How chat is allowing CostumeBox to tap into new customer data

Sydney-based retailer shares how introducing online chat is improving customer service and opening up new sources of data

While traditional retailers are often derided for their standards of customer service, they have held one advantage over their ecommerce competitors – their ability to put a live person in front of a sales prospect.

But the online costume and party supplies company has found a way to negate that advantage through use of online chat software. In doing so, it is accessing a wealth of new data that many of its offline competitors only dream of.

CostumeBox was launched in 2007 in Sydney Northern Beaches by Roma Burke and Nikki Yeaman, selling primarily kids costumes. By 2011, it had grown to a team of six and added adult costumes and party supplies.

According to CostumeBox’ marketing director, Brian Naylor, the company now the largest online business of its type, pushing towards 100 staff and with a growing percentage of international clients, and ambitions to triple its revenue in the next three to five years. During the peak hiring period before Halloween, CostumeBox may find itself filling more than 1000 orders each day.

Naylor says the company has been progressively strengthening various parts of its operation, including its customer service department. It was the company’s desire to handle customer queries faster and more efficiently that led it to implement the LiveChat service from LivePerson.

“Most of the queries are about delivery estimate or they want some sort of clarity on the sizing or the detail of the costume,” Naylor says. “And they probably need it in a hurry and so they want to know when they are going to get it.

“We try to keep that really clear on the website, but you can’t expect everyone to read. And if they can make two clicks and have a live person talking to them they’ll get that answer right away. The chances of completing that sale versus losing it just go right up, and from the customer’s perspective they are getting served faster.”

Naylor says since implementing LivePerson, CostumeBox has seen conversions rise by 25 per cent, with average order values up by 15 per cent compared to before implementation. There has also been a benefit to CostumeBox in terms of reduced labour costs, as staff can handle now multiple queries simultaneously. This was now possible using email or telephone support.

“We can handle triple the amount of inquiries with the same number of labour hours now as we could a year-and-a-half ago,” he says. “Eighty per cent of problems can take 20 per cent of the time if you deal with them more efficiently.”

CostumeBox also looks for commonly-asked questions and alters the content on its site to try to provide this information before customers fire up a chat session, further reducing the load on staff.

According to LivePerson’s vice-president of Japan/Asia Pacific operations, Dustin Dean, the wealth of information captured by LiveChat can be tapped into for a number of uses.

“Once companies start to aggregate enough chats, tapping into it is the next logical step,” Dean says.

Naylor says the next step for CostumeBox is to enable customers to share their screens, so that staff can walk them through the site or ensure they are looking at the same items.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

How to leverage the Internet of Things to understand consumer intent

'Intent' is the single largest performance marketing variable. It shapes our search queries, dictates our purchase paths and mediates meaningful interactions with brands regardless of channel, media or content type.

Oliver Smith

Business development, Performics Australia

3 ways customer data can increase online sales conversion

Data has been an increasingly critical factor in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing and business operations.

James Bennett

Chief experience officer, Kalido

Our sharing future is both terrifying and exciting

Discussing the future in a realistic fashion is often a disappointing prospect. For all the talk of hoverboards, jetpacks and lightsabers changing the way we do things, the reality tends to end up being something as mundane as a slightly cheaper way to get around the city.

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

Hi James, shouldn't marketers also be focusing on collecting and utilizing up to date first-party profiling data on customers so that mes...

Tom

3 ways customer data can increase online sales conversion

Read more

Wouldn't reconnecting with younger consumers be in direct contravention of the code on alcohol advertising?

Tim Palmer

Vodka Cruiser reconnects with younger consumers via category-first Facebook Live campaign

Read more

Thanks for the article Jennifer, you raise some interesting points. The supermarket and shopping centre examples particularly struck a c...

Jill Brennan

Why marketers should take note of social robots

Read more

Winning the retail game is really tricky at this point in time. Many retailers have declared themselves as bankrupt. But yes harnessing t...

Vanessa.M.Magers

​Bricks and clicks: Balancing digital and physical to win the retail game

Read more

Excellent article, Thank you.

Steve Beards

How Aprimo hopes to help marketers tackle distribution of content, funds and data

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in