Making Every Conversation Count: Using Chat to Drive Personalization, Engagement and Conversions

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Ecommerce continues to experience record growth. According to forecasts from market researcher eMarketer, global e-commerce sales will more than double between 2015 and 2020, increasing from $1.7 trillion to $3.6 trillion

For ecommerce giants like Amazon that have scale on their side, it’s no wonder that revenues are projected – based on Wall Street forecasts – to be over $134 billion in 2016. Volume is great and is one way to ensure online revenue and business growth. But practically speaking, most brands are catering to a more targeted audience and need to create the very best online customer experience possible to drive engagement and conversions. Even with the record growth of people shopping online, it’s still challenging to get people who enter your online store or business all the way through to check-out or to buy from you.

Online conversion rates are still low at 3-4 percent on a PC and 1-2 percent on a mobile device. But one of the best ways for companies to change this is by providing guided assistance, such as live chat. In fact, chat is becoming a more strategic sales tool than ever before. Online consumers appreciate being able to speak with a live person, and 44 percent listed “access to a live person while making an online purchase” as one of the most important features of a website. And the latest buzzword being used across industries, such as retail, travel, etc. is conversational commerce – illustrating just how important it is to be able to communicate with customers around their digital experience in a personal and guided way.

Here are 5 ways that you can make every conversation count, using a live chat option to drive personalization, engagement and sales conversions:

Increase Personalization and Build Relationships

Live chat increases the one-on-one interaction brands have with their customers online. Buyers like to see that companies care about them individually and aren’t looking at them as just a faceless number. When website visitors reach out to company representatives for assistance, it contributes to an overall sense of personal attention we all appreciate.

And, on the other side of the coin, in the world of modern marketing, where customers quickly gain control of what advertising they are exposed to and when relationships are crucial to producing sales, good things happen when brands consistently show themselves to be helpful and interested in the customer. They can do this by staffing their online storefront with personable, friendly and knowledgeable representatives; and creating an interaction that fosters this type of experience, letting customers see that the brand is willing to consistently address their needs. The result is that they begin to trust that brand as the first one they’ll turn to when they are ready to purchase.

Inspire Trust and Confidence in the Buying Process

Customers feel more confident when they know any questions that might arise during the process can be immediately answered. For them, it is similar to having a personal sales associate prepared to promptly guide them through the purchase process.

Customers will have struggles during a decision journey at some point in time – it’s just a given. The difference lies in how companies address them. Implementing strategies for quickly solving these pain points helps businesses earn customer trust, the cornerstone of relationships and loyalty. Through live chat, agents can easily reach out to customers while they are in the process of buying and address any pain points to make the process smoother and easier.

Boost Loyalty and Increase Average Order Value

Loyalty is a powerful motivator for people making purchases. It costs an average of six to seven times more to bring in new customers than to retain current ones. So the more customers have a favorable experience and decide to return, the stronger the brand becomes. Loyal customers are also more likely to recommend the company to friends and family. According to Nielsen, third party endorsements (such as those from past customers) are one of the most trusted forms of advertising. One of the best ways to build loyalty is to ensure customer satisfaction by showing that the company takes an interest in them as an individual.

Live chat can also help upsell customers. Brands that use chat features find that their additional order value tends to be 28 percent higher than those who do not make this feature available.

Qualify Leads and Engage Customers Quickly

Qualifying leads is an enormous component of successful marketing but can be very difficult to do, particularly as many people visit sites more than once before making a purchase. Live chat paired with analytics makes it easy for company representatives to determine what brought the customer to the page, what they seek and what makes them buy.

For the customer, live chat options can offer an added level of convenience. Live chat helps them access the answers they need quickly without having to deal with the frustrations of the phone. They do not have to go searching for phone numbers or switch channels.

Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment

Reducing the number of people who walk away in the middle of a sale– shopping cart abandonment– is a high priority for every company. As many as 90 percent of people report feeling jittery the first time they buy from a new site, and nearly half say they abandoned a purchase because they were concerned about security. In brick and mortar stores, shop assistants approaching new customers and offering guidance solve this problem.

Adding chat options that customers can easily access throughout the purchase can encourage people to ask questions and report problems rather than walking away. These options can also help reassure customers that their questions can be addressed instantly and that the site offers an efficient and secure way to purchase. People with questions will not be tempted to leave the site to find answers and brands can alleviate security concerns at the get go, urging more people towards clicking the final purchase button.

Chat is an enormous asset to brands by helping them improve interactions with customers and drive more conversations and conversions. It is an important part of the push towards personalization and conversational commerce that customers expect.

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