Econsultancy has recently produced a guide on 'How to increase conversions by creating buyer urgency and a fear of loss'. Here's our summary of the article plus our guide to how you can be using the same techniques through your eCommerce live chat.
In eCommerce, a sense of urgency and fear of loss are powerful ways to increase conversions. They can be used to encourage undecided buyers to finally make a decision. Increase order value for a customer who doesn't want to miss out on a good deal. And even occasionally prevent consumers from bouncing around from site to site to find the best deal, and simply push them to buy from that site.
Booking.com and Hotels.com (hotel comparison and booking websites) are well known for the various urgency techniques which they use on their site to push customers to a booking. As the Econsultancy guide explains, these websites use a range of techniques which are supposed to show the popularity of the hotel and the potentially diminishing number of available rooms.
Two of the main techniques which Booking.com and Hotels.com use are: showing the most recent booking at the hotel which is being viewed and how many people are currently viewing the hotel. Also adding how many rooms are actually left for booking just to make sure that all site visitors can see these messages along their booking journey.
You can reinforce such messaging through live chat conversations. If a customer has come on to chat to find out more details about facilities at the hotel, for instance, the live chat agent can explain the full list of facilities on offer whilst also suggesting "booking soon to not be disappointed". Referring to the information on page (which both agent and customer can see) to add proof to the agents reasoning for booking soon.
One way in which Ebay has always created urgency is by listing the number of people which are watching an item. It shows the competition between potential buyers and combined with stock levels, can encourage a consumer to not wait around too long.
A similar method can be used via live chat, even if you don't have the same analytical abilities as Ebay. Live chat agents can very easily gauge the popularity of products based on the number of people going through to purchase after chatting, the number of people showing general interest via chat and the amount of inquiries which are made about stock levels.
Live chat agents can give an honest opinion to a customer about whether they think stock will run out soon or not and how popular the product is. It helps if live chat agents are working as part of a team, regularly feeding back to each other and tracking popularity with systems such as chat tagging.
The final urgency technique that I'd like to draw attention to is that of Simply Hike. Simply Hike uses a timer on product pages to show when consumers have to order by to secure delivery by a particular date (e.g. order within 5 hours and choose express delivery to receive by Friday). This is a technique commonly used by Amazon too. It mainly works when the customer is already in a little bit of a rush or are impatient.
Delivery costs and estimated delivery dates can be confusing for customers and they can often want reassurance as to when they will receive their products. Click to chat can provide this assurance with live chat agents explaining your exact delivery options and adding in some urgency at the same time. If the customer wants it by Friday, the agent can suggest buying it as soon as possible is a good idea for insuring it definitely is received in time.
Live chat can also be used to insure transparency with delivery costs. Online shoppers often abandon baskets due to delivery costs being unclear and having to advance to basket simply to check them. Instead they can quickly pop on to chat or a live chat agent can engage them with proactive chat if they seem to be looking for such information.