UpSellit Provides SMBs with Customer Engagement Tools

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2009-03-03 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Challenging economic times require midmarket companies to step up efforts to retain customers and find new markets. UpSellit says its virtual chat product can help small to medium-size businesses do just that.

As the economic situation worsens, small to medium-size business owners need to focus on retaining customers (and finding new ones) at a time when potential clients are more interested in bargains than brand loyalty. With that aim in mind, virtual chat technology company UpSellit offers SMBs virtual chat agents that serve as marketing and customer outreach tools.

"Historically, SMBs online have focused most of their marketing and outreach budget on bringing customers to the site, but in this economy they must instead become masters of on-site engagement," said UpSellit CEO Glenn Russell. "Replicate the service and support a customer would get in a store: Offer assistance and discounts in order to capture the customer."

While SMBs are already confronting a myriad of challenges with the recession, this change in consumer behavior presents another hurdle. With so many companies competing over a small pool of consumers, Russell wonders how small businesses capture their attention in order to win a sale. He points to a recent PayPal survey that found customers who carefully consider price points on a variety of Web sites are replacing impulse shoppers.  

"The days of the impulse shopper are over-according to the most recent survey, nearly 30 percent of customers online leave and abandon their shopping cart to compare prices at another site," he said. "SMBs see a 10 to 15 percent increase in conversion rates when using our virtual chat agent. Now, more than ever, companies can't ignore this advantage."

UpSellit claims its virtual chat agent, called SMARTsales Agent, is the online equivalent to a sales representative in a brick-and-mortar store, without the overhead or investment that an SMB can't afford in a downturn economy. By transplanting the offline experience online, small businesses are able to enhance the customer's online experience and provide this "recession-consumer" with the tools needed to complete the sale.

AllCoolMusic.com, a network of access to music, games and software for download, is one small business that has seen the benefit of adjusting its customer engagement. "Instead of feeling hopeless and helpless to site abandonment, we decided to make a change and become more proactive," said AllCoolMusic.com spokesperson Paschal Rousseau. "Using UpSellit's virtual chat assistant, we are able to strike up a conversation with a customer during that critical moment when they're on our site making a decision as to whether or not to shop. By giving this little nudge-whether in the form of a special offer or friendly support-we've increased sales and conversion rates that would have otherwise been lost to site abandonment."



 
 
 
 
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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