The segment of e-commerce has grown at an astonishingly impressive rate.
Business to Business (B2B) e-commerce is a term regularly thrown around; it refers to online order transactions between businesses.
These orders are executed through digital commerce, which results to improved buying efficiency for wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers, and other types of sellers.
According to a report from Forrester Research, volume of transactions based on this model of e-commerce will reach $1.2 trillion by the end of 2021; while Frost & Sullivan expect the transaction volume to cross $6 trillion by 2020.
According to Business.com, China leads the segment with a volume of $672 billion.
B2B E-Commerce And The Trend of Live Chat
In the present world, companies are witnessing their customers purchase online than any other medium.
According to the Forrester Research’s renowned paper “The Death of a B2B Salesman”, 74% of the buyers indicate that shopping online is more convenient than buying from a sales representative, and 93% prefer to purchase online when they have already made up their mind about what to buy.
All successful companies are built on the strong foundations of customer loyalty.
That loyalty is earned with the passage of time by relentlessly providing excellent products along with professional sales services.
When your B2B business is online, introducing the concept of live chat is the key as it pushes the customer service and engagement to a new level, forming valuable trust, and substantially boosting your sales.
What is E-Commerce Live Chat?
Live chat is a dynamic platform that facilitates you to assist visitors to your site in real time.
Customers' queries are entertained and resolved within few minutes.
Shoppers talk online with a customer service representative, who can promptly answer their questions or suggest product or service that might best match their needs.
Once considered an add-on that helps in making communication easier for the consumer and business, live chat is now a staple for majority of the online stores.
Offering live chat on your homepage can help visitors feel more welcome on your site. It is also a creative way to start establishing your firm’s service offerings early on and set the basis for earning your customer’s trust.
A swift and friendly automatic live greeting like, “Hey! How can I help you?” can be enough to kick off the conversation that turn a browser into a valuable customer.
This is the kind of experience that e-commerce websites are creating with the use of live chats.
Rather than leaving potential customers on their own trying to pursue in isolation, live chat presents e-commerce vendors the golden chance to deliver a virtual brick-and-mortar experience to buyers across the world.
Why Live Chat is a Good Idea for B2B E-Commerce Sites
Following are some of the reasons why live chat is an ideal option for your B2B e-commerce sites:
In a digital world, speed is the king. Customers want swift response to their queries.
Live chat options enable you to have real time conversations with your visitors while they are on your site.
It’s quick, convenient, and customers simply love it because it’s 100x faster than any other service channel. Below is the depiction of it:
Companies from various industries are now using different live chat software to improve customer services and response times.
It is estimated that around 33% of consumers now expect to see and welcomes via live chat box upon visiting a website.
Increase in Conversions & Sales Volume
It is commonly believed that when e-commerce customers have queries regarding their purchase, they tend to wait for a response. That is not the case, those that have a slow response, loses a sale to a competitor.
Live chat allows your service representative to instantly respond to questions from wavering customers, helping a great deal in closing the sale.
According to the American Marketing Association, a personal chat solution can increase conversion rates for B2B customers by almost 20%.
There are other sources which show that live chat features convert 3 to 5 times more customers.
When Virgin Airlines deployed the live chat feature, their average order value rose by 15%, and their conversion rates increased by 23%.
Live chat considerably decreases the cost of serving the customers, as customer service agents can indulge in multiple live chats at a time (extremely difficult over phone), they use time optimally and provide faster support to clients.
This tool also plays a significant role in increasing customer retention by between 48 to 63%.
The returning customers already loyal, making the re-selling part easier and simpler.
Companies Using Live Chat Creatively
1. Snap Engage
There are few things as frustrating as arriving at a 404 page.
Rather than providing a long list of suggested links, Snap Engage quickly fires an automated live chat invitation when site visitors land on their 404 page so that they can quickly guide them to their desired page.
Handimedical is an e-commerce firm that sells medical equipment.
As their visitors have numerous questions regarding the functionality of medical apparatus and instruments, it was extremely beneficial for them to have a live chat tool.
The adoption of the tool has proven to be instrumental in boosting the firm’s sales volume.
It has also helped the business in cutting cost as most of the guidance is being given online regarding the operation of the equipments.
3. Sophie & Trey
Sophie and Trey is one of the rapidly growing e-commerce fashion outlets in US, whose designers have been using facebook live to weekly update their customers about the latest arrivals and the discount offers on them.
Needless to say, the customers love being regularly informed about the latest happenings in the world of fashion and can customized their wardrobe accordingly.
Betterment, a leading online investment consultant, uses customized and targeted proactive chat invitations to attract and engage with top-tier customers when they sign up for a new account.
It demands utmost credibility and trust when you deal with people’s money.
Live presents an ideal opportunity to the financial advisors to provide instant, personalized financial services to new clients so that they can invest with confidence.
Companies who are not putting due time and resources in digital channels today are quickly falling behind competition.
Without a decisive move into digital e-commerce, businesses will lose customers, struggle to compete, and see their margins shrink quite rapidly.
If you are looking to instantly boost your e-commerce revenues and build a substantially long term loyalty via fabulous customer service, live chat is the answer.
Whether you are a new e-commerce business, or an established one try to reinvent, live chat seems like an ultimate smart choice.
Using this tool, you can easily communicate to your valuable clients in a medium they prefer and use that to provide “WOW” experience.
It can also help considerably in decreasing costs, increase average order value, and overall sales. It’s the way of the future, a perfect combination of efficient technology and human contact— two evergreen elements that will always remain useful and in fashion.
Author Bio: Jenny Harrison is a passionate marketing and business blogger. She loves to engage with readers who are seeking B2B and B2C marketing related information on the internet. She is a featured blogger at various high authority blogs and magazines in which she shared her research and experience with the vast online community. Currently, she is associated with PNC Digital, an Orlando based E-Commerce Development Company specializes in OpenCart, Magento, Shopify Web Development.