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BizReport : Ecommerce : June 13, 2008

Survey: Online live chat implementation

A survey by inQ and the e-tailing group found that many e-tailers aren’t providing online live chat options to their best effect and are, as a consequence, missing out on sales.

by Helen Leggatt

E-commerce has its advantages but being able to approach a customer as they enter the store, or provide support to those that look to be faltering at the checkout, and help them make purchasing decisions, isn’t one of them. However, online live chat, when deployed in a sensitive yet proactive manner can come close.

Of the 31 websites assessed by inQ and the e-tailing group just 41% placed online live chat options in areas of the website where it could be used to facilitate sales. Instead many, 88%, placed them on service pages.

Kevin Kohn at LivePerson Inc. claims that those amenable to online live chat often become buyers and that it is one of the highest conversion rates of all his channels at 15%.

Ways to successfully use online live chat are featured in an article on and include gems such as “ask for the sale”, “don’t offer chat to unprofitable customers” and “know when to offer chat”.

Tags: e-commerce, online live chat, online shopping, sales

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