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Benefits of Live Chat for eCommerce: key features and top 5 solutions

Daniel Bengochea
Daniel Bengochea
Mar 22, 2024
live chat softwares for ecommerce and online stores

If you're aiming to enhance your eCommerce operations, incorporating live chat software stands out as a highly effective strategy. It not only enriches your customer experience but also serves as a valuable sales tool.

Live chat proves particularly beneficial when customers have inquiries, especially during their initial purchase journey. Without timely communication, users might struggle to access valuable information and could potentially abandon the website.

According to SuperOffice, over 40% of users anticipate encountering a live chat tool that enables them to swiftly and effectively resolve their inquiries. Moreover, a staggering 79% of eCommerce that provide live chat services report a boost in sales and customer loyalty.Β 

Incorporating eCommerce live chat software into your online store can offer valuable insights for enhancing aspects beyond customer service, such as product descriptions, return policies, interface, and user flow. By analyzing the most common inquiries, you can readily identify customer concerns and pinpoint any deficiencies on your website.

What is eCommerce live chat software?

Live chat in eCommerce is a communication tool that enables online stores to engage in interactive, real-time conversations with their customers.

Its purpose is to facilitate a dynamic, two-way shopping experience, enabling businesses to offer helpful and personalized support services.

Why eCommerce needs a live chat service

Users make their online purchases through various channels, including websites and social networks. This diversity complicates and increases the cost of providing effective support services for businesses.

The live chat ensures multichannel and automated communication with customers, enabling the adaptation of answers to their needs at the moment of the query.

The immediacy offered by online chats is key for an eCommerce: users can resolve their doubts promptly, thus preventing store abandonment due to lack of information.

From a marketing perspective, large companies utilize live chats as lead nurturing channels. Agents are trained to guide prospects and encourage higher-value purchases, effectively attracting the new sales.

Some advanced chat platforms offer direct integration with delivery carriers, elevating support to a higher level. Chats such as Outvio's enable customers to manage their orders in real-time and with complete autonomy, thereby reducing store operating costs and adding significant value to the purchase.

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Essential benefits of live chat for eCommerce

Let's see a brief summary of the benefits your eCommerce would get by integrating a live chat software:

  • Ensure proactive support: anticipate your customers' needs and address their issues before they escalate into concerns. Studies indicate that 68 % of consumers prefer businesses offering proactive customer service.
  • Increase sales: utilize live chat as a marketing channel to promote items or provide tips that assist customers in completing their purchase. Remember, exceptional customer service also enhances your customer retention rate, leading to more repeat purchases from satisfied customers.
  • Save time and costs: by automating and centralizing communication with buyers in a single tool, your employees will spend less time and resources on their tasks. This enables you to provide quality assistance with fewer employees, ultimately increasing operational efficiency and reducing overhead expenses.
  • Reduce the number of returns: when customers make uninformed purchases, there's a high probability that the product may not meet their expectations. With live chat for eCommerce, users can seek advice about the products they intend to buy, thereby reducing the likelihood of returns.
  • Increase the number of positive reviews: having more satisfied customers as a result of using e-Commerce live chat will lead to an increase in positive opinions about your eCommerce platform.
  • Obtain relevant real-time data about your online store: live chats have the capability to gather information from both customers and support agents. Evaluate the effectiveness of your strategies by analyzing data such as response times, satisfaction rates, or frequently asked questions.
  • Automate order management: chats with self-service portals empower customers to independently manage their orders, significantly enhancing the shopping experience while automating time-consuming tasks for your employees.

Live chats are particularly valuable for eCommerce businesses

Live chats are particularly valuable for eCommerce businesses experiencing high demand, where providing manual support for every query is highly unprofitable and carries a significant opportunity cost, namely the risk of losing customers due to inadequate service.

Best eCommerce live chat software in 2024

1. Outvio

outvio desk, the best live chat software for eCommerce

Outvio Desk is the ultimate live chat software designed specially for the needs of eCommerce businesses. It provides full access to order information in the single chat window for maximal efficiency. The software synchronizes and automates essential operational processes concerning order processing and returns.

With Outvio Desk, your agents can seamlessly synchronize chats with carriers and eCommerce platforms, gaining full control over all post-purchase processes. Additionally, you can leverage AI-powered algorithms to automate responses, execute targeted marketing campaigns to enhance sales, offer comprehensive order tracking, resolve issues efficiently, and ultimately deliver a world-class customer experience. All conveniently unified on one platform.

Pricing

  • Outvio Desk alone: 100€/month + 0,05€/order
  • For Outvio users: 0€/month + 0,05€/order

2. Gorgias

gorgias live chat for ecommerce

Gorgias is an customer service software for eCommerce with an integrated live chat feature, boasting a wide array of functionalities and services. From automating responses to resolving tickets, configuring agents, sharing files, and even canceling orders directly from the chat, Gorgias offers comprehensive support solutions for eCommerce businesses. Gorgias applies additional charges for automation, add-ons, or conversions, on top of those included in the contracted plan.

Pricing

  • Starter Plan: 10$/50tickets/month
  • Basic Plan: 60$/300tickets/month
  • Pro Plan: 360$/2000tickets/month
  • Advanced Plan: 900$/5000tickets/month

3. Tidio

tidio chat software for ecommerce

Tidio offers a free chat plan tailored for newly established online stores or smaller workflows. This plan includes ticketing, automation, and live chat functionalities, along with integration capabilities with various social media networks. Notably, Tidio stands out for its seamless integration and user-friendly interface, making it an ideal choice for inexperienced professionals.

Pricing

  • Free Plan: 0$/50 conversations/month
  • Starter Plan: $29/100 conversations/month
  • Growth Plan: $59/250 conversations/month
  • Tidio Plan: $398/month

4. Zendesk

zendesk

Zendesk is a renowned help desk software extensively utilized by SaaS companies, boasting one of the top live chat solutions for service-oriented businesses. Its primary strength lies in lead management for sales teams. With Zendesk, your agents can effectively communicate with users, providing personalized assistance through templates to nurture leads and execute inbound marketing strategies.

Pricing

  • Team Suite: €69 per agent per month
  • Growth Suite: €115 per agent per month
  • Professional Suite: €145 per agent per month
  • Suite Enterprise: Customized pricing

5. Help Scout

helpscout

HelpScout is another chat provider specialized in serving SaaS or service companies, with some features tailored for online stores. It includes a macro system for creating workflows, real-time connection with buyers, and automatic recommendations of support items.

Pricing

  • ​​Standard Plan: $25 per agent per month
  • Plus Plan: $50 per agent per month
  • Pro Plan: Customized pricing

Key Features of Live Chat for eCommerce

If you aim to maximize the benefits of your live chat, it's crucial to select one specifically tailored for eCommerce management. Some essential features it should include are:

Real-time support

Your customers have the ability to initiate conversations with your customer support team and request immediate assistance in real-time. This fundamental functionality of live chat enables your agents to personalize interactions and deliver added value. For instance, they can offer discount coupons to retain customers, especially for more critical issues.

Bots and macros

Bots and macros within a live chat system empower eCommerce companies to automate their online helpdesk operations. Bots are computer programs crafted to engage with customers automatically, addressing common inquiries, and steering users through the conversion process. Conversely, macros consist of pre-defined templates featuring responses or actions that can be swiftly applied to recurring scenarios.

Tags

Tags enable categorization and organization of conversations within your live chat software, vital for creating workflows and automating personalized responses, agent assignments, and information organization in your eCommerce platform. For instance, tagging conversations as "urgent" based on customer responses prioritizes assistance from agents.

Dashboard

Dashboards in live chat software gather important metrics on customer behavior and agent performance. They offer real-time insights into key data like response times, resolution times, customer satisfaction rates, and conversation volumes. Additionally, they provide valuable information on trends, customer preferences, sales opportunities, and logistics efficiency. This data empowers businesses to make informed decisions, optimize strategies, and enhance overall customer experience, driving growth and maintaining competitiveness.

File sharing

The live chat platform you choose should support file, document, or image sharing. This enables customers to provide product details, allowing agents to provide more relevant responses. Additionally, it is highly useful for detecting fraud or malicious users.

Assignment rules

Assignment rules allow you to determine which agent handles a customer's query based on predefined criteria. You can prioritize urgent queries for immediate attention. For instance, if a customer has a technical question about a specific product, the system uses assignment rules to identify the product category and automatically assigns the query to an agent equipped to resolve the issue promptly.

Integrated tracking portal

Provides real-time package location information using geolocation technologies and carrier tracking systems. Customers can enter their order number in the live chat and receive instant updates on the location and delivery status of their package, all within the website interface.

Integrated returns portal

This portal enables customers to initiate and manage returns intuitively and conveniently. Whenever a customer contacts you, you can redirect them to this portal, ensuring a more satisfying and profitable returns experience for both parties.

Social media integration

Enables customers to initiate conversations through social networks and seamlessly continue them in the online store's live chat, providing an omnichannel service and unified customer experience.

Carrier integration

By leveraging logistics industry-specific APIs, chat platforms can seamlessly integrate with delivery and transportation providers. This facilitates real-time two-way communication between the chat system and carrier tracking systems, streamlining coordination and resolution of delivery-related issues.

Outvio Gorgias Tidio Zendesk HelpScout
Live chat βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ…
Macros and bots βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ…
Multi-agent βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ…
Templates βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ…
File sharing βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ…
Customization βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ…
Comprehensive order management βœ… ❌ ❌ ❌ ❌
Assignment rules βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ…
Returns portal βœ… ❌ ❌ ❌ ❌
Tracking portal βœ… ❌ ❌ ❌ ❌
Deep integration with eCommerce platforms βœ… βœ… ❌ ❌ ❌
Social media integration βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ… βœ…
Transport integrations βœ… ❌ ❌ ❌ ❌

How to implement a live chat support software in your eCommerce website

Step 1: Choose the right platform

Begin by researching the various live chat options available in the market to identify the one that aligns best with your eCommerce needs. Evaluate the functionalities and subscription models offered by each platform.

I recommend selecting a comprehensive and scalable solution that includes integrated carrier services to streamline logistics management. This ensures seamless communication and efficient handling of deliveries within your eCommerce operations.

Step 2: Account creation

Proceed to create a business account within your chosen live chat tool. Input your business and billing details to set up your account accurately and gain access to all available functionalities.

Step 3: Integrate the chat widget in the eCommerce website

Embed the chat widget into your online store by inserting a code snippet provided by the chat platform into the designated section of your website. This ensures the chat appears and functions correctly on your webpage.

Step 4: Customize the live chat for your eCommerce

Personalize the chat's appearance by modifying the font, colors, and incorporating brand logos. Position the chat prominently for easy access. Maintaining a consistent visual identity enhances the shopping experience and reinforces brand recognition.

Additionally, explore options for using a custom domain if supported by the live chat platform.

Step 5: Define workflows

Establish clear workflows for the efficient handling of customer inquiries. Define response times, priority scales and other customer service issues to deliver consistent, quality service.

Step 6: Create templates for customized responses

Develop templates for automated responses to frequently asked questions or common queries. For instance, if users frequently inquire about their order status, create a template with a link to the tracking page for easy access.

Step 7: Configure your agents

Create custom profiles for your customer service agents. Assign appropriate roles and permissions, set up availability schedules and assign shifts to ensure continuous chat coverage.

Step 8: Test your chat on different channels and devices.

Perform extensive testing of the chat on various browsers, mobile devices and operating systems to ensure compatibility and performance.

Step 9: Establish response protocols and train your team

Develop response protocols outlining guidelines for interacting with customers, addressing technical issues, and maximizing the utilization of available tools to deliver exceptional service. Provide comprehensive training to your employees to ensure they are proficient in executing these protocols effectively. This empowers your team to provide high-quality service consistently.

Step 10: Gather feedback on your eCommerce from live chat

Collect feedback from customers regarding their experience with the live chat feature on your eCommerce platform. Utilize this valuable information to pinpoint areas for enhancement, assess the impact of live chat on customer satisfaction, and monitor the performance of your agents or representatives. This feedback loop is essential for continuous improvement and delivering exceptional customer service.

Best practices for leveraging a online chat in eCommerce

The following strategies can significantly increase conversion and loyalty rates in your eCommerce business:

Implementing an intelligent routing system

Automatically direct queries to the most suitable team of agents based on the nature of the question. For instance, technical inquiries can be routed to the specialized support team for efficient resolution.

Provide customers with direct access to detailed information by including links to relevant articles on your website. If a question arises regarding the use of a specific feature, the chat can offer a link to an explanatory article.

Train your agents to identify cross-selling opportunities

Educate your team to identify strategic moments to suggest complementary products during conversations. For instance, following a customer's purchase of a phone, the agent can recommend adding a screen protector to their order.

Implement customer loyalty incentives

Reward customer loyalty by offering incentives such as discount coupons or credits for future purchases, expressing gratitude for their continued support

Solicit feedback through satisfaction surveys

Upon concluding each interaction, invite customers to participate in a brief survey to assess their experience and offer feedback on the service provided.

Customize agent communication tone and style

Tailor agents' tone and communication style to reflect the brand identity and connect effectively with the target audience.

Utilize tags to categorize conversations

Apply labels to conversations based on their subject matter or query type to streamline organization and monitoring processes.

You can create tags like "Technical Support," "Product Inquiry," or "Shipping Issue" to quickly identify and address specific customer needs.

Facilitate access to relevant information for agents

Ensure agents have swift access to crucial data, such as order numbers and shipping details, enabling them to efficiently and accurately address inquiries.

Ensure that the information available to agents is up-to-date and accurate. Regularly review and update your knowledge base with new product information, pricing details, and any changes to shipping policies or procedures.

Best templates for live chats in eCommerce and retail online stores

Type Template
Initial greeting Hello, welcome to [Name of your store]! How may I assist you today?
Product inquiry Sure, are you looking for something in particular? I'm here to help you find the perfect product.
Availability or stock inquiry Let me check the availability of this product for you, could you please provide me with the item name or item code?
Help with the purchase process Need help completing your purchase? I'm here to guide you step by step.
Frequently Asked Questions Excellent question! Here's the answer [short answer] Is there anything else I can help you with?
Technical or payment problem I am sorry to hear that. Please provide more details so I can help you resolve this issue as quickly as possible.
Offer additional assistance If you have any other questions or need further assistance, feel free to let me know. I'm here to make your shopping experience as easy as possible.
Follow-up after a purchase Thank you for your purchase at [Name of your store], is there anything else I can help you with? I also want to remind you that we are here for any questions or problems you may have.
Shipping and delivery inquiry Would you like to know more about the status of your shipment? Please provide your order number and I will give you a real-time update.
Discount or promotional offer We are offering a special promotion this week! Would you like more information on how to take advantage of it?
Collection of comments or reviews We value your opinion, would you be willing to leave us a review about your shopping experience? It would help us to improve our services
After-sales assistance How did your purchase go? Is there anything else I can help you with now that you have received the product?
Consultation on returns or exchanges If you need to return or exchange an item, I am here to help you with the process. How can I assist you?
Consultation on sizes or measurements Need help finding the right size? Provide me with the measurements you're looking for and I'll help you find the perfect size.
Appreciation for the visit Thank you for visiting [Name of your store]! If you have any questions while browsing our store, feel free to ask.

Conclusion

Live chats for eCommerce solutions have evolved from being optional to being a vital component for differentiation and brand building. It's not only about enhancing operational efficiency but also about instilling trust in users and setting yourself apart from competitors.

To reduce churn and boost conversions, it's crucial to leverage the full potential of live chats. Carefully analyzing available platforms and their functionalities is recommended to confidently integrate them into your eCommerce strategy.

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