US retailer ScottEvest is seeing significant sales gains and improved return rates just months after introducing Live Chat.
US pureplay retailer ScotteVest has seen a dramatic jump in conversions since introducing Live Chat nine months ago. The travel apparel manufacturer conducts nearly 160 chats per week, 25% of which give rise to a sale according to a report by Internet Retailer. “In our market, because our sole focus is sales on the internet, it is essential that our customers feel comfortable getting in touch with us,” said ScotteVest CEO Scott Jordan. Live Chat has also helped the retailer minimise return rates by allowing shoppers to discuss sizing and shipping costs prior to purchase. “Our return rate is only 11%, when traditionally it’s around 25% or more for apparel retailers,” added Jordan. “Live Chat is a big reason for that.”
Jordan said that Live Chat plays a crucial role during critical decision points such as choosing a size – if a customer hovers in a certain section, the live chat technology might prompt a conversation with that shopper. Repeat shoppers account for at least 40% of ScotteVest’s customer base and sales have increased nearly 100% a year in the last two years. The retailer expects to maintain this growth in 2011.
Findings from a recent E-Tailing Group study support the benefits of Live Chat for driving sales. The research showed that 58% of US customers have interacted with an online retailer using Live Chat and that more than half converted to a lead or a sale 20% or more of the time. It also found that proactive chat, where an e-tailer engages with a customer based on their on-site behaviour, sparked higher conversion rates than when the chat is initiated by the customer.