eCommerce Tips & Trends

Using conversations to optimize conversions

Tivan Amour

by Tivan Amour

On 2018 M06 26

by Tivan Amour

At SaveMySales, we've built a Shopify app that allows any store to set up an automated text-message sales team in under 10 minutes.

We use well-timed SMS messages and a team of expert live agents to help answer customer questions, offer incentives, and increase abandoned cart conversion rates by up to 3X.

Across the hundreds of stores we run with, we’ve learned some valuable best practices for increasing conversion rates by talking to your customers. Below is a shortlist of our best advice!

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Open every communication channel

Each customer has a different preferred method of engaging with you. Some will send emails (fewer and fewer by the day), some will call, and some will prefer live chat, FB messenger, or text message.

Customers decide when and how they want to engage with you, and it’s your job to be ready when they are thinking about you. If you don’t have all of these channels open at once, you’re losing business. Period.

For example, with our SMS app we see our stores gain up to 15% in additional sales the moment they open the SMS channel.

Respond to customers in less than 20 minutes

No matter which channel we’re talking about, the moment a customer is engaging with you in that channel, they are as close as they will ever be to making a purchase.

The longer they must wait for an answer from you, the more time they have to search for competitors, reconsider their purchase decision, or forget that you exist!

In our business we try to keep response times under 10 minutes, but, if you’re just starting out, a 20-minute response time should keep conversion rates high.

Here’s my general rule for response time: minutes make money, days make disappointment.

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Ask questions that show the customer immediate, specific value

When we first started sending abandoned cart SMS messages, we weren’t sure what to say.

We quickly learned that to get over 50% of people to respond to a message, we actually had to ask a question instead simply sending information.

For example, a message that says, “don’t forget the item in your cart!” generates fewer responses than “can I answer any questions about the black dress you’re looking at?”

Now, going back to the above point about response time, make sure you’ve got someone knowledgeable and friendly who can delight the customer once they respond.


Use links to increase understanding and conversion

Have you ever had to explain something to a customer multiple times, and without much confidence that you are understanding one another? This is a scenario we try to minimize on a daily basis as we message with shoppers.

We’ve discovered that adding site links to as many messages as possible helps ensure that customers know what we are talking about.

For example, instead of saying, "add the yellow pillow to your cart and then head to your cart to checkout”, we like to say “add this yellow pillow {link} to your cart, and then head to your cart to checkout {link}”.

Structuring your messages like this makes it easier for customers to do business with you while keeping you super efficient.

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Make each customer feel special with a discount/upgrade

The best way to turn window shoppers into instant customers is to surprise them with an offer. We’ve learned that your offer doesn’t have to cost you much, but it should have a high perceived value to the customer.

Throwing in a free, low-cost product to their order, or making them a custom discount code on the spot will make all the difference.

In our experience, stores that offer a custom discount in conversation convert up to 4X better than stores that only answer product questions.

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Want to increase your abandoned cart sales for free? Start a SaveMySales free trial in less than 5 minutes!


About the author: Tivan lives in Boston and is the founder and CEO of Fortifiedbike.com (a Shopify merchant) and SaveMySales.co (A Shopify app). The guiding principle behind all of his entrepreneurial pursuits is, "how do we make the pie bigger before we take our slice?"