Ecommerce websites have a distinct advantage over brick and mortar stores in that they’re open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Thanks to the Internet, e-commerce web shop owners can now make money in their sleep. The biggest disadvantage to owning an e-commerce store is the inability to connect with shoppers. Traditional shops have sales representatives on hand and ready to answer shopper’s questions, whereas most e-commerce websites do not.
Want to change all that? Live chat software can help you meet and greet customers as they browse your online store.
Types of live chat software
There are two basic types of live chat software available for web shop owners:
Instant messaging widgets. These are installable plug-ins that you add to your website that will connect with popular instant messaging software.
Server installable software. This is software you install on your web hosting server.
The type of live chat software you choose to employ is entirely up to you. Both types of support feature conversation logging, real time chatting and have free options available for website owners.
Free instant messaging widgets
With instant messaging widgets your shoppers will see a chat box pop up within their web browser while you’ll be connecting with customers using the actual desktop software. Most instant messaging widgets require you to add a few lines of HTML to your web pages to display the widget.
MSN Live Messenger: Add a few lines of code to your web page and your shoppers will be able to see your online status and instantly connect with you.
AIM WIMZI: The AIM WIMZI widget is completely customizable and can be added to your site within moments.
Google Talk Chatback: Connect with e-commerce customers with the easy to install Google Talk Chatback program available in Google Apps.
Free server side live chat software
Server side chat software is installed on your web hosting server. Visitors to your e-commerce site will see a chat pop-up within their browser and shop owners will login to the application through a control panel.
LiveZilla: LiveZilla lets users chat with website visitors and monitor shoppers in real-time. LiveZilla also has webcam support.
Zopim: Zopim’s Lite software is perfect for small shop owners and lets you to carry on two concurrent conversations.
Help Center Live: This program is available in most cPanel control panels and is also downloadable. Help Center Live gives users the ability to chat in real-time and track shoppers movements.
Crafty Syntax: Crafty Syntax is also available with cPanel or can be downloaded. Crafty Syntax allows for multiple chat operators, live chat, canned responses and visitor tracking.
Adding live chat to your website gives you the ability to be more proactive in your e-commerce store. Instead of waiting for sales to come to you, you’ll be able to interact with customers one-on-one and help seal the deal.