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Customer Expectations Have Changed — Here’s What You Can Do

Explore the top 6 ecommerce trends for 2024, from rising sales to SEO essentials and the power of AI and returns for growth.
By Tina Donati
0 min read . By Tina Donati

TL;DR:

  • Ecommerce sales are expected to rise by 8.8% in 2024, presenting new growth opportunities.
  • Longer consideration times mean businesses need to engage customers at every stage of their buying journey.
  • SEO remains crucial for growth, with over half of consumers using search for pre-purchase information.
  • Ethical AI and well-managed returns can boost customer trust and loyalty while driving sales.

Let’s stop with the doom and gloom ecommerce trends and talk about what’s really up: growth.

Yep, you read that right. 

Ecommerce sales are set to soar by 8.8% in 2024, and the digital marketplace is ripe with opportunity.

Sure, we’ve all been budget-conscious for the past year or more—businesses and consumers alike. And we’re not saying you shouldn’t be.

Despite that, there is a ton of opportunity to grow your sales this year. It’s just time to understand how consumer behavior is shifting and how you should adapt to it.

So, what’s changing? We shared six trends to know about below.

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1. Consideration times are longer

There’s no denying that the more budget-conscious mindset is creating longer consideration times.

According to a 2023 consumer behavior report from Knocommerce, only 23.4% of shoppers reported discovering a brand and making a purchase on the same day. 

Meanwhile, 15.3% reported buying in the first week, and 61.3% of people reported taking longer than a week to make their first purchase.

What this data tells us

It's imperative to adopt a full-funnel approach and strategically engage customers at every stage of their buying journey. 

How? First, you must understand what they need to learn about your products, when they need to learn it, and which customer service channels and content formats they prefer for learning about your products.

Part of the issue is knowing how to simply be available for your customers. They shouldn’t feel like they’re on a scavenger hunt on your website, trying to track down your product FAQs and contact information.

Helpdesks are a great way to solve both issues. For example, with Gorgias On-site Campaigns, you can integrate live chat across your website to recommend products to shoppers in a subtle way, typically at various stages of their buying cycle like,

  1. Personalized messages on product pages that resonate with individual shopper preferences and browsing history.
  2. Recommending complementary products or upgrades based on the customer's current cart selection.
  3. Capitalizing on the excitement of new product launches to capture the attention of browsers.
  4. Implementing winback campaigns targeted at customers who have previously engaged with your brand but haven't made a purchase recently.
  5. Using browse and cart abandonment strategies to re-engage customers who have shown interest in your products but haven't completed the purchase process.
  6. Providing valuable educational content that addresses common pain points, showcases product benefits, and guides customers towards informed purchasing decisions.
  7. Sending targeted holiday campaigns around seasonal trends and shopper preferences to drive conversions.
Glamnetic uses Gorgias Convert to promote their new nail collections

               Glamnetic uses Gorgias Convert to promote new collections.
             
         
Manduka uses Gorgias Convert to help browsing customers

               Manduka uses Gorgias Convert to help browsing customers make a purchase.
             
         

2. Search still matters

Over half of consumers (55% to be exact) rank search as their top source for pre-purchase information. 

Despite what some marketing gurus share online, SEO is still an essential part of any brand’s growth strategy. Don’t sleep on SEO as an acquisition channel.

What to do about this 

Don’t forget the basics of SEO. 

We know it’s easy to forget when to set up an internal link or use a specific keyword, but there are a few best practices you should use to make sure your SEO engine is chugging alone:

  • Conduct keyword research to identify high-value keywords related to your products or services and integrate them strategically into your website content, meta tags, and headings. 
  • Focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that addresses user queries and provides valuable information to enhance your search visibility and rankings. I.e. don’t try to “game” the system.
  • Use Customer Knowledge Bases to improve your website's visibility in search engine results and attract organic traffic. Incorporate targeted keywords and search-friendly formatting into your knowledge-base articles to maximize their SEO impact.
  • Keep your website content fresh, relevant, and up-to-date to maintain search visibility and engage users effectively. 
  • Track and analyze key SEO metrics, such as keyword rankings, organic traffic, and conversion rates, to measure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. If possible, do this at least every few months (we know you’re busy!).

Remember, SEO takes time to build. Two things you should know:

  1. Traffic reflects past efforts (often taking at least 6 months to show results).
  2. Your success 6 months from now depends on your work from 6 months ago.

Essentially, what you do today will shape your results next year, which is why it’s worth investing ASAP.

3. Customers expect AI safeguards. Prioritize an ethical AI strategy

According to a report by Salesforce, 74% of customers express concerns about the unethical use of AI. Additionally, 80% emphasize the importance of human validation of AI output.

Can shoppers be any more clear about the fact that we need a human-centered approach to AI implementation?

AI is impacting how customers trust businesses. Plain and simple, you need to implement an ethical strategy and make sure it’s managed by humans.

What this data tells us

There’s a fine balance between speed to resolution and adding a human element to every customer message. And you can have both automation and humans running the show.

Businesses that take this approach meet customer expectations for AI safeguards while driving operational efficiency and delivering exceptional customer experiences.

The proof is in the pudding: According to Gorgias data, within just 28 days, merchants who automated up to 20% of tickets experienced an impressive 8-point increase in repeat purchase rates. 

Automation goes beyond keyboard shortcuts or macros; it serves as a hands-off assistant capable of engaging customers and impacting revenue significantly—while making it easy for a human to jump in at any point for more specific customer inquiries.

TL;DR: Don’t be afraid to embrace automation as a strategic tool for customer engagement and growth. 

4. Returns are becoming a profit driver, not a cost center

Returns are an inevitable part of ecommerce, with up to 30% of sales potentially resulting in returns. 

Contrary to common belief, returns are not a cost center—they can be transformed into a profit driver and a valuable touchpoint for enhancing customer loyalty and retention.

In fact, 91% of consumers actively track their packages, indicating a high level of interest and engagement in the returns process.

By making it easy for customers to track returns and exchanges directly from the order tracking page, you reduce return-related support tickets while providing a transparent experience for buyers.

TL;DR: A well-handled return can start a new chapter in the customer's relationship with a brand, not the final page.

What to do about this

At the end of the day, returns can be costly… Unless you customize the returns experience based on shopper segments and save time to re-allocate to other growth-related initiatives. 

Some tips:

  1. Customize the returns experience: Only offer free returns exclusively to VIP customers to incentivize loyalty and increase customer satisfaction.
  2. Understand return reasons: Collect data on return reasons to gain insights into areas for improvement. For example, customers will tell you how to improve product quality, refine the buying experience, and tailor messaging to better meet expectations.
  3. Empower customers: Provide customers with the autonomy to initiate returns independently. By enabling self-service returns, businesses can streamline operations, reduce resource-intensive support tickets, and enhance overall efficiency.
  4. Use integration solutions: Leverage integrated platforms such as Gorgias and Loop Returns to streamline returns management and customer support processes. With two-way integration, merchants can access comprehensive returns data directly within their Gorgias admin interface, enabling faster ticket resolution and improved customer service.

               JAXXON has a self-service portal for returns and exchanges.
             
         

Read more: Ecommerce returns: 10 best practices for taking your online store to the next level

5. Customers expect connected journeys: Break down your business silos

A staggering 79% of customers expect consistent interactions across different departments. Unfortunately, only 45% of customers feel that companies currently provide such consistency. 

Additionally, 56% of customers report the frustration of having to repeat or re-explain information to different representatives, highlighting the disconnect between departments within organizations.

PwC states that 44% of consumers are willing to engage with chatbots to seek product information before making a purchase, making it even more important to have consistency across departments.

Today, customer support teams play a dual role as both problem solvers for post-purchase inquiries and guides for customers exploring products before buying.

What this data tells us

Your support team must understand how to provide consistent support, pre-sale and post-sale. No matter where a buyer is in their journey, every message should feel consistent with the rest of the brand’s ethos.

Our recommendation? 

First, develop templates and macros for customer communication to ensure consistency in tone of voice. By providing standardized responses, businesses can maintain a cohesive brand identity and deliver a seamless experience to customers.

Second, keep all customer information in one centralized location to avoid the need for repetitive inquiries and ensure a holistic view of each customer's interaction history with the brand. No one should have to repeat themselves when trying to get support.

Last, promote a customer-first mindset across the entire organization by prioritizing the needs and preferences of customers in all decision-making processes. For a real-life example of what this looks like, Amanda Kwasniewicz, VP of Customer Experience, shares the strategies she uses at Love Wellness in this article here.

(Teaser: the team shares customer feedback directly in Slack for the whole company to see.)

Love Wellness shares customer feedback on Slack to promote a customer-first mindset across the organization.

         

6. Email is harder, time to diversify

You’re likely already aware that Gmail, Yahoo, and others are imposing stricter rules for inbox placement, making it harder for marketing emails to reach their intended recipients.

Not only that, but according to Klaviyo's benchmark report, email-placed order rates have remained stagnant, with only a minimal increase from Q1-Q3, reaching just 0.8%, and a slight rise to 0.9% in Q4. 

PWC also shares that TV and social ads remain highly influential in customers’ purchase decisions, whereas email is closer to the bottom. This doesn’t mean you should stop investing in email marketing, but connecting with customers in other ways is a good idea to supplement your email efforts.

What to do about this

You can explore many other channels—SMS, direct mail, mobile apps. Even voice marketing is a super unique and niche way to connect with audiences today.

Here at Gorgias, we’re experts at customer experience marketing, and using conversational customer service is a great way to engage with customers directly and personally—without hoping the message hits their inbox and not the spam folder.

This communication style engages customers using various channels, including live chat, messaging apps, chatbots, and even voice support. 

For example, skincare brand Topicals increased sales by 78% using conversational customer support. Specifically, the brand uses Quick Response Flows to automate answers to common questions, such as: 

  • How should I use the Faded Serum?
  • Where do you ship?
  • How do I apply to the Ambassador Program?
  • How do I find the right products for my skin type?

All of this takes place within a self-service chat. These chat flows also guide shoppers to additional helpful resources in Topicals' Help Center or product pages. If a customer still has unanswered questions, a customer support agent can take over the conversation and chat with them directly.

Topicals uses Gorgias Automate to provide instant support to customers

               Topicals uses Gorgias Automate to provide instant support.
             
         

Change can be good — embrace it

If there’s one thing we’ll leave you with, it’s this: 

Embrace the shifts, leverage the trends, and explore new avenues of engagement. 

You don’t have to be scared of new customer expectations, and thankfully, there are a ton of awesome tools out there now that make it easier than ever before to connect with your buyers.

With Gorgias, you can set up conversational marketing across your website, connecting with customers in ways that resonate and drive results. You can try it out for yourself here.

10 min read.

Why Automation is the Future of CX

Automation is a surefire way to help your team succeed. Read why the future of CX is driven by AI and automation.
By Halee Sommer
0 min read . By Halee Sommer

TL;DR:

  • Automation increases repeat purchase rates, boosts response times, improves resolution times, and allows brands to scale faster while saving time and money.
  • 94% of ecommerce experts agree that automation is going to be more important in ecommerce.
  • Brands saw an 8-point increase in repeat purchase rates in 28 days by handling repetitive inquiries with automation.
  • Gorgias users report 52% faster resolutions, reducing response and resolution times, making customers happier.

For most CX teams, budgets are getting tighter, but tickets are on the rise. 

With strapped teams and incoming customer issues, automation is becoming an ideal tool. 

94% of Gorgias customers agree, according to our recent survey. 

Supporting automation in your workflow now is a surefire way to set your team up for success. Let’s explore why we’ll see an AI and automation-driven future within CX. 

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Automation increases repeat purchase rates 

Happy customers are the best fuel for growth. Why? 

Happy customers want to come back to shop with you, and we know that repeat customers give long-term value to your brand. 

Findings from 12,000+ Gorgias merchants show that repeat customers: 

  • Account for only 21% of customers but generate 44% of revenue
  • Make up 46% of orders
  • Generate 300% more revenue than first-time customers

Our research also found that it is five times less expensive for a brand to retain an existing customer than it is to source a new one. 

If you want to see improvement in your repeat purchase rates, automation is the way to go. Automation can handle repetitive inquiries from customers, like “Where’s my order?” so your team can focus on high-touch problems. 

Brands that use Gorgias to fuel automation see improved repeat purchase rates. Within 28 days, merchants who automated up to 20% of tickets increased their repeat purchase rate by 8 points.

Automation boosts response times

Gorgias's research found that 90% of U.S. customers expect an immediate customer service response. Of those customers, 60% want that response in 10 minutes or less. 

A significant advantage of automation is that it effectively gives you a zero-second response time. When you trust automation to handle even a tiny percentage of your incoming tickets, you will see a decrease in your first-response time (FRT)

After Shinesty implemented Gorgias's Automate, the company saw a 65% boost in its first response time. This change in FRT made a monumental impact on the support team's workload.

Thanks to Automate, Shinesty is able to deflect 55% of incoming tickets with automation, giving CX agents more time to deliver personalized and proactive support to customers. 

On this improvement, Molly Kerrigan, Senior Director of Retention at Shinesty, says: 

“Automate has allowed us to focus on improving customer experience from the ground up, because we're not so deep in ‘ticket town.’”

Thanks to automation features from Gorgias, Shinesty gained the best of both worlds, providing excellent customer service while saving the budget. 

Automation improves resolution times

An added benefit of lightning-fast response times is getting to a resolution faster. This is more than just a nice-to-have — it makes your customers happier. 

As we said earlier, happy customers are more likely to shop again and cite an overall more positive experience with your brand. This is a full-circle moment that shows how a slight change in workflow can lead to significantly positive results. 

In 2022, Gorgias studied over 10,000 ecommerce brands to understand the connection between customer experience and growth. We found that lowering the average resolution time to under 6 hours gave companies a 2% boost in revenue. 

With Gorgias, customers see resolution times improve dramatically, with automatically handled tickets resolving issues 52% faster than those handled without.

That happened at Psycho Bunny, where the customer support team saw resolution times improve by a staggering  99.4% after implementing Gorgias’s AI Agent to automate 26% of customer tickets.  

With AI Agent to support the team, Psycho Bunny’s human customer support agents were free to spend more time on higher-value tasks beyond answering FAQs.

“Our customer support KPIs are already fantastic: we're already leading in the industry,” says Tosha Moyer, Senior Customer Experience Manager at Psycho Bunny. “To improve on that, we need AI — it’s not physically or financially possible with human agents alone.”

Automation allows brands to scale faster

Growth is always the goal, and incorporating automation into your existing CX workflow is a tool for achieving that growth. 

Brands that use Gorgias's automation tools can successfully scale their customer service operations quickly.  

For example, just 30 days after deploying Gorgias's automation features, brands see an average 1% increase in CSAT. 

It's a small move in the meter that has a long-lasting impact on team morale, improved customer interactions, and a more positive experience for shoppers. 

Obvi relies on Gorgias’s automation features to efficiently handle 150+ tickets each day with a slim team. 

Gorgias Automate manages about 27% of Obvi’s incoming tickets — which consist of low-priority, simple, or repetitive customer inquiries. This frees up the support team to answer complex tickets and drive sales, leading to an astonishing 10x boost in revenue over BFCM. 

Even better, Obvi was able to achieve all of this after onboarding Gorgias in just two weeks. 

“AI is going to help us transform ourselves into deeper thinkers by taking over simple, standardized functions,” says Ron Shah, CEO and Co-founder at Obvi. “In the ecommerce world, Gorgias is getting ahead with doing that for customer support — they’re the center of the AI revolution, and that is the standard customers are expecting.”

Automation saves time & money

Your team can focus on more meaningful work by automating responses to repetitive questions or low-priority tickets. 

Quickly solving a customer's problem also means they can get back to checkout faster. 

But remember, automation is a tool, not a replacement for human agents. Automation helps teams of all sizes drive value, gaining extra support without spending more overhead. 

‎July turns to Automate to tackle 30% of incoming tickets, taking on the workload of three extra agents

In this case, the company has the demand to support a bigger team but not the budget. Automation helps July fill this gap to provide a seamless customer experience without overextending their human teammates. 

“We immediately deflected 450 tickets a month just by setting up some automated Quick Responses,” says Alex Naoumidis, Head of Operations and CX at July. 

“Now, we don’t waste the customer or the agent’s time with basic questions that probably don’t require any human interaction.”

Gorgias Automate: Your solution to an automated future

Gorgias is leading the revolution in AI-driven customer support solutions

Features like our AI-generated Help Center, AI Agent, Flows, and Quick Responses allow brands to autonomously answer customer questions and track and measure AI-customer interactions to create more meaningful customer experiences and transform how support is delivered. 

Start a free trial to see Gorgias’s AI and automation features in action.

6 min read.

How to Prime Your Website to Automate CX

The dos and don’ts of making your website user-friendly so you can offer automated support as soon as possible.
By Christelle Agustin
0 min read . By Christelle Agustin

TL;DR:

  • Automating customer experience (CX) can save costs, reduce agent burnout, and increase customer satisfaction
  • A good website user experience consists of fast load times, informative product pages, mobile optimization, and guest checkout
  • Automate CX by using automated chat, replacing email links with contact forms, updating your help center, and deploying onsite campaigns
  • Do not overcomplicate the user journey by only providing automatic support — route back to human agents

Nowhere is the customer experience more important than on your website. CX is so much more than post-purchase troubleshooting. CX that grows your brand makes the entire buying journey as effortless as possible, from the first ad to the 10th item purchased.

Your website isn’t only the marketing team’s domain. Your support team’s input is crucial to ensure customers can find all the answers they need without waiting around.

With a better website experience for your customers, you enable more sales and reduce the repetitive inquiries for your agents.

Here are some tips to enrich your website with CX automations that will delight your customers and your team.

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Why automating CX is essential

With 63% of consumers expecting service agents to know their unique needs and preferences, your efforts should be focused on improving support speed and responsiveness — and that starts with automation. 

Here are the five benefits of automating your customer experience:

  1. Cost efficient: Automating routine questions cuts down the cost of human labor, redirecting resources to more impactful areas of customer service.
  2. Reduced workload for agents: Your support team can focus on more complex issues instead of spending time on questions that can be answered with automated replies.
  3. Increased customer satisfaction: Automation provides fast answers, keeping the shopping experience uninterrupted.
  4. Enhanced navigation and user experience (UX): A website optimized for automation is easier to navigate and shop from, and reduces cart abandonment rates.
  5. Prevents support overload: Automation helps your agents from lessening their touchpoints with customers where it’s not needed, allowing customers to feel in control of their own journeys.

How website UX and CX work together

If done correctly, your website's UX should be so intuitive and smooth that shoppers barely notice it. For ecommerce stores, a well-thought-out website UX consists of everything from a logical menu to a straightforward checkout flow. 

Below, pay attention to the following website elements as they directly influence the buying journey and can impact customer satisfaction.

Informative product pages

Engaging and detailed product descriptions add substantial value by influencing buying decisions and simplifying the shopping experience.

Take a look at how Good Protein keeps descriptions engaging but short in three bullet points, includes social proof by displaying customer ratings, and provides flavor, size, and subscription options in one section:

Good Protein
Good Protein provides all important product information upfront.

Mobile optimization

According to Airship’s 11,000-respondent survey, 76% of shoppers shop through retailers’ mobile websites. With a significant portion of online sales coming from smartphones, it’s best to test your website on mobile devices. If users can’t complete a purchase through mobile, you lose out on a large fraction of sales.

Minimized distractions

Reducing distractions like unnecessary pop-ups and banners keeps the shopper focused on the main goal of conversion. Streamlining content to spotlight key campaigns or product launches can dramatically improve conversion rates.

Quick page load times

Fast-loading pages are crucial for keeping potential customers engaged. Delays can significantly deter shoppers, as studies show that even a one-second delay in page loading can reduce conversions by 7%.

Check out Google’s PageSpeed Insights to assess your website's performance.

Streamlined checkout process

Simplifying the checkout process and providing multiple payment options, such as guest checkout, removes common barriers to conversion by offering a convenient purchasing process.

Swimwear brand TRIANGL makes shopping easy and fast by adding a Quick Buy button to every product:

TRIANGL makes it easy for shoppers to buy products without making an account.

‎Exceptional customer support

Tools like live chat or help centers provide a portal through fast support. AI-powered support tools like Gorgias Automate combine automated responses with the option for human interaction, ensuring customer inquiries are addressed promptly.

This integration of website UX with automated customer experience strategies creates a more efficient, enjoyable, and productive shopping environment that exceeds customer expectations.

Related: Stop Marketing, Start Converting playbook

Implement these 5 strategies to prep your website for automation

Keeping your customer support options visible is the key to prepping your website for automation. 

Follow these five methods to provide easily accessible support routes, simplify communication, and help customers quickly find the information they need. 

1. Keep chat active 24/7

When you hear “chat,” you may think about not having enough bandwidth to offer live chat all the time. Well, that’s just a common chat myth

In fact, chat doesn’t require agents to operate 24/7. You can configure live chat to only be active during your busiest hours or even deactivate it altogether and replace it with automated FAQs to keep customer questions answered throughout the day. 

Here’s how ALOHAS keeps their chat running using Gorgias Automate’s Quick Responses:

ALOHAS uses Quick Responses to answer questions about shipping policy

‎Beyond automating common questions, chat can also accomplish other support-related tasks:

  • Email Capture: When live agents aren’t available, automation can ask for customer emails so that their inquiries can be routed to your support inbox.
  • Article Recommendations: Chat questions can be scanned and matched with the most relevant article, reducing the need to talk to an agent.
  • Order Management: Automate WISMO requests with an order management portal right in chat. Customers can track, return, cancel, or report an issue on their own without waiting for an agent to do it for them.

Don’t forget that chat is one of the most visible components on your website. Make sure the chat dialog can be minimized and hidden to avoid disrupting the shopping journey.

2. Replace email with structured contact forms

Leaving your customer support email on your contact page is the equivalent of leaving plain URLs on your website — it’s disorganized and can attract spam like no other channel.

Contact forms are far superior to email links because they collect all necessary information (like issue type and contact information). This helps agents provide resolutions as efficiently as possible because tickets are already structured and include the necessary details.

For example, Gorgias Chat includes Offline Capture to collect customer inquiries while agents are offline. Gorgias Helpdesk then uses the structured information to detect customer intent, making interactions easier to manage.

CALPAK uses email capture on Gorgias
CALPAK enables email capture so that chat inquiries can be handled even when live chat is offline.

3. Display your Help Center and contact form prominently

Make your Help Center visible no matter which page shoppers are on. Displaying important customer support resources like this in your website's header, footer, and various emails like marketing messages and order confirmations allows customers to self-serve, without having to contact a live agent.

With Gorgias, you can use one-page Help Centers to create a seamless experience from one page to another on your online store. This setup allows customers to quickly find the answers they need, improving accessibility while reducing the demand on your team.

Here’s what clothing brand Princess Polly’s one-page Help Center looks like:

Princess Polly keeps the user experience seamless by keeping the Help Center a part of their website, so customers can go back to shopping whenever.

4. Make sure your knowledge base is up-to-date and comprehensive

Updating your knowledge base, whether it's a Gorgias Help Center or another FAQ page, directly impacts the customer journey. Gorgias's AI Agent uses the Help Center as its primary source to autonomously handle over 30% of customer email inquiries, drawing on articles that cover necessary topics like shipping, orders, product information, and account management. 

To optimize your Help Center for AI, ensure your content is comprehensive and current, particularly in areas such as policies and product updates. All articles should be published, not saved as drafts, to be accessible to AI Agent. Regularly reviewing your articles encourages customer self-service and reduces reliance on agent assistance.

5. Maintain engagement with targeted campaigns

Targeted onsite campaigns on product pages educate customers and boost confidence, especially when tailored to your top-selling products. For instance, when items are out of stock, campaigns can redirect customers to similar products, as demonstrated by Glamnetic during their product launches.

Additionally, Gorgias Convert chat campaigns like those used by Manduka, which highlight product guarantees, provide valuable pre-sales information that mimics the support of a physical store.

Related: Convert Campaigns playbook

The 3 don’t s of website optimization

There are pitfalls to avoid when optimizing your website for better user experiences. Keep the user journey simple and always provide options for human assistance like live email or voice. Below are three key mistakes to steer clear of.

1. Don't complicate the user journey

The user journey includes all interactions from browsing to the post-purchase experience, and automation should make this process seamless, not hinder it. Avoid adding unnecessary steps or making critical information hard to find, as this can disrupt the shopping experience and force customers to seek help when it isn't needed.

For instance, include a guest checkout option on the checkout page to simplify purchases, and ensure that links to your Help Center or Contact page are easily accessible in the top navigation. 

Watch out for these common elements that can confuse the user journey:

  • Complex navigation: A convoluted menu system can make it difficult for customers to find what they need.
  • Hidden support information: Essential details like shipping costs and return policies should be visible and easy to find.
  • Excessive pop-ups: Overloading pages with pop-ups can frustrate users.

2. Don't only provide automated support

Automation is valuable but don’t rely on it — it's still important to provide avenues for human assistance when needed. This includes support options like live chat, email, phone, and social media

The key is balance: make it easy for them to reach out to human support once they realize self-service options are insufficient. This might involve including contact options in a Help Center or contact page rather than displaying raw email addresses everywhere.

3. Don't forget to test regularly

Maintaining an optimized website requires data-driven testing and optimization. You can improve your website by following customer feedback and suggestions. Once changes have been applied, monitoring performance metrics and user behavior can ensure the user journey remains solid.

Metrics to track: 

  • Cart abandonment rate: A high abandonment rate may mean that your checkout process is too complex, causing shoppers to exit early.
  • Page load time: Slow-loading webpages negatively impact the customer experience. 
  • Bounce rate: Difficult navigation, slow loading times, or an unattractive layout are all factors that contribute to a high bounce rate. 
  • Conversion rate: Conversion rate indicates which areas of your website are performing well and which are not. Pay attention to conversion rate to prioritize areas for improvement, such as optimizing landing pages or adjusting the user journey.

Automate 30% of CX for exceptional customer experiences

July, a leading luggage brand, uses the power of Gorgias Automate to deliver unbeatable user experiences. With Automate, routine tasks typically handled by level 1 agents are accomplished automatically. Agents are then able to free up valuable resources to focus on more complex inquiries.

Ready to elevate your CX game? Book a demo today and unlock the full potential of automation for your business.

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10 min read.
Create powerful self-service resources
Capture support-generated revenue
Automate repetitive tasks
Create powerful self-service resources
Capture support-generated revenue
Automate repetitive tasks

Further reading

Live Chat Support

Your Live Chat Support Guide: Benefits, Best Practices, and Helpful Tools

By Jordan Miller
19 min read.
0 min read . By Jordan Miller

Live chat might feel like a big commitment, but the juice is worth the squeeze. (In other words, live chat support is well worth the effort.)

Customers love live chat because they can get ahold of you quickly and casually. They can get a fast answer, and don’t have to go digging for an email address to get ahold of you. In fact, 86% of live chat interactions end with a satisfied customer. 

Your business also benefits from live chat. It leads to fast resolutions, since back-and-forth responses are so rapid. Plus, using live chat for customer engagement during the flow of shopping can be a great way to boost sales.

Below, you’ll learn more about the benefits of live chat for support, including tips to automate live chat to make it a good use of your team’s time. 

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What is live chat support?

Live chat support is form of customer service where your support reps help customers in real time over a chat window on your website. 

It differs from other support methods like phone calls or emails because customers don’t have to open their phone or an email browser and wait for a response from someone at the call center. 

The basic version of live chat support is a widget that simply allows customers to start a chat session with a customer support agent. Here’s what these interactions look like for the agent (left) and the customer (right):

The live chat view in Gorgias from the agent and customer perspective

         

Some live chat software offer many more features, such as self-service menus and the ability to reach out to customers. Here’s an upgraded live chat widget on Sol de Janeiro’s site that gives customers self-service answers to common questions and lets them modify their orders without needing to speak to an agent:

Upgraded live chat window.

         

Regardless of your live chat’s sophistication, live chat support makes a meaningful difference for businesses that use it: 79% of businesses say live chat support has a positive impact on sales, revenue, and customer loyalty.

How does live chat support differ from a chatbot?

Live chat and chatbots are both popups on a site that invite the user to type their problem into a box to get an answer.

The difference is that chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP) to determine customer intent and respond in human-ish ways. Live chat connects actual humans to support customers.

While the two experiences look similar on the customer end, speaking to an unhelpful bot that’s mimicking an agent can be a frustrating experience.

Instead, a better alternative to live chat includes other types of self-service in the chat window, such as the self-service menus like the ones in the video below:

Read our complete guide on live chat vs. chatbots for more information. 

The benefits of live chat for customer support teams and customers

Compared to legacy support methods (including customer service email and phone support), messaging support channels like live chat feel like a breath of fresh air for customers and customer support agents alike.

Here are just a few of the elements that your teams and customers will appreciate when you add live chat as a support option.

Live chat problems generally get solved fast (~42 seconds)

Live chat is a great way for customers to get their problems solved quickly — 42 seconds on average.

42 seconds is not a lot of time, which is great considering 66% of customers expect near-instant responses to questions. Customers who pick up the phone to solve an issue will still be selecting 1 for English or 2 for español when the average live chat customer has gotten their problem solved.

Want to learn more about other instant-messaging channels like social media DMs, SMS texting support, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp? Check out the individual links above or our post on customer support messaging.

Live chat still allows teams to use templates and automation

One of the potential downsides to live chat support is that it seems like it can be resource-intensive. But live chat support doesn’t have to mean that your human agents are manually typing every answer to every question.

Many live chat solutions can use bot-like software to automate responses to common, routine requests “Where is my order?” Even better, some solutions give customers menus to find answers without having to feign conversation with a “smart” bot:

Automated live chat support.
         

Of course, some conversations will need that human touch no self-service solution can provide. When customers ask for a human agent, your human agents can either spin up a response from scratch or use a canned response as a starting point.

For example, you could create scripts for that same question, “Where is my order?” Something like, “We understand you want to get your items soon! Your order, [title or order number], is on its way to you now. You can expect to receive it within [timeframe].” Your agent will only have to fill in those two fields and send the response.

If you use Gorgias, you can upgrade your canned responses with Macros, which include variables. With variables, your agents don’t need to look for customer information to fill those fields — Gorgias automatically pulls the appropriate information for each customer from your ecommerce platform:

Automated, personalized responses

         

Live chat humanizes and personalizes support interactions

Live chat gives your support agents an opportunity to nurture new and existing customer relationships with a conversational, personalized service experience.

First, live chat by nature is more casual than many other communication channels. Unlike email, which tends to be more formal, the instant back-and-forth offers a more natural forum for emojis, friendly banter, and authentic conversations — of course, all of that is secondary to providing prompt, helpful service.

With the right live chat software, you can also achieve a high degree of personalization in live chat conversations. With Gorgias, which is kind of like a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, agents can see a customer’s entire order and conversation history with your brand in the customer sidebar:

Helpful live chat support boosts customer support.

         

This gives you an opportunity to use the customer’s name, reference past purchases and interactions, avoid asking for information the customer has already given your brand (like order number or shipping address), and understand whether the customer is a superfan or had a frustrating experience. 

Live chat is an effective way to drive sales

Your primary goal as an ecommerce business is to sell more products to more people, and live chat can help you do just that. Live chat has been shown to increase conversion rate (visitors to sales) by 12% on average and website visitors who interact with your live chat widget become 2.8 times more likely to buy than those who don’t. 

Why exactly is this the case? Say a prospect has a question about a product. They add it to their shopping cart, but are still negotiating the purchase in their head:

  • Did I select the right size?
  • Will the item arrive in time for the holiday?
  • Will I be able to return the item if I don’t like it?
  • Is the item compatible with other products I own?
  • Did I select the best product for my needs?

Without a convenient support channel, customers may just abandon the purchase. But when you give them the ability to open a convenient chat window and get an instant answer, you reduce friction and lower cart abandonment.

With Gorgias, you can take this a step further and proactively reach out to customers who display certain behaviors with chat campaigns. For example, you can set up a live chat campaign to automatically trigger when a customer adds a product to their cart but lingers on the checkout page.

Likewise, you automatically reach out to customers on certain pages, to proactively ask if they need support and, if the moment is right, upsell them:

Proactive chat campaigns.

         

Plus, if you use Gorgias, you can easily include product cards in your customer service responses within the platform, giving your customers an visual and easy link to product pages within the live chat:

Personalize live chat support.

         

Still not convinced? Read our deeper post on how to use live chat to boost sales.

Live chat resonates better with bigger spenders

If the main goal of any ecommerce store is to sell more products to more people, a close second is selling more (or more expensive) products within individual transactions — or raising average order value (AOV), a metric your customer support team has a surprising impact on.

One survey found that among those who consistently spend more online per month (between $250 and $500), 63% have increased loyalty to brands and companies offering live chat support experiences.

This makes sense: As you spend more, your pre-sales questions become more important. If you’re unsure about the product, shipping times, or refund policy, you won’t have the confidence to make a large purchase. The ability to contact support right before a sale is incredibly important for this reason. 

Live chat could also help with enormous wholesale purchases, too. CROSSNET, a merchant using Gorgias, won a $450,000 sale because they promptly responded to a live chat conversation.

Live chat support can get you huge sales.
CROSSNET
         

Check out CROSSNET’s customer story to learn how they did it.

Live chat best practices

If you’re operating an ecommerce business, implementing live chat support is a strategic move that can catalyze growth and increase your sales (just like all support channels). But like anything new, you want to be sure to implement your live chat experience properly.

First, learn how to add live chat to your Shopify store (or Magento store) and read our guide to getting live chat up and running within two weeks. Then, follow these best practices if you’re just getting started — and if you’re already using live chat to a degree, use these as a check-up to evaluate the health of your live chat efforts.

Best practices for agents and handling conversations

The following best practices are for support agents to make live chat interactions effective.

1) Promptly respond to messages, but don’t rush

People value knowing they’ll be interacting with a real person, not a bot. So they don’t expect instantaneous responses — but they don’t want to be kept waiting, either. It’s always important to be prompt (and the definition of “prompt” varies depending on your industry’s expectations), but support agents should take enough time to be sure they fully understand the question or complaint so they can respond appropriately.

In other words, customers who get their problems solved correctly the first time are happy to wait slightly longer. Prompt and accurate is better than rushed and incomplete.

Related: 11 live chat support mistakes you should definitely avoid

2) Be transparent and honest

Not every problem can be solved instantly, and that’s OK. Customers come to live chat because they can’t solve their issues with self-service resources, and that means live chat support often gets more complex questions.

It’s important to have an open dialog with customers, especially skeptical customers. It’s 100% OK to let a customer know that you need a little time to look into something. Telling them is certainly far better than appearing to ghost them or trying to trot out a pat answer that won’t satisfy them.

Similarly, there will be situations where an agent doesn’t have the resources or approval to move forward with an issue and needs to push the concern to another agent or supervisor or even to your other support channels.

Agents should be transparent, clear, and honest when this happens: People appreciate honesty and follow-ups — and they despise overconfident wrong answers or a lack of clarity about next steps.

3) Keep the conversation focused

One of the disadvantages of text-based conversations is that you can’t control the clarity of the other party. They might be wildly unclear about their problem or they might start branching off into multiple topics within a single thread or encounter.

Support agents need to keep conversations focused on a single problem at a time and may need to guide customers along to this end. Once the first problem is resolved, then it’s great to tackle the next one. But letting things devolve into a confusing mishmash is a quick way to end up harming customer satisfaction.

4) Keep responses concise, and ask questions

Encourage your live chat agents to keep responses brief yet friendly. The longer and more complex the messages you send, the greater the chance of confusion or missed points. The customer could respond to just half the message, and then the agent has to awkwardly repeat the unanswered half.

Most of the time, you want to make sure that any individual message has just one thing to do or respond to in it. Falling into a call and response sort of pattern, where the customer responds to each prompt, is a good way to keep things streamlined.

5) Follow through until you resolve the issue

Follow-through is key as well during live support interactions. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve completed the interaction and moving on to another task or customer only to realize that you’ve left the customer hanging, still waiting on some crucial piece of information.

Be sure your agents aren’t unintentionally walking away too soon. The best way to do this is to proactively check with the customer to make sure they agree that everything is resolved.

And if you use Gorgias, you can automatically send the customer a satisfaction survey to gauge the success of the interaction:

Automatically send customers CSAT surveys after live chat conversations with Gorgias

         

6) Share helpful resources when possible

Sometimes, the customer’s comments reveal that they need something more complex than what will fit in a little chat box. Maybe they’re struggling with how to use some core functionality in your device or your mobile app or they have a technical question about a product that’s answered in some technical documentation already on your website.

When customers need more education or detailed instructions, leverage your existing self-service resources, like knowledge base articles, tech specs, or even product pages. Your agents should feel free to offer links to your team’s content assets, allowing customers to solve their own problems.

Of course, invite them to contact your company again if they still can’t figure it out. And if you can give them clear routing instructions, such as a specific phone number to call that lets them skip the IVR phone tree, it makes sense to do so at this point.

Best practices for operations and management

These best practices are for customer support leaders to set up live chat effectively.

1) Create an automated initial prompt

As great as your live chat customer support team is, it’s not realistic to expect them to be able to respond to every customer in real time. One strategy that gives them a little more buffer is to create an automated initial prompt that boosts your first-response times.

This way, when a website visitor sends a message in your live chat widget, they get an immediate response that stops them from navigating away from your site. This also buys your team members a few seconds to pull up the chat request and respond.

We actually do this at Gorgias — here’s the message we send, and the Rule that automatically fires the message. 

Rule to automatically reply when customers message you on live chat.

         

It immediately lets the website visitor know an agent is going to handle their issue, and it buys the agent 10 or 15 seconds to wrap up and get ready.

2) Have specific live chat support hours

Your business might not have a 24-hour customer support team in place and may never need to, depending on your market and your competition. If you aren’t offering 24-hour support, then set and advertise a specific set of hours that your team will be available for customers.

If you use Gorgias, you can set your live chat to automatically turn on and off with offline mode, which still lets shoppers find automated answers and submit offline form.

Turn live chat on and off when your agents are available.

         

You can use a chatbot or self-service to take on the after-hours work, solving simple queries and pushing more complex ones to the next-morning queue for your human agents. This can be a good strategy; just make sure your customers know that that’s what you’re doing.

3) Adjust Macros (or templates) for live chat

It’s a best practice to modify your Macros and other customer service scripts to fit the format. The length and line breaks that make sense for an email may not look right in the live chat window. 

Likewise, depending on your brand’s tone of voice, you might lean a little more casual on live chat than other, long-form channels. Of course, your templates should all be clear and fully answer the question, regardless of channel. 

4) Prioritize live chat conversations

Customers using live chat are actively on your site — potentially with an item in their cart, and a question they need answered to click “Buy now.” 

On the other hand, the customer that emailed you isn’t actively waiting on a response. They’ve probably already gone to work or soccer practice, and won’t even check their email inbox for a few hours. 

For that reason, it’s important to set up automations that bump live chat tickets to the top of your inbox. If you use Gorgias, here’s a Rule you can use to tag live chat tickets as Urgent and assign it to your chat team:

Rule to prioritize live chat support requests.

         

Choosing live chat support software for ecommerce companies

Of course, integrating live chat support into your website (and into your customer service and support workflows) requires some form of live chat support software. That’s a whole discussion in itself, but the most crucial factors are feature sets and integrations.

You certainly need software that accommodates everything you want to do with live chat. Beyond that, ask these three crucial questions for any software you’re considering:

  1. Does this integrate with my ecommerce platform?
  2. Does the live chat tool come bundled with a larger helpdesk?
  3. Does this integrate with my other customer service channels?
  4. Does the tool’s pricing make sense for my business?
  5. How easy is it to install?

And good news: We have answers for you. Read about the best live chat apps for a variety of use cases:

How Gorgias makes live chat support low-effort, high-impact

One concern about adding live chat support is that you’ll get a flurry of messages from customers who expect an instant response and, like many brands, you don’t have the staffing bandwidth to keep up. The right live chat platform offers features to help smaller businesses reap the benefits of a live chat, even if they can’t staff it 24/7.

Here are a few Gorgias features that make live chat manageable for small teams:

Order Management Flows for self-service order management and tracking

Order Management Flows are a type of customer self-service that lets customers track, cancel, or return an order within the live chat widget — no agent needed. This is a great way to reduce the number of tickets that actually make it to your agents. Plus, 88% of customers expect this kind of self-service functionality on your website.

You can customize which self-service options your customers can access within the live chat, too:

With Gorgias, you can control what order management capabilities customers have within live chat.

         

Flows and article recommendations in chat

Order Management Flows are great for order management, but other customer questions that would still turn into tickets for your agents: Questions like “What’s your refund policy?” or “Where do you ship?” Gorgias’ live chat also includes Flows, which you can set up to give personalized answers to common customer questions with a single click.

On top of Quick Responses, Gorgias live chat can also use natural language processing (NLP) to understand a customer’s query and recommend relevant articles in your Help Center: Gorgias’ version of a knowledge base, or a super-powered FAQ.

Contact Forms

Even with all of these self-service options, some customers will want to talk to an agent. And for stores that can’t staff live chat, this means you may get live chat questions that go unanswered. With Gorgias, you can include a field that asks customers for their email addresses so you can answer their questions when you come back online.

Contact Forms aren’t just good for following up if you missed an incoming message. You can also enroll customers who submit their email in email marketing sequences to drive sales, just like Bokksu:

“The email capture feature on Gorgias live chat allows us to collect new email addresses on a daily basis! This is highly convenient and helps us drive sales!”

– Danny Taing, Founder & CEO, Bokksu

Set business hours for chat availability

Finally, if your team can only cover live chat during certain times of the day, you can also set up business hours in Gorgias to either completely remove chat from your website or change the chat’s setting when you’re offline.

Install Gorgias live chat in a couple of clicks

Gorgias is a leading all-in-one ecommerce customer support and helpdesk platform that’s laser-focused on the needs of ecommerce businesses like yours. Our live chat feature is flexible and powerful thanks to numerous automation features, plus it can be enabled in just a few clicks.

Gorgias’s proactive chat tools can help you meet your customers’ needs, improve your conversion rates, and consistently improve the customer experience. And your agents can use Gorgias live chat on desktop, iOS, and Android. 

Ready to take the plunge and start reaping the benefits of live chat support? See more of what life is like with Gorgias live chat. Or, book a demo to chat with our team.

Customer experience insights 2023

Ecommerce Customer Experience in 2023: Insights & What’s Next in 2024

By Christelle Agustin
8 min read.
0 min read . By Christelle Agustin

TL;DR: 

  • Shipping status, refunds, and damaged orders were the top customer concerns of 2023
  • The average first response time was 7.6 hours, a resolution time of 18.6 hours, and a CSAT score of 4.5/5
  • On average, 15% of interactions were resolved with automation
  • Experts predict that 2024 will focus on strategic planning, optimized AI use, more real-time communication, and amplifying the voice of CX within companies

This year, we witnessed customer service teams from 16,140 brands support over 77 million shoppers and millions of tickets with Gorgias. 

As we turn to a new chapter, we want to spotlight how six of the top-performing industries delivered customer service in 2023. 

From food to fashion, we’ll see how quickly agents answered questions, then discover what customers were asking, and learn from experts about what customer experience trends to expect in the new year.

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Support teams resolved tickets in 2.5 business days

Step into the ecommerce world, where you’ll find a vibrant population of merchants, each with their own niche and groups of loyal customers. Together, they generated $1.45 billion in revenue in 2023. 

Of course, this would not have been possible without the grit of customer service teams and their dedication to customer satisfaction. 

Support teams across 20 industries answered customer inquiries within one business day and solved them in two and a half, resulting in very satisfied shoppers. Impressively, 15% of interactions were fully automated and resolved on average.

Here are the average industry support stats:

  • First response time: 7.6 hours
  • Resolution time: 18.6 hours
  • CSAT score: 4.5/5
Average support performance across 20 industries in 2023
 

From food to fashion: a cross-industry glance at support statistics

The most popular ecommerce industries — Apparel and Fashion, Health, Wellness, and Fitness, Cosmetics, Food and Beverage, Consumer Goods, and Luxury Goods and Jewelry — were the top performers. 

Using exclusive Gorgias data, we’ll look at how support teams from these industries handled tickets. Then, we’ll gain expert insight into the ecommerce experience in 2023, and how experts predict it will change in the coming year.

Apparel and Fashion strutted with a 4.5/5 CSAT score

Our first stop is the bustling market of Apparel and Fashion. We’re all familiar with how tricky online clothes shopping can be. Most likely due to issues with sizing and style, support teams mainly dealt with inquiries about:

  • Shipping status
  • Returns
  • Refunds

Yet, despite receiving the highest number of customer tickets among the six industries, Apparel and Fashion brands kept customers happy. They responded within one business day and resolved issues within two, with 15% of interactions being resolved with automation.

Here are their stats compared to the overall industry average:

  • First response time: 8 hours (+0.4 hours)
  • Resolution time: 17 hours (-1.6 hours)
  • CSAT score: 4.5/5
Apparel & Fashion response and resolution times
According to Loop, over 50% of their merchants now charge for certain returns, including fees for exchanges and returns for store credit. This change aligns with consumer preferences, as their report shows 70% of shoppers are willing to pay for premium, convenient experiences, a trend already embraced by half of these customers.

Cancellations and returns were Health, Wellness, and Fitness’ biggest hurdles

The next stop on our tour is the thriving Health, Wellness, and Fitness industry.

Unfortunately, brands in this sector had a challenging year keeping up with unpleasant tickets about:

  • Shipping status
  • Subscription cancellations
  • Refunds

Perhaps support teams could have automated more than 15% of interactions to handle these repetitive tickets better. But despite their slower-than-average first response time, customers were still pleased with the support experience:

  • First response time: 9 hours (+1.4 hours)
  • Resolution time: 18.3 hours (-0.3 hours)
  • CSAT score: 4.5/5
Health, Wellness & Fitness response and resolution times

Expert Insights: Amanda Kwasniewicz, the VP of Customer Experience at women’s wellness brand Love Wellness, highlights that personalized customer service has been a key trend of 2023. She’s observed that customers now expect to receive personal recommendations during their shopping journeys.

Cosmetics enhanced support with 18% automation

Now, take a peek at the fast-growing Cosmetics industry, and you’ll see how eager customers were to check out the hype around both small businesses and celebrity brands.

Given the boom of influencer marketing for these highly personal products, customers often inquired about:

  • Shipping status
  • Feedback
  • Damaged orders

To solve these tickets, support teams automated 18% of interactions and attained faster times than average:

  • First response time: 7 hours (-0.6 hours)
  • Resolution time: 15.8 hours (-2.8 hours)
  • CSAT score: 4.5/5
Cosmetics response and resolution times

Food and Beverage served it fresh with a 5-hour first response time

Getting hungry? This year, the growing appetite for Food and Beverage in the ecommerce world was unmistakable. Beef jerky or freshly squeezed fruit juice, customers savored their snacks. But it also didn’t stop them from being tough critics. 

The main issues raised to Food and Beverage support teams revolved around: 

  • Shipping status
  • Feedback
  • Damaged products

Luckily, they cut down their first response time by automating 15% of interactions — nearly three hours faster than average:

  • First response time: 5 hours (-2.6 hours)
  • Resolution time: 17.2 hours (-1.4 hours)
  • CSAT score: 4.5/5

Expert insights: Zoe Kahn, former Manager of CX & Retention at Chomps and now Owner of Inevitable Agency, saw inventory issues as a major challenge of 2023. The complexity of inventory logistics is difficult for consumers to understand, leading to higher outreach from customers wondering when items would be back in stock. "Quieting those concerns is really difficult," Zoe notes. However, after witnessing inventory issues over the last few years, Zoe realized that "it's inevitable that inventory problems will happen because of how challenging the logistics of selling a product are."

Food & Beverage response and resolution times

Consumer Goods has CSAT down pat with a 4.6/5

There’s a lot to explore in the all-encompassing Consumer Goods industry. You’ll find brands that sell everything from sustainable water bottles and furniture to everything else in between, like dog toys and mystery subscription boxes.

While Consumer Goods brands only automated 14% of interactions, their resolution time was two hours faster than the industry average, resulting in the happiest customers among the six industries:

  • First response time: 8 hours (+0.4 hours)
  • Resolution time: 16.4 hours (-2.2 hours)
  • CSAT score: 4.6/5 (+0.6)
Consumer Goods response and resolution times

The top tickets Consumer Goods brands received were about:

  • Shipping status
  • Damaged orders
  • Customer feedback

Expert Insights: Ren Fuller-Wasserman, the Director of Experience at TUSHY, notes that the impact of the macroeconomic climate was among the top challenges faced in 2023. “As there's talk of recession and inflation, people are really looking for products that provide added value,” she says.

Our partner Okendo, a growth marketing platform that has worked with well-known brands like SKIMS and Rhode, notes that tech stack consolidation has been the top priority in 2023. They saw that merchants who used a multifaceted product with app integrations resulted in a 15x return on investment

Luxury Goods and Jewelry polished interactions with 28% automation

Our final stop is at the small gem of an industry, Luxury Goods and Jewelry. Making sure their pricey wares arrived to customers safely was the top priority. That’s why the top questions support teams received were in regard to:

  • Shipping status
  • Discount requests
  • Damaged orders

Out of all the industries, Luxury Goods and Jewelry brands automated the most interactions at 28%, which certainly helped to shorten response and resolution times:

  • First response time: 6 hours (-1.6 hours)
  • Resolution time: 17.1 hours (-1.5 hours)
  • CSAT score: 4.4/5 (-0.1)
Luxury Goods & Jewelry response and resolution times

Expert Insights: Caela Castillo, Director of CX at Jaxxon, advises preparing early for BFCM but being flexible to change. She notes, “Sometimes you need a different perspective,” acknowledging that agents are valuable resources to gain customer insights, especially when it comes to planning new customer service strategies.

How to prepare for ecommerce in 2024 (according to experts)

It’s been a fruitful year of expediting the traditionally slow support process. However, with greater strides made in AI technology, ecommerce has only scratched the surface of providing accelerated service. 

We interviewed ecommerce experts who saw the rise and fall of trends in 2023 and are ready to use their learnings to make the new year better. 

Here are the top four actions ecommerce companies should take in 2024. 

1) Identify business goals to adapt to new tech

We’re constantly fed an endless stream of new technology, which can be a distraction to business goals. That’s why the CTO of ecommerce agency Novatize, Pierre-Olivier Brassard, highly recommends planning a robust strategy first. Clear business goals will help teams pick the best tools — not the other way around.

2) Maximize the use of AI to streamline support

Customer service management platform TalentPop saw AI as the top CX trend of 2023. They foresee late adopters using AI next year, while early adopters will focus on optimization. To get ahead of the game, TalentPop recommends that support teams research all AI options since CX will only become more saturated with AI tools.

Brandon Amoroso, Founder & President at Electriq and Co-founder at SCALIS observed similar trends. In 2023, many CX teams implemented more self-service options for customers. Going into 2024, Brandon notes that a “continual integration of AI into the entire customer experience” is likely.

3) Offer real-time communication options

As social shopping gains traction, marketing platform Yotpo predicts customers are going to look for more real-time communication with brands. In fact, HubSpot reports a 45% year-over-year surge in using social media DMs for customer service. Therefore, using tools that enable interactions through DMs or text, like Yotpo SMS, will be a crucial strategy in the upcoming year.

4) Amplify the voice of the customer

Amanda Kwasniewicz, VP of Customer Experience at Love Wellness, advises CX leaders to ensure their contributions are recognized. Kwasniewicz notes that support teams often know the business better than any other department. "Beat the CX drum loudly. If you're not in the room, find a way in the room," she stresses.

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How to Prime Your Website to Automate CX

By Christelle Agustin
10 min read.
0 min read . By Christelle Agustin

TL;DR:

  • Automating customer experience (CX) can save costs, reduce agent burnout, and increase customer satisfaction
  • A good website user experience consists of fast load times, informative product pages, mobile optimization, and guest checkout
  • Automate CX by using automated chat, replacing email links with contact forms, updating your help center, and deploying onsite campaigns
  • Do not overcomplicate the user journey by only providing automatic support — route back to human agents

Nowhere is the customer experience more important than on your website. CX is so much more than post-purchase troubleshooting. CX that grows your brand makes the entire buying journey as effortless as possible, from the first ad to the 10th item purchased.

Your website isn’t only the marketing team’s domain. Your support team’s input is crucial to ensure customers can find all the answers they need without waiting around.

With a better website experience for your customers, you enable more sales and reduce the repetitive inquiries for your agents.

Here are some tips to enrich your website with CX automations that will delight your customers and your team.

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Why automating CX is essential

With 63% of consumers expecting service agents to know their unique needs and preferences, your efforts should be focused on improving support speed and responsiveness — and that starts with automation. 

Here are the five benefits of automating your customer experience:

  1. Cost efficient: Automating routine questions cuts down the cost of human labor, redirecting resources to more impactful areas of customer service.
  2. Reduced workload for agents: Your support team can focus on more complex issues instead of spending time on questions that can be answered with automated replies.
  3. Increased customer satisfaction: Automation provides fast answers, keeping the shopping experience uninterrupted.
  4. Enhanced navigation and user experience (UX): A website optimized for automation is easier to navigate and shop from, and reduces cart abandonment rates.
  5. Prevents support overload: Automation helps your agents from lessening their touchpoints with customers where it’s not needed, allowing customers to feel in control of their own journeys.

How website UX and CX work together

If done correctly, your website's UX should be so intuitive and smooth that shoppers barely notice it. For ecommerce stores, a well-thought-out website UX consists of everything from a logical menu to a straightforward checkout flow. 

Below, pay attention to the following website elements as they directly influence the buying journey and can impact customer satisfaction.

Informative product pages

Engaging and detailed product descriptions add substantial value by influencing buying decisions and simplifying the shopping experience.

Take a look at how Good Protein keeps descriptions engaging but short in three bullet points, includes social proof by displaying customer ratings, and provides flavor, size, and subscription options in one section:

Good Protein
Good Protein provides all important product information upfront.

Mobile optimization

According to Airship’s 11,000-respondent survey, 76% of shoppers shop through retailers’ mobile websites. With a significant portion of online sales coming from smartphones, it’s best to test your website on mobile devices. If users can’t complete a purchase through mobile, you lose out on a large fraction of sales.

Minimized distractions

Reducing distractions like unnecessary pop-ups and banners keeps the shopper focused on the main goal of conversion. Streamlining content to spotlight key campaigns or product launches can dramatically improve conversion rates.

Quick page load times

Fast-loading pages are crucial for keeping potential customers engaged. Delays can significantly deter shoppers, as studies show that even a one-second delay in page loading can reduce conversions by 7%.

Check out Google’s PageSpeed Insights to assess your website's performance.

Streamlined checkout process

Simplifying the checkout process and providing multiple payment options, such as guest checkout, removes common barriers to conversion by offering a convenient purchasing process.

Swimwear brand TRIANGL makes shopping easy and fast by adding a Quick Buy button to every product:

TRIANGL makes it easy for shoppers to buy products without making an account.

‎Exceptional customer support

Tools like live chat or help centers provide a portal through fast support. AI-powered support tools like Gorgias Automate combine automated responses with the option for human interaction, ensuring customer inquiries are addressed promptly.

This integration of website UX with automated customer experience strategies creates a more efficient, enjoyable, and productive shopping environment that exceeds customer expectations.

Related: Stop Marketing, Start Converting playbook

Implement these 5 strategies to prep your website for automation

Keeping your customer support options visible is the key to prepping your website for automation. 

Follow these five methods to provide easily accessible support routes, simplify communication, and help customers quickly find the information they need. 

1. Keep chat active 24/7

When you hear “chat,” you may think about not having enough bandwidth to offer live chat all the time. Well, that’s just a common chat myth

In fact, chat doesn’t require agents to operate 24/7. You can configure live chat to only be active during your busiest hours or even deactivate it altogether and replace it with automated FAQs to keep customer questions answered throughout the day. 

Here’s how ALOHAS keeps their chat running using Gorgias Automate’s Quick Responses:

ALOHAS uses Quick Responses to answer questions about shipping policy

‎Beyond automating common questions, chat can also accomplish other support-related tasks:

  • Email Capture: When live agents aren’t available, automation can ask for customer emails so that their inquiries can be routed to your support inbox.
  • Article Recommendations: Chat questions can be scanned and matched with the most relevant article, reducing the need to talk to an agent.
  • Order Management: Automate WISMO requests with an order management portal right in chat. Customers can track, return, cancel, or report an issue on their own without waiting for an agent to do it for them.

Don’t forget that chat is one of the most visible components on your website. Make sure the chat dialog can be minimized and hidden to avoid disrupting the shopping journey.

2. Replace email with structured contact forms

Leaving your customer support email on your contact page is the equivalent of leaving plain URLs on your website — it’s disorganized and can attract spam like no other channel.

Contact forms are far superior to email links because they collect all necessary information (like issue type and contact information). This helps agents provide resolutions as efficiently as possible because tickets are already structured and include the necessary details.

For example, Gorgias Chat includes Offline Capture to collect customer inquiries while agents are offline. Gorgias Helpdesk then uses the structured information to detect customer intent, making interactions easier to manage.

CALPAK uses email capture on Gorgias
CALPAK enables email capture so that chat inquiries can be handled even when live chat is offline.

3. Display your Help Center and contact form prominently

Make your Help Center visible no matter which page shoppers are on. Displaying important customer support resources like this in your website's header, footer, and various emails like marketing messages and order confirmations allows customers to self-serve, without having to contact a live agent.

With Gorgias, you can use one-page Help Centers to create a seamless experience from one page to another on your online store. This setup allows customers to quickly find the answers they need, improving accessibility while reducing the demand on your team.

Here’s what clothing brand Princess Polly’s one-page Help Center looks like:

Princess Polly keeps the user experience seamless by keeping the Help Center a part of their website, so customers can go back to shopping whenever.

4. Make sure your knowledge base is up-to-date and comprehensive

Updating your knowledge base, whether it's a Gorgias Help Center or another FAQ page, directly impacts the customer journey. Gorgias's AI Agent uses the Help Center as its primary source to autonomously handle over 30% of customer email inquiries, drawing on articles that cover necessary topics like shipping, orders, product information, and account management. 

To optimize your Help Center for AI, ensure your content is comprehensive and current, particularly in areas such as policies and product updates. All articles should be published, not saved as drafts, to be accessible to AI Agent. Regularly reviewing your articles encourages customer self-service and reduces reliance on agent assistance.

5. Maintain engagement with targeted campaigns

Targeted onsite campaigns on product pages educate customers and boost confidence, especially when tailored to your top-selling products. For instance, when items are out of stock, campaigns can redirect customers to similar products, as demonstrated by Glamnetic during their product launches.

Additionally, Gorgias Convert chat campaigns like those used by Manduka, which highlight product guarantees, provide valuable pre-sales information that mimics the support of a physical store.

Related: Convert Campaigns playbook

The 3 don’t s of website optimization

There are pitfalls to avoid when optimizing your website for better user experiences. Keep the user journey simple and always provide options for human assistance like live email or voice. Below are three key mistakes to steer clear of.

1. Don't complicate the user journey

The user journey includes all interactions from browsing to the post-purchase experience, and automation should make this process seamless, not hinder it. Avoid adding unnecessary steps or making critical information hard to find, as this can disrupt the shopping experience and force customers to seek help when it isn't needed.

For instance, include a guest checkout option on the checkout page to simplify purchases, and ensure that links to your Help Center or Contact page are easily accessible in the top navigation. 

Watch out for these common elements that can confuse the user journey:

  • Complex navigation: A convoluted menu system can make it difficult for customers to find what they need.
  • Hidden support information: Essential details like shipping costs and return policies should be visible and easy to find.
  • Excessive pop-ups: Overloading pages with pop-ups can frustrate users.

2. Don't only provide automated support

Automation is valuable but don’t rely on it — it's still important to provide avenues for human assistance when needed. This includes support options like live chat, email, phone, and social media

The key is balance: make it easy for them to reach out to human support once they realize self-service options are insufficient. This might involve including contact options in a Help Center or contact page rather than displaying raw email addresses everywhere.

3. Don't forget to test regularly

Maintaining an optimized website requires data-driven testing and optimization. You can improve your website by following customer feedback and suggestions. Once changes have been applied, monitoring performance metrics and user behavior can ensure the user journey remains solid.

Metrics to track: 

  • Cart abandonment rate: A high abandonment rate may mean that your checkout process is too complex, causing shoppers to exit early.
  • Page load time: Slow-loading webpages negatively impact the customer experience. 
  • Bounce rate: Difficult navigation, slow loading times, or an unattractive layout are all factors that contribute to a high bounce rate. 
  • Conversion rate: Conversion rate indicates which areas of your website are performing well and which are not. Pay attention to conversion rate to prioritize areas for improvement, such as optimizing landing pages or adjusting the user journey.

Automate 30% of CX for exceptional customer experiences

July, a leading luggage brand, uses the power of Gorgias Automate to deliver unbeatable user experiences. With Automate, routine tasks typically handled by level 1 agents are accomplished automatically. Agents are then able to free up valuable resources to focus on more complex inquiries.

Ready to elevate your CX game? Book a demo today and unlock the full potential of automation for your business.

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What Is A Help Desk

What Is a Helpdesk, Why You Need One, & Features To Look For

By Jordan Miller
20 min read.
0 min read . By Jordan Miller

We’ve all heard that customer experience is the new battleground for businesses. Between the rising costs of customer acquisition and the huge benefits of loyal customers, your ability to quickly satisfy customers is key to customer retention and long-term growth; this is what makes customer service so important.

Some small businesses manage customer service requests directly on whichever support channel customers use. But this approach doesn’t support growth because you’ll lose hours each week shuffling between email, Facebook, and Instagram (or wherever your customers contact you) and copy/pasting information between platforms. Plus, you won’t have access to time-saving automation features and highly requested self-service options — more on those below. 

In this article, we’ll explain the top benefits of using a helpdesk and provide tips to help you use this tool effectively to improve customer experience — which will help you retain more customers. Keep reading to find out why it pays to become part of the 58% of businesses that actively use a helpdesk.

What is a helpdesk?

A helpdesk is commonly known as a place where customers go to get answers to their questions. In the ecommerce world, businesses use helpdesk software to help their customers with issues and questions surrounding products and orders.

Helpdesk software tools allow teams to collaborate on managing, organizing, responding to, and reporting on customer requests (or tickets). This is particularly important since there are several key metrics to track relating to customer tickets, such as first response time (FRT), average resolution time, unresolved tickets, and customer satisfaction (among others). These metrics can help you better understand how your customer service team is performing and gives you solid data — versus relying solely on customer feedback. 

It’s important to note that not all helpdesks are created equal. Helpdesks are a broad category that can range from simple ticketing systems to all-in-one customer service platforms that offer help centers, self-service options, automation workflows, and robust reporting. Some helpdesks, like Gorgias, are built for specific industries — our helpdesk is for ecommerce merchants:

Types of helpdesks 

Helpdesk ticketing systems are crucial for simplifying service management. It becomes very chaotic to manage increasing support tickets as your business grows without a centralized helpdesk ticketing system in your ecommerce tech stack.

But a customer support team needs a very different type of helpdesk than an IT department. 

Here are the main categories of helpdesks:

Types of helpdesks: cloud-based, on-site, enterprise, open-source, internal IT helpdesks.

Digital or cloud-based helpdesks

Digital helpdesk providers host your helpdesk on their server and you pay them either a monthly or annual fee to use it. This option is ideal for small- and medium-sized businesses that don’t have an in-house IT team to build software from scratch. You avoid the hassle (and expense) of hosting and maintaining the helpdesk software yourself. 

If you’re looking for a way to provide better customer support, you’ll probably want this kind of helpdesk.

On-site helpdesks

This is the DIY option for helpdesks. Your company could purchase the software license for a helpdesk software tool and then host the software on your servers. The greatest benefit of this type of helpdesk is that you have complete control over data and security. That said, most cloud-based helpdesks are actually safer thanks to advanced security features.

As the world moves increasingly to the cloud, on-site helpdesks are fading into the past. Most organizations that keep on-site helpdesks are government offices or law firms that don’t trust external servers with sensitive data — and have IT infrastructure to protect the data themselves.

Enterprise or large organization helpdesks

Enterprise helpdesks can either be digital or on-site, but what distinguishes them from other types of helpdesks is that they are specifically built for large organizations. Usually, they are far more customized than an out-of-the-box solution and come with much more dedicated support (and higher pricing).

Unless you know you need enterprise software, this type of helpdesk is probably not for you.

Open-source helpdesks

An open-source helpdesk allows developers to freely access the source code without having to pay for proprietary software. This type of helpdesk is often free, but you’ll need an IT team to build and customize the software to suit your company’s needs. It’s also important to note that this type of helpdesk is more susceptible to customer data breaches and outages. Plus, open-source helpdesks don’t get the same level of dedicated support as an option you purchase.

Internal IT helpdesks

Some companies, usually larger enterprises like hospitals and universities, set up an internal IT helpdesk to help employees solve technical issues. Instead of conducting service management through email, an IT services team might set up a portal with self-service information (like troubleshooting guides) and an easy way to submit support requests to get extra help from an IT support member. 

Just like your customer support team, a helpdesk organizes support requests and saves time for the point of contact by collecting incoming requests and deflecting avoidable ones with self-service.

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Benefits of using helpdesk software

Above all else, helpdesk software helps you improve customer satisfaction and leads to more happy customers for your brand. Below, we’ll explore five of the most significant benefits of incorporating helpdesk software within your organization.

1) Better customer support helps your bottom line

Customer experience solutions have been proven to produce a 633% ROI increase over three years. Although helpdesks weren’t singled out in this Forrester study, the fact that they play a role in improving customer satisfaction means they also yield a positive ROI as part of the customer support function. 

As a reference point, the average merchant using Gorgias’s helpdesk sees about 5% higher revenue than before they used the tool.

If you want to learn more about the impact of helpdesks on your revenue, check out our guide to customer service ROI. Alternatively, see how Gorgias’ helpdesk resulted in over $9 million in revenue for BrüMate’s exclusively from the support team:

Customer Story: Brümate's CX Team Generating Millions Taking Care of Their Brücrew

2) Quick response times

66% of customers expect an immediate response whenever they reach out to a business. Helpdesk solutions organize customer queries in a way that makes it easier to prioritize these tickets, use automation to deflect repetitive and low-impact tickets, use templates to give customer service representatives a head start, and so much more to reduce customer wait time.  

See how our customer, Emuaid, used Gorgias’ automation functions to drastically reduce their first response time to 48 seconds (an 8% decrease). Since using Gorgias, their tickets are now centralized in one place, their customer support process is streamlined and supported by automation, and their agents are more productive than ever. Best of all? Customers spend far less time waiting for responses.

3) No missed or lost tickets

Things get messy when a company doesn‘t use helpdesk software — there‘s an unclear chain of support ticket handling. This frustrates customers because they have to repeat themselves to each new support agent they speak to. A helpdesk support tool organizes all your customer conversations from multiple channels into one dashboard and includes clear notifications about the number of open tickets, ensuring you never miss or lose any.

With Gorgias’s live statistics dashboard, you can even see which agents have open tickets in their queue, how many tickets they’ve closed this shift, and more:

Agent performance dashboard in Gorgias shows open vs. closed tickets and other information.

For example, Milligram was able to use Gorgias to integrate into their full tech stack to condense their customer service tickets into a single platform. The result was a 33% reduction in response time and an uptick in ticket volume

4) Comprehensive customer information in one ticket view

While not all helpdesks offer this functionality, seeing information about customers within the helpdesk is a game-changer for companies trying to offer fast, personalized support

For example, Gorgias shows all historical order information and every conversation and transaction a customer has had with your brand — including on social media. This context allows you to understand the customer’s past interactions with your brand (whether positive or negative), leading to a quicker, more productive conversation. You can also avoid asking customers to repeat information they’ve already told your brand. 

Gorgias

You can even bring in customer information from other ecommerce apps like Klaviyo and Yotpo in the ticket’s sidebar view.

5) Combined power from integrating your favorite apps

Your apps are stronger together. With the right helpdesk, you can install integrations that keep agents from having to switch between apps and copy/paste customer information. All the customer information they need is accessible from the helpdesk.

Gorgias integrates with other top ecommerce apps like Shopify, Yotpo, and more.

Check out Gorgias’ app store to learn about our integrations, which include many top ecommerce apps you probably already use.

6) Enhanced agent productivity and collaboration

HubSpot research finds that 86% of teams using a helpdesk report greater productivity. This isn’t surprising since helpdesk software:

  • Improves communication within a customer support team, because agents can privately comment on tickets
  • Allows your team to prioritize requests so that the most urgent and time-sensitive queries can be addressed first through a triage strategy
  • Enables your customer service team members to create an escalation plan so that urgent queries are given to the right teams

For instance, Death Wish Coffee Co. used Gorgias’ helpdesk tool to win back lost time for their support team. They had an ambitious goal of hitting a 200% growth target and saving 10 to 15 minutes helped them achieve the focus necessary to make that happen.

7) More consistency in your customer experience

Most helpdesk software allows you to turn your best messaging into templates for your whole team to use. This speeds up your helpdesk process, leading to a more reliable first response time, bringing consistency to your organization's CX, and helping your whole team (even the newer members) make a bigger impact by having the right words every time.

With Gorgias, templates are called Macros and include variables that personalize the message for every customer. Variables are like blanks that automatically pull customer information from your ecommerce platform, using customer support phrases that fit your brand. Personalized information without any copy/pasting:

Use templates and automations to provide personalized and efficient customer support with Gorgias.

8) Improved business operations

Helpdesk software helps you create more efficient business processes. All of your customer support metrics are brought into one system for better reporting, there’s a central dashboard that makes it easy to track customer issues, and all of this data can be used to better inform business decisions and optimize your support process. 

You’re also better able to meet your service level agreements (SLAs) thanks to the accountability of clear reporting dashboards.

Check out how Gorgias’ revenue statistics board helps brands quickly understand and communicate their impact on the company’s revenue:

Track revenue generated by your customer service team with Gorgias.

9) Reclaimed agent time 

Automate repetitive requests, use templated responses to respond faster, and keep your agents from burning out so they can spend more time on the tickets that actually move your business forward. 

Princess Polly was able to do just that. Since using Gorgias, Princess Polly increased their customer service efficiency by 40%, lowered resolution time by 80% and first response time by 95%, and improved one-touch tickets by 15%. 

Trying to level up your customer service? Read our guide to essential customer service best practices.

Essential helpdesk features: What makes for a good helpdesk?

A good helpdesk app must have six key features to make technical support easy for both your customers and your helpdesk team. Let’s look more closely at why these features are important.

1) Multichannel communication

Gorgias

Google, in partnership with Forrester research, conducted research on what businesses need to know about communicating with customers. They discovered that customers prefer asynchronous communication such as text, social media, third-party messaging, and chat through a mobile app when trying to communicate with a brand. The businesses that do well are those that provide multichannel communication (whether asynchronous or in real time). In fact, these businesses do so well that they are 3.4 times more likely to experience revenue growth, according to the study.

A good helpdesk app pulls all customer queries and interactions from multiple sources into one platform, including social media interactions. There‘s no need to make futile attempts at keeping tabs on communication across all these channels. So, your customers can communicate with you on the channels they‘re most comfortable with rather than being forced to submit support tickets.

Features to note:

Related reading: 8 customer service trends for the coming year

2) Ticket management

Manage tickets with your team of customer service representatives with Gorgias.

It‘s important to note that your helpdesk must offer you the capabilities to effectively organize and monitor customer tickets at any point of the day. 

Features to note:

  • Creating, closing, re-opening, submitting, and resolving tickets
  • Assigning and reassigning helpdesk tickets 
  • Automated ticket routing, categories, and tags 
  • Public and private actions on tickets 
  • Canned responses, rule-based automated messages 
  • Comprehensive ticket views that show historical customer interactions

3) Self-service features

It might surprise you just how badly customers want self-service options: 88% of respondents to a recent Microsoft survey report that they expect businesses to have online self-service support portals like helpdesks. But with this being the case, it’s pretty bleak that only 42% of teams are using self-service helpdesks to resolve customer issues. 

For example, an FAQ page (or better yet, a fully built-out knowledge base) can give customers an easy way to find detailed answers to their questions — no need to reach out to customer support and wait for agents.

Here’s an example of a Help Center built with Gorgias, which is free with all plans:

Branch
Branch

You can take self-service a step further by integrating self-service order management and quick, automated responses to your live chat widget to give customers instant answers and lessen the load on your agents:

Steve Madden
Steve Madden

Features to note:

  • Knowledge base articles
  • Community forums
  • Self-service options in the live chat widget
  • Customization options 

4) Automation capabilities

Helpdesks allow you to automate much of ticket communication. For instance, if a lot of customers need immediate help with issues already covered in your knowledge base, an automated response can direct them to the relevant resource — reducing the time spent on tickets. Even better, it can give them a personalized answer and take action based on the request — like updating their shipping address.

Use automation to trigger actions in Shopify.

These automation capabilities will also help you resolve simple customer issues faster and free your agents to work on higher-impact tickets. Here’s an example. Loop earplugs used Gorgias’ Automate and integrations to decrease response and resolution times, and reduce “where is my order?” queries from 17% to 5%.

A mix of automation and self-service can deflect up to a third of your incoming tickets, according to Gorgias data, freeing your agents up for the tickets that matter to your business.

Features to note:

  • Automatically tag and assign tickets based on the ticket’s contents or channel
  • Automatically respond to certain tickets with pre-written Macros
  • Trigger actions automatically, like canceling an order or updating a credit card number
  • Provide automated answers in your live chat widget

5) Reporting functionalities

A helpdesk should have reporting tools that allow you to measure, analyze, and track your customer experience and helpdesk agents’ performance. They should bring your metrics into a single, interactive dashboard you can use to make real decisions and improve your bottom line. 

Gorgias has dashboards for individual agent performance, impact on revenue, customer satisfaction, and other important metrics like first-response time and resolution time.

Measure your customer support team

Features to note: 

  • Ticket-related metrics like tickets created, replied, closed, sent, resolution time, response time, etc. 
  • Customer satisfaction like the percentage of how many surveys were responded to, the average rating, and rating distribution 
  • Reporting on most commonly used tags and intents to understand what types of tickets are making up the bulk of your ticket volume
  • View of most common product issues being brought to the customer support team so you can make improvements

6) Third-party integrations

Is your chosen helpdesk easy to connect with other tools or pre-built integrations? How many integrations are available? How many integrations do you actually need? Do you have to pay for those integrations? These are the questions you should keep in mind when looking for a helpdesk tool. 

For example, if you want an ecommerce helpdesk, you should choose the software that integrates well with the ecommerce platforms and apps you use, like Klaviyo, Recharge, and Yotpo — making Gorgias a top contender.

Meanwhile, if you have a large IT team, you may want to consider helpdesk software like Jira Service Desk because it provides many IT-focused third-party integrations. 

Features to note:

  • Seamless integration of different apps with your helpdesk, bringing all of the customer data into one view
  • Deep integration with the functionality of those apps for multi-app workflows (e.g. building segments in Klaviyo from Gorgias attributes, like a win-back campaign)

Is a helpdesk the same as a CRM?

CRM vs. Helpdesk: sales and marketing tool vs. customer service tool.

No, a helpdesk isn’t the same as a CRM.

CRM stands for customer relationship management and is a system for managing relationships with customers. It’s one central place that helps organize all the details about your leads and customers. Using this system, you can get a full picture of every customer and understand the status of every customer relationship. 

A CRM typically doesn’t have functionalities for ticket management because its primary focus is on data from sales and accounts. But ticket management is a fundamental component of a helpdesk — hence the difference between both software solutions. Platforms such as Salesforce are sometimes confused as helpdesk tools, but their focus is primarily CRM, not helpdesk management.

Strong helpdesk platforms like Gorgias do have some features of CRMs, like aggregating all interactions with a given customer in one location alongside loyalty data, marketing campaign responses, etc.

Is a helpdesk the same as a live chat?

No, but some helpdesks also include live chat software. 

Live chat tools are typically hosted on websites and allow website visitors to communicate with a brand in real time. Helpdesk software pulls customer requests from multiple places such as email, phone, and social media. Live chat is a component of more robust helpdesk software, but not vice versa.

Here’s an example: Gorgias is a helpdesk that includes live chat functionality, meaning all Gorgias users can install a live chat widget to their website in just a few clicks. Once installed, live chat becomes a channel within the helpdesk, so you can answer live chat messages, emails, social media DMs, and more without leaving the Gorgias helpdesk platform:

Live chat with Gorgias

Related: Our list of the best live chat apps on the market.

Is a helpdesk the same as a service desk?

Most organizations don’t need to distinguish between a service desk and a helpdesk. They’re often used interchangeably to describe a tool used to centralize service management and improve the end user’s support experience. And, very few companies have both. 

Technically, a service desk is a bit broader than a helpdesk. While a helpdesk’s core feature is to help you quickly collect and respond to quick-fix customer support issues, a service desk could also include more account management features and feature requests. However, with today’s helpdesks, you can also achieve many of those same goals. 

If you’re looking for a tool to help organize and streamline your customer service efforts, we recommend sticking with the word helpdesk. Or you can call it a customer service platform, which better represents the breadth of features you can expect from modern-day tools.  

Key helpdesk statistics 

If you’re still not quite sold on the value of helpdesk services, let’s take a look at some numbers. Here are some eye-opening statistics that show just how crucial helpdesks are in helping your business provide the best possible customer service experience.

The helpdesk market size is projected to reach $11 billion by 2023

This statistic comes from research published by Transparency Market Research. In 2020, the online helpdesk market size was $8.9 million and is projected to increase to nearly $20 million by 2028. Therefore, not only will helpdesks continue to increase in popularity, but online helpdesks will take a bigger piece of the pie as time progresses.

90% of consumers regard resolution as their most important customer service issue

A helpdesk is useless if customers still aren’t getting their issues resolved, as this statistic by KPMG supports. A helpdesk can’t be used as a bandaid to hide other customer service issues that may exist within your company. Make speedy issue resolution a priority and if that isn’t happening, dig a bit deeper to discover underlying issues.

84% of shoppers are willing to spend more on products/services to get better customer service

This statistic comes from research by Gladly. As mentioned earlier, good customer service improves your bottom line. People will spend more money and become repeat customers if you offer the right support.

Experiences that don’t meet expectations cost businesses up to $4.7 trillion annually

Qualtrics finds that many customers are dissatisfied with the service they receive from brands, and that dissatisfaction costs a pretty penny.

One of the things you can do to make customers happier is providing an omnichannel experience where they can voice their concerns via their choice of online platform (social media, live chat on your website, etc.). The trick is to respond to them as quickly as possible and work swiftly to resolve their issue to provide an excellent customer service experience — poor experiences will cause your company to lose money.

How to choose the best helpdesk software for your business

Each company’s needs are slightly different, so we encourage signing up for a few demos and trials while shopping for a helpdesk. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind while reviewing your options:

  • Pricing: Does the tool fit into your budget and does it offer multiple pricing plans?
  • Ticket organization: Does the platform have an intuitive, visual way of sharing which tickets need attention, and from which agent?
  • Automation: Does the platform feature time-saving automation features for your team and customers?
  • Omnichannel support: Does the platform work with all the channels you use, from texting to social media?
  • Integrations: Does the platform connect to tools you already (or plan to) use?

Shopping for a helpdesk? Check out these articles to guide your shopping:

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Final thoughts: Helpdesks are CX must-haves that keep you ahead of the competition

The research is there: Helpdesks are an easy way to boost your bottom line, improve your response time, offer self-service resources, automate repetitive tasks, and free up time for your agents to handle more complex tickets. Getting into the heart of the customer journey and creating a solid customer experience can help you retain existing customers, and draw in new ones. 

Not satisfied with your current helpdesk solution or don’t know where to start? Gorgias has a cloud-based helpdesk system that integrates with leading ecommerce store providers such as Shopify, Magneto, and BigCommerce.


Book a demo to learn more about the results Gorgias can help you achieve.

The Gems of Learning with TJ Balo

By Christelle Agustin
5 min read.
0 min read . By Christelle Agustin

TJ’s Top Advice: 

  • As a leader, foster openness and creativity by encouraging team members to regularly share their ideas.
  • Tell your customers when you update a product. Including them in the conversation can build trust and bring about valuable feedback.
  • Treat your customers as your stakeholders. They are the driving force behind your brand and deserve to have their voices heard.
  • Leadership entails continuous learning from your team, customers, and the industry at large.

Everybody wants to skip to the answers, but for TJ Balo, there is more joy to be found in the learning. Since 2014, TJ has been the Head of Customer Relations and Marketing at Andrea Iyamah, a fashion line founded in 2011 by Nigerian designer Andrea Dumebi Iyamah. From Toronto, TJ leads a group of customer service reps from around the world, including New York and Nigeria, teaching them the ins and outs of customer service operations, logistics, and lingo.

Encouraging out-of-the-box ideas

Brainstorming is one of the most exciting parts of the job for TJ, who’s always finding ways to improve the customer experience. When his team gets together, there is no wrong answer. TJ encourages his staff to think outside the box. Whether it’s a bold social media marketing play or a never-before-done collection, he wants to hear it all.

“I always want them to bring new concepts and ideas to the table. I think that for success, it's not about the implementation. It's about what you’re thinking,” he says. 

The vulnerability to share out-of-the-box ideas allows his team to create a playground where creativity is the only goal. It’s where every idea has a chance to shine when the time is right, whether it’s in a month or in the next year. All TJ asks is for every person to be fearless and confident: “Let your presence be known. The minute I can identify you, that's when I know that you're doing something right and I'm doing something right.”

The TIBARA Kaftan Dress in Lime from Andrea Iyamah
         

Including customers in the conversation

Online businesses, especially fashion brands, are no strangers to the challenge of meeting customer expectations. Sometimes colors don’t appear the same way on a screen as they do in person. Other times, sizes may run a smidge too loose or snug. Regardless of the issue, “it’s about consistent communication first,” TJ says. 

How can you show up for the customer and show them they matter? For TJ’s team, customer satisfaction is their guiding light. They always remember to throw in an incentive for customers, whether it’s a refund, discount, or replacement.  

‎TJ pays the same heed to internal feedback. His team’s opinion takes precedence before a product is released. They answer questions like, “What’s missing?” “Does it translate well to different body types?” People naturally gravitate towards good products, and TJ wants to hit that mark as closely as possible the first time around.

When mishaps occur, broadcasting the solution to their customer base is imperative. “I think that that's one step a lot of fashion and retail brands miss. They take the feedback in, and they come out with a new or better product, but the customer doesn't know because they don't communicate that message to them to say, ‘We took this in from you, we have this new version out, come and try it again,” he says. 

Treating customers as stakeholders

The AZO Mini Dress in Tangerine from Andrea Iyamah
         

Peruse Andrea Iyamah’s Pinterest and their inspirations draw from a cornucopia of African cultures, stories, and experiences. Traditional details can be found in every piece, from a modern sleeveless dress in the recognizable silhouette of a Kaftan to jumpsuits adorned with sculptural pleats similar to those found on a Gele. The room to innovate is boundless, especially with their Treasures.

Treasures, the term of endearment for their customers, are the backbone of Andrea Iyamah. Without the support and feedback of their Treasures, the brand would not have crossed international borders, dressing icons like Michelle Obama, Gabrielle Union, Ciara, and Kate Hudson.

‎“We treat our customers as our stakeholders. We believe they’re the driving force of the brand and its vision, hence our goal to make them feel valued and appreciated,” TJ emphasizes.

On Instagram, they spotlight their Treasures’ voices with Instagram carousels of rave reviews on Twitter. One Treasure confidently states, “Andrea Iyamah never misses… I swear.”

“You have to take in every single detail. That is where the brand meets the stakeholder. That's where they both come together. I never give credit to just either or. They both come together to create and to curate this amazing masterpiece.” —TJ Balo on handling custom orders

Continuous learning is vital to leadership

For a business that’s been operating for over a decade, you could say Andrea Iyamah has accomplished everything. But for TJ, the learning never stops. “Research and ensuring that you're actually taking in that research is the genesis of staying on the cutting edge.” 

He recognizes that they aren’t the first to do it in their industry, that there are countless other companies making great strides. Nonetheless, he wants to be the best to do it. “As we grow, as a business, as a brand, as a company, even just as a team generally, I want to be a reflection of what I would like from my team. You can never know it all. Continuous learning is also leadership.”

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How to Reap the Benefits of Automated Chat

By Christelle Agustin
8 min read.
0 min read . By Christelle Agustin

TL;DR:

  • The benefits of automating chat include reduced workload, round-the-clock support availability, multi-language support, FAQ resolutions, and a convenient customer self-service channel
  • Use Gorgias Automate’s Quick Responses, Flows, Order Management feature, and Article Recommendations to provide a complete automatic chat experience
  • Automated chat uses answers pre-set by you which means it cannot produce answers without your approval

Live chat users wait an average of 30 seconds before they get an answer. However, large language models like ChatGPT have flipped customer expectations with unbeatable rapid responses. 

Thirty-second replies may be possible for customer service teams who handle one chat conversation at a time — assuming they have deep product knowledge — but agents who handle multiple chats will be hard-pressed to beat that average.

Chat automation is the best way to offer instant support without an agent. Automating chat means customers get support 24/7 in multiple languages and relevant answers in seconds. More importantly, agents can provide more meaningful customer experiences because they don’t have to monitor chat.

Below, learn how to turn live chat into an automated channel in four steps with Gorgias Automate. Then, we’ll go over how three ecommerce brands overcame some of the most common chat challenges.

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The benefits of automating chat

Automating live chat support results in a win-win situation for agents and customers. These are the five instant benefits you get when automating chat. 

Benefit 1) Reduces agent workload 

Automated chat responses mean team members don’t need to operate chat unless customers specifically ask for human support. 

Using automation as your first line of defense means fewer repetitive tickets and more time for agents to take care of urgent, customer-specific inquiries.

Benefit 2) Empowers customers to resolve issues on their own

According to Tidio, around 73% of customers prefer to find answers on their own as opposed to getting them from a support rep. Automated chat provides easy-to-receive answers and is a simple way to let customers self-serve without the wait time. 

Listen to how shoe brand Merry People uses Gorgias Automate’s chat-based automation features called Flows to cut response time down by 60%:

‎Benefit 3) Delivers support 24/7

Having a live chat widget may be an excellent way to expand customer support, but its functionality is also limited by your business hours and agent availability. 

With automated chat, these concerns disappear since chat can remain active even when your agents are off the clock.

Read more: There’s more to chat than you think: debunking 5 chat myths

Benefit 4) Speaks in multiple languages

According to a survey by CSA Research, 40% of customers will not buy from websites in other languages. 

With multi-language automated chat, you don’t have to worry about losing prospective customers. Rather, it’ll be easier for you to turn website visitors into repeat shoppers.

Gorgias Chat is a multi-language chat solution that can serve shoppers from anywhere. Languages include English (US and UK), French (France and Canada), Spanish, Danish, Swedish, Italian, Dutch, German, Norwegian, Czech, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, and Finnish.

Benefit 5) Resolves frequently asked questions

Chances are, customers on chat will ask one of these questions: 

  • Where’s my order?
  • Do you take returns? 
  • Do you ship internationally?
  • What size should I get? 

If you’re used to manually responding to these questions, know that there’s a faster way. Once you’ve identified your brand’s most asked questions, you can automate the answers to them, eliminating the need to type out replies on chat.

How to automate chat in 4 quick steps

If you have chat on your website, you’re halfway there. The next step is automating it to start reaping the benefits. Here’s how to use Gorgias Automate to automate chat in four steps.

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Step 1) Resolve FAQs with Quick Responses

Automated chat’s main ability is to answer frequently asked questions. You probably know that tickets with FAQs can pile up extremely quickly, causing your agents to miss the important questions.

To automate FAQs, use Quick Responses. These are one-click Q&A scenarios displayed on chat for customers to quickly get the answers they need. You can activate up to six responses and may toggle questions on and off to save them for later.

Quick Responses settings on Gorgias
Edit Quick Responses with links, images, and Shopify products.

💡 Pro Tip: Gorgias Chat is multi-language and automatically detects a shopper’s default language based on their browser settings. This way, you can provide global support without hiring additional agents.

Step 2) Simplify order management

A third of online purchases are returned which means agents ultimately spend time processing refunds. The most effective solution is to automate order management through chat so that agents can instead use the extra time upselling.

With Gorgias, you can provide a self-service returns portal through integrations like Loop. This allows customers to process returns on their own, making their shopping journey straightforward and strengthening their trust in your brand.

Order management return order settings in Gorgias
Select your preferred returns management integration to provide a return portal in chat.

💡 Pro Tip: Always encourage exchanges by recommending products in a different size or variant or a product of a similar value. This way, customers can still experience what you have to offer without requesting a refund.

Check it out: Return policy template generator

Step 3) Provide personalized support with Flows

Flows are more dynamic than Quick Responses and let you create personalized and interactive conversations. The resulting answer or action of these Flows all depends on the customer’s input, enabling you to deliver answers for every type of shopper.

As the name suggests, Flows are based on a flowchart structure and are best used for questions that have multiple answers. Here are some ways you can use Flows:

  • Product matching quizzes 
  • Sizing guides
  • Filing warranty claims 
  • Scheduling services 

Flows settings on Gorgias
This Flow allows customers to input their details to change their order’s delivery date.

Step 4) Deliver detailed answers with AI-powered Article Recommendations

For more comprehensive answers, turn to Article Recommendations. When customers ask a question on chat, Gorgias AI finds the most relevant article to send. These articles are pulled right from your Help Center or customer-facing knowledge base.

To get Article Recommendations on chat, you’ll need to first populate your Help Center with articles your customers care about.

Here are some Help Center articles to get you started:

  • Do you offer free shipping?
  • How much does shipping cost?
  • Do you ship internationally?
  • What is your return/exchange policy?
  • What do I do if I receive the wrong item in my order?
  • How do I cancel my membership/subscription?

Article Recommendations on Gorgias
Connect your Help Center to Chat to enable Article Recommendations.

Related: How to optimize your Help Center for AI Agent

How 3 brands debunk automated chat myths

If you still have some hesitation about automating chat, it’s time to clear them up. Let’s take a look at real use cases and how three ecommerce brands have cleared up misconceptions about automated chat myths with Gorgias Automate.

Myth 1) Automated chat is complicated to set up

Solution: No coding or special add-ons are required to set up automated chat. 

With Gorgias Automate, you can set up Quick Responses, Flows, Order Management, and Article Recommendations in a matter of minutes. Each feature can be toggled on or off, helping you shorten setup time and offer support in whatever way is best for your brand.

Collagen supplement brand Obvi found Automate’s user experience to be intuitive, setting up chat just a few weeks before Black Friday–Cyber Monday. They were able to increase conversion rates (CRO) and earn $10,000 in revenue just by activating automated chat.

Here’s how Obvi’s CEO, Ronak Shah, benefited from using Gorgias Automate:

Myth 2) Automated chat increases your tickets

Solution: Automated responses deliver instant resolutions, which keep ticket volumes low. 

Tickets are only created when customers talk to live agents. This allows customers to solve issues on their own, unlike when using social media for support.

Underwear brand Shinesty uses Flows to address a variety of inquiries, from account registration to order tracking. Their Flows are so effective that 90% of the time, inquiries are completely resolved by automation. 

Shinesty’s Flows successfully resolve customer inquiries 90% of the time.

Here’s how Shinesty’s four-person team increases customer satisfaction scores with Automate:

‎Myth 3) Automated chat gives inaccurate answers 

Solution: Automation is customizable and acts on parameters set by you. 

Unlike AI chatbots or generative AI which produces responses through machine learning, automated chat uses responses defined by you. 

In Gorgias, you can customize Quick Responses and Flows with your brand voice in mind. This guarantees that customer messaging is always relevant, on-brand, and accurate. Chat cannot compose brand-new answers on its own. 

According to Alex Naoumidis, Head of Operations and CX at July, Flows helped their support team accomplish the work of three agents. They were still able to provide a human touch, resulting in 450 tickets deflected.

‎Support and sell more with Gorgias Automate

If the success stories of these brands have inspired you to upgrade your customer experience, it’s time to see what Gorgias Automate can do for you. 

Setup is straightforward — no coding needed — and you can start seeing improvements in your customer agents’ workflow and your customers’ satisfaction straight away.

Book a demo with Gorgias today and discover how chat automation can streamline your operations and increase customer engagement.

Angry Customer Email

Templates and Tips to Respond to Frustrated Customer Emails

By Jordan Miller
25 min read.
0 min read . By Jordan Miller

If you’ve ever worked in customer service, you know that unhappy customers are unavoidable. Customer satisfaction has plummeted since 2018, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index

Customer satisfaction has dropped since 2018.

         

That’s why top brands don’t wait until angry customer emails arrive to decide how to respond. By setting up processes and templates ahead of time, your customer support team doesn’t need to craft responses from scratch. Especially while emotions are running high and angry customers are waiting for responses. 

Below, you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to process and respond to angry customer emails, considerations for handling angry or rude customers without making the situation worse, and tips to prevent angry customers by improving your customer experience (CX). We'll also share templates and sample emails for how to respond to:

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Is it worth it to deal with angry customers? 

When customers aren’t happy with your product, service, or customer support, the stakes are high. You could lose them as a repeat customer, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Angry customers also go and tell their friends and family, either by word-of-mouth, on social media, or via a Google review. 

What are the consequences of angry customers? Lost sales and loyalty, bad word-of-mouth, negative reviews and social posts, and agent burnout and quitting.

         

The Effortless Experience found that 96% of disgruntled customers who had a high-effort or bad experience with a brand feel disloyal to that brand afterward. In other words, a frustrating, high-effort experience will irreversibly damage your brand's reputation for almost any customer, whether they’re first-time or regular shoppers. That spells trouble for your bottom line.  

96% of customers who have high-effort experiences feel disloyal to those companies afterward.
The Effortless Experience
         

Also, your customer service team doesn’t want to respond to nasty emails all day long. Customer service can already be an emotionally challenging role, and spending all day dealing with angry customers is a quick path toward burnout and quitting.

📚 Related reading: Read our guide to hiring A+ customer service agents, written in partnership with customer service agency Helpflow.com.

8 steps to take when responding to frustrated customer emails

Respond to angry customer emails by acknowledging the customer's frustration, owning any mistakes, gathering additional context, confirming you understand the entire situation, and fully resolving the issue.

These messages are high-stakes: When someone writes to your organization with an angry message, they’re angry enough to sit at their keyboard and express their anger. You’re lucky they wrote to you — the next message could be on a review website or social media. 

You’re lucky they wrote to you — the next message could be on a review website or social media.

It’s imperative to respond to every single angry customer email — ideally with fast response times.

0) Set up automated responses if you can’t quickly respond

If you have a small team or are only online for certain parts of the day, consider setting up a standard automated reply to confirm receipt of their email. We listed this as step 0 because it’s not a catch-all solution: You should not send this kind of email if you’re able to provide a human response within an hour or two. Nobody likes an extra, unnecessary email.

If you do choose to activate this kind of response, it should:

  • Confirm that you received the customer’s email so they don’t have to wonder if it went through
  • Tell the customers when they can expect to receive an email response from a human agent
  • Thank the customer for writing in

Here’s a mockup of how to create this kind of automated response with Gorgias Rules:

An example of a rule to automatically let customers know you

         

📚 Recommended reading: Get more tips and tricks to improve your response times.

1) Read the email first

This may seem obvious, but unless you address every point the customer makes, you’re only prolonging the correspondence and further irritating them. 

It’s easy to overlook something the customer says, particularly if the email’s pretty emotive or raises several points. So, try to summarize what they’re complaining about in a separate text document or as a note on the ticket in your helpdesk

Internal notes.

         

Consider bullet-pointing each issue to ensure you answer every aspect of their message, as shown in the internal note above. 

2) Do your research to understand the problem and context

Before responding, consider if there’s any research you can do on your end to resolve the issue faster. For example, if a customer asks whether an item will come back in stock, you may look up similar items currently available if that customer is in a time crunch (like for the holidays). 

You’ll also want to ensure you have all of the context you need to provide a full resolution for that customer. 

For example, if a customer is trying to track down a lost package, take a look at the package history and order date to better understand why they’re upset and whether you’ll need to re-send the item or reach out to the carrier on their behalf. 

Ideally, your helpdesk has integrations with shipping software (like AfterShip) so you can see this information right next to the customer’s message (rather than having to navigate to a new tool).

Customer information in the Gorgias sidebar so you can provide detailed answers without switching tabs.

         

3) Escalate if necessary (based on policy)

Some requests, whether from a VIP customer, the urgency of the issue, or its scale, need to be escalated right away. Based on the policy you’ve set out for your support team members, encourage them to forward major concerns to the correct team quickly. 

Prioritize VIP customers to reduce lost loyalty.

         

📚 Recommended reading: Read our Director of Support’s guide to prioritizing customer service requests.

4) Thank them for writing

Yes, you've already done this in your automated message – but it doesn't hurt to do it again. So, always say thank you at the start of your email. You must acknowledge their complaint and show you care about their feedback.  

For instance, if a customer has written to complain, you could start with something along the lines of:

Thank you for contacting [your company name] and letting us know about your experiences with our [insert name of the product/situation]. We appreciate you contacting us to let us know. We value customer feedback so that we can work to provide you with gold-plated customer service.’

5) Use their name and take a personalized approach

If you're not already, it's time to take a personalized approach to customer service. While this means taking a more holistic approach to the service process in general, the first step is to take note of small details, like using a customer’s name in correspondence. 

Consumers crave a personalized experience; they want to be treated as individuals, not as just another support ticket. That means avoiding asking them for information they’ve already given you again. It also means using a customer support tool that provides all of their historical account information in one place. Your helpdesk should show all past orders, correspondence with support, shipping address information, and even marketing emails they’ve received and clicked on. 

For example, Gorgias’ Customer Sidebar provides customer information right next to the ticket that can help you personalize the message.

Customer sidebear.

         

6) Acknowledge their problem

If your customer has taken the time to bring an issue to your attention, it’s polite and good practice to acknowledge that. So, in your response, reflect on what they’ve told you. 

For example, you could write something like this:

‘I can see that you’re frustrated [insert a suitable empathic summary of the customer’s feelings] about your experiences with our product/customer service. We can see how, on this occasion, we didn’t reach our normally high standards of delivery.

7) Provide a solution

Always focus on solving the customer’s problem. Find a solution and clearly explain the resolution to the customer’s complaint.

For example, if they’re upset about a product’s quality or performance, you need to refer them to your returns and replacements policy. On some occasions, it may be necessary to escalate a complaint if it’s not within your power to resolve. In which case, again, follow the protocol your company has to handle the specific issue so that it complements your current chain of command. 

According to a research study conducted by Gartner and later coined The Effortless Experience, 45% of customers who have a positive support experience tell less than three people. In contrast, 48% of customers with a negative experience shared it with over ten people. 

One bad experience leads to ten negative opinions.

         

While a positive, low-effort solution is a short-term expense for you, it could keep the customer on your side, netting future purchases or at least minimizing negative word of mouth and reviews.

8) Avoid offering the same solution twice 

If a customer is still upset after you’ve already offered a solution, chances are it wasn’t the right one. Ensure that you’re able to give the customer a few different options for a resolution in case the original one didn’t work for them (or wasn’t the result they hoped for). 

Of course, this should only go as far as your support policy states. If possible, tag in a customer service lead to see if you can make an exception to your policy. In a helpdesk like Gorgias, you can tag specific agents or an escalated team.

image

         

Considerations when writing responses to angry customer emails

Above, we covered the steps to follow when responding to angry emails. Below, we’ll share some high-level considerations to keep in mind when crafting responses.

Check your language and tone

Use clear language and show empathy. Always consider your audience. Remember, your audience doesn’t know your organization's internal workings or technical aspects. 

Interestingly, 65% of online shoppers prefer casual over a formal tone in their customer service interactions. That said, if the customer isn’t happy with your response or solution, 78% said that an overly casual style would elicit an adverse reaction from them. 

Why? Because it sounds like you're not taking their problem seriously.  

Also, consider the words you use. For example, remove any uses of the “but” from your responses. By eliminating negative terms like this, you’ll exude more of a positive tone, which works wonders for altering perception. 

For example:

“Thank you for contacting us, but we don’t provide that service.”

Vs.

“Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately, we're unable to provide that service. We do, however, provide the following….”

See the difference?

Through practice and experience, you’ll be better positioned to sense your customer’s tone. For example, if the customer’s frustration radiates through their message, show empathy by offering reassurance and the right level of apology. 

Check your grammar and spelling

There’s nothing worse than grammatical and spelling errors. Re-read your response and run it through a spelling and grammar checker. If in doubt, ask a colleague to double-check it for you. 

Some reputable online spell checkers include Grammarly, Reverso, and Language Tool. Your organization may already have a subscription for marketing or other purposes, so check what’s available. 

Decide whether they are frustrated or truly irate 

The key to understanding whether a customer is truly angry is empathy and context. 

Use empathy to dissect the tone and language a customer uses in their correspondence with you. Then, use the context they've given you and that you have about their order history to piece together their entire situation. 

For example, a customer might write in about a lost or delayed package. Based on the language they’re using, and the fact that they paid to upgrade shipping to get it in time for a friend’s birthday, tells you that this customer is angry and in need of a fast resolution. 

You should strive to provide top-notch support no matter if a customer is merely frustrated versus angry. But, your communication, time to resolution, and the solution you offer need to be even more considerate when dealing with someone who is truly irate. 

Deal with profanity in a professional manner

Sometimes, angry or frustrated customers will use profanity when complaining about an issue. The best responses to rude customers involve focusing on what the problem is to help get them to a solution. 

Some customer service phrases to use include: 

  • “I understand why you’re upset – I would be upset as well in this situation. We will figure out a solution that makes you happy and that fully resolves this issue for you.”
  • “I understand how frustrating this must be, especially since it sounds like we really missed the mark here.” 
  • “I understand how disappointed you are. What kind of solution do you feel would make this right for you?”  

17 email templates you can use to respond to different customer issues

You may already have a series of customer service email templates you and your team use to handle various customer complaints. However, it’s always worth doing a little housekeeping to ensure they reflect your commitment to great customer service.

This is especially true if your customer service software comes with a set of templates already in existence. Don't make the mistake of just using these as they are. Instead, personalize them to reflect your own brand’s voice and tone. 

With that in mind, we’ve put together a summary version of some of the examples above to illustrate how to respond to an upset customer:

Dear [insert customer name],

Thank you for contacting us. I'm very sorry to hear you experienced poor customer service from the [insert your brand name] team.  

It’s important to us that our customers are happy, so we're sorry we could not provide our usual high service standards to you.

Possible paragraph:

Having investigated your complaint about [insert a summary of the complaint]. I'm happy to tell you; we can offer you the following solution [insert an explanation of the answer]. 

Alternative paragraph:

We're currently investigating your complaint about [insert a summary of the complaint]. Because your complaint involves several departments/strands/suppliers, it will take us a couple of days to get to the bottom of why, on this occasion, you received less than a gold standard of service from us. Thank you for your patience while we investigate this matter. I'll get in contact with you in two days to update you on our progress. 

Once the complaint is resolved, you could offer a discount to reduce the number of returns, which are more expensive to your business than exchanges:

We’d like to prove just how important you are to us by offering you a discount of [x%] on your next purchase.  

Sign off:

Thank you for bringing this negative experience to our attention. Once again, I apologize for any inconvenience caused. 

If there's anything else I can help you with or you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me. 

Best wishes,

[Name and contact details]

If you use Gorgias, a helpdesk that deeply integrates with your entire ecommerce tech stack (including Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce), feel free to use the copy above as a Macro (which is what we call templated responses).

Your agents can use the template as a starting point and tweak it to meet each customer's unique needs.

Below, we’ve put together a series of templates that you can implement for different angry customer situations. 

Customers who are having product issues

1) General frustration with the product or experience

Hi {{Customer first name}},

Thank you for reaching out and letting us know about your experience with us. This is not up to our standard and I've passed this along to our team to ensure this doesn't happen again. 

In addition, I've {{Insert policy: refund, added a credit, send a replacement, etc.}} to make this right. 

We truly value you as a customer and apologize for the inconvenience this caused.

Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

{{Current agent first name}}

Customers with shipping and delivery problems

1) Order/shipping status (Where is my order?): Not shipped

Hello {{Customer first name}}, 

Thank you for reaching out! Your order {{Number of last order}} has been received and we are working on getting it shipped out. Our processing time to ship an order is 3-5 business days, excluding weekends. 

We will email you a confirmation once it ships, which will include your tracking information as well. 

If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

Thanks, 

{{Current agent first name}}

2) Order not shipped because the item is out of stock

Hi {{Customer first name}},

We wanted to let you know that your most recent order {{Number of last order}} is currently out of stock. We’re doing everything we can to get more in stock soon and we apologize for the delay!

The good news is that our next shipment should arrive by {{Date of availability}}, and you should receive your order within {{Number of business days}} once the item(s) gets to our warehouse.

Thanks for your patience! We’ll get you taken care of as soon as possible.

{{Current agent first name}}

3) Item arrived damaged 

Hi {{Customer First Name}}, 

Thanks for reaching out about your recent order {{Number of last order}}. I’m sorry to hear about your experience. As we try our best to provide exceptional service, some factors like shipping and handling are out of our control and issues like this can happen.  

Please send us a photo of the broken/damaged item(s) you received and we’ll do our best to resolve this as soon as possible. 

{{Current agent first name}}

Customers with missing or late orders

1) Order is lost 

Hi {{Customer First Name}},

Thank you for reaching out! I’m so sorry to hear that you were unable to locate the missing package. Rest assured we will remedy this situation for you. 

I have two options to offer: we can ship a replacement to you or issue a full refund for the order instead. If you prefer a replacement order, we kindly ask that you confirm the shipping address of where you would like the replacement order sent. We look forward to receiving your reply.

{{Current agent first name}}

2) Order/shipping status (Where is my order?): Delivered, not received

Hi {{Customer first name}}, 

I'm sorry to hear that you haven't received your order yet. It does appear to be in a delivered status. Sometimes this can be due to an incorrect scan by the carrier. If the package doesn't show up in the next {{Insert the number of days according to your policy}} please reach back out and we will {{insert internal policy}}. 

In the meantime, I've contacted the carrier and will be investigating on my end. 

Please reach out if I can help with anything else and I will keep an eye out for your email regarding the package.

{{Current agent first name}}

3) Order is late 

Hi {{Customer First Name}},

We regret to inform you that your order {{order number}} has been delayed.

We apologize for any inconvenience, and we appreciate your understanding. The reason for the delay is {{reason for the delay}}.

You can track the status of your order using this tracking link {{Link to tracking portal}}.

If you’d like to return or exchange your order, you can do so here {{Link to return/exchange portal}}.

Once again, we apologize for the inconvenience. Please let us know if you have any questions or can provide further assistance. 

Best,

{{Current agent first name}}

Customers who got the wrong product

1) Wrong item delivered

Hi {{Customer First Name}},

Thank you for letting us know we sent you the wrong product. We apologize for the inconvenience. We are sending you the correct product, the {{correct product name}} and it will be shipped by {{estimated shipping date}}. 

We sent it using expedited shipping, so you should receive it {{estimated delivery date}}. Please return {{old product}} in the original shipping box and packaging using the attached shipping label and instructions. Please contact us with any additional questions. 

{{Current agent first name}}

Customers who have a cancellation request (purchase or subscription)

1) Order already shipped 

Hi {{Customer first name}}, 

Thank you for reaching out to us! 

Unfortunately, it looks like your order {{Number of last order}} has already been shipped from our warehouse. Therefore, I’m unable to make any changes to it at this time. 

If possible, refuse the package at delivery. If that’s not possible, please let me know and I will send you a prepaid shipping label so that you can send the order back to us. Once we receive the order back at our warehouse, I will send a {{Replacement or refund}} to you right away. 

{{Current agent first name}}

2) Order change/cancel before the item ships 

Hi {{Customer First Name}}, 

Absolutely! I’ve swapped out {{Item name}} for the {{Item name}} you originally selected for order {{Number of last order}}. 

If you need anything else, just say the word. 

Best, 

{{Current agent first name}}

Customers who want a refund or exchange

1) Item is eligible 

Hi {{Customer first name}}, 

Thanks for reaching out! For your order that was delivered on {{Shipping date of last order}}, we’d be happy to process a refund for you. 

To get the return process started, please go to our {{Link to returns portal}} and follow the steps. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

{{Current agent first name}}

2) Item not eligible 

Hi {{Customer First Name}},

Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately, your order {{Number of last order}} is unable to be returned because it is outside of the time window (30 days) outlined in our return policy.

I apologize for any inconvenience that you’ve experienced because of this. 

If there is anything else I can help you with, feel free to reply to this email or visit {{Link to help center}} at any time. 

Thank you again,

{{Current agent first name}}

3) Exchange request after the order arrives

Hey there {{Customer first name}}, 

Thanks for reaching out about your recent order {{Number of last order}}. I see that you are interested in a product exchange. We do allow exchanges, and I’m happy to help you with this right away. 

{{Exchange policy and instructions}}

Once you have {{Required action(s)}}, I can process your exchange and get a new {{Product name}} shipped out to you right away. 

Thanks again, 

{{Current agent first name}}

Customers who had a bad support experience

1) Non-escalation 

Hi {{Customer first name}},

Thank you for reaching out and letting us know about your service experience with us. This is not up to our standard and I've passed this along to our team to ensure this doesn't happen again. 

In addition, I've {{Insert policy: coupon, refund, added a credit, send a replacement, etc.}} to make this right. 

We truly value you as a customer and apologize for the inconvenience this caused.

Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

{{Current agent first name}}

2) Escalate to technical support 

Hi {{Customer first name}},

Thank you for reaching out and letting us know about your experience with us. This is not up to our standard and I've passed this along to our team to ensure this doesn't happen again.

I have CC’d {{Technical/Lead agent first name}} on this email. They will be able to figure out what happened here and will follow up to ensure that we resolve this for you. 

{{Current agent first name}}

3) Customer hasn’t received a response or resolution to their problem

Hi {{Customer first name}},

Thank you for following up with us. 

We sincerely apologize that we didn’t get back to you — we’ve been overloaded with requests lately and yours slipped through the cracks. This is not the type of support experience we strive to provide. 

To answer your original question {{Provide context and a resolution to the original issue or request}}. 

I hope this helps! 

All the best, 

{{Current agent first name}}

Customers with no clear reason to be upset

1) General, sincere apology 

{{Customer First Name}},

Thanks so much for your feedback on {{Concern or issue they had with the brand or their experience}}.

We strive to provide an amazing experience for all of our customers, and sometimes we fall short of doing that. We sincerely apologize for the experience you’ve had with our brand. 

As a token of our appreciation, we’d like to offer you {{Discount code, free gift, free shipping on next order; whatever aligns with your policy}}. 

Have a great day, 

{{Current agent first name}}

2) Reply to a bad customer review 

{{Customer First Name}},

Thanks so much for your feedback on {{Customer survey, review site, etc.}}.

I wanted to check in and get a little more information from you about your experience. This will help our team improve future experiences for you and other shoppers. If you’re open to it, you can just reply to this email and share your thoughts.

Thanks for your time, 

{{Current agent first name}}

How to identify an angry customer (with examples)

Angry customers use harsh language and accusatory words, and often make demands to your company or service team. 

Some examples of phrases and words to look out for include:

  • I’m very frustrated 
  • I’m upset because… 
  • I needed this for an {{important event}} and it’s not here
  • You need to fix this right away 
  • This is all your fault 
  • I’ll never shop with you again 
  • This is ridiculous 

Additionally, keep an eye out for any language that includes profanity.  

As your team grows, you can also use a helpdesk with Intent and Sentiment Detection, which automatically scans tickets to tell you what a customer’s looking for and how they’re feeling. The main benefit is that you can send different automatic responses depending on the customer’s intent and sentiment. 

Tools like Gorgias can identify a ticket

         

How a frictionless customer experience can prevent angry customers

While every brand deals with angry customers from time to time, the best ones design a customer experience that, hopefully, doesn't produce so much frustration. Customer experience is a broad term, but there are a few areas of opportunity to mitigate customer frustration more proactively. 

Build customer self-service resources 

Customer self-service resources is a type of customer experience automation (CXA) that allows customers to quickly solve their own problems. They include:

Provide self-service solutions that improve the customer experience and proactively answer the customer

         

Being able to self-serve information gets them an immediate resolution and saves them the time and hassle of reaching out to you. You might be surprised how many angry emails you avoid by: 

Create a seamless post-purchase experience

A positive post-purchase experience sets the customer up for success from the very beginning, starting with quick order confirmation emails to fast order fulfillment and going all the way to returns

A great post-purchase experience involves: 

  • Figuring out the touchpoints on your customers’ journey where you need to be in contact with them 
  • Setting up email campaigns like welcome emails, order confirmation details, shipping and tracking information, an order tracking page, and notifications when an item gets delivered
  • Providing a fun and exciting unboxing experience
  • Sharing links to your help center and to how-to content for assembling and using your products
  • Creating a simple returns and exchanges portal via a tool like Loop Returns 
  • Share information about rewards and loyalty programs 
  • Ask for feedback, both positive and negative, and implement it 
  • Involve new customers in your brand community
  • Provide omnichannel support to meet new customers where they are 

Introduce faster support channels 

If customers need to reach out to you to ask a question, either pre or post-purchase, your best bet is to make it quick and easy to do so. Channels like live chat support, social media support, and SMS messaging support are more immediate channels where customers can see fast responses. 

Live chat and social media, for example, can help you make more sales by answering product questions to quell any objections before a customer makes a purchase. Water filter brand Berkey Filters even advertises their faster channels (live chat and SMS) on the website to steer customers to those fast channels:

image
Berkey Filters
         

The quicker and more seamless you make getting support for your customers, the more likely they are to reach out to you when they have a problem, rather than simply not purchasing from you again. 

In addition, some customers look at what support options are available before they make a purchase. Having these options available can help shoppers feel more comfortable and confident that if they have an issue, you’ll be there quickly to help them resolve it. 

📚Recommended reading: Check out our CX-Driven Growth Playbook for a more robust list of tactics to improve your customer experience, reduce customer anger, and boost revenue by up to 40%.

Are you ready to improve your customer service copy?

You’re now fully prepped to polish your customer support email copy, so even the most unhappy customers walk away happy. Exceptional copywriting isn’t rocket science; it's a skill you can certainly nurture over time, so keep practicing and paying attention to customer responses.

And when you pair great customer service copy with the right customer service automations, you can delight customers at scale. How? You can respond to low-impact tickets (like, "Where is my order?") with helpful, dynamic responses so you have more human time to deal with high-impact tickets like angry customer complaints.

And you don’t need us to tell you that happy customer relationships lead to higher profits. Check out our guide to customer service ROI to learn how to translate your customer service into meaningful business results. 

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Best Shopify Themes

The 26 Best Shopify Themes (Of the 13,191 We Analyzed)

By Ryan Baum
16 min read.
0 min read . By Ryan Baum

Finding the best Shopify theme for your business may feel like a huge undertaking — and it is. You have to identify themes, test them, and determine criteria as you go. It can easily start to feel overwhelming. 

To make this process a little easier for you, we’ve analyzed 13,191 Shopify stores and hand-picked the 26 most popular themes to help get you started. But before diving in, it’s important to understand how to approach choosing the right Shopify theme for your business. 

The top ten Shopify themes we recommend are:

  1. Mojave
  2. Retina
  3. Flow
  4. Paper
  5. Parallax
  6. aiga
  7. Testament
  8. restige
  9. Impulse
  10. Motion

How to choose the right Shopify theme 

A free theme or a premium one? A template or a custom theme? Which one you should choose actually depends on many factors. 

If you’re looking for a Shopify theme for your store but don’t know where to start, answering the following questions might help:

  • What is your product category? A clothing store’s design is different from a store selling online courses.
  • How big is your product catalog? Are you running a one-product store or a store with multiple product categories?
  • What features do you need? Do you want a slideshow on the homepage, an opt-in form, a mobile-friendly, intuitive design, or an embeddable video?
  • What are your competitors doing? Knowing how your competitors’ stores look might give you an idea of your store’s appearance. Detect their themes to find out. 
  • What’s your budget? Are you willing to invest in a custom Shopify theme?
  • Can you manage the theme yourself? Do you need help with the technical side? Do you want immediate support whenever you have a question? 

There is no “one size fits all” strategy for choosing a theme because every business is unique, so take time to figure out the questions above to narrow down your options. 

Pro tip: Get inspired from established stores by using a Shopify theme detector to identify the theme they’re using. You’ll get a lot of ideas to build your own ecommerce store, for sure. 

26 best official Shopify themes for your ecommerce store

Shopify hosts a limited selection of themes on their website. These official Shopify themes go through intensive testing for quality and bugs. Usually, they sell at a premium pricepoint compared to non-approved themes — but offer merchants the most effortless and professional-looking stores. 

1) Mojave

Price: $350

Website: Mojave Shopify Theme

Mojave is a flexible, modern, premium Shopify theme designed by DigiFist. It’s built with fashion, health and beauty, apparel, and clothing brands in mind. Mojave’s modern design features a detailed product page with large images, clean lines, and minimalist fonts that will capture (and hold) your customer's attention. Mojave supports all the new Online Store 2.0 features, such as drag-and-drop sections and blocks to create custom pages in your store without special coding. Mojave comes with flexible, well-designed blocks for images, products, videos, quotes, and more.

Additional key features

  • Unlimited free trial and lifetime free theme updates
  • Compatible with Online Store 2.0
  • Over 20+ conversion-increasing features
Mojave Shopify theme

2) Retina

Price: $220

Website: Retina Shopify Theme

Retina Shopify theme

Developed by Out of the Sandbox, Retina is an ideal choice if you’re selling apparel or furniture and housewares. Retina offers four styles: Austin, Montreal, Melbourne, and Amsterdam, with different color palettes. 

Each style includes useful features like product recommendations, multiple home page videos, custom promotion tiles, product image zoom, and slide-out cart. You can also create a self-service FAQ page so customers can find answers to common questions themselves. 

If you choose Retina, you can be sure your ecommerce website is mobile-friendly and leveraging Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to reach more Shopify customers

Additional key features

  • Modern boutique mobile-friendly design
  • Simple setup and customization 
  • Testimonial sections and featured product callouts options

3) Flow

Price: $350

Website: Flow Shopify Theme

Flow Shopify theme

Flow offers three sharp and minimalist designs (Queenstown, Byron, and Cannes) that help your products stand out. This theme is great if you’re selling high-end items or you want to direct customers to unique features of your products. 

Flow allows you to feature a YouTube or Vimeo video on the homepage, display your products in a masonry-style grid, and showcase information about a specific collection with a page sidebar. You can also add a slide-out cart so your customers can easily add products to their shopping cart without leaving the current page. There is a promotional banner where you can set up to promote your latest offers.

Keep in mind that you can contact the Flow developers team via email only. The phone and video call support aren’t available. 

Additional key features

  • Ideal for high-volume stores, flash sales, and selling internationally
  • Easily customizable by utilizing drag-and-drop sections and blocks to create custom pages without coding
  • In-depth marketing and conversion features (back-in-stock alerts, blogs, promo pop-ups, promo tiles, etc.)

4) Paper

Price: $260

Website: Paper Shopify theme

Paper shopify theme

Paper is an easy-to-use and modern Shopify theme designed by Brickspace Lab. Paper’s clean and thoughtful design features large imagery with in-depth branding customizations. You will be able to take advantage of new Online Store 2.0 features and build custom templates with expertly designed drag-and-drop sections.

Additional key features

  • Unlimited free trial and lifetime free theme updates
  • Conversion-boosting design
  • Performance-optimized page speeds
  • Features to help you sell more, such as in-cart upsells

5) Parallax

Price: $240 

Website: Parallax Shopify Theme

Parallax Shopify theme

If you want to build a modern ecommerce site, think about Parallax. This theme offers a striking parallax scrolling effect, enhancing your brand’s style and making it more appealing to customers. 

Parallax offers four styles: Aspen, Madrid, Vienna, and Los Angeles. These styles share features like parallax effect, a multi-level menu, promotional banner, multiple homepage videos, and slide-out cart. 

Parallax is also developed by Out of the Sandbox, so you can be sure you’ll receive excellent customer support from the team.

Additional key features

  • In-depth creative control (full-width images, slideshows, video, testimonials, featured promotions, and more)
  • Slideout cart, quick shop, and promotional banners for ease of use for customers
  • Distinctive scrolling style for long-format home page layouts 

6) Taiga

Price: $350

Website: Taiga Shopify theme

Taiga Shopify theme

Taiga is a blazing-fast and mobile-first premium Shopify theme for D2C brands designed by award-winning Shopify Plus agency Woolman. It gives you outstanding visual freedom: over 10+ video-supporting sections with unparalleled access to define your design settings. Zero customized code to make your brand feel unique.

Taiga is developed for the needs of modern merchants. Quality code powers winning speed: two components you need as a fast-growing sustainable business.

Additional key features

  • Outstanding design settings
  • Lightning-fast speed and performance
  • Modern sections like Banner grid with video, Quick view, Countdown timer, Cart upsell, and Visual menu

7) Testament

Price: $260

Website: Testament Shopify Theme

Testament Shopify theme

Testament offers four styles (Genesis, Exodus, Revelation, and Deliverance), aiming to help you create a seamless shopping experience for your customers. 

Testament supports quick view, multi-column menu, color swatches, collection page sidebar, and homepage video. The theme comes with the sticky navigation feature, allowing you to keep menus fixed to the top of your page as you scroll down.

Additional key features

  • Designed for stores that process high amount of transactions in a specific time period
  • Visual storytelling elements 
  • Designed specifically for stores that do in-person selling

8) Prestige

Price: $350

Website: Prestige Shopify Theme

Prestige Shopify theme

Prestige is a premium Shopify theme designed for high-end ecommerce businesses and is great for businesses in clothing and accessories, health and beauty, as well as business equipment and supplies. It supports three styles (Allure, Couture, and Vogue) and is great for editorial content, visual storytelling, and physical stores.

Additional key features

  • Image hotspot linking: Drag hotspots to tag images, making it easier for customers to discover your products
  • Built-in timeline tool: Use this feature to tell the story of your brand
  • Optimized for larger images: Display high-resolution product images hassle-free
  • Homepage menu lists: Display menu lists on store homepage

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9) Impulse

Price: $350

Website: Impulse Shopify Theme

Impulse Shopify theme

Impulse is great if you often run promotion campaigns because it allows you to display custom promotions in different places in your store. 

Impulse allows you to display promotional content on collection pages and promote sales with custom promotion tiles. Its features also include homepage menu lists, collection sub-listing, custom collection sidebar filters, and pickup availability.

Additional key features

  • Designed for high-volume stores
  • In-depth marketing and merchandising features (promo features, customizable contact form, animation, product videos, and more)
  • Product discovery features like MegaMenu and sticky headers

10) Motion

Price: $350

Website: Motion Shopify Theme

Motion Shopify theme

If you want to use animation and video in your store, consider the Motion theme. It’s a premium Shopify theme designed and supported by Archetype Themes.

Motion includes many interesting features that aim to bring your brand to life regardless of catalog size, including multiple text, image, and page animations as well as multiple auto-play YouTube and videos on homepage.

Additional key features

  • Filter products by tag without reloading pages
  • Support high-resolution images
  • View product information in a pop-up
  • Visual storytelling 

11) Symmetry

Price: $320

Website: Symmetry Shopify Theme

Symmetry Shopify theme

Symmetry is another great Shopify theme for stores selling different product categories. It supports four styles: Salt Yard, Beatnik, Chantilly, and Duke. 

One of Symmetry’s best features is reorderable homepage rows, allowing you to display products, blog posts, or promotions in any order with customizable rows. Besides, this theme provides slideshow, long-form design, quick buy view, and multi-column menu.

Additional key features

  • Built specifically for OS 2.0
  • Ability to customize page tabs, metafields, size and price catalog filters, and more
  • Over 20 drag-and-drop sections to choose from

12) Envy

Price: $350

Website: Envy Shopify Theme

Envy Shopify theme

Envy offers an intuitive design with four styles: Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Gothenburg. It’s perfect for stores that focus on regular promotions and featured products. 

Envy features include display discounts, free gifts, and other promotional content with a pop-up or a banner as well as the ability to tag images using image hotspot linking. 

Additional key features

  • Help customers easily navigate through the store with a multi-level menu
  • Hover over a product image to zoom out
  • Optimize for smaller devices and mobile commerce

13) Atlantic

Price: $280

Website: Atlantic Shopify Theme

Atlantic Shopify theme

Atlantic is great for high-volume stores. It’s designed to help you grow and scale your business faster. 

Atlantic supports four styles (Organic, Light, Modern, and Chic). Features include a multi-column menu, slideshow, quick buy, modular-style homepage, and pickup availability. This theme receives many five-star reviews on the Shopify theme store because of its excellent customer support.

Additional key features

  • Perfect for product discovery with features like image zoom, live search, and multi-column menus
  • Ability to handle medium to large catalogs; ideal for growth
  • Uncluttered design 

14) Modular

Price: $300

Website: Modular Shopify Theme

Modular Shopify theme

Modular comes in three styles (Chelsa, Mayfair, and Hoxton) that are well-suited for a wide range of products. It also focuses on clean and minimalist design. 

Using Modular, you can give customers a better experience with scrolling between product pages, adding items to their carts without leaving pages (one tactic to help recover abandoned shopping carts), and quickly filtering products by brand, price, etc. You can also add customer testimonials to build trust with first-time shoppers. 

Additional key features

  • Cart notes and stick cart
  • Marketing features like back-in-stock alerts, blogs, FAQ page, press coverage, and more
  • In-depth product discovery options like breadcrumbs, enhanced search, MegaMenu, and product filtering and sorting 

15) Empire

Price: $340

Website: Empire Shopify Theme

Empire Shopify theme

Designed and supported by Pixel Union, Empire allows you to create a store that offers customers the same shopping experience as Amazon. Empire comes with three styles (Graphic, Supply, and Industrial) optimized for stores with large catalogs. Empire offers features like homepage menu lists, pickup availability, live search, advanced product filtering, and quick add-to-cart functionality.

Additional key features

  • User-friendly, responsive design made specifically for dropshippers 
  • Many predefined color pallets and controls to create custom color schemes 
  • Integration with Shopify product ratings and reviews app

16) Pipeline

Price: $320

Website: Pipeline Shopify Theme

Pipeline Shopify theme

Pipeline is another minimalist Shopify theme with parallax effect scrolling and three unique styles (Light, Bright, and Dark). This theme is best suited for stores with a large number of products. 

Like many other themes in this list, Pipeline offers a multi-column drop-down menu, a modular-style homepage, and advanced product filtering. The theme also supports large images, which means those images fit seamlessly into your pages.

Additional key features

  • Optimized for mobile commerce
  • Designed for stores that sell internationally as well as in physical stores
  • Flexible, well-designed blocks for ease of customization 

17) District

Price: $220

Website: District Shopify Theme

District Shopify theme

No matter what you’re selling, the District Shopify Theme could be great for your shop if you have large catalogs and a desire to showcase featured products and collections. District features Shopify’s Online Store 2.0, which uses drag-and-drop sections to create custom pages without coding.

Additional key features

  • Flexible, well-designed blocks to spotlight images, products, videos, and quotes and support digital storytelling
  • Cart notes, quick buy, and in-store pick up options
  • In-depth marketing, conversion, merchandising, and product discovery features

18) Icon

Price: $260

Website: Icon Shopify Theme

Icon Shopify theme

If you’re looking for a Shopify theme to highlight images and other content, Icon may be perfect for you — especially if you’re also in the fashion, health and beauty, or home and garden industries. Icon is also uniquely set up for stores with large catalogs and dropshippers. This theme also features numerous marketing and conversion features like promo banners, in-menu promos, cross-selling, blogs, back-in-stock alerts, quickview, FAQ page, and store locator.

Additional key features

  • Visually striking design
  • Quick and easy launch with minimal steps required
  • Extensive merchandising and product discovery features like image galleries, image zoom, lookbooks, MegaMenu, product filtering, and infinite scroll

19) Responsive

Price: $240

Website: Responsive Shopify Theme

Responsive Shopify theme

Looking for a focus on your products? You may want to check out the Responsive Shopify theme as it puts your products and brand at the forefront, utilizing full-width imagery. Responsive is ideal for fashion, beauty, and sports and recreation shops with large catalogs. Even better, the Responsive theme looks stunning on every screen across devices. 

Additional key features

  • Wide-layout with features like image zoom, hero videos, and promo banners
  • Highly customizable layouts, typography, and featured promotions
  • Editorial content capabilities with longer-form text sections for storytelling

7 more non-official Shopify themes for your ecommerce store

Merchants can also find themes that aren’t in Shopify’s official theme library. These themes are often high-quality (especially those with a many reviews and high ratings, like the ones below) and usually a bit less expensive. But they aren’t vetted by Shopify, and therefore may be a little rougher around the edges. 

1) Vendy

Price: $77

Website: Vendy Shopify Theme

Vendy Shopify theme (unofficial)

Vendy is a premium multipurpose Shopify theme for fashion. It’s developed for comfortable use and flawless online store creation. Even if you are not tech-savvy at all, with Vendy you can launch a store of any complexity. Plus, this theme is perfect for dropshipping

What’s more? Vendy is a synonym for “responsive clean design.” Also, Vendy allows flexible editing in the Shopify Visual Builder and the number of pre-made layouts. Without a doubt, you will like varied page templates, catchy web forms, product wish lists and lists, and other perks. As well, this Shopify theme for fashion is packed with unique lookbook and blog templates. Just try it and customize it as you prefer!

Additional key features

  • MegaMosaic section
  • Dynamic filtering system
  • Header and footer customization

2) Ella

Price: $89

Website: Ella Shopify Theme

Ella Shopify theme (unofficial)

Ella offers +17 homepage layouts, +16 child themes, +7 category pages, +10 product pages, multiple headers and footers, and more. It’s an all-in-one Shopify theme, ideal for any stylish fashion and clothing stores. 

Ella allows you to design your store using features like quick shop, quick edit cart, quick update car, multiple languages, multiple currencies, product recommendation, upsell bundle, etc. This theme also includes smart search and suggestion features, enhancing the shopping experience.

Additional key features

  • Over 22 homepage layouts and skins, including child themes
  • Frequently bought together feature and upsell bundle with discount options
  • Before-you-leave pop-up capability 

3) Shella

Price: $79

Website: Shella Shopify Theme

Shella Shopify theme (unofficial)

When it comes to Shopify themes for fashion, Shella can be considered one of the best. This theme is developed with fashion in mind, meaning everything on it is optimized to help you get your fashion stores noticed. 

Here is what makes Shella worth checking out:

  • More than 89 pre-designed pages for layouts, collection pages, product pages, blog, gallery, and other pages
  • Strong integration with dropshipping apps like Printiful, Privy, Dropshipper, Shopzie
  • Conversion optimization features like countdown timers, number left in stock, free shipping progress bar
  • Vertical MegaMenu, four levels for navigation menu, blocks for homepage, product filter options (title, description, price, vendor, type, and tags), and more

Additional key features

  • Great for dropshipping
  • MegaMenu
  • Price and stock countdown

4) Basel

Price: $99

Website: Basel Shopify Theme

Basel Shopify theme (unofficial)

With plenty of design options, Basel allows you to design your store in many different ways. For example, Basel supports the drag-and-drop page builder, making it easy for you to add/remove/replace elements on pages. It also comes with several header variations, colors, and backgrounds. 

Additional key features

  • AJAX search, color swatches, product quick view, and 360-degree view
  • 30 ready-to-use layouts, four blog styles, seven portfolio styles, four product hover effects
  • Instagram widget, Twitter widget, testimonial slide, styled banners shortcode 
  • Developed with SCSS

5) Porto

Price: $99

Website: Porto Shopify Theme

Porto Shopify theme (unofficial)

Porto is a popular Shopify theme used by more than 45,000 ecommerce merchants. It’s built with amazing UI and UX experience and is continuously being updated. 

Porto’s highlight features:

  • +20 modern and classic demo concepts
  • Optimized for speed performance 
  • Bunch of collections and product detail page variations
  • MegaMenu and vertical MegaMenu

Additional key features

  • Fully responsive with any mobile device 
  • Powerful admin panel
  • Unlimited colors and skins 
  • RTL support, testimonial slide, AJAX loading, Google Fonts integration

6) Wokiee

Price: $89

Website: Wokiee Shopify Theme

Wokiee Shopify theme (unofficial)

As a Premium Shopify theme, Wokiee is not your basic theme; it can act as a powerful design tool to help your business grow. Even with its in-depth premium features, it is still easy to create fast, responsive, and mobile-friendly websites to provide a top-notch user experience. 

Additional key features

  • Full control through your own content management system, which allows for customization of navigation, site content, images, products, and more
  • Over 80 predefined skins and layouts
  • MegaMenu, instagram shop, wishlist, related products, and more

7) Roxxe

Price: $59

Website: Roxxe Shopify Theme

Roxxe Shopify theme (unofficial)

The Roxxe Shopify theme is a versatile choice for a shop that wants options but also desires a robust yet modern look. Roxxe has over 70 pre-built homepages, as well as 50 pre-designed layouts with sections you can rearrange and combine as you see fit. Needless to say, Roxxe is a fairly simple theme to use that also comes with plenty of easy-to-follow instructions. 

Additional key features

  • Fully responsive and option for retina-ready pages 
  • MegaMenu and customization in footer area to make newsletter subscription simple
  • Quick-view option for customers to review product details in a lightbox pop-up without leaving the page they’re on

Take your Shopify Store to the next level with Gorgias

There you have it! We hope this list of the best Shopify themes made it easier to find what you need to get your online shop up and running. And check out our guide on Shopify vs. Shopify Plus if you're interested in additional ways to customize your site beyond these themes. As you continue building your brand and updating your website based on the needs of your customers, you’ll also want to review your customer service process. 

Luckily, you can tap into a Shopify helpdesk app like Gorgias to level up. 

Gorgias’ customer service platform is uniquely positioned to help Shopify owners with all of their customer service needs, from automating your most common tasks to using machine learning to better help customers. 

Learn more about Gorgias for Shopify stores.

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