26 Apr 2015

3 Live Chat Tips for Online Retailers

By Allison Howen, Associate Editor

With myriad solutions available, live chat is not only a very accessible functionality for e-commerce businesses, but it’s also a feature savvy shoppers have come to expect when buying products on the Web.

Despite live chat’s popularity, many merchants are only leveraging it at its most basic level – even though more can be done to increase conversion and average order values, as well as improve operations. To take your site’s customer service to the next level, check out the three live chat tips below.


Typically used as a prompt to engage with a live chat operator, proactive chat gives merchants the ability to initiate communication at critical moments in the buying process (see image).

The majority of digital consumers actually welcome proactive chats, with a 2014 Moxie Software study finding that 72 percent of respondents want brands to proactively engage with them online, especially when they are struggling on a website. Setting up the “right” triggers, however, is important, according to Jeff Mason, VP of marketing at Velaro.

“The real key is understanding when and where a proactive trigger should be used,” said Mason. “For instance, if you have a product page with a lot of products on it you could set a proactive chat trigger based on time spent on a page. If someone spends a lot of time on a specific page – maybe they can’t find what they are looking for or maybe the copy on that page is confusing – that is a great opportunity to launch a proactive chat.”

In addition to common proactive chat triggers, merchants can set triggers based on specific visitor personas, a feature that Velaro is releasing later this year.

Visitor personas collect customer data such as what pages the customer has visited previously or where the customer is located. Merchants can use this data to set proactive chat triggers and deliver a personalized customer service experience to their shoppers.

Aside from creating strategic proactive chat triggers, merchants should also focus on making it easier for their customer service agents to increase order values.

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