Ecommerce websites are in the business of selling products en masse but struggle with the faceless perception of a corporation. Without making a meaningful experience for shoppers, these sites will lose the sale. How do you increase online sales, create an informative and enjoyable experience, and win your customers for life? Many websites are turning to live chat.

Customers are faced with an infinite number of choices when searching for something that fills their shopping needs or wants. Getting customers to the right product and answering questions at the right time increases online sales, reduces returns, increases customer satisfaction, and increases the average order value (AOV).

So how is live chat effective in converting a casual shopper to a customer?

Instant answers without a phone call to India

Online shoppers are online shoppers for a reason, they don’t want to go to the store and they don’t want to call you to order over the phone. More than likely they are at work or doing other things while shopping. If they have questions about products, they want answers RIGHT NOW!

More than half of consumers would rather interact with a website’s chat features than make a phone call. And some studies show that live chat is expected to grow quickly, as much as 87% in the next 12-18 months.

Chat can also achieve a much higher rate of efficiency for the chatter as well as for the service agent. Chatters report that they received their answers in as little as 2 minutes on average over other forms of inquiries. That’s nearly 100x over social media and email.

Streamline browse to purchase – reduce research time

If you are a consumer and you don’t know the exact product you need, you may be confronted with a mountain of information. With literally thousands of choices, getting the right product information is difficult and daunting. Reading all the information on each website or even just the descriptions on Amazon could take hours.

Chat provides ways that consumers can get product information quickly. Putting experts at consumer’s fingertips allows shoppers to ask questions quickly and get answers from qualified experts.

Build trust – shoppers expect an expert behind chat

If the website offers an online chat, the person behind the chat must have all the answers. Well trained and informed sales teams can offer insights to consumers and answer questions like a pro.

To up-level the expertise, Needle offers a way to put product experts or advocates behind your brand’s online chat. Having someone that’s “been there, done that” offers a whole new level of in-depth research. This type of chat representative can offer deeper information, real-world application of the product, and offer expert advice. Imagine getting Jeremy Clarkson’s advice on your car purchase.

Create effective conversations

Artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots can only go so far for building relationships. In their current state, they are great for directing traffic and answering basic customer service questions. For building a real relationship, live chat is still better.

Many consumers have the residual bad taste of calling customer support only to slowly yell “representative!” into the phone too many times. AI is getting a bad wrap because of our past experience with first iterations of this technology.

The latest applications of AI are amazing and they are coming fast. Think Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Why not couple AI with a live person at the right moment in the sales process? A live person can answer questions intelligently about the products and their experience with the products.

Needle takes live chat one step further and couples a brand’s most experienced customers with online shoppers. Now, those who are passionate about the brand can guide casual browsers to the best products for their needs.

Product upsell

Live chat is a great way to add value and increase the shopping cart size. It’s the “would you like fries with that” upsell concept. As the product expert chats with new customers, they can recommend more expensive products or complementary products that will add to the overall experience. Camera cases, tripods, and lenses for those shopping for cameras or helmets, tire pumps, and shoes for the bicycle purchase.

Customer confidence in the brand

Having effective conversations with your customers will win over customers for life. Take, for instance, American Muscle. American Muscle uses Needle to provide online chat from real car experts to users of its website.

Look at some of these comments from real chatters:

“Patrick was badass. Answered all my questions and was patient with me all in one. I will definitely buy all my mods from American Muscle thanks to Patrick!!!”

“I love the fact that you can reach someone pretty much anytime and that they respond in a timely fashion. I’ll never shop anywhere else.”

“Best site I ever used for my Mustang. Love that I can ask someone a question while shopping and get an answer within the minute.”

“Great help! He answered my questions very quickly through this process. Best experience I’ve ever had with any customer service by far! Will definitely recommend this site to any Mustang owner/enthusiast!!!”

“Real to-the-point and informative. Great job!!!! Wish I had a couple salesman like this guy.”

If you want these kinds of comments coming from your customers, check out live chat from Needle. Needle takes live chat one step further by putting your best customers in front of your future customers. Take a moment to see how Needle uses your brand’s experts or advocates and puts them on a live chat to influence the sale of customers.

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