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Sep 06, 2012 | 1 comment
Wanna know the biggest problem e-commerce sites are dueling with?
It’s not inventory, shipping or logistics. It’s shopping cart abandonment (65.23% rate!).
Let’s imagine that right now, at this very moment, a woman named Linda is browsing for T shirts on your site.
Linda sees several T-shirts that she likes and finally settles on three . The items have been added to the card but she suddenly gets cold feet at the checkout page. She has a number of questions, and there’s no quick way to get answers.
What if the colors on the screen and the color in real life look different? Would she have to jump through hoops to return it?
What are the shipping charges?
What are the guarantees? And why are there no customer reviews?
Normally, in a brick and mortar store Linda can get answers immediately. But in this context, and especially if Linda is a first time buyer and not very tech savvy she might simply abandon the cart.
And not only would you lose the sale, but you will also forfeit the marketing costs that brought Linda over in the first place.
Obviously, it’s a lose lose situation that can spell doom, especially if you are a small business operating on razor thin margins.
The solution to lowering cart abandonment rates has to be multi-pronged. Obviously, you will need to adopt customer centric design, get your backend straightened out and improve shipping and logistics.
But if you miss out on a crucial area no amount of redesign or improvements in supply chain will move the needle from red to black. We are talking about real time human interaction, or lack of it.
How can companies provide real time human interaction on a model that’s essentially designed to operate on a self service route? Easy: by implementing a live chat service online.
Let’s get back to the earlier scenario with Linda.
What if there was a live chat window right on the checkout page with something like “Live Chat is online. Please click on this button to talk with a Customer Service Executive”? You think Linda won’t click on that button to get her questions answered?
Of course she will. And if you have followed our earlier advice about training your customer service agents about your products and your service, Linda will get her doubts cleared up immediately and click on the Pay button.
Yet another confirmed sale snatched from the jaws of cart abandonment.
But this whole process does not just stop at a single sale. Odds are, most would be customers abandon sales because of a bunch of similar reasons. If your chat solution comes with a feature to record logs, you can analyze them to find out the common theme around complaints.
So, if you discover that multiple people are not completing the buying process because of shipping costs or return policies you can change those things on the site so that customers are not scared off.
Another place where this works is with the FAQ. Chat logs, or customer ticket responses from your staff are a gold mine for understanding what your customers typically have problems with. You can aggregate those responses into a prominently featured FAQ and remove a lot of guessing for your customers.
What is your biggest headache running an e-commerce store when it comes to converting visitors to sales?
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