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Chat Increases Conversions But It's Not That Simple

Posted on 10.28.2009

Bold Software, which produces Bold Chat, released its Live Chat Performance Benchmarks report this week and it provides valuable insight into the relationship between online chat and website visitors. The biggest takeaway from the report is that online visitors who participate in chat are four times more likely to convert. But the challenge is getting them to chat since the median of those who actually participate is 1.8 percent.

Bold Software took it a step further and looked at reactive versus proactive chat. Reactive chat is defined by the company as being initiated by the online visitor whereas proactive chat is when a visitor accepts an invitation to chat. The median of those who accept proactive invitations is 6 percent, however this number can be improved by button placement and timing of invitation.

By placing more chat buttons throughout the site, merchants can increase the acceptance rate – 47 percent on or after the second page. And by timing when to provide the invitation, you can positively or negatively affect the response rate. Seventy-nine percent accept after being on a site for two to three minutes.

In August, Website Magazine reported on a survey by Harris Interactive and IMShopping that found 77 percent of respondents wanted assistance making an online purchase. And by not getting the assistance they want, 52 percent said it could prevent them from buying.

So online consumers want assistance, but providing that assistance proves to be a science. Working with your chat provider can help you meet the needs of online consumers and increase your conversions.

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