One of the toughest challenges that eCommerce businesses face is converting their visitors to customers. There are plenty of marketing methods and tactics that will actually drive business to your page – from banner ads to search to social media to print campaigns and direct mail – but it’s much harder to predict what will actually drive the action you want them to take once they reach the page.
One thing that has proven better conversion rates is the presence of a live chat or IM option. Customers who engage with businesses through live instant messaging have reported more positive experiences and better conversion rates. The numbers don’t lie; businesses who have implemented live chat have seen conversion up by 45%. What leads to this increase in converting visitors to paying customers? There are several benefits of IM, live chat, and chatbot features that are appealing to customers and can account for increased e-commerce conversion rates.
Why IM can increase your e-commerce conversion rates
- Speed: For the most part, live chat is faster than email or phone calls. With email, customers may end up waiting around for a response, while phone calls may squander customer time by sending people through multiple menus and automated options. Customers respond well to IM and live chat – most of the time customers just have a few questions or need clarification on one thing. A live chat feature enables customers to interact with your business quickly and efficiently. Using a chatbot feature means that AI can even answer questions when your business is closed or your team is gone for the day. Offering your web visitors fast access to answers for their questions helps you ensure that those questions are the things standing in their way of converting over to customers.
- Personalization: IM and live chat features give you the option to show off some brand personality and cater your answers to the customer you’re engaging with that moment. Personalization continues to be a huge driver of customer engagement and conversion and being able to personalize interactions live for your customers can help you create a better customer experience that will lead to more conversions. You can tailor your tone in a way that can be either more conversational or more professional based on the person you’re interacting with, leading to more satisfied customers a better potential business outcome.
- Convenience: In addition to being able to answer customers questions even when your business isn’t open, you can offer greater convenience in the live chat by offering customers the ability to multi-task. With an open chat window, customers can continue to browse, research, search, or check email, all while having a dialogue with someone from your business. For some customers, it means they can conduct their discussion without needing to step away from their desk to take a call. This convenience is becoming more and more important across all customer generations, particularly millennials.
- Connection: Because IM and chat offer a nearly-immediate response, it’s easier to create a connection with customers. Customers aren’t annoyed because they can’t get an answer or have been waiting around trying to get someone on the phone. Live chat offers a more positive association with your brand and can increase the possibility of a meaningful connection. Using chat as a customer service feature also means that customers can get their problems solved faster, ultimately reducing their wait time and potentially saving a customer relationship.
- Lead generation: If a customer doesn’t complete a purchase immediately after a live chat experience, it’s still a valuable tool. You can collect information from your customer exchange, such as commonly asked questions or email addresses, all to help you create better tools and communications to reach customers. IM and chat can certainly help drive revenue by offering superior customer service and convenient answers to questions, but it’s also a powerful tool that businesses can use to collect data and use it to re-engage with customers down the line, potentially increasing conversions.
- Competitive advantage: In addition to customer-facing features that deliver value directly to your customer at the moment, having a live messaging tool can help set you apart from your competition and give you an advantage. If you’re providing a better, more helpful, more modern experience, customers may choose to become your customer over another business.
For businesses looking to grow to improve their conversion rates, adding in live chat or IM functionality can greatly improve your customer experience and lead to better e-commerce conversion rates. The ROI of installing or creating an IM feature for your e-commerce site can certainly be felt or seen through greater real-time, on-page conversions and additional lead generation opportunities. Your e-commerce customer experience will depend on how you communicate with customers and enabling live chat and IM capabilities might help you substantially increase your conversions and grow your business.