E-commerce and retail

Never miss a call with 24/7 live receptionists.

Capture every opportunity to grow your business when live agents answer your calls around the clock.
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Here’s why businesses rely on Smith.ai

82

%

of consumers expect an immediate response to a sales inquiry

50

%

of lead generation budgets are wasted on leads who are never contacted

79

%

of marketing leads never convert into sales

67

%

of customers who receive excellent service spend up to 14% more

Talk to our expert sales team

Book a Free 15-Minute Consultation

Learn how Smith.ai can help your business. We’ll address your questions about Smith.ai phone receptionists, live chat, or both.

Call/text  (650) 727-6484

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KEEPING UP IS IMPOSSIBLE

Incoming calls are unpredictable.

Calls come in and there isn’t always someone available to answer, especially after hours, on holidays, or weekends. We’ll drive growth and build customer trust by facilitating purchases.

MORE LEADS IN LESS TIME

Manage your store while we handle the calls

There’s too much for your staff to do. And you can't delegate management, ordering, or fulfillment. Hand off "the rest" to our receptionists. We can drive sales, answer questions, and take payments.

PROFESSIONAL EXTENSIONS OF YOUR TEAM

We answer your inbound sales calls, 24/7

Friendly, accurate, and helpful receptionists answer sales calls with a smile. New potential customers are assisted or vetted and directed to your team.

46% OF CUSTOMERS PREFER LIVE CHAT

Increase sales with calls, chat & Facebook

New leads come to your website with questions. With Smith.ai 24/7 Live Chat, we respond in seconds to turn website visitors into paying customers. Plus, we answer texts and Facebook messages, too.

integrations

Smith.ai integrates with your software.

Calls, chats, appointments, and payments are automatically logged in your systems. We directly integrate with over 30 programs, including Salesforce, Hubspot, and Zapier.

Trusted by businesses &
the agencies that support them

Everything You Need to Know About E-commerce and Retail Answering Services

The best e-commerce and retail answering services do much more than pick up phone calls and take messages for retail managers. At Smith.ai, we provide virtual receptionists capable of a wide range of services from calling handling, to scheduling, to lead intake, to website chat, and more. Whether you need a virtual receptionist for full-time call handling, overflow support only, after-hours, or triage, here are the answers to the most common questions we receive from e-commerce shop owners and retail managers.

What are the benefits of an e-commerce and retail answering service?

E-commerce and retail managers are often usually up to their ears in product fulfillment and order management and don't have the time to answer every call that comes in, but providing high-quality customer service through a reliable e-commerce and retail answering service has been shown to improve businesses. Here are a few of the benefits e-commerce and retail businesses experience with us:

  • Expand availability

With a phone answering service that’s available all day, every day, your clients will always have a real person to talk to, whether your shop is busy, closed, or on vacation. Your clients’ questions always receive a thoughtful response.

  • Increase leads captured  

Missed calls mean missed opportunities. Don’t let leads pass you by just because you’re not free to pick up the phone. Answering services provide nighttime, weekend, and after-hours availability so your store will never miss another call.

  • Boost work productivity

Through outsourcing call handling to an answering service, you’ll be able to dedicate time to more important work to build your business.

  • Enhance client satisfaction and business reputation

Smith.ai knows great customer service and how to deliver it for a range of business types and industries. Our virtual receptionists are trained in customer service and hospitality, so let us put our tried-and-tested practices to work for you and provide an exceptional, professional response that represents your business positively each and every time.

  • Save money and time

No need to allocate limited time and money towards hiring an in-house receptionist when you can get all of the services you need and then some with an answering service for a fraction of the price. Companies that use Smith.ai can save up to $30,000/year.

  • Stay up-to-date with leads and clients

Phone answering services can provide your e-commerce and retail business with detailed call summaries after each call and even provide your clients with chat, social media, and text messaging so you can keep connected to your most loyal customers.

An e-commerce and retail answering service can offer your business with much needed relief, whether your shop is on a budget, overwhelmed by overflow calls, or simply hoping to strengthen your company’s customer service. With Smith.ai’s answering service, your shop can receive even more benefits to help your company accomplish its goals, whatever they may be.

Smith.ai’s answering service can provide e-commerce and retail businesses with…

24/7 availability

After-hours & overflow answering

Bilingual answering

Outbound call-backs

Spam blocking

Appointment scheduling

Sales development

Payment collection

CRM Integration

Lead development

And much more…

With almost endless features, Smith.ai can promise your company growth in productivity, revenue, and outreach. Smith.ai has constantly provided quality service to e-commerce and retail businesses for years and our clients trust Smith.ai to provide their company with premium support. Read our 5-star reviews to learn why business owners prefer Smith.ai.

How much money will I save by hiring an answering service for my e-commerce and retail business compared to an in-house receptionist?

The price of a receptionist is one of the most important factors to consider when deciding to hire an answering service or a traditional, in-house receptionist. Let’s look at the cost comparison for in-house staff.

The average salary nation-wide for an in-house receptionist is about $37,000 and they often come with surprisingly high fees, such as:

  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance, costing about $11,000/year
  • Life and disability insurance, costing about $2,000/year
  • 401K’s, retirement and pension plans, costing about $2,000/year
  • Paid sick leave, holidays, and vacations, costing about $5,500/year
  • Commuting reimbursement, costing about $5,000/year
  • Child care subsidy and parental leave, costing about $3,000/year
  • Health and wellness programs, costing about $1,000/year
  • Bonus pay, costing about $2,000/year
  • Company retreats, team bonding events, and employee outings, costing about $4,000/year
  • Free lunch, snacks, and drinks, costing about $3,500/year

Total Cost, Including Salary: $77,000/year

If your e-commerce and retail business is located in a highly populated area, that price may be even higher. In-house receptionists can add to that cost when they inevitably come in late, call in sick, request time off, take personal leaves of absence, go on vacation, and so on. Contrarily, Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can accomplish the same tasks as an in-house receptionist and then some, barring coffee runs and supply restocks, of course, and are much less expensive, as your company doesn’t have to pay for any time off, benefits, or salaries.

Smith.ai’s answering service costs as little as $140/month, with no hidden or unexpected fees. Your business could save over $35,000/year, not to mention up to $42,000/year in benefits beyond salary payments, by opting to hire an answering service instead of in-house staff. Not only will your e-commerce and retail business save money, but your business will also be able to optimize productivity and revenue like never before. Unlike in-house receptionists, virtual receptionists can answer calls outside of normal operating hours, which is far more important than you might recognize, as 27% of leads call after hours. Smith.ai’s agents can answer live chats, texts, and social media messages. SMS answering can be overlooked, but over 46% of customers prefer communicating with businesses through text.

Virtual receptionists can act as an extension to your sales team by making outbound calls to convert more leads, which has been proven to be helpful. It’s vital for businesses to respond promptly, as over 67% of clients base their decision to hire a business on the initial responsiveness to their call or email. Long waiting periods encourage leads to take their business elsewhere and you may not have the opportunity to demonstrate why your e-commerce and retail business should be their first choice. With Smith.ai’s e-commerce and retail answering service, your shop can receive all the benefits of an in-house worker without the added cost. Read our article to learn more about the differences between an in-house vs. a virtual receptionist.

What common scenarios do e-commerce and retail businesses use virtual receptionist services for?

Running an e-commerce and retail business can get hectic, from managing projects and tasks to overseeing company development and growth. Businesses like these constantly face issues that impact their ability to succeed. The most common scenarios that e-commerce and retail businesses use virtual receptionist services for are:

  • I can’t afford to hire staff, but still need “front desk” support

“Front desk” support is an invaluable way to provide e-commerce and retail businesses with reliable administrative assistance that can help operations run a lot more smoothly. E-commerce and retail businesses usually have a limited budget, meaning they may not be able to afford pricey in-house receptionists, especially when they already have to pay for store space, supplies, marketing, and advertising.

  • I need time to focus without constant interruptions from calls

Calls come in whether your e-commerce and retail staff is available to answer them or not. When retail staff have to answer phone calls in addition to their regular duties, they may struggle with their inability to focus when constantly disrupted by calls. On average, it takes about 23 minutes to get back to a task after being interrupted by a phone call.

  • My shop is growing, but my team and I can’t handle it all

Businesses grow and it can be difficult to keep up. With calls that need to be answered, appointments that need to be scheduled, and invoices that need to be sent, it’s easy for e-commerce teams to feel overwhelmed and fall behind on order fulfillment and shipping.

  • I'm not available to answer the phone when clients call

When the work day ends, employees want to go home and enjoy their free time away from clients, but calls don’t stop coming in and leads can often be missed, as over 27% of leads call outside of normal business hours. Businesses may not be able to provide after-hours availability, but may still want to offer accessible customer service.  

If your e-commerce and retail business is experiencing one or any of these scenarios, an answering service can help by allowing you to outsource these tasks directly to a live agent. An answering service will take on some of the more pressing responsibilities, addressing and alleviating the tedious issues your business faces. Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can accomplish the same, whether your e-commerce or retail company needs assistance handling phone calls, blocking spam, or qualifying leads. By erasing the need to allocate time to screening calls and answering phone calls, your shop can get back to assisting customers in person without neglecting your client relationships over the phone. Review our case study to learn more about how Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist service can provide support for e-commerce and retail businesses like yours.

What are the common problems that indicate my e-commerce and retail company needs a virtual receptionist service?

E-commerce and retail businesses, like any business, often find themselves in compromising situations that require outsourced assistance to resolve. Some of the most common complications are:

  • I can’t answer all of my incoming calls and messages from clients

With a limited staff and an endless list of projects, e-commerce and retail businesses frequently struggle to answer phones and reply to messages from customers, especially when they have to account for their other duties. Running a retail company while being able to provide memorable customer service is notably difficult and can lead to poor performance in both.

  • I’m spending my whole day on administrative tasks and can’t get productive, real work done

With the price of in-house receptionists being as high as it is, retail stores are often left to delegate daily tasks themselves. Despite spending a large portion of their day performing administrative duties, sales representatives and managers can't keep up with the amount of phone calls that need to be answered and leads that need to be properly screened.

  • I’m missing calls from new business leads and it's costing me money

Responding to each call can feel impossible for e-commerce and retail businesses when they have higher priority assignments to address. Businesses can easily fall behind on responding to new inquiries so potential leads can be frequently missed. Leads don't wait for call-backs. They call the next business in the search results. If businesses fail to pick up, they not only lose a lead, they lose ROI, money on marketing campaigns and ad spend, as well as conversion rates from ads.

  • I can’t reply to leads faster than my competition can

With the crowded marketplace for e-commerce and retail businesses being what it is, it can be a major obstacle for e-commerce and retail businesses to distinguish themselves and stand out amongst the crowd. Delivering high-quality customer service through quick and thoughtful responses can place retail stores and e-commerce shops well above their competitors, but many owners and managers often lack the time to do so.

  • I’m not sure how to reach new clients

One of the most crucial, yet challenging aspects of growing a successful business is finding and keeping new clients. With so much time and effort being spent towards existing clients, e-commerce and retail businesses may not have the opportunity to seek out and nurture new clients. Businesses who spread their workload too thin may not be able to deliver quality customer service. Slow response times may frustrate customers and hurt client loyalty and retention, as well.

  • I can’t seem to keep track of my clients’ data

Maintaining detailed phone records and call summaries can be overwhelming for e-commerce businesses who disperse client data across a multitude of software platforms. Knowing how, when, and why clients call is significant for any business hoping to successfully navigate client relationships, but unfortunately, is not always easy to accomplish.

If your e-commerce store or retail shop is facing any of these challenges, a virtual receptionist service may be useful. One of the many great things about Smith.ai is that our services fit your business needs, not the other way around. Our live agents can focus on fixing the specific issues your team face so you don't have to, whether your store needs extra help qualifying and intaking new clients or sending invoices and collecting payments. Sign up for a free trial today and see how Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can alleviate the problems your retail and e-commerce business faces.

What do I need to prepare to get started with an e-commerce and retail virtual receptionist service?

Determining which services are important to your e-commerce and retail business is a good place to start. To figure out which services would be best for your shop, ask yourself what problems your staff face that a virtual receptionist service can address:

  • Does your e-commerce shop or retail store need a bit of assistance reaching out to new clients?
  • Does your e-commerce shop or retail store forget to answer website, social media, and text messages?
  • Does your e-commerce shop or retail store have trouble blocking spam calls?

Whatever it may be, Smith.ai’s virtual receptionists can adjust their service to better suit your business needs.

After that, mull over what services would best fit your company’s activity level:

  • Does your business receive hundreds of calls a day or just a few?
  • Do you receive more online messages than calls?
  • Would your business benefit from 24/7 phone answering or would you prefer a particular time frame, such as 9-to-5, for answering calls?

Whether you get fifty calls a month or five, Smith.ai can customize your virtual receptionist service to fit your business activity so you only pay for what you need.

All you have to do next is sign up. Getting started with Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist service is simple and fast. No annual contracts, no setup fees, and no need to supply scripts.

Follow three simple steps:

  1. Complete a new client form – Just answer a few, quick questions about your business and the preferences you have and we’ll get you started. We’ll use your answers to customize the way our virtual receptionists answer your calls and your clients’ questions.
  2. Get a 14-day/20-call free trial – Experience our fully-featured service first hand for free and learn how Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist can fit into your store. We’ll collaborate with you throughout to make sure you’re getting the most out of your risk-free trial. No credit card required!
  3. Pick a monthly plan – At the end of 14 days or 20 relevant calls – whichever comes first – we’ll recommend a plan based on your company’s usage during your free trial and you get to choose what plan works best for your business. If you end up not liking the plan you chose, you can change it at any time.

Whether your e-commerce and retail business is hoping for a full-time virtual receptionist or an occasional phone answering service, Smith.ai can offer customized support to your team with quality customer service, lead screening, and sales development. When you sign up with Smith.ai, you won’t just be gaining a virtual receptionist service, you’ll be gaining a professional, trustworthy, and friendly new representative who’s guaranteed to change your business for the better.

Learn more about how to get started with Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist service.

"Smith.ai is our inbound sales team. Having a trained and personable voice has transformed our ability to answer the phone and convert callers to clients."
Jeremy Treister
CMIT Solutions of Downtown Chicago
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How do the best businesses make use of Smith.ai?

Use our best practices to hit the ground running with Smith.ai virtual receptionists, and achieve results from Day One.