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How American Eagle Outfitters, Shinola use mobile chat for better experiences

Retailers such as American Eagle Outfitters and Shinola are embracing mobile live chat to provide a branded, guided experience for online customers while driving conversions. 

Savvy retailers want to be able to service online customers who are interested in support before a sale and in a way that they want to engage, which increasingly means on mobile. Live chat helps shoppers use mobile to ask for product advice and styling tips much like they would ask a store associate. 

?Chat brings efficiency to the contact center,? said Tara Sporrer, vice president of marketing at Moxie. ?You can apply it to the front of the customer journey, as soon as they hit a Web site, before they bounce off as a way to address low conversion rates. 

?The idea is to replicate the in-store experience, where staff is responding to customer behavior,? she said. ?They know if want help or want to be left alone ? we help understand that behavior as it relates to online browsing.?

American Eagle Outfitters and Shinola both worked with Moxie to deploy live chat on mobile. 

Mobile chat supports sales
American Eagle Outfitters knows that its young customers are very active on mobile and with its smartphone traffic, the retailer has been focused on developing services and experiences to meet the needs of these consumers. 

With the launch of live chat, American Eagle Outfitters found that 33 percent of the chats were from mobile devices. 

Over time, American Eagle Outfitters has also found that mobile chats and desktop chat are very similar in terms of content. However, compared to calls, chats are more focused on sales while calls are for post-sales support, with more than 50 percent of mobile chats focused on sales. 

Supporting brand values
Shinola was looking to create an online experience as engaging as its bricks-and-mortar stores. 

The lifestyle brand is focused on American craftsmanship but realized that by failing to assist customers online as more were turning to their desktop and mobile devices to purchase product, the brand risked compromising its values. 

Shinola sees 47 percent of its traffic from mobile and tablet devices. 

The solution it developed with Moxie uses the platform?s bell-shaped icon, which is introduces to visitors based on defined behavior rules. The introduction includes an invitation to chat with a representative. 

Proactive assistance
The solution proactively assists customers in two important ways. 

First, it provides additional information to Web site visitors on specific products. For example, someone browsing watches can engage with the bell to see information about a specific watch and in comparison to other watches. 

The bell also preemptively provides information about buying, shipping and returning while the customer is on the product page. 

Since introducing Moxie, Shinola has seen a 6.25 percent increase in the overall conversion rate. Shinola found no difference between the content of chat conversations and calls to customer service. 

The retailer also saw a 1,600 percent increase in conversion rate between visitors who engage with Moxie chat and those who did not. 

Moxie brings forward product or purchasing information, an option to engage in live chat or to email a retailer, depending upon which it deems is the right channel for the shopper at that time. 

?This is bringing something in real-time to deal with growing mobile traffic,? Ms. Sporrer said. ?The solution delivers a piece of information that is relevant to the customer based on where they are in their journey. 

?The idea of this is to bring forward digital channels per the specific use case,? she said. ?Since a live agent is not always called for, this saves valuable human resources.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York