Live Chat for Retail: The Must-Have Features for Your Brand

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Specialise in selling high-value products or services? No chatbot is going to match your customer advisors' level of expertise.

Instead, you need a software solution which gives your advisors the time and the tools necessary to make every interaction both personable and profitable.  

Which is exactly what happens when you get Talkative - the original Consultative Service Platform.

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With a full suite of engagement channels, Talkative’s Consultative Service Platform removes the digital barriers between you and your customers. It’s why customers are proven to spend 4x more when you get Talkative.
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Live Chat for Retail: The Consultative Features Your Brand Needs to Succeed

Live chat has become a ubiquitous contact channel across all industries, but it's in the retail and ecommerce sphere that its power really shines.

In this article, we'll explore why live chat is essential for retail businesses who want to better connect their brand, their sales team, and their customer-facing website.

What's more, we'll also uncover the core, consultative live chat features you need to convert more customers.

Let's get started.

What are the benefits of using a live chat app for retail websites or e-commerce stores?

To kick things off, it's a good idea to set expectations of what's achievable with a live chat solution.

Fortunately for retail businesses with an ecommerce presence, the list of benefits is a long one.

1. Customers understand live chat

The use of a live chat app can offer multiple benefits for retail websites or e-commerce stores.

The most noticeable of these being improved conversions and increased efficiency when compared to passive channels like email and 0800 numbers.

But what's the real reason live chat can achieve these advantages?

There's two answers to bear in mind.

First up is live chat's ability to serve as a fast and convenient digital communication channel - one that customers are well-experienced with using thanks to their personal experience of other messaging apps.

For instance, live chat apps provide a way for customers to ask questions about sizing, product features, and more, with ease.

From there, your expert advisors can make a connection with your customers via a consultative service experience.

This allows the customer to make a more informed purchase decision based on their individual needs.

And, as live chat can offer multiple advisors the ability to handle several incoming chats, customers are much more likely to get help quickly. This leads to greater customer satisfaction and faster purchase turnarounds.

Secondly though, the ease in which customers have taken to live chat has only ensured its continuing success.

So much so that customers have come to value live chat far more than any other engagement channel.

Consequently, offering a live chat solution via an app or website reduces ambiguity around your brand.

It's a channel that singles you out as a modern business that's truly committed to providing excellent, consultative customer service.

2. Greater customer insight and understanding

Another benefit of using a live chat app for retail websites or e-commerce stores is that it provides insight into a customer's mindset.

How so? With the right application, live chat advisors can obtain valuable information during a consultation. This can include the customer's reason for visiting your website, what their interests are, and how likely they are to purchase something.

With the right platform, they can even measure the customers overall sentiment during interactions to see whether they are more or less likely to remain loyal in the future.

With this in mind, live chat is more than just a sales tool - it can also be used as a valuable research source for your brand's customer communication team.

For example, transcripts of live chats can be reviewed to find out what words, phrases, and questions buyers use most frequently.

This data can then be used by companies to improve their marketing strategies and product offerings.

3. Increased customer engagement

When shoppers visit a website or an ecommerce store, they're looking for a fast and personal connection with someone who's ready to assist.

They want to feel as though they are talking to a real person, who understands their wants and needs.

This is where live chat comes in as a powerful tool for customer engagement.

By offering consultative live chat assistance, you're not only opening up the opportunity for customers to talk with you one-to-one - you're also potentially providing them with a service that's going to turn around their whole day.

One sure-fire way to achieve this is to present your customers with a live chat solution that goes above and beyond your competitors.

Offering additional escalation channels like web calling or video chat is a great way to achieve this.

Alternatively, you could provide virtual clienteling services via live chat for social media. That way, you're connecting with customers through their favourite social channels.

However you want to engage your customers, the best live chat offerings will help you create virtual shopping experiences that'll light up their day - and lead to more loyal, returning customers.

Which brings us to our next point.

4. Increased customer retention and improved satisfaction

One of the main benefits of using a live chat app is increased customer retention.

Case in point, studies show that customers are 63% more likely to return to a website after using live chat. 

This makes sense as modern consumers value the ability to get help quickly and easily without having to wait on the phone or send an email.

In fact, these old channels are now at risk of being viewed as outdated - some demographics, like Millennials for example, won't use them at all! 

That's no small problem for retail and ecommerce brands.

It means you should endeavour to meet your customers on this crucial channel with the same enthusiasm that they buy your products.

5. Greater reach and engagement with potential customers

Nowadays, it's tougher than ever for retailers to stand out and attract their fair share of the market.

Of course, that's not for want of trying.

When it comes to retail, businesses are desperate to find ways to reach more customers and engage with them in a way that's personalized and helpful.

Unlike more basic solutions, innovative live chat apps can now provide that opportunity.

Take Talkative as a prime example.

With intelligent routing and nudging features, as well as customer journey mapping, social media integrations, full customisability settings and more, Talkative can turn your center for customer communication into a center of personalization and profitability. How? 

By helping you reach and connect with the right customers - without any more work.

To discover how getting Talkative could do the same for your business, book your personalized demo today.

What features should a live chat app have to be effective for retail websites or e-commerce stores?

Now that we've got a better understanding of the benefits that come with an enhanced live chat solution, let's take a deep dive into the fundamental features you need to convert more customers.

1. Live chat should have true omnichannel choice and capabilities

Omnichannel is a word that gets used a lot these day - from marketing to sales to customer support.

However, when it comes to digital customer communication and engagement, you need to make sure your live chat offering doesn't prove to be a silo.

The best live chat solutions should always give you the ability to answer and serve customers through a variety of methods - methods that suit that particular customer the best.

First up, your live chat app should be available on your website - both for mobile and desktop users.

Next, there's your store app to think about. What if you want to offer live chat to the customers viewing your products there?

Finally, there's social media channels - from Facebook and Twitter to more personal apps like WhatsApp and SMS.

While it's not essential to connect your live chat team to all of these channels, understanding your customers is essential.

The more you know about your customers, the quicker you'll be able to meet them on their channel of choice - a skill which is much easier to implement when utilizing smart nudges and on-page engagement rules.

Even so, a commitment to wider customer reach means more conversions and sales, and higher customer satisfaction too.

Just remember: the best live chat apps for retail will allow you to pick and choose which connections and channels you want to use, giving you a single location to answer all customer queries.

That includes more advanced channels too, such as video chat and cobrowsing.

You should not only be able to consider these options with your customers - you should also be able to deploy and use them as effortlessly as a simple live chat interaction.

What's more, whatever channels you choose to prioritise, be sure to seek out an omnichannel live chat offering that allows you to answer all interactions from one pane of glass.

Doing so will give your customer advisors superpowers.

2. Live chat should work seamlessly with chatbots

Following on from the above point, your live chat support should always be available to your customers - regardless of the times they visit your site.

Of course, keeping your live agents up around the clock isn't going to do well for team morale.

Thankfully, chatbots can solve this problem for you, offering your customers immediate assistance when they first land on your site.

The best customer service chatbots, however, also act as a triage to all customer requests.

This means that, whatever your customers' query, your chatbot can seamlessly understand and deal with any interactions that might need an escalation to a real human agent.

That way, your chatbots can save your advisors' time and focus, allowing them to attend to the interactions that need the human touch.

At the same time, you're still serving more customers and making more conversions.

Ultimately, this is the best way to think about chatbots and self-service options: as tools that can initially guide your customers on their journey, giving your live chat advisors the capacity to step in for a consultative experience at the exact right moment.

Which leads us on to our next point...

3. Live chat should have advanced nudging and routing features

When it comes to live chat apps, your brand needs features that can make the customer experience easier and more streamlined.

At the same time, you need to make sure you're engaging the customers on your site at the right stage in their customer journey.

This is where advanced nudging and routing come in - two important features that should be included in any live chat app.

Nudging helps customers by providing them with relevant information at the right time. This feature can help reduce wait times and keep customers informed about their order status.

Routing helps connect customers with the right agent, which reduces the chances of having to explain the issue multiple times or waiting on hold for a long time.

So, it's easy to see why both nudging and routing are essential features that should be included in your live chat app of choice.

They make communication between brands and customers easier, which ultimately improves customer satisfaction rates, brand loyalty, and your overall conversion rate.

4. Live chat widgets should be fully customisable

Every retail live chat app is going to have some kind of interface editor.

However, not all chat widget editors are built the same. In fact, most customer communication platforms will only offer a basic version of a widget builder, usually relying on templates.

The thing is though, your chat window is vital for both serving your customers and engaging them in the first place.

This means that you not only need an attractive chat widget that catches the eye, you also need to ensure it's fully on brand with your company image.

Using a sub-par chat widget will only turn customers away with a decrease in trust.

It's why Talkative prides itself on our no-code chat widget builder - the most customisable on the market.

With the same functionality of a modern website design tool, our chat widget builder takes customisability to the limit.

This gives you the ability to create multiple engaging widgets with ease, all capable of capturing customer attention and engaging them immediately.

Learn more about our live chat widget builder in our product updates section.

5. Live chat should work with both in store and desktop agents

When it comes to live chat for retail websites and e-commerce stores, we're in the midst of a changing landscape.

More and more customers are now shopping online.

As such, an increasing number of brands are now offering in-store virtual shopping experiences via their website and app.

It's one of the prime reasons Talkative customers love our video chat solution.

Still though, when it comes to your retail brand, there are a few key features that should be considered when offering a more modern approach to live chat.

First, whatever live chat app you choose should work with both in-store and desktop agents.

This requires the use of a mobile version of your chosen live chat solution, allowing in-store employees to answer chats in the same way as contact agents do.

Second, the live chat app should have API capabilities that allow you to create custom solutions.

This gives businesses more flexibility when it comes to integrating live chat into their website or e-commerce store.

That way, you can capture the attention of your target audience and direct them to the right agent at the right time, resulting once again in greater sales and conversions.

6. Live chat should have automatic translation

Many ecommerce stores find that having a live chat system quickly proves essential for optimizing customer service, increasing efficiency, and netting more sales overall.

However, it can be difficult to provide support to all your customers at once.

How, for example, are you meant to serve customers within different countries, all speaking different languages?

This is where automatic real-time translation comes into play.

With the ability to translate 100+ languages in the blink of an eye, you can rest assured that you're always able to serve any customer that visits your site.

Just make sure that this feature comes as a standard with your chosen live chat product.

If it doesn't, you might be missing out on more valuable customers.

Fortunately, like all the features mentioned above, getting Talkative will keep you covered.

7. Live chat should be secure and compliant

When it comes to your customers, you can't afford to neglect their privacy and security.

With PCI compliance to think about, as well as GDPR in Europe and the CCPA and HIPAA compliance in the US, you need a live chat app that's going to keep you and your customers' data safe.

So, whatever solution you opt for, make sure the product is trusted by leading brand names and organizations that understand the importance of these issues.

Take financial institutions like banks and credit unions, for instance.

8. The best live chat apps should work with brands you know and love

Sometimes, making a decision about the best product for you will come down to testimonials and social proof.

After all, one of the best ways to identify great products is to take inspiration from leading names.

This is no less true in the world of retail and ecommerce, where competition is fierce when it comes to customer attention and engagement.

So, to make sure your chosen live chat app is the best for your brand, make sure you're checking out the companies that are proud to work with your live chat provider.

Doing so will make sure that you're part of esteemed company.

How much does a live chat app cost?

Now that we've covered some of the most important features you need to consider when reviewing live chat software, let's break down another important differentiator: pricing.

When it comes to live chat apps, there are a few different options on the market. The prices for these apps can range from free to several hundred dollars per month, depending on the features and functionality that you need.

What's more though, a lot of these solutions don't offer their pricing in a transparent way - meaning it's very hard to get a true understanding of their value to your business.

Moreover, it's hard to get a real idea of the true capabilities of these apps until you've purchased them for yourselves. Of course, product demos do help, but with several live chat options only giving you product tours instead of free trials, it's hard to tell some solutions apart.

That's why Talkative likes to do things different.

For starters, you can review our transparent pricing model right now.

You can even choose a 14 day free trial instead of a demo too - no credit card required.

We've also drawn up a library of product comparisons with our main competitors, so you can discover the full list of differentiators from the rest of the wider market.

The reason we offer these resources is simple: we believe that getting Talkative will be one of the best things you ever do for your brand.

We know that after trying it for yourself, you will too.

What are the best live chat apps for retail websites or e-commerce stores?

As we've set out above, retail websites and e-commerce brands need to be able offer their customers a truly engaging digital customer experience.

These days, its simply not enough to only offer customer service over the phone or via email.

What's more, it's not enough to leave your customer engagement to chance. With thousands of site visitors navigating your website, neglecting the right live chat option could prove the difference between boom and bust in your business.

That's why our customers value Talkative as their live chat app of choice.

With the ability to connect seamlessly with your telephony system, contact center, or CRM, getting Talkative gives your business a greater opportunity to engage the right customers at the right time.

As the intelligent digital engagement layer to your customer communications team, getting Talkative means you can offer an enhanced and omnichannel experience to convert more customers and spark true customer delight.

With Talkative's live chat, you'll discover more and more customers reaching out for a consultative service experience with your brand.

Try Talkative today to see why.

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