Live Chat for Retail: The Features Your Brand Needs to Succeed

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Looking to find the best retail live chat platform? The rest of this article will give you the answers you need. Better yet, get in touch with us today, and we'll give you a more personalized insight into what Talkative's enhanced live chat can do for your brand.

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Live Chat for Retail: The Features Your Brand Needs to Succeed

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

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

Moreover, 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 long.

1. Customers understand live chat

A live chat app can offer multiple benefits for retail websites or e-commerce stores.

The most noticeable are improved conversions and increased efficiency compared to passive channels like email and 0800 numbers.

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

There are 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-versed in using thanks to their experience with other messaging apps.

For instance, live chat apps allow customers to quickly ask questions about sizing, product features, and more.

From there, your expert advisors can connect with your customers via a real-time service experience.

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

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

Secondly, though, the simplicity of 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 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 correct application, live chat advisors can obtain valuable information during a consultation. This can include the customer’s reason for visiting your website, their interests, and how likely they are to purchase something.

With the right platform, they can even measure the customer’s 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.

Companies can then use this data 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 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 becomes a powerful tool for customer engagement.

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

One surefire 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.

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.

This 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.

Studies show that customers are 63% more likely to return to a website after using live chat.

This makes sense as modern consumers value getting 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 endeavor 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 more challenging 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 personalized and helpful manner.

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, customer journey mapping, messaging channels, full customizability 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.

Book your personalized demo today to discover how getting Talkative could do the same for your business.

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

Now that we’ve better understood the benefits of an enhanced live chat solution, let’s dive into the fundamental features you need to convert more customers.

1. Live chat should have actual omnichannel choices and capabilities

Omnichannel is a word that is often used - 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 various methods - methods that suit that particular customer the best.

First, your live chat app should be available on your website 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 are social channels - from Facebook and Instagram to more personal apps like WhatsApp and SMS.

While connecting your live chat team to all these channels is optional, understanding your customers is vital.

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

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

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, such as video chat and cobrowsing.

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

Whatever channels you prioritize, seek 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 does little for team morale.

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

However, the best customer service chatbots 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 at the exact right moment.

This leads us 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 must ensure 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; they are two critical 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, reducing the chances of the customer explaining the issue multiple times or them waiting on hold for a long time.

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

They make communication between brands and customers more straightforward, ultimately improving customer satisfaction rates, brand loyalty, and overall conversion rate.

4. Live chat widgets should be fully customizable

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

However, not all chat widget editors are built the same. Most customer communication platforms 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, but 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 - one of the most customizable on the market.

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

This allows you to easily create multiple engaging widgets, 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

We’re in the midst of a changing landscape when it comes to live chat for retail websites and e-commerce stores.

More and more customers are now shopping online.

As such, many 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, when it comes to your retail brand, a few key features should be considered when offering a more modern approach to live chat.

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

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

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

This gives businesses more flexibility when 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 in greater sales and conversions.

6. Live chat should have automatic translation

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

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

How, for example, are you meant to serve customers from different countries who speak 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 miss 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, GDPR in Europe, and CCPA and HIPAA compliance in the US, you need a live chat app that keeps you and your customers’ data safe.

So, whatever solution you opt for, ensure 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, deciding on the best product for you will come down to testimonials and social proof.

After all, one of the best ways to identify outstanding 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, check 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 essential 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 you need.

What’s more, many of these solutions don’t transparently offer their pricing - meaning it’s tough to understand their value to your business.

Moreover, it’s only easy to get an accurate idea of the true capabilities of these apps once 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 differently.

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

You can 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 that you can discover the complete list of differentiators from the rest of the broader market.

We offer these resources for a simple reason: to help you make the best decision for your brand and customers.

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

As we’ve stated above, retail websites and e-commerce brands need to offer their customers a truly engaging digital customer experience.

These days, it’s not enough to offer customer service over the phone or via email.

Moreover, it’s not enough to leave your digital 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 an intelligent digital engagement platform for your customer communications team, getting Talkative means you can offer an enhanced 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 to your brand.

Try Talkative today to see why.

You’re better off getting Talkative

Talkative’s Consultative Service channels empower your team to achieve astounding results, including:


positive approval rating from video chat customers.


increase in customer live chat interactions.


increase in average order value for video chat shoppers.

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