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11 Feb 2019

A shameful less than 2% of ecommerce shops in SA use live chat agents. What does that say about the state of customer service in South Africa? Companies that talk about the customer coming first are not living up to…

Chat Marshal


Internal Digital Assistant

A shameful less than 2% of ecommerce shops in SA use live chat agents. What does that say about the state of customer service in South Africa? Companies that talk about the customer coming first are not living up to this. We sampled 1000 South African retailers, online shops and consumer-facing websites to find only 1,8% had live chat

We then sampled 100 random USA online shops and 20% had live chat (versus 1,8% in South Africa)

This is a great opportunity for online shops with live chat to get ahead of their competitors

Johannesburg 30 January 2019

Our Research on 1000 online shops, an outsource live chat agency and chatbot agency based in Rivonia South Africa recently looked at 1000 online shops and ecommerce website in South Africa. We found that 98% consumer facing websites don’t use live chat however  the benefits are obvious.

Many articles have been written about the benefits to sales and customer service with regards to live chat, so why is it so few have adopted it. One theory is that South African business don’t realise how easy it is to set up, even if they don’t want to manage it themselves.

David Marshall, Founder and CEO of said “I can only imagine that companies feel it is difficult and time consuming to add live chat. They also feel it will be too difficult or distracting to manage. That needn’t be the case because there are companies that will do it for you”.

Since launching two years ago, chatmarshal has all the stats needed to prove that the cost versus results are indisputable. And you can get someone else to do the live chats for you.

Small business can afford a live chat 24 hours a day and compete with big businesses. Big businesses can reduce inbound call costs by having the live chat answer all common questions through their website. looked at online shops in the US and found that 12% of their website used live chat. Can South Africa be so far behind?

“In order to compete with bricks a mortar stores, online shops should focus on customer service and sales. But not just on one off sales. Focus should also be on return visitors and post sales customer support“. Marshall added.

To get a full copy of the research sheet please email

Who were the companies using Live Chat?

Below is a list of 18 shops (out of 1000) that had live chat at the time. Although they had live chat, many of them were not even online at the time of research.

Company NameWebsites with live chat (19 out of 1000)
Aurinia Auto
Computer Storage Services
Freeway Toyota
Jeep South Africa – Division of DaimlerChrysler South Africa
McCarthy Toyota
SpaceBox Cape Town
Storage King SA
The Cape Milner
Wheels Online


  • We researched 1000 websites in South Africa, 18 ecommerce websites use live chat
  • Out of 86 car dealerships in South Africa 5.8% have live chat
  • From the 410 Holiday accommodations, 0.24% have live chat
  • 16 from the  19 companies with live chats turn theirs off at night, Above all we know people are sopping until 10pm or 11pm at night
  • 6 out of the 18 live chats were useful and gave me an answer that was helpful = 33%
  • 4 out of the 18 we waited over 10 minutes for a response
  • 2 Out of the 18 did not even respond at all, 1 was read with no response
  • 1 responded that they were on lunch and to call them directly or send them an email and they would get back to me

For more information and interviews please contact David Marshall or mobile 0729272090 or visit our website

– is a fully managed and outsourced website live chat service that includes all the software and human agents needed to run a 24-hour live chat contact center on any website for any business in any country.
– When starting the ChatMarshal service our agents take the time to study all aspects of your website as well as the most important aspects of your business and products. ChatMarshal then creates a detailed knowledge base that is used to train our agents. Working with client’s we then grow this knowledge base into a comprehensive document.
– ChatMarshal is for businesses that want to offer superior website live chat to their visitors, but do not want to staff it themselves.

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