With average ecommerce conversion rates falling between 2-8%, most e-business professionals are challenged with squeezing incremental revenue from over 90% of their visitors. And while optimizing web design and usability (UX), beefing up product content, and offering discounts and free trials can help boost conversion rates, these digital tactics are not enough to capture the 5-15% of “underserved” visitors who have questions and needs that can’t be served by digital alone.
Underserved visitors have high conversion and revenue potential, but will delay or make no purchase decision without live, human sales assistance. According to Forrester Research, 53% of online buyers are likely to abandon a site when they can’t find quick answers to their questions, and 44% say that having questions answered by a live person is one of the most important features a website can offer.
In our experience, visitors who engage with live sales agents convert 2x more often than those who don’t, and live engagement drives 3x more revenue per visitor (RPV).
Why 1-800 numbers and live chat aren’t enough
Despite the apparent demand for and ubiquity of live help options on software sites, on average live help is initiated by less than 1% of visitors to online software vendors’ websites. This is in part due to visibility — placement of these options in a site’s header or footer, or competing with other more prominent calls to action.
“Push chat” (a proactive pop-up invitation for live support) has become popular on software sites and can increase chat acceptance, but is typically served to all site visitors in the exact same way, usually several seconds after arrival. When targeted to the wrong visitors — self-converters for whom the digital experience alone satisfies their needs and non-converters who have low or no purchase intent — can actually negatively impact user experience. When these triggers are interruptive or irrelevant, self-converters and non-converters at worst will abandon the site. When triggered to unprofitable visitors, they can tie up live agent time that could be more effectively used for high-value, underserved visitors.
For push chat to be effective and profitable, it must accurately identify the right visitors, and engage them at the right point of their journey, with the right message.
Key drivers of Intelligent Visitor Engagement
Today’s digital consumer expects relevant, personalized experiences. Intelligent Visitor Engagement must accurately identify which visitors are most likely in need of live, human sales assistance, at what specific point of their journey they need it, and what message is most appropriate. This is achieved by tracking hundreds of variables in real-time (visitor attributes, context and behavior) to create dynamic visitor profiles.
Visitor attributes – “the Who”
Attributes apply to users regardless of which website they visit. For example, geolocation, browser, device or language. For logged-in visitors with existing accounts, profile information like age, gender, billing and email address (e.g. free email accounts) can also be used.
Visitor context – “the What and How”
Referring source or campaign, referring keywords, entry pages, pages viewed and visitor path can signal purchase intent (high or low), how close to conversion and how profitable a given visitor is.
Visitor behavior (the “Where and When”)
A visitor’s “digital body language” expressed through mouse movements, hover and scroll behavior (fast or slow, full page or mid-page), idling, pogo-sticking between pages and other site interactions may indicate hesitation, confusion or desire for more information.
Dynamic visitor profiles are matched to engagement rules applied by skilled digital marketers and data scientists, with live help invitations triggered when specific events and conditions are met within a visitor’s digital journey.
Verifying revenue lift through accurate attribution reporting
To validate the contribution of Intelligent Visitor Engagement, it’s important to isolate its performance from other activities that can impact conversion and revenue, such as on-page A/B and multivariate tests, promotional offers and other triggered personalization tactics. This is achieved by maintaining a control group that is withheld from profiling and proactive engagement, and ensures you are not negatively impacting visitors, or cannibalizing revenue you would have had anyway.
For accurate and precise attribution, predictive engagement technology must capture events from both the digital and live engagement journeys (including co-browsing sessions) of every visitor including the control group. Reporting must also deliver metrics like chat acceptance rates, conversion rates, average order value and revenue per visitor at the microsegment level to allow continuous optimization of engagement rules applied by analysts.
Towards a complete Intelligent Visitor Engagement solution
A complete, end-to-end Intelligent Visitor Engagement solution that successfully captures lost revenue connects predictive technology and reporting with skilled digital analysts and live sales agents, without any siloed functions or data. Fully-integrated solutions not only allow analysts to refine the rules for the digital experience, but feed back insights to the live sales team to optimize selling strategies and processes.