Live chat registers a 73% satisfaction rate among site visitors, which is more any other customer service channel. Yet, adoption was flat among sportswear brands with 43% of brands offering the service in 2013 and 2014. In contrast, more brands placed persistent “contact us” forms on top of every page compared to the previous year (63% vs. 50%). And 43% had a dedicated customer service email compared to 37% in 2013.

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Brands who have installed chat seem to understand the value of the service. Three who had live chat in 2013 (adidas, Converse, Reebok) increased their offering to be 24/7/.

Efficiency is the main reason customers use chat, which is dwindling. The average response time for a live chat on a Sportswear site is 46 seconds even though a third of brands boast response time of are under 20 seconds. And Patagonia, Saucony and Lululemon representatives were consistently unavailable.

For more on the customer service offerings of 59 global brands in the U.S. market, look out for our upcoming Digital IQ Index: Sportswear.

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