Why You Should Use Live Chat on Your eCommerce Store

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live chat pros and cons

Launching an eCommerce dropship store is not easy and there are few factors that can seem daunting when you begin.

Thoughts of which products to sell, suppliers to reach out to, and which platforms to use often preoccupy the beginner’s mind.

Don’t get me wrong, these things are clearly important, however, there is one area that should actually be at the forefront of your attention: The customer.

Ask yourself this… is everything you are doing geared towards making the customer’s life easier? Your business more transparent? The customer more satisfied?

If there’s room for improvement here, you should tackle it immediately.

Communication with the Customer

live chat benefits

One way that often gets overlooked is customer communication. How easy is it for them to reach out and contact you? Can they ask questions about the product and receive a fast response?

Most beginner web store owners feel that a simple contact form or email address is sufficient. That a reply turnaround time of 24hrs is good.

I would argue that this isn’t enough!

If you want to stand out from the competition, and give your customers the best possible service, you should be turning to live chat options.

Why you should consider live chat for your eCommerce store

There are several reasons I am a firm believer in the benefits of live chat for eCommerce stores.

Let’s take a look at some of them now.

1. Customers Prefer Live Chat

Customers are reluctant to pick up the phone and call in 2021.

You may have your number at the top of the website and be employing an assistant to answer sales calls, some people will call, more will use live chat.

This is because it provides the immediacy of a call, where a conversation can be had, but it is easier to tap out a few questions in a chatbox than it is to potentially wait in line on a call.

The benefits of live chat over email are obvious. The response is immediate and your customer can engage in a real conversation without delay. The queries are settled there and then.

Where a customer has to wait, they can very likely move on to a competitor.

Overall a customer is more comfortable using live chat and it is a better method of service.

2. Live Chat Increases Conversions

increase conversions

We touched on this above by saying that they may well move on when a customer has to wait.

Because live chat alleviates this, it also helps conversions.

Furthermore, by keeping your customer on the page and conversing it is much easier to build trust. This too will help conversions.

Finally, the longer you have the customer on your website the better it is for your SEO. Google tracks bounce rate (how quickly a visitor moves on) and how long they spend on a website.

The longer this is, the more information Google has about your site in terms of visitor satisfaction.

This will eventually help you in the search engines, increase your traffic, and once more lead to higher conversion rates.

3. Live Chat is more Cost-effective than Phone Assistance

call center

If you are currently paying for an assistant or a phone answering service to manage the incoming calls for your eCommerce store, good on you, that is great.

However, I would suggest that you might think to either add live chat as an additional way for customers to contact you, or dare I say it, replace phone agency use with dedicated live chat only.

The fact is, live chat is 4 times less expensive to set up and run compared to phone support.

When you consider customers prefer to live chat, it does make the switch a bit of a no-brainer. Live chat is certainly more cost-effective.

4. Stand Out Against the Competition

Live chat is still not universally used in eCommerce and dropship stores. Only 1 in 10 companies currently use live chat on their websites.

Get in now and you have a chance to stand out against the competition.

If you consider all the benefits that we’ve listed above, this really could be a game-changer for your business.

Using the Debutify Theme to Implement Live Chat

So how can you implement live chat onto your website? I would recommend checking out the Debutify Shopify theme.

We have discussed the benefits of this free Shopify theme here, with a full review here.

Even the free version provides you with 28 premium add-ons to increase customer satisfaction, conversion rates, speed, and other factors of your web store.

One of these add-ons is an easy-to-use method of implementing live chat.

You will still need to sign-up and use a chat management service (we recommend Live Chat), however, the Debutify theme will ensure that you have this placed on your site in the best possible way, even on mobile.

How to Implement Live Chat Effectively on your Online Store

live chat

It is not enough to just place a live chatbox on your website and expect everything to be great. There are still things you need to consider to get the best out of this great feature.

Let’s take a look…

1. The Live Chat Box/Tab has to be Easy to Find

Don’t tuck the live chat feature away in a menu option or a link in the footer of the page.

On desktop, it is a good idea to have the box visible in the right bottom corner as a small, expandable pop-up once your customer reaches your website.

This will be unintrusive, while also making them aware that the option is there.

The live chat should also be available on every page of the site, no matter where the visitor is.

As we have already mentioned, the Debutify theme will help you set this up with just a few clicks.

2. Live Chat should be Visible on all Devices

Shoppers these days like to use their mobiles. Just as your site needs to be mobile-friendly and easy to use in terms of the purchasing process, it will also need to implement live chat in a way that does not clutter the screen.

This is easier said than done on mobile, where screen real estate is at a premium.

The best way is a small tab visible at the bottom of the screen, placed where some websites might put their social share options.

Once again, I would recommend the Debutify Shopify theme if you want to take the design stress out of this issue.

It provides an in-built layout that allows you to place the live chat option in a convenient place on all formats, desktop, mobile, or tablet.

3. Respond to Customers Immediately

stop watch

This may seem like an obvious point to make, however, if you do not have the means to ensure the live chat is operational at all times, do not install it.

When starting out, and on a limited budget, you may attempt to take care of the live chat queries yourself.

This may not be a problem on a web store with low levels of traffic.

You can set the interface up so that you can respond from your mobile. Keep it with you at all times and you should be able to keep up with demand.

If the budget is there or if you already have substantial traffic, you will need to use a live chat service.

Finally, you might incorporate a combination of self-management, agency, and a chatbot service.

The latter is a cost-effective way of answering general questions that come up a lot. This is an AI automated response system that can take care of simple queries and will forward specific issues to a human operator when the need arises.

4. Ensure that you Keep a Chat Log

log file

A chat log is a great way of tracking the questions that come up most (meaning you may want to address these with a FAQ page, more info on the sales page, or input them into the chatbot).

It will also help you should any problems arise in the future and you need to provide proof of statement to a customer. Although, let’s hope you never reach a stage where this is required.

The transcript can also help you identify any problems in your customer service process. If customers have repeated issues in some way, these will be highlighted over time via live chat.

Compiling this data will help you keep track of the effectiveness of your business, and where change might be needed.

Bottom line

As you can see, live chat could really be a worthwhile addition to your eCommerce store. I highly recommend that you begin exploring the possibility of adding this feature to your website. You will not be disappointed.

About V50

The editorial team here at Vault50.com is made up of a number of writers based all over the world. Our interests and experience cover the full range of what we talk about here. Clare Turner is one of our key contributers writing about the home. David Lachance is our resident e-commerce and business guru, if it's anything to do with that, he's your man. Kevin Simpson takes care of the website layout and publishing and also heads up our education section, with in-depth reviews and articles on courses and training. Find out more about all of us here.

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