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Do consumers expect live chat on their mobile devices?

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7th Oct 2014
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Amazon Mayday is almost avant-garde in terms of what it offers: live chat for customers via Amazon-branded mobile devices, with real support staff on hand to answer any query within 15 seconds, 365 days a year, 24/7. It’s one heck of a proposition; the problem is, it drains a whole bunch of resources.  

So, beyond Amazon’s near-monolithic clutches, is such a service a feasible offering for other ecommerce platforms?    

It may have to be, according to a survey from Moxie, which reveals that 64% of consumers now expect live chat to be available via websites on their mobile devices, while 80% state that when they have an issue on a mobile site and such offerings exist, they turn to them.

The survey questioned 2,700 UK and US consumers to also find that while 67% of people state they are satisfied with the current shopping experience they gain through their mobile phone, this level increases to 88% when live chat is incorporated into the process. 

“Today, people have their mobile phones with them at all times and they are primarily using them to research information, message family and friends and engage with apps,” says Nikhil Govindaraj, VP of products, Moxie.  

Mobile commerce is currently in a stage of rapid growth, according to research by RetailMeNot. In Europe, mobile shoppers are set to spend £19.8 billion in 2014, almost twice as much as last year’s spend of £10.7 billion. In the US, the figures are even higher – with eMarketer predicting that US retail mcommerce sales will total $56.72 billion in 2014, up 36.1% from 2013.

Because of the rate of growth, many industry experts believe commerce providers are currently getting away with offering the minimal technological requirements, but that consumer expectations, such as that outlined by Moxie, are slowly forcing mcommerce platforms into confronting their offerings:

“The way that customers shop on mobile devices can be very different, so it’s not necessary to include every piece of functionality that you’d find on a regular site on a mobile site,” Thomas Gronbach, digital quality expert at Keynote recently told MyCustomer.

“Rather than merely scaling down a ‘heavy’ website to accommodate the smaller screen sizes and slower download speeds of mobile devices, brands must devise bespoke content that is optimised for a wide assortment of specific devices.”

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