Humanizing your ecommerce marketing experience

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
6 min read

How and where you might get human input for the web experiences

We reside in an age of high online connection, but low interpersonal connection. Even yet in relatively casual settings, people just don’t chit-chat just as much anyone. Which bums me out in my own gut. Why? Because, as social animals, we miss human interaction. Actually, recent research implies that people who have strong social ties aren’t just happier, however they live longer.

It’s exactly the same on the internet; true social interaction – not only posting content and comments – is bound. True, some websites do offer phone and chat support, but it’s often handled by entry-level employees untrained in sales tactics, and sometimes lacking interpersonal empathy. We’re missing that basic thing we are in need of in a shopping context: the opportunity to get our questions answered quickly and accurately, with some caring.

So even though you don’t take action for all your right reasons, you need to humanize your designs for the high PROFITS ON RETURN (ROI) it produces: chat experiences typically boost conversions by 5-7 times over non-humanized ones, leading to chat-assisted ROIs of 10X or even more.


I’ll cover the math at length later; first, why don’t we have a look at some important facts to consider for the ecommerce experience.

Get some human input

The most reliable customer research channel I’ve found – with regards to insights per money and time invested – is talking to customer care agents. Communicating with and observing experienced agents, since they’ve likely spoken to a huge selection of customers, will provide you with the insights that become pure conversion gold.

The insights I’m discussing are prospects:

  • Most-asked questions. So that you can answer them directly in your copy
  • Top issues and concerns – so that you can address them proactively in your website design
  • Suggestions – so that you can prioritize feature updates in your online presences

You just need to consult with 3-5 experienced agents, each with six months or even more of experience, for 60 minutes each. Provided that they’re reasonably open and talkative, you’ll hear 90% of what you ought to know, at the very least for the initial ‘website humanization’ phase. Make sure to keep carefully the channels of communication open with one of these agents, though, to allow them to feed you more insights in the coming months.

This input, the insights you distill as a result, and the associated user experience updates you’ll make, will increase your baseline conversion rate, a noticable difference even before you add features like online chat.

Offer human interactions

Now that you’re (hopefully) convinced of the worthiness of humans in your sales loop, let’s cover the way you should get these folks interacting with these potential customers.

There are two main support options nowadays: phone and chat. Since phone take rates are very low overall (less than 2% for some e-commerce websites, if you ask me), online chat can be your best best. It’s relatively economical to create, and highly efficient, since skilled agents can typically handle 3 or even more chats at the same time.


My favorite ‘starter’ chat apps will be the ones incorporated with LuckyOrange tool. It’s incorporated with their visitor analytics package, and includes the opportunity to seamlessly speak to multiple customers simultaneously, send visitors pre-set responses, and transfer chats to other operators.

If you’re prepared to dive deeper in to the chat pool, progress to tools like LiveChat, SnapEngage, BoldChat or Velaro. They permit you to do things such as integrate together with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, push chats predicated on customized rules, and brand your chat experience. And all have solid analytics and reporting, so that you can easily tune your chat experience and agent performance as time passes.

Train your sales agents

Most companies consider their agents as Support reps, not Sales reps. The truth is, to find the highest ‘close rate’ (what salespeople call conversion rate), your agents have to be been trained in solution selling tactics. This can have a few hours (usually 5 to 9 8), however the selling transformation you’ll see will undoubtedly be truly amazing. And these interactions won’t you need to be transactional – they enable your agents to generate genuine, memorable connections together with your brand.

A couple classes I like are those by Dale Carnegie and the Zappos School of Wow.

About $1500 per agent will undoubtedly be enough to really get your agents ramped up (4-5 initial courses). Since you’ll be earning thousands more in revenue each day, you’ll purchase this cost in a few days. Even better, these agents will earn much more commissions, that will enhance their personal happiness and company loyalty.

Where to plug in your chat

Once you’ve chosen a chat app and trained your agents, it’s time and energy to decide where you can plug in your chat experience. First, think where questions are likely to pop-up, and questions that, if left unanswered, may cause visitors from bailout from your own website. This results in your product, cart and checkout pages. So place a ‘Chat Now’ button, in most of your or secondary color, on these pages in a location where it can’t be missed. An excellent place I’ve found is on the proper 1 / 2 of the page, somewhere close to the main proactive approach (increase cart, start checkout, etc.). That is squarely in the ‘visual focus area’ of all visitors.

Also add this chat button to your internet site header. Predicated on a visitor expectation study done at Wichita State University, the very best right corner of one’s website is where most visitors be prepared to ‘get help’ or ‘enter touch’, which means you should place your chat link, contact number and ‘contact us’ links here on all pages.

Not convinced? Here’s some human conversion rate math

If you’re not yet convinced this ‘humanizing’ initiative may be the strategy to use, let’s do some simple conversion and revenue math. (I’m sorry in the event that you hate math; profits on return may be the language business executives best understand, so you’d better get accustomed to it!).

Let’s assume:

  • You will hire sales people at $20/hour
  • You could have 4 agents total, 2 which work 8-hour shifts each day
  • Your average order value (AOV) is $70
  • Your site has 150,000 visitors monthly, or around 5000 per day

Your agent cost is:

$20/hour * 16 hours * 2 agents = $640 per day

Your chat tool cost is approximately $150 monthly (including setup and subscription), or $5 each day.

Hiring a sales manager can cost you about $60,000 each year, or $240 each day.

The additional revenue with agents is:

5000 visitors/day * 3% chat usage rate * 15% conversion rate = 22 increased sales Per Day

Assuming your average order value is $70, that’s a $1540 sales lift Per Day

Subtracting your daily costs ($885), that’s a $655 Net Increase EACH DAY, $19,925 Net Increase MONTHLY, or $239,100 EACH YEAR!

Yes, your agent training costs have to be included, but they are one-time, and a small % of the aforementioned monthly gain. Important thing: adding a chat tool and agents to your sales mix is really a no-brainer from both customer experience and ROI perspectives.

Keep optimizing your human interactions

Getting input from agents and plugging in your chat tool certainly are a great start, but after that’s done it is best to be optimizing – people, procedures, hours, etc. to get a lot more leverage out of this conversion-boosting channel.

And make sure to put good chat agent productivity measures set up (training completion, chat performance (predicated on random audits by management) along with measure traditional call center metrics – chat invite response time, first-time issue resolution (support inquiries), close rate, email capture rate, etc.) so that you can improve these metrics as time passes.

The web has turned into a pretty impersonal place, nonetheless it doesn’t need to be! By humanizing your insights and experience you’ll rise above your rivals and see more revenue hit your money every month.

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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