BoldChat Shares Most Comprehensive Findings on Live Chat Effectiveness

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More Than 250 Online Shoppers Speak, Highlighting Key Conclusions for E-tailers. Today, BoldChat announced their release of the industry's most comprehensive research on the effectiveness of live chat technology, highlighting a direct correlation between live chat and a growth in sales for online retailers. For example, the findings show that once a shopper has used live chat, more than 2/3rds will actively look for websites that provide it as an option.

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We're proud to share these remarkable findings with the market

Today, BoldChat announced their release of the industry's most comprehensive research on the effectivness of live chat technology, highlighting a direct correlation between live chat and a growth in sales for online retailers. For example, the findings show that once a shopper has used live chat, more than 2/3rds will actively look for websites that provide it as an option.

"We're proud to share these remarkable findings with the market," said Bravestorm President and CEO Steve Castro-Miller. "Our goal was to quantitatively examine the efficacy of live chat through the filter of prospective buyer behavior. We were interested to know for instance, how much of a role it plays in boosting conversions. We also wanted to understand whether live chat could be tied to brand loyalty. The survey was carefully structured to get honest feedback straight from online consumers and we believe the results provide insight into the positive impact that live chat software can deliver for online retailers."

In January 2009, Bravestorm, LLC funded a blind survey of more than 250 regular internet shoppers using an opt-in, third party panel. Out of this live chat research, five key conclusions can be drawn:

First, live chat is influential during the sales cycle. Throughout the research, respondents indicated that live chat positively impacts their likelihood to purchase. In fact, 58% of the entire sample said that if a website offered live chat, that fact alone would positively influence their decision to make a purchase. Further, the findings show that the scenarios for which respondents are most likely to engage in chat are more sales than support oriented. Chat is the most preferred communication method when a visitor is having trouble finding an item or experiencing an error during checkout, for example.

Next, online merchants not offering live chat are missing desirable opportunities. Those that shop more frequently online and those that spend more - measured either by the average amount they spend when shopping, or the greatest amount they've ever transacted in a single purchase - are more likely to choose live chat in sales interactions and they rank its positive influence much higher than other groups.

Third, live chat has a loyalty effect, particularly with desirable shoppers. The survey shows that people who have had experience with live chat are more likely to return to, and make repeat purchases from sites that offer the option. In general, chatters choose the technology over other methods during the sales cycle. More than half of those surveyed cited that they are more likely to trust a website that offers live chat and that they in fact prefer to shop at sites that offer the option of live chat.

Moving on, live chat may be even more critical to service companies than it is to e-tailers. Many website features which respondents indicated would influence their decision to buy are not relevant to service-only companies, such as product images or product catalogue searching. As a result, live chat's importance is even greater for service organizations such as law firms, accountants, and others.

Finally, retailers with live chat can improve results by following a few consumer-driven best practices. The report discovered half a dozen ways in which retailers can optimize their live chat software implementation.

To learn more, download the full research findings at: boldchat.com.

About Bravestorm and BoldChat:
Bravestorm, makers of BoldChat, offers live communication software, including live chat, click to call and email management tools which enable businesses to take control over customer interactions and drive sales for businesses conducting sales and support online. Bravestorm's suite of offerings is designed with a flexible breadth of capabilities that allow clients to customize and manipulate the software to meet their specific needs. The company is headquartered in Wichita, KS, with customers around the world. For more information about BoldChat, please visit http://www.boldchat.com or call 1-866-753-9933.

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