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Talking Shop: Live Chat Mistakes Your eCommerce Store Is Making

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Live chat can be an excellent way to engage your website visitors and get conversions, which, depending on the industry in question, can be a mixed bag of slam-dunks, including appointments, online account creation, newsletter signups, and beyond. But when it comes to eCommerce, the big kahuna of conversions is implicit in the goal’s shorthand — to convert the browser into a customer — and ideally a returning one, at that.

Top 3 Ways to Get Live Chats for eCommerce


However, eCommerce businesses can run into limited success with live chat. The promise of the technology doesn’t seem to live up to the hype; it doesn’t increase lead gen or provide genuine value to their customers. This brick wall prompts many to ask the age-old philosophical question — “WTF?

Your first inclination may be to chalk it up to your live chat software being subpar — which may indeed be the case. But the truth is, to make any live chat work, it’s not so much the technology as it is the strategy put in place to drive it. Today, we’ll jump into some of the not-so-welcome ingredients you may be adding to your recipe for live chat experiences — and how to fix them.

Common eComm Live Chat Oversights

Below are some of the most widespread pitfalls hurting eCommerce sites across the web:

Limited — or Seemingly Nonexistent — Live Chat Availability

Have you ever walked into a store and been unsure where the item you’re looking for is located? The truth is, no matter how flashy and sleek your eCommerce may appear, the same confusion can apply — and there’s always room for some personal attention when needed.

Customers may be stuck in that “hidden product” limbo for far too long if the live chat button is always offline, or there is no time specified when live support is available. Not only may you miss an opportunity to guide an individual to exactly what they’re looking for, but they’re also likely to get frustrated in the process.

So, making sure your live chat button reads “online” when you intend is crucial to building that good faith. If the live chat is limited to a certain amount of hours or days of the week, that should be clear from the get-go. The key is to not let a customer walk into the store, wonder about their specific product, and decide they don’t need it because they didn’t receive the real-time help or otherwise clear communication they needed.

Live Chat Is Not Readily Apparent

Whether it’s finding product specs or learning about an online payment system, you never want to make the online customer do more work than they have to — especially when it comes to live chat. A problem with this can boil down to aesthetics and design — the button is either too small or blended into the site’s color scheme or placed only on one page where not all users navigate. If you force your customers to work to reach out, there’s a greater chance they’ll abandon the effort — and you’ll never hear from them.

However, this can be a bit of a balancing act. Having a loud, obnoxious chat field pop up in the middle of the screen as soon as someone lands on your site isn’t the answer, either. Incorporating it seamlessly and non-intrusively is key.

Live Chat Seems More Like an FAQ than a Personalized Conversation

Let’s say your live chat’s appearance and availability are on-point — it looks great, and there is either real or virtual assistance at times most helpful to your customers. While all of this is paramount, live chat with a warm back-and-forth sensibility needs to subsequently step up to the plate. Stock or unhelpful responses can turn just about any customer off.

While your live chat pulls from an internal database of inventory information, it shouldn’t solely be a regurgitation of product details. Instead, it should be interactive. Consider the customers that are coming back to your site a second, third, or fourth time. Account for abandoned carts and recently browsed items. When applicable, call them by their name. To that extent, live chat, to a certain extent, should “ditch the script” and go for a more human approach.

For a deeper dive into how to make your live chat feature for your eCommerce customers be as impactful as possible, we invite you to download our whitepaper: Top 3 Ways to Get Live Chats for the eCommerce Industry.

If you’re looking for more information about how to curate an impeccable virtual experience for everyone who visits your site, we’re here to help with a full suite of digital marketing solutions including website design, creative services, and so much more. Reach out to us today to get started!

About the Author:

Spencer Coulton is a Content Editor at 1SEO. When not writing, he can be found strumming his guitar, attempting to brew the perfect cup of coffee, or biking around Philadelphia — sometimes all at once.

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