Ninewest.com Combats Cart Abandonment with LivePerson Digital Engagement Solutions

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Despite the growing maturity and popularity of e-commerce, retailers still struggle with high levels of shopping cart abandonment. According to BI Intelligence, approximately $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be left in online shopping carts this year, leaving businesses to seek new ways to engage customers and increase conversion rates. In the midst of this challenge, Ninewest.com, the e-commerce branch of the women's shoe and accessories company, is enjoying success with LivePerson's digital engagement solutions.

Milton Pappas, president of e-commerce at Nine West Group, spearheaded the initiative to integrate LivePerson's LiveEngage product into Ninewest.com's customer service channel in June. "When I joined [The Jones Group in 2013], it was pretty clear that there was an opportunity to add live chat to the site," he says.

LivePerson's LiveEngage product opens a chat channel between the site's e-commerce solution, DemandWare, and its customer service vendor, Working Solutions, which use LiveEngage to engage in chats. Ninewest.com's approach to live chat enables customers to request chat help from the shopping cart but also has defined parameters which will trigger proactive chats, such as how long a customer has left items in her shopping cart, whether she is logged on, and other flags. These cause a chat pop-up to initiate on the page, asking whether the customer would like help via the chat channel. The decision to begin chatting, however, remains in the customer's hands.

Reinforcing this, LivePerson's LiveEngage suite includes predictive intelligent targeting, a machine algorithm that rates online customers in real time and gives them a score of 1 to 10 based on their propensity to buy and the level of help they require. "It identifies the visitor that is showing intent but also bounce behavior, so you are engaging with the visitor that most needs help in order to convert," says Alban Camaj, a LivePerson solution expert. All the while, LivePerson gathers geographic information, system information, and session information about the customer—identifying her place, browser, and computing platform, and her relationship to the retailer (returning customer, logged-off visitor, etc.).

Since implementing LivePerson's products, Ninewest.com has seen a 10 percent higher average order value, a conversion rate that is 15 percentage points higher, and a customer service rating that is three percentage points higher than non-live-chat–assisted orders. Pappas says LivePerson has significantly reduced customer support call volume in addition to providing a sales channel he calls a "meaningful source of revenue."

While LiveEngage can also integrate customer data from its client's Web site or CRM system into its predictive intelligent targeting technology, the flow of information for Ninewest.com is currently a one-way street. Customer service representatives providing chat services do not update customer information in the site's CRM system, but Pappas hopes to further integrate LivePerson with it in the future. "A lot of consumers don't log in until they're ready to buy," Pappas says. As a result, he notes, LivePerson must primarily glean data from moment-to-moment customer behavior and base its responses on that. Nonetheless, even if things stay as they are, the benefits of improving online customer engagements with real-time chat are tangible.

The Payoff

After implementing LivePerson's products, Ninewest.com has seen the following results:

  • a 10 percent higher average order value;
  • a 15 percent higher conversion rate;
  • a 3 percent higher customer service rating, compared to non-live-chat–assisted orders; and 
  • a significant reduction in customer support call volume.

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