An E-commerce Starter’s Guide to Web Chat Sequencing

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In an e-commerce era where conversational marketing is one of the leading players in the digital marketing game, web-chat sequencing takes center stage. According data provided by Intercom, users are 82% more likely to convert to customers if they’ve chatted with you first! Even more telling, their accounts will be worth 13% more. 

Are you still not sure about automation, though? Good news. Intercom’s data also shows that conversations supported by bots convert 36% better. But, you’re right, you should be cautious when it comes to automation. Bots should never try to pretend to be a human, nor should replace your ‘human’ customer support completely. 

It is also very important to mention that if web chat is poorly implemented, it could have a negative effect on your overall conversion rate. This is why we have put together an easy starter’s guide to setting up your lead capturing web chat sequence. 

Why Use Web Chat Sequencing 

  • Save support time with automating replies to repetitive queries
  • Improve your website by paying attention to FAQs in live chat
  • Capture users by reaching out and retaining their interest with swift replies. Intercom data shows that a single reply makes visitor’s 50% more likely to convert!
graph showing the increase of conversion with live web chat replies
See full Insight: Web Chat Conversions by Reply

How to Get Started with E-commerce Web Chat Sequencing 

If you are wondering the best way to implement web chat sequencing for your business, consider the following points:

What’s your Goal?

There are two fundamentally different goals: (1) acquisition and (2) retention:


Acquisition is about helping users make their purchase, and convert into a customer. Here, it is important to proactively reach out in the right moment and then to have a solid automation in place to do ‘Lead Qualification’.

The goal of a great automated lead qualification process should be to identify patterns that ‘good’ (= high CLV) customers have in common (e.g. industry, specific use case, country, etc.)

Retention is about helping customers/users to use your product or service. This is the typical “customer support” many companies offer. Here, the goal is about ensuring their successful use of your product or service and to take away any potential barriers.

Is Automation Needed?

Is there something that your customer support or sales team does repeatedly? It could be answering common questions or help requests, reaching out to users/leads, or guiding them to valuable content. Can these tasks be automated to save your team time?

Keep Track of Common Questions

Before you apply your web chat sequencing, it would be helpful to make a list of all the common questions that are asked. Naturally, you can also use your FAQ page as a guide for writing the script to your sequence. 

Refine and Improve your Chat Sequence

Consider the journey you want to take your user on once you have engaged in a chat with them. It could be useful to plan out possible routes your user might take in the conversation. You can then add or remove options based on what you think would add the most value. Presenting the user with closed options will make this more predictable, more on this later. 

Focus on Where

For e-commerce stores it is important to be very careful about your web chat implementation. Users are very familiar with the online shopping process and if your site has been optimally designed, your user is likely to find what they’re looking for easier than if they engaged in a chat. So it could be a smart idea NOT to have a distracting live chat on your home page. 

Intercom’s data tells us that users are 45% more likely to convert through chat on pages other than the homepage. Perhaps you would want to focus your real-time response on pages where they are more likely to need it AND less likely to be distracted by it.

Remember to consider your user’s motivations for being on that page before writing the sequence script. This will ensure a conversation that will work best for your user. 

Tips for e-commerce web chat optimization 

1. Limit User Responses

In a face-to-face environment it is important to use open-ended questions when offering help. However, on live chat, giving your user clickable options will result in higher rates of interaction. 

For example, “How can we help?” Could be: 

“Hey! Thanks for checking [Company Name] out, would you like to:

  1. Keep browsing
  2. Ask a question
  3. What’s new/Promotions/etc.”

In the above example, you are telling the user what to say and also giving them the option to not chat at that moment. If they choose “Keep browning”, you can follow up with something like, “Great, we’re here if you need us.” 

So even if they do not engage with your live chat, they have seen an example of your ace customer service, a major trust signal for the user. 

In example below, given by Shopify, every message shared by the live chat is followed by three option responses for the user. 

shopify examples of web chat sequencing options in e-commerce store
Image source: Shopify

2. Show your Team’s Faces

Personalize the live chat experience for your user by adding your team’s faces to the automated chat responder. According to a test carried out by VWO, contact conversion went up by 43% when a personal picture was used rather than a general icon. 

3. Track Feedback and Improve your E-commerce Store

It won’t take long on chat to see how you can tweak your store to improve the experience. If you focus on reducing common and basic inquiries which can be resolved by a more effective user design, you can focus your chat efforts on more complex queries and perhaps even upselling.

Pay attention to the following details in your live chats:

Terminology: do you say jumper, but all your chat users say sweater? It might be time to update the copy on your website to reflect the language of your user.

Layout and Navigation: If users seem lost and asking questions about where to find something on your site, it might be time to hire a web-designer. You can also check out our design tips based on user needs. 

Product FAQs: are you getting the same questions about a product? Consider adding more information to your product description page. 

The Takeaway

Utilizing live chat could be a very powerful tool for conversion on your e-commerce store IF implemented well. So use the above article wisely to guarantee an improved experience for your users. You will also save yourself and your team much-needed time for growing your digital business.  

Where do you think the best location for a live chat would be on an e-commerce store? Let us know in the comments below!

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