Tuesday 19th July 2016

How To Use Live Chat Effectively for eCommerce Stores

Tom Shackleton

Using live chat can be an incredibly powerful tool for interacting with your eCommerce visitors and customers. Many eCommerce retailers can be wary of live chat, presuming that it’s usually obtrusive, too forceful as a sales tactic and can drive customers away. While this can be the case, if you think carefully about how you’d like to use live chat, and implement the right solution for you, it can increase customer satisfaction and boost your sales.

Here’s how to use live chat effectively on your eCommerce store:

Up-Sell When Appropriate

From a consumer’s point of view, one of the main concerns with live chat can be that customer service representatives will try to up-sell products and convince visitors to make a purchase they are unsure of, rather than providing helpful advice.

Attempting to mis-sell products to your customers is obviously a bad idea and will never generate repeat purchasing, so think carefully about the right time to suggest complementary products to your live chat customers.

There may be occasions when a particular product would be beneficial for them. For example, if a customer is looking to buy a tin of paint from your store, suggesting an appropriate brush for them as well could give them a smoother experience.

Remember that you’re not selling face-to-face, so customers may be more skeptical if you’re suggesting alternative, more expensive products to them. Live chat is there to improve your customers’ experience above all else, so make sure that this is prioritised over up-selling.

Use Feedback To Improve Your Site

Customer Feedback It’s not very often that you get good quality, qualitative feedback for your eCommerce site, so take advantage of any points raised by your live chat customers. For example, if similar queries on a certain product keep cropping up in live chat, it may be a good idea to add this information to the product page. Or, if customers keep asking questions about the checkout process, you may want to look into simplifying or testing different variations of your checkout.

Live chat is one of few opportunities you get to actually talk to your customers. You could even ask users about their experience of using your site, once their query has been resolved of course.

Be Conversational

It’s important to be conversational with your customers when talking to them on live chat, just like you would in a bricks and mortar store. Without any face-to-face interaction, visitors could be skeptical of you and may even think that your live chat is automated or a chat bot. You need to show them that there’s actually someone human at the other end, typing out their answers.

Of course, if you are conversational in the way you interact, customers are more likely to leave happy and then they’re more likely to return in future. A good live chat experience can be extremely positive, but a bad one may turn customers away from your store for good.

Choose The Right Solution

There are many different live chat solutions on the market and all have different functionality, benefits and drawbacks. Selecting the right live chat software for your eCommerce store is very important for ensuring you can use live chat in the way that you want, without paying over the odds.

Bold Chat

Boldchat Bold Chat is a live chat solution aimed mostly at eCommerce. It provides a standard live chat functionality for your site, along with video chat and email integration options (in it’s more expensive packages). Bold Chat is a good place to start for eCommerce stores looking to start using live chat for the first time.

Live Person

Live Person Live Person takes things to the next level for eCommerce stores looking for more in depth analytics and sentiment analysis. This allows the live chat software to assess your customer’s mood based on trigger words in their responses. Something that could be more useful for complex conversations or customer problems.


Kyako Kayako provides an integrated help desk solution as well as live chat. It allows you to access customer information, emails, chat and any other communication all in one place. For larger eCommerce businesses looking to keep track of all of their customer interaction, Kayako offers the perfect solution.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger Using Facebook Messenger as your live chat solution offers something simple, easy to set up and very familiar for your visitors. If your store runs on Shopify, there are some great apps for adding Facebook Messenger to your store like Quick Facebook Live Chat.

If you’re looking for a cheap and easy solution for getting started with live chat, Facebook Messenger is probably the best option.


Bontact Bontact allows you to contact customers from their smartphone app, as well as the web. This gives you access to your live chat features no matter where you are. They also offer a range of other customer service options including requesting call-backs and SMS.


Robin Robin provides Shopify users with a fully featured customer service system for their eCommerce store. It gives you one, unified dashboard and contact form for all of your live chat and email communications. Their dashboard also provides a one stop shop for your customer communication.

Provide Useful Information

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when using live chat on your eCommerce store is to make sure that you provide information to customers that is relevant and helpful. You’ll want to make sure that employees are trained to use the live chat software itself. But you’ll also want to ensure that all of your employees have a good knowledge of your products and store policies, so that they can respond quickly to customers.

Customers expect an immediate response from live chat customer service representatives, so unlike email requests and queries, you’ll need to be able to respond in the moment, rather than contact the customer at a later time.

In Summary…

When used correctly, live chat can be fantastic for increasing your store’s conversion rate and leaving your customers satisfied. As long as you invest the time, talking to customers and training your staff to respond well to queries, you can create a live chat system that’s a useful, positive addition to your eCommerce store.

Have you recently added live chat to your eCommerce store? Let us know what effect it’s had by getting in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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