6 ways to improve e-commerce conversion rates with live chat

Dec 8, 2021
min read
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One of the most important challenges for every marketer that works in ecommerce is improving the conversion rate.

Why? Because for every 100 customers that visit an ecommerce website, about 98 of them leave without converting. A 2% conversion rate is considered 'average'.


In this article, we'll discuss how adding a live chat to your ecommerce website can drastically improve the conversion rate.

Many roads lead to Rome

When we're talking about conversion rates, we're not (necessarily) talking about products sold. A conversion occurs when website visitors complete a desired action. This could be anything, from signing up to your newsletter, adding items to the shopping cart, or - by far the best one - actually purchasing your product.

There are a lot of ways in which marketers try to boost their conversion rate:

  • Adding pop-ups
  • A/B testing their landing pages
  • Experimenting with their pricing
  • Removing as many distractions as possible
  • Improve their copywriting
  • Adding testimonials and customer reviews

And - that's why we're here after all - adding a live chat to their website.

How can an ecommerce live chat improve conversion rate?

There are 6 different ways to improve conversion rate for your ecommerce website:

  1. Answer simple questions before they become frustrations
  2. Offer fast customer service
  3. Offer tailored product recommendations
  4. Lower your cart abandonment rate
  5. Create a personalized experience
  6. Learn from your customers

1. Answer simple questions before they become frustrations

Imagine you are trying to buy a new pair of shoes online. You googled 'shoes' and found a cool pair after browsing through some websites. Now the time has come to start taking action. But you just can't seem to find the expected delivery date. You scroll up and down the product page, but it's just not there.

This is the point where you get frustrated. It's 2020, this stuff should be easy. Before you know it, you head back to Google to find another website that offers the same shoes.

A quick conversation via live chat could have easily turned you into a paying customer. A simple widget to get in contact with somebody who can immediately tell you all you need to know about the shoes. It all could have been so simple. You already liked the shoes, the pricing was fine, all you needed was an answer to a simple question.

2. Offer fast customer service

Once a website visitor gets in contact with you, it is important to offer high-quality service. This increases the odds of them becoming a paying customer. One of the most important aspects of good customer service in this day and age is speed. Customers want you to respect their time. Besides that, they have become used to the internet instantly granting them quick access, that any form of waiting time results in frustration fast.

Email and phone won't cut it here. There's multiple reasons why replying fast via live chat is easier:

  • You can use an informal tone and write short messages
  • You can create quick replies to answer frequently asked questions
  • You can send articles from your help center, something you can't do via the phone, for example
  • You can use chatbots that answer faster than any human agent ever could

Besides offering fast service and improving your conversion rate, a live chat is also more efficient for your customer service team. Emails or phone conversations simply require more effort. You can also serve more than one customer at the same time.

3. Offer tailored product recommendations

Let's say your ecommerce website sells audio equipment. In your top menu bar, customers would probably find categories such as speakers, cables, microphones, and so on.

But some customers may come in not knowing exactly which product they are looking for. For example:

An experience without a chat

Customer A wants to buy a cable that connects an audio device to his laptop. Customer A doesn't have a lot of technical knowledge, and can't figure out which cable is right for him. Even after browsing through the cables category.

He or she could try out the search bar and type in 'cable that connects audio device to laptop', but sadly, your search bar is most likely not that advanced yet.

Without a live chat, this could mean you lose a customer, or gain a customer that buys a product he can't use and will eventually return. With a live chat, you can recommend the exact product that customer A needs to connect his devices.

Furthermore, once you have helped a customer in live chat, you can seize the moment and upsell to your customer too.

Tip: When recommending a product from your webshop, always send links so your website visitor only has to click. This makes it easier for them and shows you are willing to invest real time into helping the customer. It's comparable to a physical store employee pointing you towards the cable department instead of getting the cable for you while you wait. Details matter.

4. Lower your cart abandonment rate

One of the the most important pages on your ecommerce website are the checkout pages.

Your website visitor is excited about your product, has added it to its cart, and now has to pay. On average, 70% of customers decide to abandon their cart after adding products to it.

On these pages, questions may come up about the following topics:

  • Payment methods
  • Shipping options
  • Security
  • Pricing

Beware! It is important to tread lightly here. Once a visitor is close to becoming a paying customer, you should tread lightly and allow as little distractions as possible. No pop-ups with 'hey, can I help you?' here. Please.

5. Create a personalized experience

One of the biggest downsides of running an ecommerce business is the lack of human interaction. For instance, when you run a clothing store and people walk in, you can improve conversion by having a conversation.

Now, you won't be able to say "that looks amazing on you" via live chat, but you can at the very least add a little human touch. Add a picture of one of your agents to the chat widget and write a welcoming opening message. Give personal advice based on questions.

Also, as we discussed earlier in this article, the preferred tone of voice via live chat is informal. Make use of this and have genuine conversations. Let's have a look at an example to illustrate this.

Imagine you have just helped customer B find the right shoes for his birthday party. After helping her through her journey, it's time to round off the conversation. You could do this the generic way:

"Enjoy your product and please let me know if I can help you with something else".


"I hope you will enjoy your birthday party, I'm sure you'll steal the show with these shoes on!"

Both options are fine, but personalization is always king.

6. Learn from your customers

Aside from improving your customers' journey, a live chat also helps you to learn how you can improve it.

You know you need to change things once you frequently get the same questions, such as:

  • What are the delivery times?
  • Do these shoes also come in different colors?
  • How do I add a product to my cart?

You may be able to help the customers that contact you, but other people with these questions may not. So any of these questions should be a big red flag for your team to quickly improve your customer journey.

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