Friday, January 30, 2009

Online Chats, Sales & Bonanzle

A recent report by Internet Retailer points out that 10% to 15% of e-commerce browsers will buy if they engage in online chat versus 2% who do not.

The online shopping site, Bonanzle gives buyers the opportunity to chat with sellers via a booth chat.

Do you think that's part of the reason Bonanzle has been growing by leaps and bounds?

If you're a Bonanzle seller, what has been your experience as far as talking with your customers?

Are your booth chats productive?

Are buyers wasting your time?

And more importantly - do your chats convert to sales?


  1. That's interesting and makes me wonder whether I should engage more. Truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of the live chat capabilities except in cases of Bonanzas and for the new auction format.

    Why? It's not because I don't want to talk to people, but it's because more specific questions on my items take time to answer. I also encourage phone calls, but request you leave a voicemail--for me, the specific questions often require locating and pulling an item and perhaps even spending some time with it before I can give a clear answer. This doesn't work well in chat format; again, by comparison to the phone, this type of question leaves me in the position of having to call you back.

    But it's great for more general questions, I'll give you that. The problem from my perspective is that it's the more complicated specific questions which more likely lead to a sale.

    In the final analysis though I do prefer that it is available rather than not having it at all.


  2. In my personal experience with booth chat, it has led to sales,up selling, and more satisfied clients as I am able to help them with choices in real time.
    Instead of selling one item, I am able to help the client choose the add ons that are beneficial to their situation. I have also been able to communicate and develop personal formulas for clients just as I do person to person in the spa.
    To shed light on the productivity of it, less is loss in the communication when each person knows the other is right there concentrating on the conversation in real time.
    In conclusion to sum it up in numbers, my experience has been 90% productive 10% waste of time.


  3. It sounds like, from a customer service point of view, that the chat leads to customer satisfaction.

    I had also wondered if the chat helps give buyers a sense of confidence and security as well.

    Thanks for your feedback!


  4. Hey Phaedra,

    Actually, I would expect chat to work very well for you (and I'm glad it does :)

    This is one of the differences in our product lines--I could probably ask you any question and get a detailed and correct answer back from you in chat as quick as I would talking to you in person.

    No so with my goods. The customer is going to have to wait, either for me to pull something out that moment for them or, on a more complicated query, until I get back to them later in the day.

    As always, different ingredients in each of our businesses, which is what makes ideas such as this so easy for us all to debate.



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