A study by Econsultancy from 2013 of 5,700+ online consumers revealed that 83% of online shoppers need support to complete a purchase.
They also found that 31% of shoppers expect an immediate response, and 40% expect a response within 5 min.
- 31% immediately
- 40% within 5 min
- 11% within 30 min
- 5% within an hour
- 10% within a day
- 1% within a week
- 2% as long as it takes
Yet, 21% of companies fail to respond to Live Chat requests (source)
What’s the impact of having a Live Chat? (source)
- 38% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company if they offer live chat support (CrazyEgg)
- 63% of customers are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat. (Emarketer)
- For 79% of businesses, a live chat resulted in increased customer loyalty, sales and revenue. (Kayako)
- 3.84% increase in conversion rates with a 6% lift in revenue. (Goinflow)
- Website visitors that engage with your live chat are worth 4.5 times more than visitors that don’t. (ICMI)
- 10% increase in the average order value when engaging in a chat before making a purchase. (Forrester)
- 40% increase in conversion rate
According to Intercom (source), shoppers who chat are much more like to convert:
And the more the customer replies, the more likely they are to convert:
Some other stats and insights: (source)
- 69% of America shoppers demand a live chat
- LivePerson and Jivochat (as of 2017) were the two most popular Live chat tools
- Amazon has an average wait time of 13 min (which I think is too long), but it’s available 24 hours, 7 days.
- Live chat is much less expensive and faster than phone and email
One of the members of my Ecom Convert group added some nuance:
Live chat does not work the same way across all niches, industries, and product lines.
So, if your product offering is simple, low priced, and your target market are spontaneous buyers, then live chat is a waste of resources.
The more complex your product offering and the longer the buying process and related decision-making is for your target market buyer, the more you need to have a live chat feature on your site.
Live chat is a resource-involved feature that becomes a must for high-end and complex product offerings, and not just a conversion piece.
Convert.com recommends to use a scroll map to figure out where visitors usually pause on the page. That is likely when they need additional support. Trigger (open) your live chat popup at that point. (source)
Of course, if the user closes it, you should not insist by opening it again (ever). That would only annoy them. Let them open it if they want to message you.
Below is the valuable advice by NN Group on Live Chats (source):
- Place a ‘Chat’ link in the Contact page and on product pages
- If you have a floating button, don’t rely on it as the only way to access the chat
- Use the label ‘Chat’ or ‘Live Chat’, not something vague such as ‘Ask Us’
- Minimize wait time, especially on mobile
- Give them an estimate of how long they’ll have to wait. Notify them that the agent is typing.
- (Optionally) open the chat in a new window
- Have different colors for the user and agent messages
- Ask for the the user’s phone number or email (or give them yours) in case the conversation gets interrupted
- Don’t make them write their question multiple times (make sure the agent first reads the preliminary information the user entered before linking up with an agent)
- Allow users to submit photos and documents if needed, on both desktop and mobile
- Offer a transcript of the session when the conversation is over
- Specify the ‘opening hours’ of the chat
- Start with ‘Hello! How may I help you today?’
- Let users know if your chat has a bot
- Provide specific detailed answers
I would add that your chat availability hours should match your audience’s behavior. So if they are active on your site and asking questions mostly between let’s say 7AM and 10PM Eastern, then match your ‘open hours’ to that.
Give a personal feel to your chat:
- A real person
- Show a photo of the agent