Traffic and conversions for your e-commerce store have likely suffered due to the COVID-19 crisis. But have you considered that your website visitors might assume your business is shut down and not able to fulfill orders, and that’s why they’re not buying?
At HelpFlow, we run customer service for over 100 e-commerce stores and have seen the uncertainty in website visitors massively spike over the last few weeks. We’re getting tons of questions of “are you shut down?”, “are you still in business?”, and even “are you still accepting orders?”.
Your website visitors are assuming your business is shut down and they shouldn’t order, unless you can reassure them otherwise. In this post, we will share an easy to implement checklist of what all e-commerce stores need to do to reassure their visitors that they’re still in business so that they can get sales during this time.
All Of These Are Required
It’s important to note that this list should not be something you pick and choose from. Instead, you need to implement all of these as they all work together.
- We are seeing many businesses publish banners on their website that say they are still in business without any shipping delays.
- But visitors continue to ask for confirmation via live chat before completing orders.
- This is because many e-commerce stores have published banners saying they are not affected, but then when they lay off their team and shut down nobody updates the website.
Visitors have already been let down by other stores that are not actually in business, so it’s important that you implement all of these actions across your website at least for the next few weeks.
Site Wide Banner – “No Delays Due to Covid19…”
The first thing to do is to publish a small but noticeable site wide banner across the top of all of your webpages that clearly communicates your business status. Ideally, “no delays due to COVID-19…” with a “details” link that leads to a webpage or overlay providing more context.
This is the first thing visitors are looking for during this time of uncertainty. While it is not enough to only publish this, it is essential that you get this banner live.
Reassure Visitors on Product Pages
A site wide banner may be noticed by visitors, but where they start to feel uncertain about your business is status is when they begin the purchase process. This starts on the product page.
In addition to having a banner at the top of all site pages including the product pages, communicate additional confidence to the visitor within your product pages near the buying flow.
For example, adding a small message near the buy now or add to cart button’s, which allows for additional details if they hover over the notification.
Again, you are trying to be there with validation when the visitor is starting to feel uncertainty about if your business is shut down.
Emphasize Confidence In Shipping / Checkout Process
As a visitor proceeds into the checkout process, continue to boost their confidence. You can include messaging about business continuity directly within the checkout and specifically mention no shipping delays within the shipping section.
If you don’t currently use technology that enables you to show an actual arrival date of their shipment, now might be a good time to implement it. Providing this view into the future will give visitors much more confidence.
Be Available 24/7 on Live Chat for Questions
Regardless of what you do within the website, it’s critical that you have a human available 24/7 via live chat to answer questions.
- We have seen clients with all of the above implemented on their website still continue to get questions every single hour from visitors asking for validation.
- Many stores are publishing the above messages but then not updating them when they actually do get shut down.
- This leaves visitors with an incredible lack of confidence unless there is a human to reassure them.
Here’s a typical example:
Putting live chat onto your website is easy. While you can use it to boost sales significantly, the most important element for this time is simply having a human there 24/7 to answer visitors questions about the status of the business.
Take Action Now
During times of uncertainty, it’s critical that you give visitors confidence so that they will buy from you. If you don’t take these steps, you’re bound to lose sales you can otherwise get during this crisis.
- Configure your onsite banner right away
- Add messaging to your product pages and checkout
- And most importantly, be online for 24/7 live chat to reassure visitors
Need Help with a 24/7 Live Chat Team?
We’ve published a “Live Chat Blueprint” to guide you in getting 24/7 live chat configured and operating smoothly, which you can access here. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
If you already have live chat, but need someone to staff it 24/7 during this crisis we can help with that too. We have a team of live chat agents ready to deploy, as we already run live chat for 100+ stores. Book a Strategy Call here to discuss how to get the team live on your website asap.
Jon Tucker is CEO of HelpFlow, a provider of 24/7 live chat and customer service teams for 100+ eCommerce stores. Launched in 2015, their team of agents has produced nearly $100M in chat revenue for a wide range of stores using a conversion-focused approach to live chat.