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In the days before the internet had percolated into our daily lives, there were actual people positioned at the different points of a shop to welcome the customers and find solutions to their queries. Their job was to assist the shoppers in making their purchases and making the overall shopping experience enjoyable for the customers. Fast forward to the age of the internet, anything and everything can be delivered to your doorstep. Only tap on your phone screen in a specific order, and you can order fast food, apparels to even cabs on a ride-sharing basis. People can hop on an online store anytime to browse products and services or even compare different products.

However, the chances of concerns and doubts arising about products are substantial in the case of online shopping. Some of the concerns faced by shoppers during online shopping are

Thankfully, there exist two digital counterparts in an online chat of a sales rep in a store.

LiveChat involves an actual person managing multiple queries from the store visitors and answering most of the shopper’s concerns with ease and low downtime. Chatbots are automated versions of Livechat that responds to users’ queries based on a pre-set algorithm. While both are beneficial for any client-facing business, choosing the right one is crucial.

What are Live Chat and Chatbots?​

Live chat

Using live chat, customers are encouraged to talk to human agents. In the live chat, the agent initiates the conversation or when a customer asks for assistance. The agents make a conversation with the customer and try to identify their pain points. Based on the conversation, the agent suggests the relevant solution or product offered by the business to the customer. Based on the customer’s relevance or need, they may go forward with the purchase. Benefits include a very natural and conversational tone, better emotion gauging, real-time interactions, etc.


Chatbots make use of AI to automate the interactions between a business and its customers. It uses natural language processing to understand the queries posted by the customer. It predicts the customer’s behavior from past interactions and provides instant responses to the customers. While there are chances of a chatbot throwing random responses, it is far more dependable and effective in providing chat support online. Chatbot technology enables companies to reduce their average response time and frees up support agents to focus on more complex queries.

Why do you need either?

Instead of being stuck between chatbot and live chat, if you are concerned about the effectiveness of either, read carefully. Both are pivotal for providing good customer support. Every customer may not visit a website with the intent of buying anything. Yet, chat support can greet them, help address their concerns, and provide a positive user experience that will draw the customer back when they are ready to buy. They help create a conversation that builds a feeling of trust and comfort for your brand in the customers’ minds.

Some more benefits of using either chatbot or live chat are:

Importance of Live chat

Live chat is a boon for businesses that operate on fixed business hours and deal with audiences in the local time zones. Depending on the complexity of their business, the customers may have complex queries or complication requirements that a chatbot may not answer. The live chat agent can provide descriptive info or unique solutions in such scenarios. In fact, 63% of customers said they were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat as opposed to one that doesn’t. Customers prefer websites that offer live chat due to the immediate response available from a live chat agent.

Advantages of Live Chat

Disadvantages of Live Chat

When to Use Live Chat

Chatbots are a major breakthrough, yet humans are near-efficient too. Seasoned support agents can handle 3-4 chats simultaneously while still giving helpful answers and keeping their chat resolution times low.
Startups or smaller businesses, where the daily call volume is significantly low, can manage with a single representative initially. Moreover, for local businesses with customers in the same time zone, most queries can be handled through live chat alone.

Importance of Chatbots

By 2024, consumer retail spending via chatbots worldwide is projected to reach $142 billion, i.e.,  ~4971% increase from 2019 ($2.8 billion).

There exist two different types of chatbots:

  •  Rule-based – The chatbot displays relevant information based on the user’s response to programmed questions
  •  AI-enabled – The chatbot uses AI to understand the intent and provides a better-personalized response compared to a rule-based chatbot

Chatbots are an excellent tool for answering basic queries outside business hours or during the unavailability of chat agents. Using lead generation templates, you can use chatbots to generate marketing-ready leads.

Moreover, since chatbots follow a fixed algorithm, there are fewer chances of chat turning aggressive due to customer dissatisfaction. Furthermore, bots are easily scalable with no upper limit regarding simultaneous chat handling with speed and accuracy. Learn how chatbots are revolutionizing Contact centers.

Advantages of Chatbots

Disadvantages of Chatbots

When to Use Chatbots

Most large-scale businesses and multinational companies with a network of international audiences should consider chatbots. For businesses with tight budgets, a rule-based chatbot can manage basic queries and then forward complex queries to an actual human agent.  This way live agents can spend more time helping customers with complicated needs instead of rushing through endless support requests or spending their valuable time repeating the same basic answers over and over again. Recent trends show a rise in the adoption of eCommerce chatbots.

Key Differences between Livechat and Chatbots

 ChatbotLive Chat
Response TimeAlmost instantaneous automated responsesReal-time response only during business hours. Customers may have to wait for a response or schedule a callback outside business hours.
AvailabilityAvailable all around the year 24×7Available only during business working hours
ScalabilityScalable by upgrading service provider plans or individual add-on featuresDepends on the company’s budget to hire more agents
PersonalizationPersonalization at a basic level is possible with CRM integrations, yet limited compared to live chatThe agent provides a high level of personalization by checking previous interactions in CRM, using searchable internal knowledge database, and real-time access to notes.
VersatilityLimited to pre-programmed responsesCan access any information in knowledge databases or interaction notes from other agents/supervisors
Cost-EffectivenessHighly cost-effectiveLess cost-effective
Customer SentimentDepending on the consumer’s preferences but provides prompt repliesDepending on the buyer’s specific choices, but allowing for more customization.

Wrapping Up

Ideally, rule-based chatbots are ideally for answering basic customer queries and collecting customer information for complex queries. This way, your chat agents and sales team is free to only focus on difficult pain points and lead generation. Alternatively, you can also use the rule-based chatbot to cover customer queries outside business hours. However, it is wise for enterprise-level businesses to invest in an AI-based chatbot, as the benefits outweigh its overall costs. If you are looking for chatbot development services, make sure to drop an email to our experts.