online chatOnline chat is becoming increasingly important for ecommerce websites. Having an online chat will improve the buying experience for users, help drive sales and is the best platform for online customer service.

Several studies have shown the superiority and advantages of adopting this kind of service. This survey, for example, showed that online chat is the most highly rated type of web service, scoring 819 out of a maximum of 1,000. Second place was taken by email, with 795.

Tip: Check these 20 applications for your digital marketing team

A study published by eMarketer revealed that online chat users are 40% more likely to make at least one purchase per week than people who don’t use the service. Hence, having an online chat increases your chances of selling to these users.

The biggest use of online chat is in the customer service area, although it doesn’t have to be its sole purpose. Still, the system is responsible for providing the fastest answers to inquiries and doubts from visitors and customers. This site posted the average response time for requests made by online chat, email and social media.

The average response time for an email reply is 12 hours, while the pages and social media business profiles take about 10 hours to reply a customer. Online chat reduces the response time in a matter of minutes, especially considering the possibility of having canned and preprogrammed replies, something that is only now reaching social networks.

Another survey shows that 79% of shoppers who prefer online chat to other forms of service have pointed out that speed of response is the main criteria that drives them to chat rather than using any other type of service. Considering this information and the extremely short response time of the online chat, you can see why it is so important to have an online chat in your ecommerce.

5 Ways Online Chat Can Can Help Ecommerce Sites

1. Chats drive customers through your sales funnel.

Visitors can reach your site in many ways: Google searches, clicks on your social network ads, or friends recommendations, among others. When you get to your page, the visitor may not know where to click in order to buy, how to search the desired product, or how to enter data for payment. It is here that an online chat service shines: your customer service attendant will guide the customer step by step, increasing their chances of completing a purchase;

2. Proactive invitation.

Instead of waiting for a visitor to start a conversation on the site, you can set up an automated message so you can start the conversation. Among the possibilities, you can set it up to talk to a visitor depending on the page he/she visits or how long they have been on your homepage, among other examples that you check it out in this text.

3. Upsell.

Upselling is one of the best sales tactics that can be used in a customer service. If a visitor is looking for a specific item – such as a previous generation smartphone, for example – you can use the chat to try and convince the customer to buy the latest version, showing the advantages of the latest model compared to the older one, thereby increasing the value of the sale;

4. Cross-sell.

Another highly recommended technique. It also seeks to increase the value of a sale, but through additional items. Taking into consideration the same smartphone example, your attendant can offer accessories such as covers and headphones for the customer to buy along with the cell phone;

5. Lead capture.

One of important feature is a pre-conversation form. It can be presented to a visitor while waiting for a call, and you can use it to put essential information to integrate it with your customers database, such as his name, phone and email address. With this, you can use an online chat to capture these leads and try to close sales through email marketing.


Online chat is an important important tool for ecommerce websites. It allows you to talk to your customers directly to help improve the buying and customer service experience. We highly suggest implementing an online chat, to not only drive sales, but to improve customer service and ultimately your brand.

BigCommerce helps growing businesses, enterprise brands, and everything in-between sell more online.

Start your free trial
High-volume or established business? Request a demo

Start growing your ecommerce business even faster.

Start Your Free Trial

High-volume or established business? Request a demo