Penny Auctions go Social – a Live Chat Implementation Case Study

If you look at how the Internet has grown in recent years, with ecommerce becoming more sophisticated by the day and various social networks and online communities gaining in importance, it’s safe to say that live chat providers are seeing their best business days so far. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise because apparently, a neat, little real-time interaction widget has more applications than it may seem at first.

I’ve asked some of our users whether they’d be willing to help me develop case studies based on their businesses and indeed, they were kind enough to agree. Now, my main goal is to show you how versatile of a tool live chat is, as proven by our customers, and how it is able to boost various aspects of different types of businesses. Let’s take a look at the case study number one.

The subject is a Finnish penny auction site, where you can find exciting auctions of brand-new items at low prices. The website delivers a unique and fun alternative to regular auctions.

Every penny auction starts at €0.00 Each bid raises the price by only €0.01 Moreover, every placed bid restarts the countdown clock. If there are no new bids before the clock runs out, the auction ends and the highest bidder wins. customers are required to buy bid bundles before they can participate in auctions. Every bid costs €0.65 but the guys at Huutomaa always offer great bonus packs, so that people can save money and be able to place even more bids.

As pointed out by our Finnish partners, live chat isn’t an indispensable feature for penny auctions sites. However, it does help them stand out among other such businesses, and they’ve collected positive feedback from their customers, saying that “Huutomaa is the best auction site because of its wonderful auctions and the group chat feature, all in one place.”

Obviously, online auction bidding can be done in solitude, there’s no particular need to interact with others in the process. The guys at Huutomaa, though, have decided to take things a step further and introduce the social element to their operations by implementing Chatwee – a group live chat widget. Growing an active online community around your brand or product is one great way to make sure you’ll enjoy steady traffic and keep making sales.

The solution

After was launched in October 2014, its owners were thinking about adding a live chat service for their customers. The decision was made partially due to certain amount of feedback coming from bidders, saying they wished there was a live chat on the home page.

In our partners’ own words: “Chatwee was the first solution we found and it had all the essential features we were looking for. We haven’t felt the need to find a new chat provider, other than Chatwee.”

Speaking of features, the Huutomaa team considers the following to be particularly useful to them and their clients: general chat room for site visitors to interact in public, private one to one chats, the option to create your own chat account or log in using your Facebook, Twitter or Google+ profile, moderation options available to admins directly in the chat window, chatting on the phone, as well as the option to share videos and graphic files in the public lobby.

Live Chat Huutomaa         Live Chat Huutomaa

Frankly, we’ve been pretty amazed when we learned about the creative ways in which the good folks at Huutomaa use our group live chat. Among the things they do are chat-based games and quizzes. In order to play, people have to buy bid packages. Every chat game is listed in the event calendar on Huutomaa’s home page.

For instance, one of the most popular chat games is a basic quiz, where the chat guide asks questions and customers provide their answers. The first correct answer wins one point. The customer with the highest score wins the competition. The prize is usually a gift card provided at the end of the quiz.

I was told that customers’ favorite game is probably “call and win”, where participants need to make a phone call and give their answers to the quiz questions. What they get in exchange are cool gift cards or bid bundles. The fact that people enjoy chatting, playing chat games and bidding together really creates a sense of community among them.

To keep things fun and prevent the games from getting out of hand, the Huutomaa team has given moderator powers to some of the most loyal customers, so that they can delete any inappropriate messages or ban rogue users.

“We think has developed into an online community – we offer auctions, public and private chatting, as well as chat-based events. All events are solely for Huutomaa customers – some of them are free, others require making a bid bundle purchase. Our staff hosts all paid chat games. Some of the moderators offer chat quizz ideas, help new customers and explain the workings of the platform. All moderators are volunteers and draw no extra benefits from the fact. With that being said, we often organize draws where only moderators can win prizes or some fast food delivered to their doorstep. Huutomaa staff isn’t online all the time, but we’ve noticed there are always some customers active in the live chat.”

The result

So, what effect has our group live chat had on Huutomaa’s operations?

Chatwee has definitely helped our business. Our customer service has now been less busy because people can ask some of the basic questions in the live chat room. We have noticed that people who chat most often, are also the most active customers in our Facebook campaigns. Also, the chat-based games have worked well as a sales booster. The number of returning customers has been increasing as a result of the live chat implementation.”

While speaking to the guys at Huutomaa, I learned that the overall impression of the Chatwee live chat among site visitors is positive. Many of the steady users also advertise bonus campaigns via chat to newcomers. When asked to voice his opinion, one active chat customer said: “There are very friendly, helpful and nice people in the chat. Almost every day, offers interesting chat games and I have won several times already! live chat is a great addition to their penny auctions.”

Before closing out, there’s one other cool thing I want to mention. Customers at have used Chatwee to raise over €800 to help children in developing countries (

Live Chat Huutomaa         Live Chat Huutomaa

Live Chat Implementation Conclusions

To wrap things up, let me highlight a number of things I learned about our own product from people who actually use it for business on a day to day basis. Chatwee live chat has helped Huutomaa to:

  • develop and strengthen their online community
  • take some of the pressure off of their customer service
  • boost sales
  • and proved to be extremely easy to install and customize

Thus, social live chat widget comes forth as an affordable and low-maintenance tool with multiple applications in various lines of business. Sign up now and request a free trial of one of the paid plans or keep using the Free-forever plan if suits your needs.

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