Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bold Software Releases Second Annual Live Chat Effectiveness Research Report

Bold Software Releases Second Annual Live Chat Effectiveness Research Report

Industry’s most comprehensive findings on live chat technology offer compelling customer experience insights for e-tailers.

Wichita, KS (PRWEB) March 22, 2010

Bold Software (http://www. boldchat. com), today announced the second annual release of a report detailing the industry’s most comprehensive research on the effectiveness of live chat technology (http://www. boldchat. com/live_chat_software/live_chat_effectiveness_2010.jsp? mc=pr). While 2009 findings included insights such as the fact that once a shopper has used live chat, more than 2/3rds will actively look for websites that provide it, the 2010 version includes new questions, a much larger sample size, and detailed information about specific retailer types. One statistic drives home the effectiveness of live chat: 77 percent of chatters agree that the technology positively influenced their attitude about the e-tailer.

“We’re proud to share these findings with the market for the second year in a row,” said Bold Software President and CEO Steve Castro-Miller. “We began this effort last year in order to quantatively examine the efficacy of live chat through the filter of prospective buyer behavior. We’ve seen some very interesting data points as a result of our year-over-year research, such as the growing use of live chat for both sales and service, and a quashing of the belief that proactive chat turns shoppers off. We carefully structured the survey in order to obtain unbiased feedback from online consumers, and built on last year’s efforts to slice and dice the data in a variety of ways to examine live chat growth and opportunities. The results can serve as a roadmap for any e-tailer looking to successfully implement or optimize live chat.”

In January 2010, Bold Software funded a blind survey of more than 1,000 regular, U. S.-based internet shoppers using an opt-in, third party panel. Out of this live chat research, five key conclusions can be drawn:

1) There is a relationship between live chat and certain demographic/psychographic characteristics.
Utilizing a standard statistical analysis technique, the report concludes that those who have engaged in an online chat with a retailer are more likely to have higher household incomes, be older than 30, and to be college educated. Additionally, shoppers who spend more, either on an average transaction basis or in a single transaction, are more likely to have had a chat before. For internet retailers that serve this demographic, this is an important finding because visitors to their sites will be more likely to have chatted before. This fact is even more critical considering the next conclusion drawn from this research.

2) There is a widening gap in attitude and behavior between those that have chatted and those that haven’t.
In several places throughout the report, the disparity of response between chatters and non-chatters was extremely significant. Those that have chatted are far more likely to indicate that chat influences them to buy, far more likely to think chat is more efficient than emailing or calling, far more likely to select chat as their preferred method of communication, and so on. Additionally, the disparity between chatters and non-chatters appears to be growing year-over-year which indicates a deepening relationship between experiencing live chat technology and one’s attitude about it.

3) Live chat continues to be effective – for sales & service.
The research shows that live chat is an effective channel for both new and existing customers. Customers using the technology pre-sale went up 7 percentage points since last year’s research and more than three quarters of the chatting population reported that live chat positively affected their overall impression of the retailer with whom they chatted. Significant movement year-over-year was also seen with regard to same-session purchases – a 15 percent rise was seen in those chatters agreeing that they purchased as a direct result of their most recent chat session.

4) Fear of proactively inviting visitors to chat is unfounded.
Many retailers – even those who do use live chat technology – are reluctant to proactively invite website visitors for fear of driving them away. This research shows that the majority of consumers (52 percent) are accepting of the practice. Certain sub-groups are even more receptive including more frequent shoppers and those that spend more.

5) Certain types of internet retailers will find live chat relatively more effective.
When the data is filtered to create sub-groups of respondents indicating that they recently shopped at particular types of retailer sites, this research shows, for the following retailer types (listed alphabetically), live chat is comparatively more effective:
 Computers/Electronics  Flowers/Gifts  Food/Drug  Hardware/Home Improvement  Health/Beauty  Housewares/Furnishings  Jewelry  Office Supplies  Sporting Goods

To learn more, download the full research findings at: http://www. boldchat. com/live_chat_software/live_chat_effectiveness_2010.jsp? mc=pr (http://www. boldchat. com/live_chat_software/live_chat_effectiveness_2010.jsp? mc=pr)

About BoldChat:
Bold Software LLC, is a leading provider of world-class web communication tools designed to help businesses improve online support and increase sales. Using Bold Software’s live chat, click-to-call, email management, and active co-browsing tools, businesses can quickly and effectively engage visitors on their website. Bold Software sells a wide variety of competitively-priced products under the BoldChat, BoldCall, and BoldCCM brand names. Businesses of all sizes - from small proprietorships to large ecommerce enterprises – can provide more intelligent online customer interactions and close more sales using Bold Software solutions. The company is headquartered in Wichita, KS, with thousands of customers around the world including 3M, American Cancer Society, Corel, Dean & DeLuca, and ViewSonic. For more information about Bold Software, go to www. BoldSoft. com or call 1-866-753-9933.

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