Is the live chat on your Shopify store really getting you sales?
Just offering live chat isn't enough anymore. Let's dive into the importance of live chat for Shopify stores, what live chat looks like right now, and how it needs to evolve to address evolving needs.
With the last year being the way it was (we’re not going to talk pandemic anymore), we all witnessed an exponential growth in the number of brands going online. Mostly because all of us chose to make even our day-to-day purchases online instead of stepping into the typical physical stores.
While this gave many businesses an opportunity to reach their customers faster, it came with its own set of challenges. Especially the inability to talk to customers face-to-face and help them out in making a purchase. And for the customers, well, it got difficult seeking help.
Live chat was already important for omnichannel customer experience, but in the past year, it became absolutely essential. And it’s not going away anytime soon. In fact, live chat is expected to grow as much as 87% in the next 12-18 months.
But is having a live chat enough? Is the chatbot what customers are looking for?
In this article, we’re going to dive into the importance of live chat for Shopify stores, what it looks like right now, and how it needs to evolve.
The importance of live chat on your Shopify store
1. Customers prefer live chat over any other channel to contact brands
Imagine you’re buying a pair of jeans but you’re in between sizes and there are two sizes that both seem to be ideal for you. You need some clarity on the fit of the jeans so you can pick the right size in the first go.
Now, would you rather email or reach out to the brand on social media, asking them for help, and then wait hours or even days for a response?
Or would you rather just use the live chat on their Shopify store to get instant, real-time customer support?
Obviously, the latter.
We shop online for the convenience of it. If we had to wait in lines, we might as well be at the brick-and-mortar stores. That’s why customers choose to chat with brands in real time online, instead of waiting on support calls, emailing brands, or tweeting them. Instant communication is all they need to be nudged towards making a purchase.
2. Live chat lets you answer multiple customer questions in one place and improve your response time
Let’s take the above statistics into account again.
Let’s say you have some customers who reach out to you on email, some on Facebook, some on Twitter, and others on Instagram.
Now, as a Shopify store owner or marketer, we’re pretty sure switching between the apps is a major hassle. We also know how some messages could just fall through the cracks between all the different channels. I mean, we do all have endless unread WhatsApp messages and personal emails because we just receive too many of them!
Having live chat on your Shopify store simplifies this. It nudges your customers to reach out to you on that one real-time channel, bringing all questions to one dashboard.
This streamlines the entire process of offering customer service and support to your customers. What’s more? You never miss a chat.
Additionally, it also helps you improve your average response time, which is a big factor in creating customer satisfaction and a high-quality online shopping experience
According to Superoffice, the average response time for emails is 12 hours. For social media, it’s about 10 hours. But on live chat, it can be as little as 2 minutes! Especially TextChat, which notifies you instantly in the text messaging app that you already have in your phone.
3. Customers find you more approachable
Often, the biggest concern we have while shopping online is whether the brand offers a good customer experience or not.
There are just way too many questions in our minds. And at that point, we don’t want to go seeking out the contact details of the brand. We definitely don’t want to be submitting contact forms or passing out our personal phone numbers, emails, and other private contact information on the Internet, either.
This is why the live chat channel on your Shopify store becomes your customers’ go-to. The easy-to-spot button makes it easier for shoppers to reach out to you. The ease of being reached out to is what makes you more approachable and customer-friendly in the eyes of the consumers!
Another study by Emarketer found that 63% of consumers are more likely to come back to a website if they offer live chat. Simply because they know the help is readily available to them, to help them make informed purchase decisions.
Let’s use an example to put things in perspective.
An online shopper lands on one of your Shopify store’s collection pages. It’s a new collection that you recently launched and it’s on sale.
So they reach out to you via live chat to ask for more information about the products so that they can make the right choice. Now, this is your opportunity to shine!
Beyond simply answering the question they have, you can easily converse with them and guide their shopping journey even further. If they’re looking for a pair of jeans, you could subtly mention the new launch of t-shirts, encouraging them to check the other collection out too.
Since you’re in an active, personalized conversation with your shopper, they’re more likely to take your recommendation seriously. It’s pretty similar to how we walk into Target just intending to buy one jacket, but we walk out with a few sweaters as well — all because the salesperson at the counter made a contextual recommendation.
Forrester found that ecommerce websites with a live chat window saw a 10% increase in the average order value of the customers using the medium to reach out to the brand compared to those that did not. The same study also found that live chat leads can lead to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a whopping 40% increase in the overall conversion rate.
5. You can reduce your purchase abandonment and cart abandonment rates
According to Baymard, the average cart abandonment rate on an ecommerce store is about 69%. In some industries, the number can go up to 80% as well. One of the reasons being that the shopper wasn’t able to feel confident that they are making the right purchase decision. They just needed more information about the product to be nudged toward a purchase!
With a live chat widget, you can be there for an online shopper at this stage of their buyer journey. You can reduce purchase abandonments by helping them out at the right time, with the right information.
Last but not least, we’ll give you one more reason why live chat is so effective.
6. Offering live chats on your online store can improve customer satisfaction rates
You’re not missing any questions. You’re replying to your customers within minutes. That obviously gets you some brownie points!
Studies suggest that 82% of customers were satisfied with their live chat experience, compared to the 61% who decided to use emails and the 44% that chose to call the brand for support.
Think about the last time you called a brand to ask a question and were forced to wait in line for 5 minutes. Would you count that as a good customer experience? Of course not!
Everything above obviously demonstrates that your Shopify store NEEDS live chat. But now, let’s get back to the question of whether the live chat you have right now or the chatbot you’re thinking of implementing is good enough or not.
The short answer is no. But we’ll explain this in a bit!
Live chat on Shopify stores — Status Quo
Live chat has been in the software ecosystem for some years now. It isn’t a new concept, but it has evolved over the years, both in terms of technology and importance. Here’s how you typically see live chats functioning on Shopify stores:
Live chats where customer questions are answered by a team of live agents who are available 24/7 to monitor incoming queries. This team of live agents is either in-house, outsourced, or handled by the store owners and marketers themselves.
Live chats where the customer submits their contact details and questions, and then waits hours or days for the brand to reach out to them with the answers.
Live chats where automated bots are set up to answer a series of questions, either linking to internal pages of the website, the FAQ page, or eventually leading to a live agent stepping in to handle the conversation.
We’re pretty sure you’ve experienced each in one way or another.
The problem with the current state of live chat on Shopify stores
The current state of live chat has, of course, helped many Shopify stores grow their email list, engage their customers, answer questions, offer support, and turn chat requests into successful sales. But over time, we (and we’re sure, you, too) have identified a few windfalls of the approach.
1. It takes a dedicated support agent or sales representative to manage the live chat all day long
You have to dedicate all your time to live chat — well, almost. Being able to answer questions instantly requires you to remain glued to your live chat app on desktop or mobile. The maximum time a customer is willing to wait for a reply from you is about 2 minutes. That’s less time than it takes to fix a quick snack in the kitchen or walk down the hall to the bathroom and back. So that means absolutely no work breaks, all day long. Now, imagine this scenario for a business that ships globally!
2. Hiring live agents increases the costs of operations exponentially
Now to counter the above problem, you may actually consider hiring someone to manage your live chat. Or you may want to outsource it to a customer support agency. But either way, you’re adding the cost of live agents to your business operations. As a Shopify store that’s growing or just starting out, the added costs will only strip you of any budgets that you could otherwise use on your marketing and product.
3. You have no control over your availability
Most live chat software products encourage you to be available all day, every day. This has set consumer expectations very high as well, so they expect a brand to be online at all times, irrespective of time zones or holidays. The whole concept of setting available hours is still very new on Shopify live chat apps.
4. Customers have to wait all too long to get answers
If you’re using the approach of letting customers submit questions and then reaching out to them, you’re probably already late in responding to them. Worse, you have already lost a lot of sales. No one’s going to keep checking their inboxes for a response from a brand. You need to catch them in the instant that they’re making a purchase decision. If they find a faster alternative, they will make the move.
5. Managing live chat requires downloading and using clunky apps
While the live chat apps available to Shopify stores are powerful, they all come with one little hiccup - having to download and use an app. Whether that’s on a desktop or on a smartphone, you’d have to depend on this app to receive notifications of all live chats and answer them. And since a live chat app’s purpose is to bring together all your customer questions onto one dashboard, they’re mostly clunky or heavy.
6. People don’t associate with chatbots any more
Chatbots are effective, no doubt. With them, you can make sure your customer gets an instant reply from you. But at the same time, it’s also a fact that a shopper can’t possibly have a conversation with the bot. Live chat bots work with a predetermined set of questions, beyond which they would require you to step in and provide human insights.
In times when we all need a little assurance and guarantee, live chat bots on your Shopify store are the least effective. Despite all the smart automations and messages available, we all still want to talk to humans.
All in all, live chat for Shopify stores needs a human touch with a mix of technology that lets store owners, marketers and consumers seamlessly connect with one another.
The solution: humanize your website’s live chat experience
You need to sit all day on your desktop or a mobile app?
With live chat solutions like TextChat, we’re revolutionizing traditional customer service, support, and sales. We merged the power of a live chat software tool and an SMS app for your Shopify store so that you can handle customer questions on the go.
All without hiring the help of live agents, adding extra customer service costs, or sacrificing your work-life balance.
Here’s how it works when you have TextChat on your Shopify store:
1. A customer reaches out to you with a question by clicking on the TextChat chat widget and the “Sales” button
2. TextChat notifies you of the question via SMS, along with a link to reply to the customer
3. You click on the link in your text messages and start talking to the customer — no mobile app download required!
4. Once you’re done, you can close the chat
It’s as simple as texting your friends. As like to say, “If you can text, you can TextChat.”
If you haven’t noticed yet, here’s what TextChat does differently in comparison to the other Shopify live chat apps or customer support and service apps:
You can get started with live chat on your Shopify store with a one-click easy install button
You can control your availability at any time, with just one click within the agent dashboard
TextChat notifies you of live chat requests on SMS
You don’t need to be on a desktop to manage your live chat
You won’t ever have to download a mobile app for managing your live chat
TextChat helps you handle customer conversations on the go, letting you connect with shoppers instantly
You have the option to manage your business live chat all on your own or with the help of additional team members
Do you really need to change your Shopify live chat app?
The answer is yes.
In times when the consumer wants to make more informed purchases, it’s vital to be available whenever they need help. But, at the same time, it’s also impossible for you to let go of your day-to-day tasks, like picking up groceries or brushing your teeth.
With TextChat, we give you the power to tackle both. We bring live chat to your text messages so you can reply instantly, no matter where you are.