Digital Commerce 360’s 2020 How to Boost Conversion Rates Report outlines five key tips as well as case studies and examples from retailers on how to increase conversions with live chat. The report offers 55 specific ways merchants can increase their conversion rates by making tweaks across their business operations.

80% of retailers say live chat is important to improving their conversion rate, according to a January 2020 Digital Commerce 360 survey of 105 retailers.

Many shoppers turn to live chat for its convenience of getting questions answered while multitasking. 53% of shoppers will abandon an online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer to their questions, according to a 2017 Forrester Research Inc. survey of 4,513 consumers.

Digital Commerce 360’s 2020 How to Boost Conversion Rates Report outlines five key tips as well as case studies and examples from retailers on how to increase conversions via live chat. Here are three tips from that report.

Location, location, location

Where retailers put their chat box matters. Overall, live chat should be an option for shoppers to engage with and not a distracting part of the ecommerce site, retailers and vendors say.

To determine the best place on a retailer’s ecommerce site, vendors recommend several tactics. For example, putting the chat box on every page on the website will allow the retailer to determine where shoppers want to chat quickly. This also will uncover common questions and identify pain points in the shopping journey. After the initial test, retailers may choose to offer live chat only on certain pages, such as on pages where shoppers had the most questions or only show the chat icon if shoppers exhibit specific kinds of behavior, such as scrolling through product reviews.

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Agents need extensive product knowledge

Chat agents should be able to do more than look up orders and regurgitate shipping polices. Retailers that train their agents on their products find that agents can give shoppers feedback and personalized recommendations. Those recommendations often can turn into sales.

Lingerie retailer BareNecessities.com, for example, trains its associates to dive deeper into a shopper’s needs and focuses on fit of a shopper’s bra. For instance, if a shopper says she needs a bra, agents are trained to ask what type, such as a sports bra, or the fabric she typically likes, such as a T-shirt bra.

Initial invite to talk must be enticing

Retailers should carefully craft the initial message asking shoppers to chat. Luxury handbag retailer Creagh found that tweaking how it presented the live chat button to shoppers

increased the tool’s use. When it first added the live chat icon to its ecommerce site in the third quarter of 2019, few shoppers used it. The retailer tweaked how it showcased the tool on its ecommerce site creagh-bk.com for a few weeks. Because the retailer only has a few thousand visitors each day, CEO and founder Sarah Creagh decided to be the agent at the other end of the chat and chose to advertise the feature as such with the message, “Hi, I’m the founder of Creagh. Let me know of any questions.” Shoppers instantly started using it, Creagh says.

“We saw a 300% increase of customers engaging with the chat app when we informed them that Creagh’s founder is on the other end of the chat app,” she says.

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For more tips and 55 specific ways on how to boost conversion rates, download Digital Commerce 360’s 2020 How to Boost Conversion Rates Report.

This article is based on analysis from the Digital Commerce 360’s 2020 How to Boost Conversion Rates Report. This first-ever, 112-page report offers tips on boosting conversion rates using strategies across 11 broad topics: Mobile; checkout and payments; live chat and customer service; marketing; marketplace selling; merchandising and promotions; site search; user-generated content; website design; website performance; and website personalization. You can learn how to purchase the 2020 How to Boost Conversion Rates Report here.

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