Bold Software’s Latest Report Concludes Certain Categories of Internet Retailers May Find Live Chat More Effective

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From Jewelry to Housewares, Internet Retailers Employing Live Chat Confirm Results

Bold Software’s Latest Report Concludes Certain Categories of Internet Retailers May Find Live Chat More Effective; From Jewelry to Housewares, Internet Retailers Employing Live Chat Confirm Results

In our second year putting live chat under the microscope from a consumer’s perspective, we wanted to look at the data in some different ways in order to help website owners understand the value of live chat on their site specifically

Bold Software recently announced the second annual release of a report detailing the industry’s most comprehensive research on the effectiveness of live chat technology. From this research five key conclusions can be drawn, and one of them focuses on the type of businesses where live chat can be particularly effective.

“In our second year putting live chat under the microscope from a consumer’s perspective, we wanted to look at the data in some different ways in order to help website owners understand the value of live chat on their site specifically,” said Bold Software President and CEO Steve Castro-Miller. “When we filtered the data to create sub-groups of respondents indicating that they had recently shopped at particular types of retail sites, we saw convincing evidence that live chat drives sales across all retailer types but can be even more effective for some. For instance, 65 percent of shoppers at hardware and home improvement sites indicated live chat positively influences them to purchase.”

Out of the entire survey population, 56 percent reported that live chat technology had this effect. For the following types of e-tailers, however, the study found that live chat technology has a higher impact on purchase intent.

  •     Hardware/Home Improvement (65 percent)
  •     Health/Beauty (63 percent)
  •     Office Supplies (62 percent)
  •     Computers/Electronics (60 percent)
  •     Flowers/Gifts (60 percent)
  •     Jewelry (59 percent)
  •     Food/Drug (59 percent)
  •     Housewares/Furnishings (58 percent)
  •     Sporting Goods (58 percent)

E-tailer Take on the Research
The research report’s findings are borne out by the companies that employ live chat.

Health: Boston Green Goods, an Internet Retailer Top 500 company, has been in business for 12 years and owns a portfolio of healthy living catalog and internet web properties. AllergyBuyersClub.com is the flagship division of the company focusing on allergy relief products. “We were one of the early adopters of live chat, and began been using it in 2004 for AllergyBuyersClub.com,” said Boston Green Goods Chief Operations Officer Robert Scott. “Our use of it is pretty sophisticated, with lots of business rules for how and when to engage shoppers, because we’ve been at it for a while and we know what works. We’ve always seen live chat as both a customer service and a sales tool, but the ultimate goal in implementing BoldChat in 2007 (we worked with two other providers earlier, but have since chosen and stayed with BoldChat for a number of reasons) was driving conversion, and it’s paid off on that front.”

Office supplies: ReStockIt.com is a leading retailer that sells office, restaurant and cleaning supplies to small businesses. “Live chat is definitely an important communication channel that helps us serve our customers,” said Adam Flam, Customer Service Manager, ReStockIt.com. “The fact that we offer live chat links on every page of the website builds credibility and trust with site visitors. It lets them know that we are here to answer any questions or concerns they may have when visiting our site.”

Gifts: Richard Gladstone, co-founder of Applause Theatre & Entertainment Service, was skeptical of live chat when an SEO consultant initially recommended it almost three years ago. “We rolled it out as a customer service tool, but it’s also turned out to be a great sales tool for us. There’s a low barrier for entry into this business, but through live chat we can really connect with the customers, and when we do that, they understand how well we know this industry. We’ve been specializing in Broadway ticket sales for 32 years now and our team really understands how to get people the best seats at the best prices. It’s turned out to be an excellent way to talk to our customers and prospective customers.”

Jewelry: “From my perspective, we’ve definitely benefitted as a result of implementing live chat on our website four years ago,” commented Osher Karnowsky, general manager for Jomashop, another Internet Retailer 500. Jomashop leverages live chat to set themselves apart from less-established competitors in the marketplace. Karnowsky continued, “Once they shop with us and understand how well we know the products – particularly the brand name watches - and how well we price them, we get a lot of repeat business. BoldChat enables us to really enhance that customer shopping experience, and we’ve seen increased customer satisfaction, a higher rate of conversions, and higher value orders as a result. For me, live chat is a ‘must have’ these days, not just a ‘nice to have’.”

Housewares/Furnishings: Furniture and mattress e-tailer U.S. Mattress began considering live chat a few years ago when their customer service center was so consistently busy that they needed another channel for customers to reach them. U.S. Mattress Production Line Specialist Bobby Mercader and his team were still hesitant though. “Our typical customer is not internet savvy, so we were unsure whether they’d embrace live chat, but that turned out to be unfounded,” commented Mercader. “Within a month of implementing BoldChat we had to retrain phone operators to handle the volume of chat we were getting. Additionally, we’ve grown where and when you can take advantage of live chat. For instance, putting live chat into our shopping cart has reduced abandonment.”

About Live Chat Effectiveness II
In January 2010, Bold Software funded a blind survey of more than 1,000 regular, U.S.-based internet shoppers using an opt-in, third party panel. To learn more, download the full live chat 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.BoldSoft.com or call 1-866-753-9933.

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