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There has never been a more exciting time to work in marketing and technology. The world was already digitising rapidly, but the pandemic has accelerated this digital transformation. Companies that have been forced to adapt to evolving customer behaviours to survive now have an opportunity to thrive.

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How to Increase Online Sales Using Live Chat

Live chat is a web-based form of communication, which helps eCommerce merchants reduce first response time, increase customer experience, drive leads, and ultimately increase sales revenue.

live chat

Live chat goes way beyond picking up the phone and venting to your customers about your noisy neighbours, your car, or that weird boil you've got. Instead, the new era of live chat includes innovation and technology. Now, that's some space-aged stuff.

Online businesses often look to leverage their sales and business by using social media and community to their fullest potential. This means developing the right brand messaging while communicating with each and every customer. 

But instead of innovating, businesses often opt for the same old-hat approaches. These can be useful, but we need to think of bluer skies and brighter ideas. So, companies need to consider an ultimate conversion tool like live chat to engage website viewers, help them arrive at a decision faster, and increase sales. 

But first up, let's ask:

What is Live Chat?

Live chat is a web-based form of communication which allows you to communicate with your website viewers in real-time. 

If you've ever been on a Shopify store or SaaS website, you'll already be familiar. It'll look like a little widget in the bottom-left-hand corner of the site which, when clicked, will greet you and ask you if you need any help.

With live chat, a business can have a back-and-forth conversation with every visitor with an issue. They can even see if you've already received or read their questions. This is a feature not available with an option like email support.

But remember: live chat is not the same as a chatbot. Rather than being a computer programme which responds to specific questions from visitors via a chat window, live chat helps you chat with a human agent on the website. 

So, let's have a look at some examples and the benefits which come with them.

Targeted Messaging Can Attract Potential Customers 

Customers don't always know what they want to buy, or can even forget what they have saved in their cart. This could be due to browsing, or even doing a price comparison. So, while these aren't high-quality leads, they are still on your site intentionally. This is the same case as your Facebook followers. So, these individuals may not have the intention of purchasing today, but one day they might. 

Live chat lets you navigate this situation. It enables you to actively reach out to your customers with targeted messaging. You can trigger event-based messages to begin live chat conversations that may lead to transactions. 

There's no need for ice-breaking, too. So, you can turn hesitating leads into active customers with suitable questions, follow-ups, and personalised attention. 

Personalised chat is so important for increasing sales as it adds an element of engagement. There's the magic word. 

Engagement, however, is not the same as interaction. It goes far further than that. You need to do more than get your visitors to use your live chat feature. They've got to use your live chat feature, and enjoy it. 

You can elevate your customer experience by providing visitors with genuine and organic conversation. Don't make them feel like a means to an end, instead speak to them as individuals and show them you're invested in their intentions and their needs. 

Your live chat agents should also be the face of your brand when it comes to online interactions. They are, after all, your online sales team. So, as your live chat agents are enabling more online sales, it is crucial to give them the right authority on live chat. 

Allow these reps to make recommendations, and give your customers options by providing the human touch through the live chat. This gives the experience of being in a physical store. These recommendations can be crucial for increasing online sales.

These personalised interactions show each customer on your website that their needs are important.

Businesses Can Identify High and Low Potential Leads

Every so often, a salesperson will spend far too much time on a tricky lead that will never convert. This is because you have to know who you are talking to, and what their needs are. 

It is impossible to know this unless you are approaching and dealing with a return customer. So, the first step in lead nurturing is to talk to the person and understand their intent. A user asking about a sale half a year away has a far lower conversion potential than a person asking specifics about your product, such as model, price, or colour. 

Live chat agents cut out all the faff for sales reps by qualifying leads before they reach the sales funnel. Lead qualification is important, as it is the process of determining the conversion potential of a lead, and how high or low the sales rep's chance is to make a sale.

With live chat (and even chatbots) acting as a filter by handling simple requests and FAQs, the sales team will only have high-quality leads left to focus on. So, this can streamline work significantly. 

Encourages Proactivity 

Increasing online sales is far easier when your live chat strategy is proactive. This is because live chat sales come easier when they're sought after. So, if companies are standing around waiting for their users to click on the live chat feature, they're losing sales. 

So, what does this mean? Well, proactive chats begin before your website visitors decide they want to have a nice little chat. There's no click necessary. 

So, it's all about utilising the power of your tech and starting to chat to them first. This can work well in two ways. 

Number one, you're increasing your chances of engaging your site visitors who otherwise wouldn't use your site feature. Number two, you can reach out to your site visitors' moments at critical parts in their buying journey and experience. 

Just like many people won't pick up the phone or reach out to a salesperson in a physical store, your potential customers might not be motivated to seek out answers in a live chat. So, by using proactivity, you're making the first move, and eliminating any anxieties your site visitors might have about reaching out.

On top of this, you can be proactive in your approach to data analytics. This means discovering the ways in which your customers are interacting, or not interacting, with your site and product. You need to figure out when your sales are being made, and figure out reasons for abstaining.

This means asking questions like "when are carts being abandoned?" and "are there parts of my site that lose customers more than others?"

When you find out the information from these questions, you can determine the best places and times for your live chat to start.

But leveraging customer behaviour alongside chat won't work unless you also have the right chatting approach. It's all about using language to get them engaged in the first place. Consider what motivates a customer to abandon their cart, or what is necessary for a certain situation i.e. what your customer is looking at. It all needs to be specific and relevant to their experience.

Live Chat Can be Integrated With Social Media

One extra element which can be considered is going outside your site. I know, scary stuff. 

If implementing live chat on your website wasn't enough of a challenge, you also have to consider every channel that has the potential for increasing online sales. This is where social media comes in. 

Just like branding, social sites can play a big ol' role in capturing new customers and holding onto existing ones. How you reach out to these individuals on these platforms will affect your online sales. But it's more than just chatting to them in their DMs. 

To ensure your social media sites increase online sales, you'll need to integrate them with your live chat. Customers are going to be interacting with your brand at all touchpoints. So, users will be interacting with your brand at all touchpoints, so making yourself available to contact at the right time at the right place is vital. You can't afford to leave your social media out of your live chat strategy. 

But before you integrate the two channels, you need to make sure you've got a solid marketing message. Customers will want to see consistency in your brand across all touchpoints. 

This means that for sales success, your messaging must be the same, it must be consistent. This means a united tone, language and branding. If you find any inconsistencies, you'll need to make changes that align with your messaging and intended customer experience. 

So, it's not all entirely space age. More old-time ideas, with new-fangled technology. And that's a match made in live-chat heaven.