10 Ways to Increase Live Chat Sales in 2024

February 22, 2024
live chat sales

‍‍In this article, you’ll learn exactly how live chat increases online conversions, plus 10 strategies to help you optimise your live chat sales efforts.

Live chat has become an extremely popular engagement channel, with a consumer satisfaction rating of 81-86%.

Although it’s traditionally thought of as a customer support tool, live chat can also significantly increase online conversions.

Through live chat, sales agents can engage and assist potential customers in real time at crucial points of the digital buying journey.

It’s for this reason that 74% of B2C and 85% of B2B companies use live chat to drive sales.

But, to get maximum results, businesses and sales teams need to optimise their live chat strategy.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide - including 10 tactics that’ll help you turn live chat into a powerful sales and lead generation machine. We’ll cover:

  • How does live chat increase sales?
  • How to boost sales with live chat: 10 strategies
  • Other benefits of live chat customer service


10 strategies to increase live chat sales...

  1. Prioritise response time: Fast responses are crucial for successful live chat sales. Improve response times with efficient scheduling, chatbots, and empowered agents.
  2. Implement an AI chatbot: AI bots free up sales agents to focus on high-value interactions. They can also capture leads and assist online shoppers around the clock.
  3. Leverage AI: Use AI tools like OpenAI Responses, Google Agent Assist, and an AI Knowledge Base to improve speed and agent performance during chat interactions.
  4. Proactively engage website visitors: Initiate sales chats with the help of welcome messages, chat nudges, and customer journey mapping.
  5. Integrate with your CRM: Integrate live chat with your CRM system to centralise customer data, interaction management, and lead nurturing.
  6. Create a personalised CX: Personalise live chat interactions based on customer requirements and data to boost satisfaction through a tailored sales experience.
  7. Optimise your chat widget: Design a visually appealing and user-friendly chat widget that’s accessible across all devices to increase engagement.
  8. Offer exclusive discounts & promotions: Use sales live chat to offer exclusive deals and create a sense of urgency.
  9. Empower your sales team: Provide comprehensive training on chat etiquette, product knowledge, and sales techniques alongside ongoing feedback/coaching.
  10. Use live chat alongside other channels: Seamlessly transition to alternative channels like video chat or cobrowsing for complex sales queries or high-value interactions.
online customer using live chat on ecommerce site

How does live chat increase online sales?

The power of live chat as a sales tool is undeniable and well-documented in research.

Case in point, one study found that live chat can lead to a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and a 40% increase in overall conversion rate.

Other statistics indicate that customers who engage in a live chat conversation spend up to 60% more per purchase than those who don’t.

But how exactly does chat achieve these outcomes? Well, it comes down to a number of factors:

  • Increased engagement: Live chat makes your ecommerce website/app more digitally engaging and interactive, leading to a higher number of customer conversations. In fact, Talkative customer Healthspan has seen a 500% increase in interactions since implementing our live chat solution. This increased engagement means more opportunities to convert enquiries and capture leads.
  • Real-time support: Ecommerce live chat offers customers instant access to sales agents who can address their queries or concerns promptly. This real-time support helps alleviate doubts, build trust, and guide customers through the purchasing process, ultimately leading to more successful conversions.
  • Maximum convenience: Thanks to chat support, consumers can easily seek assistance or ask questions about a product with minimum disruption to the customer journey. Gone are the days of picking up the phone to wait on hold or writing an email that might not get a response for days. Now, consumers can get fast answers to their queries without leaving your website or app. It’s why 73% of consumers consider live chat the most convenient way to contact a business.
  • Reduced cart abandonment: Abandoned carts occur for many reasons, such as the customer getting distracted or encountering purchasing issues/difficulties. Live chat helps reduce cart abandonment by allowing sales teams to intervene at critical points in the decision-making and buying process. By being readily available to answer product queries and help with any problems, agents can keep customers engaged and on track to completing purchases.
  • Upselling and cross-selling: Chat conversations provide ample opportunities for agents to suggest complementary products or upgrades. By using strategic upselling and cross-selling techniques during chat interactions, your sales team can boost average order value as well as conversion rates.

In summary, the interactive and convenient nature of live chat empowers businesses to engage prospects in real time, create a personalised CX, push upsells, and address customer inquiries/concerns promptly, ultimately driving sales and revenue growth.

sales agent usling live chat on laptop

How to boost online sales with live chat conversations: 10 tactics

For brands looking to drive revenue through customer service, live chat presents a lucrative opportunity to increase online conversions.

But it’s not enough to simply have chat as an option - it also needs to be implemented and used strategically.

In this section, we’ll provide ten key tactics to help you maximise live chat conversions.

1. Prioritise response time

Average response time is a crucial metric when it comes to live chat sales.

In fact, 90% of consumers rate fast responses as important or very important, and 78% will purchase from the first business that replies to them.

In light of these statistics, it’s no exaggeration to state that response time can make or break a sale.

You can improve your live chat response time with the following practices:

  • Manage agent scheduling effectively to ensure adequate staffing levels during peak live chat business hours. Use chat volume trends and agent availability to allocate resources efficiently and prevent excessive workloads.
  • Save agent time and improve efficiency by implementing an AI chatbot (more on this below).
  • Empower agents to respond faster by equipping them with comprehensive training and AI-powered assistive tools (more on this later).
  • Analyse overall live chat performance by tracking other performance metrics in addition to response time. These might include Average Handling Time, Average Wait Time, First Contact Resolution Rate, and CSAT (customer satisfaction) score. Use this data to identify bottlenecks and make targeted improvements to any processes/factors that are negatively impacting response times.

Without prompt responses, any attempt to increase sales through live chat will be fruitless.

Slow responses and long wait times lead to frustrated customers, abandoned purchases, and a poor customer service experience.

customers surrounding clock face

2. Implement an AI chatbot

As we mentioned above, customer service chatbots are a great way to improve live chat response times through increased efficiency and automated service.

They achieve this by automating repetitive queries and support tasks, leaving agents with more time to focus on sales and high-value interactions.

But that’s not the only part ecommerce chatbots have to play in the online sales process.

Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, chatbots can become intelligent virtual agents - capable of assisting customers with a huge range of online shopping queries.

One way bots achieve this is by integrating with an AI knowledge base.

With Talkative, for example, you can easily create a knowledge base using URLs from your company website - plus any PDF articles, documents, spreadsheets, or other resources you have.

From there, our GenAI chatbot can learn from your website/knowledge base content and answer countless queries about your business - using the data you input plus generative AI.

In turn, the bot can act as an expert advisor for your customers, responding to any questions they have about your products/services with highly detailed and accurate information.

What’s more, AI chatbots don’t need sleep or time off like your human agents - they can be active and available 24/7.

And, in situations where a customer still needs the human touch, these virtual assistants can collect customer details and escalate the interaction, allowing your sales team to follow up when they’re available.

This means you’ll never miss a chance to capture a lead or assist an undecided customer - even outside of your live chat operating hours.

Generative AI chatbot

3. Leverage AI assistive tools

Agent assist tools are an example of AI customer service that can improve the live chat experience for both your sales agents and your customers.

These AI-powered systems help agents perform better and faster by providing real-time information and suggestions/recommendations during live chat interactions. 

With Talkative, your sales team can utilise the following AI-powered tools:

  1. OpenAI Responses - OpenAI is a leading AI research and deployment company responsible for the creation of ChatGPT. With Talkative, you can integrate with OpenAI and gain real-time, AI-generated response suggestions during chat interactions. The AI works by analysing the conversation and automatically generating a selection of response suggestions based on the customer’s message. It can also be trained to provide suggestions based on historical interaction data as well as the current conversation.
  2. Google Agent Assist - Google Agent Assist is a powerful AI system that can also be integrated with Talkative. Once trained and configured, Google Agent Assist can offer guidance and response recommendations during customer conversations. It works by using your website knowledge base and previous interaction data to provide a selection of relevant potential responses for each customer message.
  3. Knowledge base responses: This feature allows you to create and train an AI-powered knowledge base using URLs from your website and other content (e.g. articles, documents, spreadsheets, etc). Once set up, the AI can extract information from your knowledge base content and use it to automate response suggestions for customer queries - just like with an AI chatbot.

With the help of these technologies, your sales reps will be able to respond quicker to customers and with more accurate and consistent information.

This not only optimises sales interactions but also helps create a better digital customer experience overall.

Want to learn more about AI-powered assistive tools? Take a look at our guide - OpenAI Responses vs. Google Agent Assist.

agent using AI assistive tools during a live chat interaction

4. Proactively engage website visitors

Rather than waiting for customers to initiate contact, proactive live chat involves reaching out to your website visitors first.

It’s common for businesses to prioritise reactive support and neglect proactive customer service - but this is a big oversight when it comes to live chat sales.

Case in point, one study found that proactive chats for sales can lead to a 305% ROI.

What’s more, 92% of consumers report that the experience of being contacted proactively changes their perception of a brand in a positive way.

You can optimise proactive live chat for sales with the following:

  • Welcome messages: As soon as a visitor lands on your website, you can proactively engage them with a friendly welcome message. This initial greeting serves as an invitation for engagement, signalling to the visitor that help is on offer should they need it. Welcome messages can also be personalised based on various factors such as the referral source, geographic location, or past interactions with the website.
  • Chat nudges: Nudges are timed chat prompts that appear as pop-ups when a visitor has engaged in certain behaviours (e.g. spent a certain amount of time on the website or site page). They can be used to proactively offer assistance to customers and ask if they have any sales queries. This lets your website visitors know that your sales team is there for them and readily available to help.
  • Website journey mapping: Customer journey mapping lets you view the pages a customer has visited and how long they’ve spent on them. Sales reps can use this information to start a proactive chat in circumstances where it’s most likely to be productive (e.g. if a customer has added items to their cart but hasn’t completed the purchase, you might ask if they need any further information about the product or purchasing process).

By actively initiating contact at crucial moments in the digital journey, proactive sales chat can keep customers engaged with your website and invested in their purchases.

This not only contributes to more online sales but also helps decrease cart abandonment and website bounce rate.

proactive agent helping happy customers

5. Integrate with your CRM system

As 91% of businesses with over 11 employees use a Customer Relationship Management system, it’s worth noting how you can use your CRM to aid live chat sales.

The best way to do this is by using live chat software that can integrate with your existing CRM channels.

Integrating live chat with your CRM will provide you with a centralised hub for customer data and interactions, allowing you to manage relationships with potential customers more effectively.

Integration with CRM systems also enables seamless follow-up and lead nurturing, helping you convert more live chat prospects into customers.

It’s why Talkative offers deep and seamless integrations with leading CRM and contact centre systems, including Salesforce.

By centralising customer data and communication channels through CRM integration, you can streamline sales processes and improve overall efficiency.

Salesforce live chat integration

6. Create a personalised customer experience

Personalisation is essential for any business looking to increase online sales.

Case in point, 75% of customers expect personalisation when shopping online, and brands that successfully deliver personalised experiences have 40% more revenue potential.

Fortunately, live chat is a great channel for incorporating personalised customer service.

Through a back-and-forth chat session, agents can build rapport and ask questions to uncover the customer’s unique wants, needs, and preferences.

This information can be used to offer personalised advice/guidance and suggest product recommendations that are specific to the customer’s requirements or situation.

Agents can also use any customer data at their disposal to inform their sales and personalisation strategy.

For example, if an agent is dealing with a repeat customer, they might have access to the individual’s name, purchase history, or any previous interactions they’ve had with your brand.

Armed with this data, agents can come to an interaction prepared to exceed customer expectations with a tailored experience that’ll make them feel seen and valued.

By leveraging personalisation techniques through live chat, agents can boost customer satisfaction and craft bespoke sales pitches that’ll get optimal results.

ecommerce customer making online purchase on laptop

7. Optimise your chat window

It may sound like a small factor, but the appearance of your chat window can have a significant impact on your live chat conversions and engagement rate.

If you want to encourage visitors to notice and use your chat services, the live chat window must be clearly displayed and easily accessible across your entire website/app.

You’ll also need an eye-catching live chat widget that’s engaging, visually appealing, and fully on-brand.

If it fails in these areas, it’s unlikely to effectively capture customer attention. Poorly designed live chat widgets can even put off website visitors, preventing them from reaching out at all.

Thankfully, you can avoid this pitfall with the help of a chat widget designer. With Talkative, for instance, you can use our no-code widget editor to create a fully customised widget that aligns with your branding and sales goals.

In addition to the design and placement of your live chat widget, you also need to ensure usability across devices.

Mobile responsiveness is particularly important, as an increasing number of customers tend to engage with businesses on their smartphones.

By optimising your chat widget design and usability, you can attract more leads and drive sales conversions through increased customer engagement.

You’ll also be able to offer a consistent and seamless live chat experience across all digital touchpoints.

Need some inspiration for your live chat widget design? Take a look at our widget showcase library.

Talkative widget editor

8. Offer exclusive discounts & promotions

Discounts and promotions are an extremely effective way to incentivise online conversions.

Chat agents can use discounts to convince undecided prospects, making them a powerful negotiation tactic for closing sales.

Moreover, promotional offers are a great way to push upsells or cross-sells, as they entice consumers to add more items to their order that they might not have considered otherwise.

In addition to discounts/promotions, you could also use chat to offer free shipping to customers on the basis that they complete the purchase during the interaction.

By offering these special discounts/offers available only through your live chat channel, you’ll create a sense of exclusivity and urgency.

This will motivate potential customers to convert there and then, allowing you to capitalise on their immediate interest.

online shopping graphic

9. Empower your sales team with training

Proper training is vital if you want your sales team to leverage live chat as a sales tool.

In order to succeed, your agents need to be equipped with the specific skills and knowledge required for live chat sales interactions.

They also need to be expert advisors when it comes to your brand and the products/services it offers.

The following are some key elements to include in your training strategy:

  • Live chat etiquette and written communication skills.
  • Product knowledge, including features, benefits, pricing, and unique selling points.
  • Sales techniques such as active listening, product demos, upselling/cross-selling, negotiating, and overcoming objections.
  • Expressing empathy and building trust/rapport with clients.
  • Time management and multitasking (this is particularly important if your agents are expected to handle multiple chat interactions at once).
  • Ongoing feedback and coaching to help agents improve and refine their sales techniques.
  • Updated training and refresher courses to encourage continuous learning.

In addition to the above factors, you can incorporate activities like workshops, webinars, or team-building exercises into your training programme.

You should also utilise any relevant chat transcripts. These can be used to demonstrate training theory in practice through real-life examples of what you should and shouldn’t do.

By empowering your sales team with comprehensive training, you’ll give them the ability to push live chat sales and become the best front-line ambassadors for your ecommerce business.

happy agent working in contact centre

10. Use live chat alongside other channels

While live chat offers numerous benefits for your sales team, it’s not the optimal channel for every interaction.

In cases involving complex products or high-value purchases, for example, a customer might need more in-depth guidance than chat alone can provide.

For these situations, agents need to go beyond live chat and escalate the interaction to a more suitable contact channel.

Take video chat as an example. With video call software, participants can engage in face-to-face communication, which is reassuring to the customer and far more efficient when a lot of information needs to be exchanged.

It also gives your agents the opportunity to showcase products via video and provide visual demonstrations, thereby instilling more confidence in the buyer.

Other channels like cobrowsing can also be a great aid when a customer is struggling to navigate your website or the online purchasing process.

Whatever the circumstances, it’s important that any transition to an alternative channel is smooth and effortless to ensure your customers receive a seamless experience.

Other benefits of live chat support

In addition to increased revenue/sales, live chat customer service can yield other significant benefits for businesses and consumers. These include:

  • Faster resolutions: The ability to communicate quickly in real-time leads to faster and more efficient problem-solving for customer issues. It also increases the chance of a first contact resolution - the FCR rate for live chat stands at an impressive 70-75%
  • Reduced support costs: Live chat is a cost-effective support channel compared to traditional methods like phone lines. With chat, customer service agents can handle multiple interactions simultaneously, reducing the need for a huge support team and lowering overall operational costs.
  • Improved digital customer service: Live chat offers a seamless and convenient way for online customers to get in touch, optimising customer service and making it much more accessible. It also allows businesses to meet customers where they are, providing immediate support and personalised interactions across multiple touchpoints.
  • Data-driven insights: Interaction data from chat interactions can offer valuable insights into customer perceptions, behaviour, preferences, and pain points. This information can be used to improve products, services, and the overall support experience, leading to increased satisfaction and customer loyalty.

It’s clear that live chat is an invaluable tool to have in your arsenal, with significant benefits for sales, support, engagement, and customer relations.

ecommerce live chat for sales

The takeaway

Live chat can be a powerful tool for conversions - when it’s implemented and used strategically.

With the tactics provided in this article, you and your agents can start reaping the rewards of using live chat for sales.

But, if you want to get the best results, you also need the right live chat solution.

One that can be tailored to your specific business needs.

That’s where Talkative comes in.

Our platform offers a scalable, flexible, and AI-enhanced live chat solution that can be deployed across your website, app, and messaging channels.

With Talkative’s live chat, you’ll gain a range of features to help you engage and convert more customers, including:

In addition to live chat, we provide a suite of customer contact channels and capabilities - including AI chatbots, web calling, video chat, cobrowse, messaging, AI knowledge bases, and more.

As we’ve covered, our solution also supports numerous integrations into other contact centre systems and CRMs. In fact, our Salesforce integration is one of the most in-depth on the market.

Want to learn more? Book a demo with Talkative today, and check out our interactive product tour.

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