There’s no escaping the fact we’re social beings. Commerce may have made an overwhelming shift towards the online space in recent years. But, shoppers still appreciate the connection, reassurance and education that a friendly chat with a knowledgeable person can bring to their retail experience.
The benefits of implementing a live chat solution are well-established. In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways in which conversational commerce can bring big advantages to brands specifically catering to the more conscious consumer.
Running a sustainable, ethical ecommerce brand? Or perhaps just aspiring to bring a few more eco elements to your future positioning? Read on to learn why slick live chat could represent the perfect addition to your customer experience…
Live Chat – Why Bother?
Before we dig into the reasons live chat is especially well suited to values-led ecommerce businesses, let’s zoom out and examine the universal benefits it brings to online retailers working across the verticals.
Simply put – customers who engage with live chat are gold standard – more likely to convert, and more likely to spend more per order. Research by Forrester observed a 10% increase in AOV when comparing sales from customers who engaged in a chat before making a purchase, to those who did not use live chat.
There’s an argument to suggest that customers going to the effort of engaging in live chat were already more motivated and intentional than casual browsers. But still, the strong correlation between live chat and improved sales can’t be ignored.
Ultimately, when it comes to securing sales, customer service is king – and an effective live chat solution is one of the very best ways to elevate the experience of the shoppers visiting your store. 42% of customers prefer live chat for communication with businesses, and when we consider the main reasons shoppers turn to ecommerce for their retail fix (speed, ease, a quick solution) it’s not hard to see why.
While 67% of B2C businesses use live chat solely for the purpose of customer support, its potential doesn’t end there. Live chat can also offer great scope for sales and even marketing, so it’s important not to feel limited by its application – opportunity awaits the brands willing to get creative.
Live Chat And The Conscious Consumer
So, the baseline benefits of live chat for ecommerce merchants are well established. But how can this powerful, productive integration prove particularly helpful for businesses who’ve aligned themselves with a more conscious consumer?
If you’re courting shoppers who are looking for sustainable, ethical options, we can make one cast-iron guarantee: they’ll have questions! The conscious consumers are, by their very definition, choosy. They’re actively striving to make better choices - and you can bet your bottom dollar that they want these choices to be well informed.
What does this mean for you, as a retailer? For a start, you’ll want to make sure your product pages are detailed, informative and transparent. By making every effort to ensure easy access to product information you’ll be reducing the pressure on your support team and keeping customers happy with instant answers.
But even with this extra effort and attention to detail, sometimes shoppers will simply require that next level of reassurance and support. With so many brands making sustainability claims, many customers are (understandably!) sceptical. If you’re looking to really maximize their experience, satisfaction and chance of converting, then having a live chat option to put minds at ease is essential.
Live chat is a wonderful way of learning what your customers are interested in, hoping for and dead against. Digging into the data these conversations generates can provide a rich seam of insight for your ongoing product development strategy.
What’s more, by learning from your most common live chat enquiries, you can feed back into your product page strategy, enhancing the content you’re already providing to help answer common questions or concerns.
6 Top Tips For Ethical Ecommerce Store Live Chat Success
Here are six golden rules to keep in mind when providing a live chat solution that will truly enhance the experience of your conscious consumers…
1. Be Human
Conscious consumers are looking to connect with the brands they shop with. Their purchase decisions are carefully weighed up. They want to know that the values that they hold so dearly are shared with the brands they choose to purchase from. Make sure your support team have access to all customer data when interacting – this kind of thoughtful, personalized service is welcomed by all shoppers, but especially those who are looking to feel truly “seen” by a brand.
2. Be Available
The sustainability space is skyrocketing. While this is a good thing for Planet Earth, it means that the competition is heating up. What does this mean for you as a retailer in the context of live chat? Be ready and responsive – work with a solution that offers great ticket management and enables your team to action practical requests for help (refunds, orders, subscriptions, etc.) all from the chat window. Show up across all channels – if your customer is shopping there, they should be able to access your support team.
3. Be Honest
Be sure your support team is crystal clear on priorities – your brand’s integrity must be protected at all costs. Greenwashing is a huge issue, and it’s a hard accusation or association to lose once your brand has been affected. Keep all support transparent, above board and aligned to your brand’s key ethos and values. No sale is more important than your brand’s reputation - and this is especially true within the ethical ecommerce space.
4. Be Preemptive
Learn from your live chat history. If questions keep cropping up, look at ways of reordering your product information to ensure that customers have better access to “self-service” knowledge. Similarly, take time to regularly brief your support team on common issues, and make sure they’re well drilled in best practice when it comes to resolution.
5. Be Generous
As we’ve already mentioned, the sustainable, ethical ecommerce space is an increasingly crowded playing field. View customers who interact with live chat as a self-defining segment that you’ll want to prioritize - they’re demonstrating a high level of purchase intent, so roll out the red carpet. Consider your discounting strategy when it comes to retargeting those customers who’ve reached out to support in this way.
6. Be Knowledgeable
The conscious consumer is always curious. Ensure that your support team has easy access to detailed information on your products, especially when it comes to elements such as supply chain and manufacturing methods.
More Tips For Courting The Conscious Consumer?
At MindfulCommerce, we specialize in bringing together like-minded, values-led ecommerce businesses who want to make a difference. Reducing environmental footprint, sharing learnings and increasing process efficiency to create a more productive, less wasteful industry that can continue to thrive - without doing so at the expense of our planet.
If you’re keen to learn more about the ways our members are taking action to improve their offering of the ever-increasing conscious consumer market, we’d love to invite you to join our community.
Membership is free, and you’ll have access to a wealth of information, resources, online events and live training sessions. Hope to see you there!