A new study analyzes the importance of implementing live chat into an online business model, especially during the holiday season.
The Bold Software study shows that large retailers, which are defined by having 10 or more concurrent live chat operators, surprisingly claim that this holiday season is less important than it was in 2010, and therefore are spending less time preparing for the season.
Although large companies claim not to be preparing as much for the 2011 holiday season, 80 percent still agree that live chat increases in importance during the holiday season. Furthermore, 76 percent of companies agree that the volume for live chat increases during the holiday season, and 79 percent agree that live chat sale conversions increase during the holidays as well.
The survey also found that 15 percent of e-commerce firms plan to use live chat for sales rather than support this holiday season, which is up from 10 percent in 2010. Seventy-three percent plan on using live chat for both sales and support, which is up from 69 percent in 2010, and 12 percent plan on using live chat for support only, which is down from last year’s 21 percent.
“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,” says 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.”
Additional key findings from the report found that the top two planned activities amongst survey takers for the holiday season are “discounts” and “specific product promotions,” with Internet-only specials coming in third amid top planned promotions.
The top five things that website owners are focusing on to prepare for the holidays include moderate design changes, landing pages, site navigation, optimization of live chat and site search.
For more 2011 holiday-related articles, check out:
Five Steps to a Successful Holiday Email Campaign
Report Gives Insight for the 2011 Holiday Season
5 Social Media Tips for the Holiday Season