I was reading this Internet Retailer article on 10 tips for employing live chat profitably. The article talks about Live Chat as having one of the highest conversion rates among all channels.
“Live chat has one of the highest conversion rates of all our channels,” says Brad Wolansky, vice president of e-commerce at Orvis, a multi-channel outdoor gear and apparel retailer. “Particularly when someone doesn’t know what they want, it has the highest conversion rate of anything.” He says customers who chat convert 15% to 20% of the time, roughly triple the rate of e-mail.
This made me think what are the actual conversion rates of using Chat as against other mediums. After looking around, I was able to find some evidence of Live Chat having higher conversion rate and order values.
With Coremetrics, CompUSA was able to quickly calculate conversion rates of online sessions that included chat interactions. The chat session conversion rate was ten times that of the average site conversion rate. Coremetrics LIVE Profiles also showed a higher incidence of return customers among those who had chatted, as well as higher average order value. As a result of these impressive statistics, CompUSA hopes to expand the number of agents and extend the hours of operation for its live chat service.
Live chat produces a conversion rate of 15-20% at Backcountry, roughly 10 times the 1.7-2.0% buy rate for all customers, Bruni reports. It also produces higher orders. In one week this spring customers who chatted ordered $224 on average, versus $135 for the site overall. “We’ve taken what would be viewed as a consumption center—customer service—and turned it into a profit center,” Bruni says.
Backcountry is not unique—56% of retailers that used live chat said they found it a useful tool, according to the State of Retailing Online 2006 survey by research and consulting firm Forrester Research and retailers organization Shop.org.
Agents can boost sales at the moment of purchase by suggesting add-ons, such as a memory card with a digital camera or a carrying case with a laptop, says Kevin Kohn, executive vice president of marketing at live chat provider LivePerson Inc. He says LivePerson clients typically report average orders go up 25-30% when a customer chats.
So, there is enough evidence that using Live Chat effectively results in both increased conversion rate and higher order values.