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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : January 20, 2014

Websites without live chat are like stores with no sales assistants

In their fifth, and final, Live Chat Effectiveness report, LogMeIn reveals that live chat is effective in driving sales among mobile shoppers yet very few UK retailers offer their mobile customers a live chat option.

by Helen Leggatt

This year, online spending is set to reach almost £50 billion (US$82 billion) of which almost £10 billion (US$16.4 billion) will come from mobile. Despite this, of the UK's 120 largest online stores analysed for LogMeIn's latest and last Live Chat Effectiveness report, just 12% offer live chat to mobile shoppers while twice as many offer live chat to desktop PC shoppers.

Retailers without a live chat option to help mobile website browsers could be missing out on a significant chunk of sales. LogMeIn's study found that 25% of mobile shoppers were more likely to make a purchase if they could talk to a live online assistant.

Ross Haskell, Director of Products, BoldChat at LogMeIn, likens a website with no live chat support to a physical store without any sales assistants.

"If shoppers need help, most have to pick up the phone or wait for a response by email or on social media," says Haskell. "By incorporating live chat into the online customer journey, retailers can give shoppers the chance to ask for assistance, without any interruptions, when and how they want it."

Social media has recently become the supposed darling of customer interaction among retailers. Nearly all retailers (97%) now respond to consumer queries via Twitter and 94% use Facebook. According to research by Conversocial brands answered 62% of consumer queries asked on social media in Q2 2013, a rise of 143% on Q2 2012.

However, according to LogMeIn's recent report, despite social media support now being widely available, less than 7% of consumers prefer this channel to contact retailers. Email remains the dominant channel, preferred by over half of consumers (53%), followed by telephone (23%) and live chat (17%).

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: customer support, ecommerce, live chat, mobile marketing, mobile shoppers, research

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