Just a decade ago, instant messaging was simply intended to replace SMS as a private conversational tool. Today, it is emerging as a high-performance conversion factor for e-merchants and businesses. In addition to reinventing customer relationships, instant messaging brings that human touch that can be lacking in online stores. Numbers don't lie. E-commerce sites with instant messaging convert many more potential customers than other means. This is why.
Instant messaging and e-commerce: a winning duo
Instant messaging helps improve the conversion rate of e-commerce sites.
Instant messaging and conversion stakes
According to Bigcommerce figures, the average conversion rate of an e-commerce website is between 1 and 2%. In other words, companies can expect two orders per 100 visitors. This result may be considered disappointing for a physical point of sale, but the standards are different in e-commerce: With equal visibility, an e-commerce site will receive many more visitors than a physical point of sale.
By definition, e-commerce websites have no geographical constraints. They can be accessed by users from all over the city, the country or the world.
Physical stores convert more for two main reasons:
Prospects are better because customers have made the effort to travel.
Customers can count on the advice and support of a salesperson.
For an e-commerce, the qualification of prospects can be improved through a targeted SEO strategy. For the "human" touch, customers can count on instant messaging.
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Instant messaging for an interactive e-commerce website
Beyond its objective benefits for customer relations, instant messaging is above all the only "human" factor present in e-commerce websites. The chances are that the only possible communication channels of your online store are:
A contact page with a form, which many will perceive as a bottle thrown into the sea.
A postal address receiving mail... an anachronistic (or rather parachronic) means of communication, especially on an e-commerce website.
A telephone number, with all the known inconveniences: music on hold, cost for the customer and the company, network infrastructure, etc.
As you will have understood, instant messaging is the only real-time conversational tool on your e-commerce website. It is also the customer relationship solution that is the most deeply rooted in the habits of Internet users who use it several times a day.
Instant messaging to boost the sales of your e-commerce
Before addressing the crucial issue of customer experience, it should be remembered that retaining e-commerce customers is, by far, the best way of driving growth. According to a study by Bain & Company, a 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by 25-95%. Because customers can reach you quickly and easily, they will be more likely to repeat their shopping experience.
Basically, instant messaging will become the pillar of how you manage your customer relationships and will have a direct impact on customer loyalty. Moreover, since "customer retention costs up to five times less than converting new prospects" (see the loyalty effect), instant messaging makes all the difference!
The benefits of instant messaging for e-commerce sites
Instant messaging improves the user experience of your e-commerce site.
E-commerce: the impact of instant messaging on the user experience
For a same offer, the main differentiating factor between e-commerce sites is user experience. In a physical point of sale, the customer can ask the salesperson for a shoe size, a sweater of a certain color, the return policy or for a look at the new collection. On an e-commerce website, this service can be played by a user-friendly home page or an FAQ page.
However, it is instant messaging that offers the closest the service provided by the salesperson. For the customer, this experience through instant messaging can even prove to be more pleasant than face-to-face contact. Indeed, customers remain free to go about their business while waiting for a response from the salesperson.
Instant messaging to make customers comfortable.
An armada of salespersons may be required to manage the flow of customers through a store. On an e-commerce website, instant messaging will allow you to manage the queries of several customers simultaneously. This will save time and resources without compromising the quality of customer service.
Instant messaging is also an asset for telephone support:
Customers are never "on hold". They can go about their business while waiting for an answer.
The checkout process is shorter and therefore more satisfying.
You can send a catalog, a link or a quote via instant messaging, during the conversation with the caller.
By being spared the long waits and resulting frustration, customers are in the best possible mood for shopping.
Install instant messaging
Instant messaging for online customer service
Being reachable 24/7 gives e-commerce websites a major edge for maximizing sales, especially when targeting an international clientele. With a properly configured instant messaging system, you will maximize this advantage and receive better returns. Indeed, you will be able to answer your customers' most recurring questions outside office hours, when you are free. To do so, there are two possible options:
You can set up automatic “hold” or “absence” messages to indicate that the customer request has been taken into account and will be processed as soon as possible.
You can opt for more or less advanced chatbots to guide your customers and help them make their purchase.
Instant messaging will radically change your e-commerce website. By integrating WhatsApp Business API, Facebook Messenger, Live Chat, Apple Business Chat, and Google's Business Messages into your e-commerce website, you will make the most of your business. Not sure you can keep up with the flow? Don't panic. ChayAll.fr offers a solution that centralizes all your instant messaging onto a single user-friendly and streamlined interface!
Author: Melissa Carles.
To learn more about multichannel instant messaging, also read:
The 3 golden rules for a successful customer relationship on WhatsApp!
Instant messaging simplifies your home delivery service
Boost your sales with a plugin for your social networks on WordPress!
The 3 Criteria for Choosing the Right WordPress Instant Messaging Plugin The advantages of a WordPress chat plugin for your website.