Call it a revolution or an intrusion, chatbots are here to stay. From top tier companies like Google and Amazon to smaller eCommerce companies, all have been actively deploying chatbots. Whether it is the customer support desk or the team communication process, chatbots have the potential to help with any department.
But what are chatbots and how do they help the industry make money? This definitely is a million-dollar question and that's the reason we all are here. First things first, let’s answer the question: what is a chatbot?
What is a Chatbot?
Chatbots are computerized programs built to initiate and carry an automated conversation with humans. These bots are so designed that they address the issues faced by the user, assess and analyze the situation and come up with a solution. While typical chatbots are fed a pre-determined script, newer bots can learn from experiences and answer advanced queries on the spot using artificial intelligence.
You can't deny that chatbots are everywhere. To your surprise, you might have already had a conversation with chatbots without realizing it, thinking instead that you were speaking to a human.
Remember the last time you had a conversation with the Amazon Support Team? You may have connected with them and received a meticulous response to every query. In fact, this time the responses were a bit faster and more accurate. You might have thought that Amazon has done an excellent job in optimizing the customer support team. Partially, yes, but not with a human – they now use chatbots.
Yes, that was a bot answering all of your queries and helping you out. Odds are you didn't realize that it was actually a coded program and not a human representative, right? It could be because these bots are extremely professional and effective when it comes to engaging with customers.
Nevertheless, chatbots can trick customers by creating the impression of a personalized user experience. This is just the tip of the iceberg; chatbots have a lot more to offer and have been readily helping industries to evolve.
Chatbots have had a major influence on the eCommerce industry in particular. There are multiple ways by which you can employ chatbots in the eCommerce sector.
How Are Chatbots Used in eCommerce?
Chatbots as Marketing Personnel
Employing marketers and advertisers to cater to your branding and marketing needs, online store owners can now put chatbots to use. Chatbots can be customized and trained to address the marketing norms of the sector, answering a potential customer’s query and in a way that promotes the brand or organization. Chatbots can also guide customers to subscribe to a service or effectively use a product. Understanding how to use a product under expert guidance definitely stirs up a sense of trust within the user, boosting brand acceptance and loyalty.
Chatbots as Store Executives
Keeping track of inventory and notifying the owner about the stock of products is the task of a store executive. However, when there are thousands of products within a single store, managing and tracking every single product is an arduous task. What the eCommerce industry can do now is train chatbots to manage inventory, raise orders when the stocks fall below the threshold and even notify concerned users about the item they were looking for when it’s back in stock. Such chatbots are very helpful as it cuts down on the total time and effort put in by the store owners.
Chatbots as Conversational Tools
Imagine that a customer is about to buy a product, but they have some doubts. He seeks out support or guidance from an expert, so he may reach out to the help desk of the company and raise a ticket. Now, the possibility of being answered immediately is minimal. However, this is not the case with chatbots. Being computerized, they are always running and available to enter a live chat with the user. Whether a customer wishes to know about the cheapest beauty product or the best hair dryer to buy, chatbots will help them decide.
Moreover, it is believed that the introduction of chatbots in the eCommerce industry has led to an enhancement in the rate of sales, which boosts business value and improves customer experience. Further, these chatbots can cut down the overall cost of your business’s customer support. Hiring a team of experts to take care of the requests of the user, look for solutions and provide the same answers will cost you dollars at a fraction of the efficiency.
On the contrary, chatbots in a standalone environment can function much more efficiently than a human team. Wondering how? Let's uncover the impact of chatbots in the eCommerce industry.
How Do Chatbots Affect the eCommerce Industry?
There are several ways in which an eCommerce store owner can modify their business operation to upgrade efficiency and functionality. Above all, the one that is trending the most is the adoption of chatbots. Perhaps most notably, chatbots have shown great promise in reducing cart abandonment rates – it is a known fact that cart abandonment is one of the greatest hardships for online businesses.
70% of online shoppers leave a website without making a purchase. Even if half of these are reconnected and convinced to engage with the site, the site’s ROI would dramatically increase.
This is what chatbots help online stores do. Chatbots are custom-fit forms of eCommerce automation that are designed to map user expectations. Nike, after employing chatbots, witnessed a 4x sales increase an overall 12x CTR increase.
Well, it seems these bots are gold mines. Let’s dive into exactly how chatbots improve an online store.
Offering customized services is one of the best things about chatbots. These bots can grab data about the customers, such as their location and past purchases, to then suggest products that resonate with their preferences. When an eCommerce website offers its customers products that they recognize and prefer, the customer is more likely to make a purchase without giving a second thought. The greater the degree of personalization, the higher the customer satisfaction and, in return, sales.
Have you ever made a purchase through bots, or bought a pizza from the Dominos chatbots? If not, then you should check it out. You will quickly realize the ease and flexibility provided by the software. In fact, this is the shortest and the easiest way to buy products. You no longer need to search for items manually; instead answer the queries fed by the bots and get the pizza ordered in a matter of minutes. As a matter of fact, nearly 83% of customers online expect to be guided – and that's what a chatbot does.
Imagine a scenario where users get their desired product without struggling and receive an answer for all of their queries in a matter of seconds; would they leave the website? Probably not! Instead, they are more likely to remain engaged with the website, look for more products and end up making a purchase. It also instills in customers a feeling that the business owners care for them; this will lead to greater trust and customer loyalty.
Customer Retention Rate
Chatbots keep track of the interests and preferences of a customer. Where traditional marketers adopt the method of email marketing to pitch products and attract customers, the modern-day eCommerce owner can employ chatbots to send push notifications to users that land directly on their smartphone. For one, the success rate of push notifications is higher than email. Secondly, it is a more convenient way to entice users to revisit your store and connect with your brand.
Have you ever faced a situation where, at 9:00 AM, you see your inbox flooded with customer queries? Odds are that these were the late-night buyers who wanted to inquire about something. Obviously, you were not available, meaning they most likely didn’t make a purchase. Chatbots are the best resort here. Because they are computerized algorithms and work digitally, they can function as active support 24/7/365. This, in a way, keeps the business always running, which negates the possibility of losing a potential customer.
It seems like chatbots are quite the game-changer for the eCommerce industry.
Wondering how to make a chatbot for your organization? Well, the answer is pretty easy. There are many bots available in the market ready to integrate on your website. All you need to do is to purchase one, integrate it into your online store, and then configure it by adding your business-specific questions and answers (or scripts). These scripts are largely dependent on the questions you expect a customer to ask, matched to the most probable answer.
Without a doubt, chatbots are redefining the way people operate online. When it comes to the eCommerce industry, chatbots are opening up new avenues for website owners to promote their business and attract user attention to accelerate sales.