Live Chat: A Powerful Lift for Enterprise Ecommerce


We live in an age that allows us to access information instantly. In fact, we’re becoming accustomed to getting quick answers and immediate gratification. Enterprise ecommerce has been working to leverage real time solutions like live chat technology for years in order to provide site visitors with a means to fast help, meaningful support and a gentle nudge towards a sale.  For a lot of established online stores, the results of this customer service platform are paying off in a big way.

There’s a fair amount of research that indicates live chat can have a very positive impact on a user’s experience, as well as the ability to offer an outstanding return on investment for ecommerce sites. With that said, a website needs traffic in order for a service like this to generate a positive impact. If your site only gets a few hundred hits a day, focus your efforts on improving traffic before adding live chat in order to make sure you get the most out of the service.

Like any business tool there are some Do’s and Don’ts that should be observed to help retailers make sure this method of communication has a positive impact for the visitor and the business, and doesn’t disrupt potential buyers. These systems are often undervalued, misused, and as a result miss the mark of improving the customer experience and lifting conversion. Thoughtful planning, research, and training are critical to successfully integrating live chat.

It is a delicate balance of understanding the needs of your customers and finding a way to offer a helpful, open channel of communication. Here are some key considerations to help ensure powerful impact as a result of implementing this customer centric function:

    1. -Provide real-time responses (30 seconds or less)-Communicate brand appropriate messaging


    1. -Train agents to have thorough site/product knowledge


    1. -Focus on one stop problem resolution


    1. -Offer clear guidance to a sale


    1. -Staff agents who are trained/skilled writers


    -Utilize live chat analytics to improve customization efforts

Avoid potential pitfalls:

    1. -Consider risks and benefits of prompting chat or allowing customer initiation


    1. -Provide clear communication rather than industry slang, jargon and acronyms


    1. -Offer around the clock availability


    1. -Try not to interrupt a visitor’s buying process


    -Let the visitor close a chat conversation

Approach it the right way and you may just have a cost efficient method for engaging customers, improving their shopping experience, increasing average order size, reducing shopping cart abandonment, maintaining loyalty and boosting conversion. Not a bad list of potential improvements.

Just getting a company started? HotWax Media offers an extensive number of enterprise ecommerce development and support services that will help your business maximize the power of nearly every site enhancement you make. Contact us today and find out how we can help.


Jared Matkin is a staff writer for HotWax Media with a background in PR, Branding and Marketing. He’s also a light-hearted and an opinionated character who will join other HotWax Media employees and advisers in periodically posting his thoughts on topics ranging from enterprise eCommerce to business and technology.

DATE: Apr 21, 2011
AUTHOR: HotWax Systems
Enterprise eCommerce, eCommerce, Jared Matkin