All posts tagged click-to-call

ROI of Online Chat and Click-to-Call

From the beginning, ecommerce changed the fundamental math of business. With a website, any merchant can scale rapidly without investing in bricks and mortar. He can ship anywhere, he can thinly (or virtually) stock an infinite inventory — and he can receive orders 24/7.

But online retailers long ago discovered that the passive and massively-scalable nature of the web carries with it some disadvantages, too. Chief among them is low conversion rate. Tens of thousands of shoppers anonymously hit your site day and night, but self-service shopping doesn’t work for everyone. Estimates of average ecommerce conversion rates vary widely, but let’s call it 3%.

Two other channels — telephone and online chat — offer much higher conversion rates. Telephone call centers, for instance, can convert 50% or more of callers to customers.

Can adding these features to your website help you close more sales?

To answer that question, Forrester research and ATG recently teamed up to measure the impact of adding Click-to-Call and Online Chat features to a website.

The 24-page study, entitled “The Total Economic Impact Of Click to Call And Click to Chat“, aggregates the results of six large online companies (three retailers and three leading airlines), to measure the cost and ROI of these contact methods.

Among the findings:

  • Orders associated with these two contact methods showed 19% to 23% higher average order value than self-service web orders, thanks to call-center and chat agents suggesting accessories and cross-sell items.
  • 88% of customers using these methods would have given up on their orders without help from an agent. 12% were “cannibalized,” i.e. they would have completed their orders online without help from an agent.

Click to Call

  • 0.4% of all visitors accept (proactive) or initiate (reactive) Click to Call.
  • 80% initiate the chats by clicking, while 20% accept a proactive invitation
  • Web conversion rate was 3%
  • Proactive click to call conversion rate was 27%
  • Reactive click to call conversion rate was 19%
  • Average order value increased 23%

Online Chat


  • 1% of all visitors accept (proactive) or initiate (reactive) Online Chat.
  • 70% initiate the calls by clicking, while 30% accept a proactive invitation
  • Web conversion rate was 3%
  • Proactive click to chat conversion rate was 40%
  • Reactive click to chat conversion rate was 22%
  • About 4% abandoned an online chat
  • Average order value increased 19%

For any organization considering these services, the Forrester/ATG report also does a nice job of modeling the start-up and ongoing costs, both for technology and staffing. Forrester projected an ROI of 334%, and a payback period of 1.1 years.

And it’s worthwhile to note that Forrester’s numbers are based on enterprise-class technology scaled for big companies. Here at Timberline, we know that small to mid-sized companies can speedily deploy affordable chat and call platforms like Instant Service and Live Person with little more effort than pasting some well-placed lines of Javascript. Our friends at The Scooter Store Online, for example, use Instant Service to great effect, to help convert leads for power mobility scooters and other mobility aids.

The cost of these customer-contact channels is attractively low, and now the ROI has been compellingly shown.