What To Know About Using Live Chat for Ecommerce

Kinjal Shah
Kinjal Shah
Person using live chat for ecommerce

It happens all the time — you’re ready to check out on an ecommerce site when uncertainty strikes. Perhaps it’s about size, pricing, or just needing more details about the product. And if you can’t find a quick solution, it’s easy to just give up on the purchase. That’s a common frustration a lot of online shoppers run into.

Imagine a smoother experience: A friendly pop-up appears with a “How can I help?” message. You type in your query and receive an instant reply through a live chat. This immediate support can turn your hesitation into a confirmed purchase.

Ecommerce businesses have realized the importance of this real-time solution, which is why many have started integrating ecommerce live chat software on their sites.

Are you wondering if ecommerce live chat can help you improve customer service and conversion rates?

In this blog, we’ll cover the functionality of live chat for ecommerce and how to optimize it for your business needs.

How Is Live Chat Used in the Ecommerce Industry?

Live chat is a communication channel that allows customers to interact with your customer support team in real time through messaging, replacing phone calls and emails

When implementing live chat, many ecommerce websites display a chat widget as a small window or pop-up designed to help potential customers whenever they have questions, no matter how small. This can turn a potentially frustrating shopping experience into a positive one, fostering customer loyalty and trust.

Live chat window on an ecommerce site

Basically, live chat support helps ecommerce stores improve help desk service. This makes online shoppers feel more secure about their purchases, reducing hesitation and cart abandonment.

Research backs up these advantages:

  • Ecommerce live chat increases customer retention rates by 5% and profits by 25% to 95% (Harvard Business Review)
  • Visitors who engage with your company via live chat are worth 4.5x more than those who don’t (ICMI)
  • Live chat tools improved conversion rates by 3.84% and revenue by 6% (Goinflow)

This shows how live chat allows you to offer exceptional customer service and foster stronger relationships with your audience.

The 3 Main Benefits of Live Chat in Ecommerce

Here’s how integrating live chat support can help your ecommerce business:

1. Enhanced Customer Service

As a marketer, the last thing you want is a lost sale or an unhappy customer. When ecommerce website visitors can’t find the answers they’re looking for, they’re less likely to return. Live chat prevents this by providing instant communication and resolving issues in real time.

Imagine this: A customer adds an item to their shopping cart but needs to complete the purchase. Suddenly, a live chat prompt appears, asking if they have any questions or need assistance. This immediate interaction lets them get instant answers, helping them shop confidently and keeping the transaction momentum going.

Having live chat features in place allows you to enhance the customer experience, build loyalty, and encourage repeat business. 

2. Increased Conversion Rates

As more customers shift to online shopping, one major hurdle they face is making decisions without immediate support. Imagine a customer shopping for a laptop and feeling torn between two models. In an offline store, a sales representative would step in, answer their questions, and guide them to the best choice. 

Live chat software brings this level of personalized assistance to your online store, helping you convert them from browsers to buyers by offering real-time support during their decision-making process.

Ecommerce live chat helping a customer pick between two laptops

This immediacy helps customers feel confident in their purchases and can make the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart. 

3. Higher Customer Retention

Consistency is key to building trust. Ecommerce live chat gives you an opportunity to ensure that all your customer interactions are positive and consistent. 

Providing reliable, high-quality support whenever a customer reaches out helps establish your brand as dependable and customer-focused. This consistency converts one-time customers to loyal ones, as they are confident they will receive the same level of service every time they shop with you.

Moreover, live chat offers unparalleled convenience and accessibility. Customers can get help without interrupting their shopping experience. It encourages them to complete purchases and return for future ones. 

Common Challenges With Ecommerce Live Chat Solutions

While live chat tools can significantly enhance customer service, it does come with its challenges:

Managing High Volumes

One common issue with live chat is handling a large number of simultaneous chat requests. 

When your live chat tool is flooded with customer queries, it can overwhelm your support agents, This slows down response times and reduces the quality of customer support.

Some easy ways to manage this challenge are adding the following to your live chat tool:

  • Before a chat begins, present the knowledge base within the chat window or direct visitors to a page with common questions and answers. This encourages customers to find the information they need on their own, reducing the load on your live chat agents. By offering self-service options, you empower customers to resolve their queries quickly and efficiently.
Live chat suggesting knowledge base articles before other assistance
  • Implement a chatbot as the first line of support. It significantly eases the burden on your human agents. Chatbots can handle simple questions and provide instant responses to common queries. When a query becomes too complex for the bot, it can automatically route the conversation to a live agent. 
  • Set up canned responses for greetings, frequently asked questions, chat sign-offs, and other common interactions. This saves your agents time by reducing repetitive typing and helps prevent typos and spelling errors. 

Ensuring 24/7 Availability

Customers shop at all times of the day and night. After all, who hasn’t made a late-night impulse buy? To support customers whenever they need it, you should try to offer live chat support 24/7. 

However, this constant availability can be challenging to manage.

Fortunately, these effective strategies can ensure your customers always receive the support they need.

  • Virtual assistants: Virtual assistants can handle customer inquiries at any time. These automated systems can address common questions, provide basic information, and guide customers through various processes. 
  • Outsourcing: Partnering with a third-party support provider allows your business to have a live chat agent on call around the clock. This helps manage the workload without overburdening your in-house team members and can include multilingual support to cater to a global customer base.

Maintaining Quality and Consistency

Handling a high volume of chats can make it challenging to maintain consistent quality. You don’t want to spoil your reputation by offering subpar support. 

As your live chat agents are the face of your online support, they need the skills and knowledge to handle different types of customers and situations effectively.

Regular training can help them keep their skills sharp and their knowledge up to date. This training should cover various aspects, such as proficiently using live chat software, communicating clearly and empathetically, resolving common issues quickly, and identifying opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. 

Regular coaching sessions can address any performance gaps and reinforce best practices, helping agents improve their skills and maintain a high level of service.

You can also monitor your agents’ performance by reviewing chat transcripts to check whether agents are adhering to company policies and providing accurate, helpful information. 

Data Privacy and Security

Data breaches and privacy issues are major concerns for both customers and businesses. When customers share sensitive information via live chat, they expect top-notch security. 

Failing to protect this data can lead to legal troubles, loss of trust, and a damaged brand reputation. Here are some best practices and solutions to ensure data privacy and security:

  • Secure data collection: Using secure forms within your ecommerce live chat software is essential for collecting sensitive information like credit card numbers or personal IDs. These forms should encrypt data during transmission to ensure only authorized personnel can access it. 
  • Data masking: This hides sensitive data from unauthorized users by showing only partial information. For example, agents might see only the last four digits of a credit card number while the full number remains hidden. This ensures that sensitive information is protected even if accessed by someone without proper authorization.
  • End-to-end encryption: Implementing end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for all chat communications is crucial. With E2EE, data is encrypted on the customer’s device and only decrypted when it reaches the agent. This prevents interception during transmission, ensuring the data remains secure throughout the process.

How Bloomreach’s Clarity Can Replace Your Best Live Chat Solutions

Modern customers want more out of their shopping experiences. So, our goal is to provide a conversational commerce tool powered by the latest advancements in generative AI in the form of Bloomreach Clarity. We trained Clarity with our 14+ years of data on how customers shop and search. While it’s not exactly a live chat tool, it does take the shopping experience to the next level by making personalized product recommendations in real time.

But it doesn’t end there. Here are some ways it enhances the shopping experience:

AI Personalization

Powering Clarity is Loomi AI, our AI built for ecommerce and trained on over 14 years of data from how customers shop and search. It knows what your customers want and offers personalized product recommendations, improving customer engagement and the overall shopping experience.

Loomi AI’s sophisticated algorithms identify patterns and insights from this data, allowing Clarity to understand customer behavior and preferences. Whether a potential customer is looking for new running shoes or exploring seasonal clothing, Clarity uses these customer insights to ensure they see relevant products tailored to their specific needs and preferences.

Personalized AI recommendations for an ecommerce brand

Bloomreach Clarity continuously learns from every interaction, refining its understanding of customer preferences and shopping trends. This ongoing learning process ensures that recommendations become increasingly accurate and personalized over time. 

Seamless Integration

Bloomreach Clarity is designed to integrate seamlessly with some of the best ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Salesforce Commerce.

This integration allows you to leverage your existing infrastructure while enhancing their ability to deliver personalized and efficient customer interactions, ultimately driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Even Better Customer Interaction

Clarity uses advanced AI to engage shoppers in meaningful, personalized conversations. By analyzing real-time customer data and integrating it with extensive historical shopping patterns, Clarity offers product recommendations that align perfectly with customer interests and needs. This makes shopping more enjoyable and efficient.

In addition to product recommendations, Clarity delivers content directly relevant to each customer’s journey. Whether through blog posts, product guides, or detailed descriptions, Bloomreach Clarity ensures the content helps customers make informed decisions, keeping them engaged and enhancing their shopping experience.

Achieve Excellence in Ecommerce Communications With Bloomreach Clarity

Live chat is transforming ecommerce by turning potential frustrations into successful transactions and enhancing customer satisfaction. Despite challenges like managing high volumes and maintaining quality, effective solutions such as chatbots and structured training can significantly improve service.

Bloomreach Clarity goes beyond traditional ecommerce live chat tools. It uses data effectively to deliver personalized shopping experiences — at scale. 

Ready to boost your customer service and sales with real-time support and engagement? Sign up for our waitlist to be the first to experience Bloomreach Clarity.

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Kinjal Shah

Copywriter
Kinjal is a physician-turned-copywriter with a specialized focus on ecommerce and email marketing. She believes in the power of empathy to effectively reach target audiences. Her approach actively empowers brands to connect authentically with their audiences, boosting conversions and fostering long-term customer relationships.

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