digital payments work together. He is people-oriented and although his role is to share the word about Oveit's solutions, he loves to learn about people's experiences. Be they good or bad. He has a degree in Public Administration. This is where he first learned that small changes can result in big improvements. Having this in mind it was only normal for him to join Oveit.

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While in a brick-and-mortar store it’s only normal to ask a shop assistant for help whenever we need it, things do not work so smooth when shopping online. At least not if there isn’t an eCommerce live chat support solution available on the platform that we are surfing on. 

Why should you have a direct communication channel available? Because 85% of online customers have at least one question they need to find an answer to before purchasing online. Yes, almost 9 out of 10 customers need extra information – and although product description and the FAQ section offer part of this information, they cannot cover all of the questions that may appear throughout the customer buying journey.

This is one of the main reasons that make Live Shopping so efficient. The video shopping experience allows viewers to interact with the host and fellow viewers, helping them get the answers they need to purchase.

Now, let’s look at the most important 7 benefits of using live chat in eCommerce.

 

1. Online live chat builds trust

While becoming more and more optimized, eCommerce put a wall between brands and their customers. Although many businesses fight the war of prices, consumers still need to find a connection with those that they support. Trust still is a major asset in business. 

By using live chat software for eCommerce, brands communicate to their customers that they are there for them. That a member of the team will personally answer their questions and (try to) resolve their issues. It humanizes a business.

“But what about the chatbots? Would this still count as a trust builder?” you may ask. My answer here would be Yes. Chatbots are primarily used to answer simpler questions or to redirect customers to the answer they are looking for. They represent proof that the company is there for its customers. And ultimately, the automated chat boot will redirect customers to a real human being if needed. This 

This mix of bots and human live chat operators it’s the perfect match between efficiency and building trust – simpler questions are answered on the spot, while more complex issues can be forwarded toward an experienced (human) operator. And this automated “sorting” is extremely important as 72% of customers think that mentioning the same problem to multiple persons is a sign of poor customers support. 

P.s. The lack of connection between eCommerce brands and consumers is one of the main issues Streams.live is trying to solve. eCommerce is faceless. A 10.000 years old activity has completely changed over the last 3 decades. But we can still add a human touch without losing the benefits technology brought to it. 

 

2. Gain Insights into Customer Behavior

To create better customer journeys, businesses first need to understand customer behavior. And the different pain points that a customer may encounter during this journey. 

A live chat option allows you to understand where shoppers get stuck. Or which are the main questions they need to find answers to – thus allowing you to create better FAQ sections.  

Modern-day live chat solutions can easily be connected to CRMs, allowing you to personalize future interactions even further. Having access to a customers’ past interactions will help your team deliver better answers in the future.

A live chat solution allows you to get insight at both individual and cohort levels.

 

3. eCommerce live chat support is faster than alternative channels

In a world that is moving faster and faster, time has become our most important asset. At least this is what a study conducted by Forrester revealed. When evaluating what customers look into when evaluating customer service as good (or bad), 73% of them identified time as the main aspect. Timely answers make the difference.

Compared to other customer support channels, live chat is by far the fastest. This shows to your customers that you value their time and that you are putting all your efforts into delivering better support options.

chart - live chat for eCommerce offers faster responses

 

4. Offers highest satisfaction levels

Live chat support for eCommerce is not just the fastest alternative, it’s also the one that offers the highest satisfaction levels amongst customers. It’s the preferred contact option for most online buyers, especially amongst millennials. 

Multiple reasons stand behind this level of satisfaction. As mentioned above, live chat is extremely fast. Also, it has a high first contact resolution rate (FCR), helping customers get their issues fixed (or questions answered) from the first interaction. 

customer satisfaction rates for different support channels

Other reasons for which live chat for eCommerce reaches these levels  

*customers can multitask while discussing with an operator (51%)

*customers don’t like to talk over the phone (22%)

*customers can chat while at work (21%)

*customer get better information than over email (29%) or phone (15%)

 

5. Lower support costs when using a live chat feature on eCommerce sites

Yes, picking up the phone is still the preferred support method by many customers. It’s the traditional way of getting in touch with businesses as it’s here way long before we had a live chat feature on eCommerce sites. But for businesses, offering phone support can often result not only in higher costs but also in longer waiting times for their customers – thus a worse experience offered to their clients. 

One of the main reasons is that although a phone operator can quickly identify and resolve an issue, it’s nearly impossible to take multiple calls at once. At the same time, a study conducted by Tellus International concluded that an experienced live chat operator can handle up to six requests simultaneous. This means that you can handle the same number of customers with a smaller team than you would need if you chose to offer (exclusively) phone support, thus resulting in lower overall costs.

 

6. Using live chat for eCommerce Increases sales

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, online shoppers have questions. And not answering them promptly will let them transform into doubts. And this will ultimately result in losing a potential sale. A customer that addresses a question is a customer that is interested in your products. So much, that an online visitor that engages with a live chat operator is 2.8 times more likely to buy than one that doesn’t. 

A happy visitor will rapidly transform into a happy customer. But even more, the interaction with a member of your team will encourage your customers to spend more. Existing customers that interact with your team through a live chat service (embedded into your website or integrated into a Live Shopping session) tend to spend up to 60% more than other customers. 

 

7. Younger generations prefer live chat

Millennials and younger generations account now for more than half of the U.S. population. Even more, Generation Z is the largest generation worldwide, constituting more than 30% of the global population. 

Younger generations represent an important market. But at the same time they very exigent customers. Millennials in special value experiences over things. More than often, the buying journey is as important as the products they are looking to buy.

They are interested in a brand’s values. They look for authenticity, and they treasure their time. And, most importantly, they prefer live chat instead of phone support. Their shopping experience needs to be a social, interactive one. And they need to trust and like you before bringing in their business.

 

Conclusions

Each interaction you have with your customers is a new opportunity to show your support. Each question is a test – if you pass it, you will be rewarded. If not, your customers will move their business elsewhere. 

Live chat for eCommerce allows you to be prompt. As shown above, it’s not just the preferred option for most of the customers. It allows you to be fast while keeping your costs under control. And it also helps you create a bond with your customers, bringing a human touch to an otherwise faceless (and rather impersonal) experience. 

When combined with a live video – like in a Live Shopping experience, it encourages viewers furthermore to get in touch. To ask those questions for which they need to find an answer. To engage and take action. We’ve experienced live shopping sessions where the total number of chats outpassed the number of viewers by 2 to 1. And this is important not only because it dramatically increases conversion rates. The feedback that you gather will help you create better and better experiences.

Because, at the end of the day, this is what matters the most. To be able to start again, this time better. 

About the author : Alex Pana

Alex Pana is the Marketing Manager at Oveit, the US-based tech company that developed Streams.live. Prior to joining Oveit, he worked with 2 of the world's leading financial services companies. Over the last 4 years, Alex attended more than 100 live and virtual events, understanding how entertainment and digital payments work together. He is people-oriented and although his role is to share the word about Oveit's solutions, he loves to learn about people's experiences. Be they good or bad. He has a degree in Public Administration. This is where he first learned that small changes can result in big improvements. Having this in mind it was only normal for him to join Oveit.

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