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American Eagle drives results via mobile with live chat

After apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters? recently introduced live chat, it discovered that users were having long in-depth discussions with the brand on mobile, with one-third of consumers accessing the service on untethered devices.

The brand introduced a messaging feature into its mobile and desktop Web sites for consumers to connect with American Eagle on a variety of subjects they need assistance on whether it is sales advice or customer service. The results suggest underscore that mobile goes well with messaging. 

"Live chat is a highly effective mobile engagement channel," said Tara Sporrer, vice president of marketing and sales at Moxie, the messaging platform behind American Eagle's live chat. "Companies can align the chat experience with the brand's web and mobile experience.  

"The results include increased customer loyalty and conversion," she said. 

Chatting with customers
Live chats are a growing facet of customer service in the digital age. Consumers would prefer to discuss with brands via messaging services rather than stop what they are doing to be placed on hold.

Messaging with brands offers a more convenient option for customers, allowing them to simply type a message and continue with their day uninterrupted. When American Eagle took to live chat to connect with consumers they noticed a surprising trend in that many users were chatting via mobile, but carrying on same length conversations as desktop. 

American Eagle's live chat via mobile

Many would expect that through mobile consumers would carry on a short and concise conversation. However, with American Eagle?s mobile chats it was quite the opposite, with users carrying on full discussions regarding apparel.

These users were surprisingly not only taking to the mobile live chats to discuss customer service issues, but were seeking advice regarding American Eagle apparel and styling decisions. Conversations regarding sales made up 51 percent of the mobile messages. 

The mobile message chats allows the brand to act as a friend offering suggestions and assistance with shopping. Consumers are looking to the messages to ask questions such as what shirt will work well with a particular pair of jeans. 
American Eagle leveraging marketing tactics such as chats, creates a bond with consumers that can turn them into loyal customers. Shoppers enjoy guidance and personal recommendations, which make them feel special and highly regarded.

Messaging marketing
Mobile messages are making waves in marketing and message application Viber recently expanded to the United States, and marketers are likely to jump on board quickly to stay competitive in the mobile messaging field, as the app offers seamless experiences for branded stickers and sponsored messaging content (see more). 

Also, marketers have been slow to embrace in-app messaging for fear of creating a spam-like experience and because of the priority put on drawing in new users, potentially missing out on a key strategy for boosting and maintaining engagement as a result (see more). 

"Providing live chat helps in humanizing the digital experience for shoppers," said Guillaume Lelait, general manager at Fetch. "While bots are very limited in their answers, a live person will be able to respond to a wide range of questions a customer may have. 

"In this sense, live chat creates a virtual store where shoppers can have similar experiences to a real store and with associates," he said. "Live chat is a tool that has great potential but it is important that associates are well-trained and have a wide breadth knowledgable about the company and product. 

To ensure this, programs and guidelines can be implemented to help maintain quality and continuity." 

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer