How Online Store Chat Helps Drive Sales and Customer Trust

Do you ever think about the experience you’ve created for your customer when they buy from you? You’d think that most people would say “yes” but you’d be surprised. One of the great things about starting an online store is anyone can do it. But with such a low barrier to entrance, it means that some stores are launched with little thought given to the actual customer they want to sell to.

eCommerce businesses who are in it for the long haul are trying to figure out ways to make the online experience better for customers. Although the primary reason people buy products online is the convenience, there are still limitations to what an e-commerce store has to offer in the way of customer experience.

One way to improve the customer experience with online shopping is with a live chat function. A live chat option gives your customers the opportunity to get help from a real person if they want it.

Today we want to discuss how chat features are helping e-commerce stores enhance their sales and build trust with their audience. If you haven’t started utilizing this tool, now is the perfect time to implement it.

Benefits of Online Store Chat

Build a Connection With Users

One thing that is absent from online shopping is interacting with a salesperson. While most people seemingly prefer to forgo these interactions, there is a lot to be said for having someone around who is knowledgeable about the product and what it can do.

When you incorporate live chat into your e-commerce store, it’s much easier to build these connections as you would in a brick-and-mortar operation. Best of all, it’s much simpler for customers to ignore a chat function if they deem it unnecessary, meaning that it offers the benefit without appearing too pushy.

During a live chat session, a customer can do the following:

  • Ask questions about the product or service
  • Find out about additional options or upgrades (more on that later)
  • Address concerns

Overall, by having a digital conversation with a salesperson, a customer will feel good and know that you have their back. Not only that, but anyone who is on the fence about buying can be persuaded during a live chat session.

Simply put, you can add customer service back into the shopping experience, which will make people come back again and again.

Upsell

It’s no secret that offering an upsell is an excellent way to boost your bottom line and your sales numbers. However, in an e-commerce setting, this process is easier said than done. Fortunately, with online chat, this hurdle can be overcome relatively quickly.

When trying to incorporate an upsell into the sales experience, live chat allows salespeople to find out more about customers, which helps you discover new ways to serve them. Without this interaction, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table.

When trying to upsell to customers online, here are a few great ways to go about it:

  • Ask questions about the user’s intentions (why he or she is buying this product)
  • Offer bundled discounts when a customer purchases multiple items
  • Allow customers to save products for later (and remind them when they revisit the site)
  • Offer subscription services for things that need to be refilled regularly

By following these tips and incorporating them into live chat, you can offer a significant amount of upsells to your audience. Even if many of them decline, you can still make more money in the long term, meaning that live chat can more than pay for itself over time.

Solve Problems

No matter what kind of e-commerce store you have, some customers will have issues with your products or services. When that happens, having a live chat feature will be much more inviting than calling a 1-800 number. Most consumers dread the idea of waiting on hold (even for a short period), but typing their complaints into a chat box and getting a response quickly is much more appealing.

Best of all, you can utilize chatbots to help facilitate this process. When a customer is asking about a product or wants to file a complaint, bots can help sort them into different groups and establish a connection before a representative takes over. In a best-case scenario, the bot may be able to solve the issue or answer the question immediately.

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For example, if someone is having trouble getting a product to work, the bot can offer a commonly used solution based on customer history.

Overall, having live chat to help with customer complaints adds to the service aspect of your e-commerce business. Most people hate companies that seem to ignore them whenever there’s a problem, so being able to address these issues quickly and efficiently will help your brand rise above the competition.

Be Proactive

Finally, live chat enables you and your sales staff to engage with customers proactively, rather than waiting for them to ask a question. One of the best places to do this is when someone is about to abandon or empty the shopping cart. You can create a prompt that asks if the customer needs help with anything or has a question. In some cases, this engagement can help a user feel more comfortable about making the purchase, meaning that he or she won’t leave the site without buying anything.

Overall, the more you can engage with customers (even unprompted), the easier it is to facilitate sales. However, if you wait for your clientele to work up the nerve to ask questions, you could be leaving money on the table. Instead, let your chatbots spark a conversation and close more sales as a result.

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Do this next…

A simple way to get started is to look at Facebook Messenger. It’s free and lets your customers send private messages to your business on Facebook.

There are other solutions that are more comprehensive like Intercom and Groove. But if you’re just looking for a place to start, you can’t go wrong with Facebook Messenger to test.

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Chris Mason
 

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