eCommerce Cultivated | Episode 008

Why You Should Use Live Chat For Your Online Store

Want to stand out in the online space and wow your customers? One way to win over customers is through amazing customer service. Using an eCommerce live chat option can increase your overall customer experience. Tune in and listen as we go over:

  • The benefits of having a live chatbox on your eCommerce site.
  • Training and staffing your live chat hours
  • Plus more

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Show Transcript

Hi, welcome back to today’s episode. I hope you have had a great week since the last time that we chatted and that things are going very well for you. I am excited today to chat with you about chat boxes or live chat and all those things when it comes to your e-commerce experience. It is very important that your customers, when they land on your website, feel like they have someone there to answer questions, to take care of their concerns and chat.

Having a live chat can be a great way to make sure that that is facilitated in your business. So I’m excited to chat with you today about that. So let’s talk a bit about what live chat is.

What is Live Chat for eCommerce?

Essentially, it’s just a little app that is on your website where people can type in a question and get access to a live person to talk with. Think about it, you have to kind of replicate the experience of going into a physical store, online, because once you go into a physical store, you’ll have a sales associate that’s there to address your questions. But when you’re online, you land on someone’s eCommerce website there’s no one there. So having that little live chat option is just almost like replicating that in-store experience.

So we’re going to talk about that and how it is beneficial to your business. 

Why Live Chat is Beneficial for Your eCommerce Business

So right now, e-commerce is growing like crazy because people are putting their goods online. And so there’s lots and lots of stores opening. There are people that are transitioning from brick and mortar locations to online. Maybe they’ve had an online store, but they really didn’t keep it up. And now they’re being forced into maintaining and becoming that e-commerce merchant.

Then there are the people that are starting, they are getting into the product world and they are excited to sell goods online. There are a lot of stores that are opening. 

One way that you can stand out in your eCommerce business is to have great customer service. A way that you can do that is to ensure that you have people there to address questions, to talk about products, and address the concerns of your customers when they land on your website.

A live chat option can help you achieve that and boost up your customer’s experience. The live chat is just that little box that is kind of in the corner of your website that people can click on to instantly get access to someone or to send a message saying, “Hey, I need assistance”

With whatever it is that they are looking for or what they need help with. Make sure you choose a great live chat solution, which I’ll share some of my recommended chat tools a little bit further in this conversation.

Then make sure that you have your live chat software set up correctly. So you know how to use it when somebody types in a question or a message. Be sure you know how to engage and interact with customers.

Tips for Staffing Your Live Chat Hours 

Some things that you’ll want to know beforehand are who’s going to be covering live chat hours. Will it be you or staff from your team?

Make sure that you’re training whoever is taking care of the live chat option of your business on protocols and rules and guidelines within your business. So if a customer pops on and they have a question, they know how to respond and get that customer the correct information. Ideally, when a customer clicks on those, they want somebody that is going to be available to instantly reply.

Make sure that you have somebody there that is great with customer service. You don’t want anybody that’s short tempered or just not really a people person. So pick your best people, person or individual, to be in that position. 

Once that customer clicks on it, like I said, they want some instant help and support because remember; you have to replicate that in-store experience on. So the faster and more accurate you can respond to questions, it’s going to up level your online experience for your eCommerce store. 

Going back to training your reps. You want to train them on the product information, any latest arrivals, any information regarding products that might be out of stock or might be on a wait list, things like that, just any key product information. So make sure that you are having consistent meetings with the people that are helping you run your business so that everyone stays engaged and informed about what’s going on so that they can assist customers.

If you have really high traffic, you might have to have multiple people being part of the live chat option just so that customers can be quickly being addressed. Think about how you’re going to staff those hours. One thing you want to do is look at your analytics to see when your high traffic times are and also your high traffic days. That way you can plan ahead to have somebody there to answer questions for your customers.

So look at your analytics. If you don’t have analytics installed on your site, definitely get that in place A.S.A.P. Analytics won’t be able to pull previous data, but it’ll help you be able to predict some data going forward. So make sure you get that installed. Google Analytics is free, install it to help you look at how your business is doing, what is performing well. 

Once you have it installed and collected enough data, look at your popular traffic times. The hours that you have really high traffic. Look at the days in which you have a lot of engagement and interaction on your site, and then you also want to think about if you are running any types of campaigns that are going to be really driving traffic to your store.

For example:

  • Are you’re running ads?
  • Ff you’re doing any type of collaborations where people are going to be talking about your site and sending tons and tons of traffic your way

You want to plan ahead for those types of experiences. If you’re doing any special releases, any special launches, you want to plan for those times, because those are going to be key times in which customers are going to be on your website. So maybe your analytics is not going to be able to tell you that because that is kind of like a data outlier in the fact that you are controlling it from another means.

And so you want to just keep that in mind.

This is also a great time to make sure you have your marketing calendar. However, you have that running on the back end be sure to inform your team saying, “hey, coming up, we have this new release and we’re going to be really pushing and driving traffic to the site during these times. So we expect to have a highly engaged amount of customers on the site. So I’ll need you to be staffed for a live chat between X and X on certain days.”

This is where you can come in and plan out. Who is going to be responsible for handling live chat about what times and what days, what shifts your staff is taking and then also prepping them with key information that they might need to know. For example, if it is a new release, you could make sure that they understand, hey, this is what the new arrivals are. This is what we’re pushing for our customers. This is what is driving the traffic at this time just so that they are aware and can address customers’ questions and concerns, if any.

So keep that in mind. And then, yeah, like I said, just look at your analytics, see what days are your highest traffic days, what are your highest traffic times. And please note that this could definitely be different because right now we’re in a unique time period in which analytics from six months ago is not going to be the same as analytics right now because you are going to have data kind of skewed all over the place just because people are doing a lot more shopping online because they’re home.

I always say data is to help you make the decisions in your business so that you can be more profitable. So always look at your data, don’t always go off of feelings of what you think. Looking at your data can bring in a whole collective amount of information to make business decisions.

Where to Place Your Live Chat

Let’s talk a bit about where you should place your chat box. So naturally, most chat boxes are on the bottom right corner of a website. They can be in different places. Some people have them at the top of their site, the middle or the middle of the website, like on the middle right corner, middle left corner, bottom left corner.

Most people are used to seeing it on the bottom right corner because when they’re looking at a website, yes, they kind of go from left to right. But honestly, people go kind of in like an F like style of reading. So they go kind of left and right. And then it’s like up and down. So naturally their eyes are going to be geared towards the bottom right. 

I suggest you put it in the bottom right corner just because that is naturally where people are going to look 

Styling Your Live Chat

You can match the chat box color to your brand colors. I recommend making it one of your stand out brand colors just so that people can easily see it. You don’t want it hidden where people can naturally just overlook it, because that will create like this friction on your website where people feel like, oh my gosh, nobody’s here to assist me.

Pick one of your brand colors that are a little bit more bold and use that to color your chat box just so that people know, hey, you know, help is available now. Is everybody going to understand how to use a chat box? Some people are not tech savvy, they are used to shopping websites a certain way. But this is going to be for the majority of your customers that are used to shopping online that are kind of more tech savvy and understand, oh, that should click that bottom right corner if I have a question.

Make sure that your chat box stands out, and that it is a contrasting color so that people can recognize it and know that help and support is available. And then in terms of features of the live chat box, each company is different. Like some have like a bot type of feature where you can pre you preload questions that are commonly asked and then like the robot will go through and answer questions to kind of segment and, you know, facilitate or filter out, not filter out, but filter people into the appropriate support questions.

If you are just getting started with live chat, I recommend that you don’t go into those features right now because you don’t want to create a situation where a customer gets lost in your funnel and you don’t know what happened and it creates a customer service issue. But later, as you are becoming more familiar with the software that you’re using, you can start to explore and test out some of the more advanced features.

But if you are if you’ve already been using a live chat box and you feel pretty comfortable using some of the features, definitely do a few tests, kind of like some A/B testing just so that you could possibly help reduce some of the admin time. 

So some things that you could potentially put in your chat box are frequently asked questions and other things that people commonly ask that you are constantly answering, that way you can focus your time on answering other questions that come up from customers and give them an amazing experience.

Each chat box tool has different features so want to look into what those features are and how you can set up those advanced features. 

The Benefits of Live Chat

The benefits of live chat is that they are great for customer experiences, because it gives customers instant access to someone to support them. Support with their questions and things, but from a business standpoint, it really gives you that opportunity to continue that conversation even when so when you first connect with the customer, you know, you’re addressing their questions or getting to know what their experience is.

And it’s giving you the necessary feedback about your business. It also gives you the opportunity to capture their email so that you can continue to nurture that relationship and kind of get them into your marketing funnel. So make sure you’re following the appropriate guidelines when it comes to this in terms of capturing customers emails and getting their consent. But it gives you just that additional opportunity to capture a customer who might have clicked off and you’ve never hear from them again. So it does give you that ability to continue to nurture the relationship.

And like I said, just make sure that you are getting the recommended consent before you start to send out any marketing or nurturing emails.

Another benefit of live chat is that it does drive additional sales into your business. Because when a customer feels like they’re being supported, it helps them trust the brand even more. Customers feel more comfortable to hand over their credit card to make a purchase. When a customer lands on a website, they want to make sure it feels and looks trustworthy. That’s why having a professional brand in place is so essential. I think we’ve all landed on websites where we were like, oh, this looks a little shady.

I don’t want to put my credit card information into this. And you just click off and you go and you find something else. And so you don’t want to have that type of experience. You want to always appear professional and trustworthy. And having that chat box feature allows customers to ask questions, talk to a human and get that trustworthy experience that’ll help them feel more comfortable to continue the purchase. Plus, it also gives you an opportunity to inform them about other potential products that might be a better fit or an additional accessory or element to their purchase that they never have considered.

So as you’re chatting, getting to know them through the chat box experience, you can also introduce them to new products and better answer their questions. Again, it helps you drive sales to your business. It is just like an addition to your business that you can use to promote sales and help you with your bottom line.

So now that you know about the benefits and kind of like some recommendations when it comes to training and staffing and where to place it and making sure that it stands out so that customers feel like they have somebody there when needed. Let’s talk about some tools that you can use, like what are some great chat box tools. And so here are some, there’s so many out there. 

There are tons. They’re all different styles, different features and things like that. So I’m just going to give you a few that you can check out and then explore if you don’t have one already in mind and just check them out. So one is HubSpot, it works with WordPress and Shopify. Then there is the index. Didn’t Zendesk sorry, didn’t Zendesk it?

It works with Shopify as well and WordPress. There’s intercom, intercom is probably the one you see a lot on websites. It’s great for multi team stores and websites, then the next one is Tidio. It is free, and it has great integration with e-commerce as well. All of these have integrations with e-commerce in terms of style. It’s not my favorite in terms of style because their little chat box button is kind of big to me.

But I mean look at all the options that are out there. Make sure it matches your brand. It works with how you want to engage customers. That it has the features that you need in order to operate your business more effectively. 

So I hope this was helpful to you in that you consider definitely using a live chat box, especially at this time, as more people are shopping online.

Having an amazing experience is a great way to connect with customers. Plus great customer service will help drive additional sales into your business so that you can continue to thrive, because that’s what we’re all about over here at Brand Cultivated is helping you get your business in place and helping you run and optimize your store so that you can continue to thrive online and boost sales.

So if you have additional questions, feel free to connect with me on Instagram at The May Creative and I’ll be happy to chat. But otherwise, I will chat with you guys in our next episode. So have a great week.


Hi, I'm Karen, the founder + strategist/Shopify expert behind The May Creative. I help modern luxury & lifestyle product-based business owners craft an elevated Shopify website experience. So they can scale their business & reach their next level of success. Connect to learn more about working together. Or check out the episodes below or dive into some insightful eCommerce articles.


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