Data about the impact of customer service on e-commerce

10/21/2016 - Beatriz Rojo

96% of Americans shop online, a number that seems like anyone can jump into the market without worrying about failure because there are 16 million buyers they can conquer. For anyone who thinks this is easy, think again.

If there’s one good thing about e-commerce, it can handle an amount of visits that would be impossible in a brick and mortar store but, of all the potential customers entering an online store, only between 1 and 3% end up making a purchase. An e-commerce’s conversion is still very complicated because shoppers are doubtful and distrusting, which translates into their vanishing point.

Until now the online sales model has been governed by self-service. The customer has a whole catalog available to make a purchase that’s motivated by the store’s prices, refund policy, and shipping costs (free is best).

As such, no one is in charge of boosting sales or resolving customer questions, their only job is to stand out from the competition. If this wouldn’t be the case in a physical store, why would it be any different on the Internet?

We have to start being aware of how far customer service can influence an online shopping experience. If there is no customer service department there to help, customers might leave empty-handed. When there is an agent available to solve the problem, customers follow through with the purchase.

The customer service channels with the highest satisfaction levels in the US are livechat (73%), email (61%), and phone (44%). However, though customers that use livechat are satisfied, only 24% of businesses use it.

info-satisfaction-levels-us

But what does this mean? If the agent isn’t there when the customer needs help, their frustration will take them to another e-commerce to make their purchases. However, if we respond on time and give them the right solutions, we will improve their experience, increase their intent to make a purchase, and boost customer loyalty.

Data and positive outcomes

According to our customers’ experience, likening the online experience to one in a physical store increases clients’ conversion because the agent guides them through the entire purchasing process. As such, the agent is able to reduce cart abandonment to 33% from the normal 55-80%. How can you achieve this and increase your conversion rate?

  1. An agent makes sure more sales get finalized. They include several access points on your web page encouraging customers to engage in conversation with the customer service team. Of all the customers who contacted an agent through Oct8ne, 2.9% did so directly from the livechat; but there was another 2.97% that connected through the History Bar and 1.53% via Assisted Search. The more engagements there are to redirect a customer, the higher the multiplication percentage.
  1. Focus on customer service to increase sales. When an agent tends to a customer, 4.5% end up making a purchase. However, if agents advise users and recommend a number of products, intent to purchase is multiplied by each item the customer is shown and the number of finalized purchases increases to 15% or 20%.
  1. Act like a salesperson. The average amount that an online shopper in Spain spends is 75 €, but if an agent helps the customer and applies up-selling and cross-selling techniques, the mean value of the total purchase increases by 60%, meaning their average expenditure would go up to 120€. In addition to accompanying the client, if the agent promotes sales by showing complementary or better, more expensive products, the impact of customer service will undoubtedly be reflected in revenue.
  1. Don’t demand contact details. Many online stores don’t allow you to contact customer service without first leaving your name, email, and sometimes even your phone number. This obstacle means that only 0.2% leave their data in the contact form. Meanwhile, if there’s an available agent conversing with the client and building trust, the conversion of valid leads increases up to 4%.
  1. Promote interaction until the end. When a prospective buyer doesn’t interact with an agent, the possibility of that person returning to the e-commerce is reduced to 5%. But, in addition to giving good customer service, if the agent entices the customer by sending a summary of the interaction as well as the products seen during the consultation, 70% of those customers will return within a month

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