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LaGarde, LivePerson Give a "Voice" to StoreFronts

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Posted February 20, 2002 By Bob Woods     Feedback

Both companies will integrate Web-based instant messaging into a new business messaging e-commerce platform that aims to boost sales for e-tailers

Business-messaging and customer-service provider LivePerson Inc. said it is teaming with e-commerce product provider LaGarde to launch what both companies call "a fully functional business messaging e-commerce platform."

Terms of the deal call for LivePerson's Business Messaging product, which supports online sales and customer service, to be included in the LaGarde commerce platforms-StoreFront 5.0 and StoreFront Now. The user-friendly interface will be available to shoppers by clicking the LivePerson Live Help button, which is automatically embedded into a merchant's Online store.

LivePerson's Business Messaging lets merchants chat with multiple individuals privately and simultaneously directly via their Web sites. Online customer service agents will also be able to use the LivePerson Click-to-Chat technology within e-mails, officials also said.

"Our customers requested a way to interact closely with their website visitors and the LivePerson real-time customer service tool was the perfect solution," says Bob LaGarde, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of LaGarde.

"LivePerson's customers have demonstrated that offering immediate and personal assistance to Web site visitors can mean the difference between gaining or losing a sale," says Robert LoCascio, CEO of LivePerson.

A recent study from Basex said that e-tailers can lower shopping-cart abandonment rates by 20% and increase their sales by $20 billion per year by using presence services and instant messaging (IM). The $20 billion figure comes from the estimated value of merchandise left in those abandoned virtual carts, Basex said in its report, a copy of which was obtained by InstantMessagingPlanet.

A report from Datamonitor, meantime, showed that 69.4% of all potential online transactions in 2001 were abandoned. Some of the most popular reasons that online buyers cited for abandoning their shopping carts were slow processing speed of their purchase orders, concerns over security and high shipping and handling costs.

Of that 69.4%, though, 8.1%of transactions were lost because retailers failed to offer consumers a method to have queries answered while they were shopping, Datamonitor said.

When a shopper visits a StoreFront Now/LivePerson-enabled site, the merchant is immediately notified that a visitor is at their "front door," officials from both companies said. As customers move around the Web site, the merchant can "engage" customers by proactively greeting them and inviting them to chat online. The merchant can then provide personalized assistance and even recommend items.

Customers who need assistance also have the option to "speak" to the merchant by clicking the LivePerson button on their StoreFront Now site.

A demo of StoreFront Now is available to Web users.

Related Story:
IM Your Way To E-Commerce Riches

Bob Woods is the managing editor of InstantMessagingPlanet.

Reprinted from InstantMessaging Planet.

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