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10 Ways to Improve Your Online Sales with Live Chat

We share 10 ways in which live chat can be used to boost your online sales, while also delivering an outstanding CX.

July 21, 2022

There’s no question about it: customers expect you to be there for them when they need you, and they want to be helped as quickly as possible. For many companies, this is a challenging trend to keep up with at scale – especially if they’re not using live chat. 

Whether you’re selling products or services or have another offering altogether, live chat can greatly increase your conversions and grow your business while delivering an outstanding customer experience (CX).

Improve Your Online Sales With Live Chat

Live chat allows customers to interact directly with your brand at the speed of their choice and get dynamic, helpful information consistently. This causes an immediate connection between you and potential buyers and is a great way to build rapport. 

Live chat is the best way to turn curious site visitors into passionate brand advocates. Here are ten ways that live chat can improve your online sales.

1. Meet the Customer Where They’re At

The scope of eCommerce has become broader than before, and a shopper's journey to a sale occurs on more online channels than ever. It’s not uncommon for a shopper to use one platform for inspiration and discovery, another platform to check reviews, and yet another platform to learn more about your brand. And that’s all before they ever make it to your website.

This means that once they do visit your website, you need to be sure to connect with them while you can. To get customers' attention, you need to be engaging and connect with them using conversation that matches where they are in their buyer journey.

And remember, live chat adoption has increased over the past few years, with 79% of companies saying that live chat has positively impacted customer loyalty, sales, and revenue.(Kayako, 2021) And as our shopping habits have changed dramatically, we are likely to see this trend continue in the future. 

The way people choose a brand has changed drastically in the last few years.
Before, customers might explore a brick-and-mortar location, looking around and shopping for what they want. Now, this process often first occurs online

To see strong evidence of this, look at the mattress industry. There was a day not too long ago when people thought they would only buy a mattress they could touch and lay on. 

Mattress companies that have shifted to using live chat as part of their marketing mix have reaped the rewards of this trend. The ability to make dynamic, specific recommendations to customers has made consumers far more receptive to making larger purchases online based on agent recommendations and customer reviews.

2. Proactive Messaging

Many companies have adopted Live Chat as part of their marketing strategy, which is great - but have not taken a proactive approach. If live chat sits idle or it is too generic, it might as well be another part of your static website. This reactive mentality is what is losing many companies’ sales and opportunities. 

One way to improve this current approach is to adopt proactive messaging. Don't wait for your customer to engage with you. Make the first move by engaging in conversation to start a connection with your customer - often with a customised message that matches a product or page they’re currently looking at– this is a strong first step in any sales process. 

Using proactive messaging delivers a level of personalisation to a customer that a static website simply can’t, and the numbers don’t lie. For example, at The Chat Shop, on average, 67% of all our leads generated for our customers are done through a targeted, proactive strategy based on user behaviour.

Our eCommerce brand customers who use a proactive approach see their conversion rates double.

3. Timing is Key

Have you ever been in a shop, looking around to get a sense of what they offer, but you are interrupted by a salesperson? This can be frustrating for both parties – you’re just looking around, and the salesperson is trying to help you find the perfect product. 

We don’t want to replicate that same scenario online. So what is the difference between a helpful, pleasant sales experience when looking around? It all boils down to timing.

Adopting the proactive approach is important and can raise sales, but the key to its success also comes down to timing. The right message at the wrong time could be the wrong message.

Allow your customers to navigate the site, familiarise themselves with your offering and brand, and then open up with a question when they’re looking at a specific product or service.

We can even use data to see patterns and trends that determine the best times to reach out to a customer. 

Using existing data as more live chats occur, we can analyse the best time to engage in conversation with that customer using existing behavioural stats. By looking at the information within Google Analytics, we can make recommendations based on the data we see.

4. Refine Your Sales Process

Don’t take the approach many companies do once they incorporate live chat– they think once it’s “on their site,” they’re finished. This is not the case. Live chat is a dynamic tool, and you should consistently test different strategies, messages, and features.

As your customer evolves, so must your chat. Take an active approach to review the chats you are receiving monthly to spot any ways you can improve your current approach.

This is another opportunity to use your Google Analytics data and your chat logs to do research. Consider reviewing what language is getting the strongest results in your live chats. Not sure what language is working best? See what was said in your chats that occurred just before a conversion. What pages are getting you your best results and most conversions? Test variations of what’s working on other pages.

Also, if you want to try new copy wording, set up an A/B test, using variations of wording and focus to see what customers respond to best.

5. Be Clear About Your Returns Policy

In a world of rapid online purchases, people want to know that they can return their purchases if needed– this reduces friction and helps make the sales process smoother. 

Don’t be afraid to share your returns policy– in fact, if you’re using live chat, answer questions about returns quickly and confidently. If return information isn’t located where the customer is making their purchase or is difficult to find on your site, customers will abandon their carts. 

Don't let customers spend too long trying to find your returns policy– instead, have a live chat agent who can give them that information quickly and confidently. By using simple, clear language nothing is ambiguous. This helps to put the customer at ease with their purchase and increases sales.

We share 10 ways in which live chat can be used to boost your online sales, while also delivering an outstanding CX.
We share 10 ways in which live chat can be used to boost your online sales, while also delivering an outstanding CX.
July 21, 2022

6. Offer Alternatives for Out-of-Stock Products

Sometimes you might struggle to meet demand– especially in the current market. But rather than lose sales due to a product shortage, use this as an opportunity. 

When you have a live agent who can be proactive, you can save more sales than you think. When the customer visits a page for a product that is out of stock, you can have the agent reach out and apologise, showing empathy and understanding. 

Then, you can use this connection as an opportunity to find out what the customer was looking for and what attracted them to the specific product. You’ll be surprised how often the customer doesn't just want ‘product A’, but instead wants ‘a product that can do B’. When you use live chat to discover this information, you might find that you have other products that meet their needs perfectly that you can recommend.

7. Overcome Basket Abandonment

Basket abandonment is a challenge for even some of the major eCommerce brands - you're not alone here. 

Some eCom players only use live chat as a support tool to answer questions such as “Where is my order?”  But use this tool to actually drive conversions at the most challenging time (basket abandonment at checkout).

There are many tactics to try to overcome basket abandonment, but in our experience, the best approach is to keep it simple and strip it down to its fundamentals. Using live chat at pivotal times during the checkout stage, allows you to have a conversation with potential customers to see what’s holding them back. 

Don’t make assumptions– we consistently see basket abandonment occurring from the smallest simplest things like not knowing how much shipping costs will be. As you can see, a conversation would remedy that quickly. A live agent can dynamically uncover objections with empathy, discover why customers are hesitant, and often help overcome their objections.

Using live chat at the checkout stage will also allow you to uncover trends from customers that you couldn’t find out otherwise, allowing you to discover and fix any pain points in your checkout process so it’s smooth and seamless– which will lead to more online sales.

8. Focus on High-Ticket Items

Not all products have the same value for your company. And while all customers deserve the same level of care and attention from your company, there’s also value in prioritising conversations with website visitors who are looking at your higher-ticket items. 

When you take a proactive approach for customers looking at high ticket items, you can make a connection when it matters most. By using live chat, you can show the customer that since they’re making a VIP purchase, you’re committed to giving them a VIP experience. 

When a live agent is available to answer questions quickly and accurately with a warm touch, we’ve seen an increase in overall sales, not just in eCommerce, but in other industries such as luxury travel and premium furniture purchases.

9. Be Available 24/7

Connecting with customers outside regular business hours can be challenging for many companies. Additionally, ‘normal business hours’ is a phrase that means something totally different in the current online landscape. Between customers who like to shop later in the evening and the consideration of different time zones and countries, your site needs to be engaging and welcoming  24/7.

So how is this possible? With live chat. Using a live agent during peak times could be worth the investment, but you can also use an optimised chatbot to be your company's voice when your employees can’t be.

Suppose you only offer their live chat service during office hours. In that case, you are likely missing out on a massive opportunity by not being proactive with traffic occurring after hours. One of our clients saw a 5x uptick in out-of-hours traffic converting into sales.

10. Be That Helping Hand

Sometimes people want to buy from you, they just need the right help at the perfect time. Using live chat can be the perfect opportunity to connect with potential buyers and remove friction you never would have guessed was occurring during the sales process.

It’s difficult to see our own websites with objective eyes, and things that seem obvious and clear might not be to potential site visitors. Sometimes it can be challenging for customers to navigate through your site, especially if you have a website with a large catalogue of products. 

A simple chat question such as “Is there anything I can help you with today?” might get you answers you didn’t expect, and allow you to help customers in simple but meaningful ways. You'll almost certainly improve your online sales by answering questions, guiding visitors to specific products or resources, and helping in other ways.

Another great way to help customers using live chat is to remember that when returning visitors visit your site, you can see their chat and even their purchase history. By being helpful in the post sale experience you create raving fans of your brand who can share their feedback with others and recommend you via word of mouth.

The Chat Shop Can Help You Improve Your Sales Online

Here at The Chat Shop, we’re experts at helping customers just like you improve their sales online using live chat. We have in-depth, road-tested experience with every one of the tips we’ve shared with you today– and that’s just scratching the surface.

One of the best ways to see how you can improve your online sales is by letting us deep dive into your analytics so we can see how to optimise your current approach. 

Would you like us to take a quick peek to see how you can possibly improve your online sales? If so, we’d love to talk.

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