Needle: the Next Step in the Evolution of Online Chat

From catching up with friends to connecting with customer service, online chat has become a pervasive component of our online interactions. But have you ever wondered how it got here, or where it’s going next?

In the whitepaper, “The Evolution of Chat,” ecommerce solutions provider Needle examines the meteoric rise of online chat, from its inception as a closed-channel messaging platform at the University of Illinois to its current status as one of the online world’s most prolific methods of communication.

But as fascinating as it is to see how the use of online chat has advanced over the years, chat’s most exciting capabilities are those that are just now being tapped. In fact, chat may hold the key to a whole new source of revenue for online retailers. While many companies already enable customers to chat with associates to help answer product questions and provide shopping assistance, they are still missing the opportunity to connect shoppers with their most effective sales force: other customers.

That’s where Needle comes in, leveraging chat to empower consumers to become active brand advocates.

As Needle co-founder Morgan Lynch put it, “connect a person considering a purchase with someone who is genuinely passionate about the product and the brand. Let them engage in authentic dialogue, then measure the results.” When he did measure those results, he found that this new approach to online interaction improved ecommerce conversion rates by 5 to 15 times, with the majority of new revenue coming from first-time buyers. It also improved corporate reputation measures by transforming loyal customers into passionate, vocal promoters.

This marks the next chapter in chat’s evolution, offering online retailers a powerful new tool to engage brand advocates and improve the online shopping experience. To see how Needle made this possible and to learn more about the evolution of chat, download the full whitepaper here. You can also check out additional content on the new age of brand advocacy and consumer engagement.

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