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Consumers on Live Chat: Try It, You’ll Like It

Posted on 3.21.2010

A whopping 77 percent of consumers participating in the second annual Live Chat Effectiveness Report said that utilizing the technology during online shopping positively influenced their attitude toward the e-tailer that provided the service. That was just one conclusion drawn from questions posed to more than 1,000 U.S.-based Internet shoppers in a blind survey funded by Bold Software, the makers of BoldChat and other communications tools designed to help online businesses connect with customers.

The report also found that the majority of consumers (52 percent) are accepting of the practice, and that when the data is filtered to create sub-groups of respondents, live chat is especially effective for the following retailer types (listed alphabetically):

•    Computers/electronics
•    Flowers/gifts
•    Food/drug
•    Hardware/home improvement
•    Health/beauty
•    Housewares/furnishings
•    Jewelry
•    Office supplies
•    Sporting goods

Customers using the technology prior to making a purchase went up 7 percentage points since last year’s research, and a 15-percent rise was seen in those chatters agreeing that they purchased as a direct result of their most recent chat session. The report also concluded that those who have engaged in an online chat with a retailer are more likely to have higher household incomes, be older than 30, and be college educated. Additionally, shoppers that have previously had a chat are more likely to spend more on their purchases, either on an average transaction basis or in a single transaction.

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