Bold Software Releases Second Annual Holiday Readiness Research Report

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Year-over-Year Findings Reveal Dramatically Different View of Large E-Tailer Holiday Plans But Demonstrate that Live Chat is Key for Merchants Year-Round

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Bold Software today announced findings from their second annual holiday readiness research, which surveyed more than 600 users representing more than 400 unique companies including more than 250 eCommerce firms. Significant findings focused on larger companies’ plans for the season and the channel’s ability to support sales.

Large Retailers’ Views on the Season
Particularly noteworthy from the research is that larger companies, firms defined as having 10 or more concurrent live chat operators, said that this upcoming holiday shopping season is less important than it was in 2010, and that a significant amount less than the year prior are actively planning for it.

These responses are interesting against other responses from large companies, specifically:

  •     80% agreed that live chat increases in importance during the holidays.
  •     76% agreed that live chat volume increases.
  •     79% agreed that live chat sales conversions increase during the season.

“Why, if live chat plays an increasingly important role over the shopping season for larger firms, don’t many respondents see the season as important, or actively prepare for it? We believe the answer is simply because these customers have come to realize that live chat interactions are always important, regardless of the time of year,” said Matt Tharp, director of client services for Bold Software. “Consumer findings from our third annual Live Chat Effectiveness report coupled with a recent survey of merchants conducted by the etailing group support the idea that larger companies offering live chat are taking the channel seriously at all times – the holiday season being no different.”

Live Chat Drives Sales
Users of live chat overwhelmingly agree that the technology generates quality conversations and, in turn, more sales:

  •     73% of respondents (up from 69%) said that the season drives more live chat conversions.
  •     eCommerce firms plan to use live chat more for sales or sales and support than solely for support this holiday season, as compared to 2010, with 15% planning to use it for sales only (10% in 2010), 73% for both sales and support (69% in 2010), and 12% for support only (21% last year).

Additional Key Findings Include:

  •     Overall, the holiday shopping season remains important to a significant amount of respondents, with 50% saying it is either somewhat or very important.
  •      “Discounts” and “Specific Product Promotions” were, again, the top two planned activities amongst survey takers.
  •     “Shipping Offers” was surprisingly supplanted by a new choice available in the 2011 survey. Every group of customers chose “Internet-only Specials” as the third planned promotion for the upcoming holiday season.
  •     The top five things website owners are focusing on to prepare for the holidays include:

o    Moderate Design Changes
o    Landing Pages
o    Site Navigation
o    Optimization of Live Chat
o    Site Search

  •     For the second year in a row, SEO was surprisingly low on the list of holiday preparations. It’s quite possible, if not likely, that SEO is a year-round focus like live chat, and not specific to the holiday season.

To learn more, download the full research findings at: Holiday Readiness Report.

About Bold Software:
Bold Software LLC, is a leading provider of world-class web communication tools designed to help businesses improve online support and increase sales. Using Bold Software’s live chat, click-to-call, email management, and active co-browsing tools, businesses can quickly and effectively engage visitors on their website. Bold Software sells a wide variety of competitively-priced products under the BoldChat, BoldCall, and BoldCCM brand names. Businesses of all sizes - from small proprietorships to large ecommerce enterprises – can provide more intelligent online customer interactions and close more sales using Bold Software solutions. The company is headquartered in Wichita, KS, with thousands of customers around the world. For more information about Bold Software, go to http://www.BoldSoftware.com or call 1-866-753-9933.

Media Contact:
Jessica Mularczyk                    
Tier One Partners for Bold Software
508-498-9300
jmularczyk(at)tieronepr(dot)com

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