Bold Software Releases Holiday Readiness 2010 Research Report

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Findings Offer E-Tailer Perspective on Plans and Best Practices for Holiday Season

Bold Software Releases Holiday Readiness 2010 Research Report; Findings Offer E-Tailer Perspective on Plans and Best Practices for Holiday Season

It’s our responsibility to examine the challenges and opportunities website owners are facing with the impending holiday season. The findings will help website owners better understand what they need to be doing to drive conversion.

Bold Software today announced findings from their 2010 holiday readiness research. One key finding that drives home the importance of live chat software for website owners: when it comes to changes that companies are making to their website to prepare for the holiday rush, live chat optimization ranked higher on e-tailer to-do lists than Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Specific to live chat, the top best practice that website owners will focus on is evaluating their library of canned messages.

“As a leader in this space, it’s our responsibility to examine the challenges and opportunities website owners are facing with the impending holiday season,” said Bold Software President and CEO Steve Castro-Miller. “The findings will help website owners better understand what they need to be doing to drive conversion, which is more critical than ever during the holiday season.”

In August 2010, Bold Software fielded a survey taken by 410 customers, representing more than 300 individual companies. Feedback from a diverse cross-section was synthesized, including a sample that consisted of 57 percent pure eCommerce companies, 12 percent from large live chat implementations (those consisting of 10+ concurrent chat operators) and 28 percent who are chat operator supervisors or IT administrators.

Holiday Readiness 2010 Key Findings

  •     E-tailers have a better outlook this year; most website owners (61%) believe that the 2010 holiday season will be a better one than 2009
  •     Discounts, targeted product sales, and shipping offers will be the most frequent promotions utilized across the board
  •     The top five things ecommerce customers are doing to prepare for the holidays include:
  •     Moderate Design Changes
  •     Site Navigation
  •     Landing Pages
  •     Optimization of Live Chat
  •     Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Best Practices for Live Chat during the Holiday Season
Across the board, evaluating canned messages is at the top of the list for examination of live chat implementations. Beyond that, website owners plan to:

  •     Empower chat agents to offer incentives
  •     Invite visitors to chat via proactive invitations
  •     Optimize proactive chat rules
  •     Make more use of co-browsing to better assist shoppers

Website owners should also consider the following key learnings, culled from research, as they prepare for the holidays:
1.    Live chat is a relied upon business tool. In research with regular internet shoppers, it has been shown repeatedly that once a shopper engages with live chat technology, they begin to rely on it across many different shopping scenarios. The same sentiment seems to be shared by the companies that use live chat as a communication mechanism and sales channel. Live chat optimization is among the most important preparations these companies will make – and ahead of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
2.    Larger live chat implementations need to get started early: Customers with 10 or more concurrent chat operators face challenges forcing them to prepare earlier for the holiday shopping season. The need to deal with larger volumes of qualified chats, more conversions, and likely larger libraries of canned messages drives these companies to hire as well as implement a series of operational processes which take more time to complete.
3.    Proactive chat is the “next step” for companies who have experience with the technology. Many live chat users cut their teeth with reactive chat and learn quickly that driving more chat volume is advantageous. Proactive implementation is the logical next step.

Last week, Bold Software announced availability of the 6.5 release of the Bold Software client application, including Sale Recovery technology that allows businesses to identify and recover missed chat opportunities, as well as an adaptive messaging feature that enables chat operators to select the most appropriate canned messages quickly, from a library that learns over time.

To learn more, download the full holiday readiness research report.

About BoldChat:
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 including 3M, American Cancer Society, Corel, Dean & DeLuca, and ViewSonic. For more information about Bold Software, go to http://www.BoldSoftware.com or call 1-866-753-9933.

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