6 ways ecommerce live chat elevates your business

User getting her questions answered through ecommerce live chat on her phone
August 15, 2023
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As communication methods have evolved and adapted to the digital age, the demand for real-time interactions has increased. Live chat has emerged as a vital tool to provide personalized customer support.

Just as you wouldn't expect needing to email an in-store associate to ask a question, online customers shouldn't either. But many ecommerce businesses do just that—prompt customers to email or call if they require assistance.

Modern consumers don’t have time for that. They want a personalized experience and the option of live chat.

What is ecommerce live chat?

A platform that allows you to communicate with customers in real time on your website is live chat. It’s live because it delivers personalized responses in the moment, rather than prepared messages from a chatbot. And it’s chat because an exchange occurs.

In other words, live chat is a direct link between a business representative and a customer.

The standard form of live chat is reactive, meaning it doesn't activate unless a customer clicks a button to indicate they have a question for a representative. Many platforms also offer proactive live chat, which is a pop-up window or other tool that invites customers to chat if they have lingered on a page or appear ready to leave your website without purchasing the items in their cart.

Live chat brings livelier results

Proactive chats make a positive impression on site visitors and lead to a higher chance of converting on individual sales. One study revealed that 66% of American web users have a more favorable view of brands that offer proactive customer service notifications.

Positive customer service experiences lead to greater brand loyalty and increased sales.

Let’s look at six benefits of using live chat.

1. Increases efficiency

Live chatting saves time. Customers can get the information they need in seconds, rather than minutes or hours. And because time efficiency is often a priority above other elements of customer service, live chat is a powerful way to value your customers and their time.

And when questions get addressed at the origin, customers don’t have time to hesitate. Live chat creates momentum that carries through the entire transaction.

Live chat is also great for business. Your customer service representatives can assist multiple customers simultaneously, maximizing their time. Rather than lingering on the phone with a single caller, they can triage inquiries and offer resolutions.

With phone queues removed and email delays eliminated, everybody wins.

2. Saves money

With live chat, your teams can handle simultaneous conversations more efficiently.

Devoting 30 seconds to proactively answer a simple question avoids a frustrated caller that would take much longer. And when you reduce task time, a reduction in cost follows.

3. Gives access to real-time feedback

While there is merit to post-transaction email surveys, you’ll get the purest responses by asking customers to complete a survey directly following an interaction. Live chat platforms provide a powerful opportunity to ask customers for feedback.

Seeking feedback through the established connection of the platform, rather than using a separate channel, also saves money.

4. Creates documentation

Session transcripts get created automatically with live chatting. This makes quality control audits a breeze, as is access to revisit the details of chats if you need them.

Live chats also provide analytics on things like response rates, resolution rates, average handling times, and first response times. You can use these insights to assess individual performances and set benchmarks.

These transcripts and analytics make future communications with customers better, as agents can review past interactions to deliver the most accurate and effective assistance.

5. Boosts the number and size of sales

Live chat also enables you to proactively assist and persuade customers. This is essential because customers have no problem abandoning digital carts if they have unanswered product questions or haven’t yet had a positive experience with your brand.

The more present you are in the buying experience, the more confident the customer will feel about making a purchase.

Staying connected with customers throughout the ordering process also allows you to cross-sell and upsell. Thus, most ecommerce brands that use live chat see an increase in average order size.

6. Brings a welcome touch of humanity to your website

Whether your brand is about friendliness, expertise, or something else, live chat enables you to deliver it to customers. For example, if your brand has a reputation for warmth and honesty, you could greet customers with casual humor and share authentic feedback on the products they consider.

In other words, live chat creates a fusion of the best elements of the ecommerce experience and the traditional retail model.

Despite these benefits, many of your competitors don't use live chat. So incorporating it into your website, positions you to strengthen your brand, deliver superior customer experiences, and enjoy better financial results.

Build stronger connections with your customers with Twilio

Twilio knows how important it is to have a multichannel approach to customer communications.

That’s why we created a single API that allows for scalable, multichannel, multiparty conversations. Whether it’s live chat, MMS, Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp, we’ve got you covered.

Experience the full range of options in our Chat API solution by creating a free account. There’s no credit card required, so get started today.