Live chat integration for ecommerce allows you to engage customers across their buyer’s journey in your online store, from research on your site to checkout pages.

Good product pages can make the difference between effective ecommerce live chat and not.

Ecommerce live chat can help motivate prospects to take the last steps towards becoming customers.

But how much work should your live chat agents be doing to make a sale vs. how much work should your site be doing?

This boils down to one key question: When customers view product pages on your ecommerce site, do the pages motivate them to add items to their cart?

If not, you will probably need to invest more in intelligent, personable live chat agents to pick up the slack, or risk losing droves of potential customers who show up and then quickly leave, unimpressed. Or worse, potential customers might not even visit your site at all – if your product pages are not optimized to attract relevant search engine traffic, you might not even have droves to turn away.

Ecommerce live chat is at its most effective when it is used as the tipping point that pushes an already interested prospect that vital step forward to purchasing, rather than as a last ditch effort to drag a sale from “I’m not interested in this and am about to leave this site” to the point of purchase.

So how do you create compelling product pages for your ecommerce business that draw site visitors to your site and bring them to that tipping point so that your live chat agents can make a purchase happen?

Great Product Pages as a Foundation for Successful Ecommerce Live Chat

Practical Ecommerce put together some great points (with visual examples) in their recent article “7 Product Detail Page Differentiators for 2015.” You’ll probably learn something valuable by reading the full article, but in short it covers media (e.g. images and video), consumer-created content, and logistical concerns like return policies, shipping and customer support.

If you’re still not convinced as to the why this matters to you, check out the aptly titled: “Is Regurgitated Ecommerce Content Throttling Your Profit Potential?” You may also want to read “Why Optimising your Product Data is Essential to your Ecommerce Strategy” (though in brief it pertains to a few key aspects of your product data feeds, namely metadata/SEO, analytics, responsive design, and for some industries real-time updates).

The three key elements to a successful product page are: engagement, convenience and credibility, in that order.

Engagement is the first priority – if you can’t get a potential customer’s attention, it doesn’t matter how easy it is for them to order. This could take the form of snappy copy, captivating images or video, or a promotion they just can’t ignore.

Some might argue that you need to establish credibility before convenience is relevant, however in the current ecommerce environment, there are simply too many other options too readily accessible for you to risk losing potential customers to any roadblocks, real or perceived, in the discover -> consider -> purchase process.

This is the phase at which ecommerce live chat is most relevant. When customers get confused or have a question that suddenly makes the process less convenient than it has to be, live chat can easily re-engage them and shepherd them along to the point of purchase.

Just like convenience is more about mitigating inconvenience, credibility is more about dispelling doubts. You don’t need overwhelming positive affirmation that you’re the best, you just need enough affirmations that you are reliable that the potential customer feels comfortable giving you their credit card information and expecting to receive what they ordered according to the timetable provided.

Ecommerce live chat is valuable for credibility purposes as well, assuming your chat agents are well-trained. Poor grammar and scripts can actually compound an already problematic credibility issue, but articulate, helpful staff can re-assure customers about the accuracy of the information on your site and about your trustworthiness as a vendor.

All three of these elements (engagement, convenience, and credibility) are important to the first purchase and to a long future of repeat purchases. By setting up a live chat integration with your ecommerce platform, you can capitalize on product pages that incorporate these three elements to help push prospects that last step and make them your customers rather than someone else’s.