Reducing cart abandonment feels like a balancing act as you try to analyze and control every shopper-facing variable. From the color of your calls-to-action to the load-time of each page, each little thing has a big impact on conversion rates.
While you can spend weeks testing different aesthetics to make a big impact on your site’s conversion rate, it’s always a good idea to assess your user experience and brainstorm ways to reduce resistance in your conversion flow. A leading cause of funnel friction is unanswered purchase concerns, and one of the most effective methods of addressing these concerns is chat support.
Today, we’re going to review a recent report on chat support conducted by the web-based reviewer of CRM systems, SoftwareAdvice.com, and discuss the advantages of real-time customer assistance.
Reasons for Cart Abandonment
Before we dive into chat support, let’s talk about cart abandonment at large. By surveying abandoning users and analyzing thousands of shopping behavior samples, we’ve found the following factors contribute most to shopping cart abandonment:
- Product/Shipping Cost Ratio (33.1%)
- Additional Charges (23.5%)
- Comparison Shopping (16.9%)
- Not Ready to Purchase (12.3%)
- Unclear Return Policy (6.9%)
- Didn’t Want to Register (5.8%)
- Other (1.5%)
Of these Top 5 reasons for cart abandonment, chat support channels address three:
- Support representatives can clarify any and all charges on an order, reducing frustrations surrounding perceived additional charges. (2)
- Customer support can help shoppers feel more comfortable and, if authorized, can provide small incentives to convince hesitant consumers. (4)
- Support representatives can provide answers to any lingering policy questions. (5)
Reducing Cart Abandonment with Chat Support
Offering instant and accurate answers to shopper concerns has proven to increase conversions by as much as 25%. Of course, simply adding chat support to a website doesn’t guarantee massive conversion lifts for everybody. Let’s take a look at some the factors that can determine chat effectiveness on your site.
Average Customer Age
In a recent survey conducted by Software Advice, roughly 60% of respondents aged 18-34 said that they’d used chat support at least once. According to the charted results (reproduced below), an extremely small fraction of those users had done so without success.
If your average customer age is somewhere between 18 and 34 years old, you should strongly consider the addition of chat support.
Common Customer Queries
No matter what you’re selling, chances are that visitors have questions they want answered before they convert. Take another look at your current, typical interactions with support-seeking shoppers. What kinds of questions are most common? Who’s asking the questions most frequently?
As you can see in the chart above, the majority of shoppers under age 44 prefer chat support, particularly for simple queries. Even among the most averse demographic (shoppers aged 65+), over a fifth of shoppers prefer live chat for simple queries.
If your common customer-service interactions involve policy questions and other simple queries, chat support may be a perfect solution.
Types of Chat Support
As you can see, chat support is an extremely valuable tool. With effective engagements that keep shoppers from having to go search for help, chat support helps reduce cart abandonment.
Now let’s discuss the types of chat support available.
By assisting customers without any wait times, automated chat gives vendors an unparalleled ability to assist a large volume of customers without expensive manpower.
Automated chat support has come a long way since the AIM bots that sometimes come to mind. UpSellit’s SmartAgent® automated chat engine analyzes sentence structure and conversational context to identify true meaning. Drawing on an extensive knowledgebase, SmartAgent® can be programmed to answer as many questions as necessary.
While providing 24/7 simulated live chat support has quantifiable cost advantages, there are a few key considerations. SmartAgent® excels at business-related questions such as return policies, shipping concerns, and privacy policies, however, specific product questions can stump automated chat support. The various top-of-funnel questions that come from a shopper in the awareness or research phase are often beyond the scope of an automated chat agent.
Live chat support is a powerful tool for serving up answers to complex questions. With adequate resources and training, live chat operators can provide real-time expertise to a long list of products and solutions.
The success of a live chat support campaign hinges on technology and training. Managing peak hours to avoid long wait times, routing chats to the appropriate expert, and a library of macros are crucial to providing a positive experience. If you develop intelligent processes and hire experienced staff, your live chat support will provide real-time assistance for a fraction of the cost of phone support.
Abandonment Reducing Qualities
Regardless of the chat solution you choose, it must exhibit the following two qualities:
Shoppers abandon after just three seconds of load-time on a website. The average e-commerce checkout experiences significant performance drop-off after 5 steps. According tests done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in 2013, the average human attention span is 8 seconds.
People want help, but they want it fast. No matter the support channel, make sure questions are resolved as soon as possible.
2. Conversion Focus
It’s in the name; “customer support” should always be about helping the shopper. That being said, a company’s ultimate rationale behind helping shoppers is that they want to net more business. It’s important to remember that customer support should ultimately steer consumers towards the conversion.
The support options in the cart should not take consumers further away from the purchase, but should help facilitate forward movement. Yes, help consumers, but do so in the flow of purchase.
No matter which chat solution you select, the bottom line is that you must keep shoppers on the cart page to reduce cart abandonment. Don’t move the finish line further away due to a single service hiccup; keep shoppers near checkout and expediently address any concerns.
For more information on reducing cart abandonment or effective automated chat solutions, contact UpSellit.
Written by Bryan Gudmundson