The rise of the Digital Era, and thus Ecommerce has led to the emergence of a new breed of Customers and Consumers.The latter today want quick responses from Ecommerce. They want to be provided with the ability to buy what they need fast and easy, and have a low tolerance threshold.What will differentiate and set your business apart from the competition is the user experience and the convenience of buying.
Ecommerce nowadays does not follow a single medium. There are many channels that your business can use to list the products and services on. In other words, there are a myriad of ways to make an online purchase: mobile apps, email, social media etc.
The availability of multiple options can be disorienting to customers if there is not one clear route for reaching businesses. One of the most effective ways of optimizing user experience, and addressing the customers’ pain points and prompting them into making a sound purchasing decision, lies in the use of a Chatbot for Ecommerce.
Ecommerce bots have become one of the standard staples in terms of implementing in ecommerce websites. Any serious ecommerce business that is aiming to increase revenues, improve customer service, and seek business growth, should include chatbots on its website. One of the dominating trends in Ecommerce implementing a fusion of online shopping with a virtual assistant.
This article aims to dive deeply into the ways your business can benefit from a disruptive technology and how it improves the user experience through the integration of a Chatbot for Ecommerce.
Table of Contents
What is a Chatbot?
A Chatbot is a software program that can take over the functions of a human assistant. In other words, this program mimics conversation with human users to complete a particular set of services.
A Chatbot for Ecommerce is generally designed to do the following tasks:
Most Ecommerce chatbots are powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). The best Ecommerce chatbots rely on AI-powered technologies such as Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP).
In that respect, ecommerce chatbots can be referred to as “conversational commerce”, since businesses and buyers connect with a digital assistant.
What is “Conversational Commerce”?
Conversational Commerce is the act of harnessing online messaging such as live chat and AI together to deliver an optimized user experience for customers on a 24/7 basis. Conversational Commerce offers a more personalized shopping experience through a unique and constant engagement with customers. Ecommerce Chatbots as a mode of conversational commerce allow consumers to cater to their needs with the speed and agility they expect with convenience.
How can Ecommerce Chatbots Optimize the Customer Experience?
In the Digital Era, AI-powered conversational chatbots are data-driven, scalable, and offer a real-time and personalized experience. More importantly, they can be easily integrated into a wide variety of customer-to-business interactions, at all stages of the buyer’s journey.
Here are some examples how ecommerce bots can interact with customers and optimize the user experience.
Greeting Upon Meeting
The customer’s first interaction impression with an Ecommerce messenger, whether it’s a chatbot for an ecommerce website or a chatbot integrated with other messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, is key in terms of building trust.
Ecommerce bots that greet customers execute a series of essential functions that can considerably enhance the customer experience.
And if a returning customer that has previously interacted with your business’ chatbot visits your website again, the latter can greet the customer by his name and provide him with the latest products that might suit their needs.
As a result, your customers will enjoy visiting your website more, which will have a considerable impact on your revenues and profit margins.
Product or Service Details
The user, instead of engaging with a non-interactive User Interface (UI), can directly ask the Ecommerce Chatbot for a specific product or service.
The customer can also ask for a particular feature of the product or service and can compare them with various other products or services based on the features that suit his needs best.
Motivating Customers to Share Data
If customer satisfaction has been met during the first two steps, a Chatbot for Ecommerce can collect first-party data from the customers themselves.
First-party data is the information that your business can collect from its own sources, i.e. your chatbot for ecommerce. This type of data is precise, since it is provided directly by the user and collected by your ecommerce bot with their consent. It is an ethical, organic and cost-effective way of data collection instead of being purchased in bulk from third parties.
First-Level Customer Support
The best Ecommerce chatbots have the ability to handle all customer queries pre or post-purchase, especially considering that they seek answers to their many questions.
Ecommerce chatbots must have the ability to handle ALL first-level customer support queries.
For instance, when it comes to Order Processing, Customers can easily order products or services by conversing with an ecommerce messenger bot and enter personal details like name, telephone number, billing address, and payment method.
Customers can then complete the checkout process directly within the app or a channel of their choice.
As far as Order Tracking is concerned, Customers can keep track of their purchases and/or shipped orders by reducing the number of steps required to obtain these pieces of information. They can chat with an ecommerce bot and learn the status of a purchase in a matter of a few seconds, or use it to find the nearest retail store by entering their address or their zip code.
In essence, all first-level customer support queries should be handled by the bot. If the ecommerce bot is unable to handle them or unable to understand the context and intent of customer queries, it can simply redirect the user to a human customer service representative.
Your business can use chatbots to promote products in real-time in a more conversational, casual and personalized way. Chatbots for-Ecommerce have the ability to complement targeted promotional emails and lead nurturing, thus driving prospects further down the Inbound Marketing funnel
Ecommerce bots help customers more easily find the items that they are looking for, compare prices, and make a purchasing decision they see fit. The best Ecommerce chatbots are generally used to deliver highly-targeted seasonal offers and to educate customers on current and upcoming holiday promotions.
Great Ecommerce Chatbot Examples
The Lego Chatbot, dubbed Ralph, is considered a great Chatbot for Ecommerce, since they help shoppers tackle purchasing problems by choosing the right gift. Through its integration with Facebook Messenger, LEGO’s Chatbot will provide personalized gift recommendations to all users directly within the messenger. Gift recommendations are picked based on how a user answers questions within the e-commerce bot. Basic questions are asked such as the age, location, gift budget and once the bot obtains the data, it lets users choose the theme of product they would like to buy. LEGO’s chatbot is available in the UK and some countries in the EU market. It has harnessed the potential of Facebook Messenger and LEGO has seen six fold ROI. Ralph has also helped LEGO to reduce its cost per conversion by 31% compared to other forms of conversions. As a result, Ralph has become an excellent chatbot for Ecommerce
eBay initially started using chatbot technology for its automatic bidding feature, by using a Facebook Messenger tool that reminds bidders 15 minutes before an auction listing is about to end. That way, users can remember to pitch a last-minute bid. But eBay opted for a different approach to optimize user experience and enhance interaction with them by offering a more personalized experience. The company opted to create a chatbot that can respond to customer queries in a more detailed, scalable, and efficient manner. This is why they have created their own chatbot for Ecommerce messenger bot: ShopBot, a virtual personal shopping assistant that helps people find items they want on eBay. Users for example can insert some details about what they are looking for (for example a woman’s hiking shoes under $75). ShopBot will ask users all the relevant questions to find the perfect fit, style and color for them. Since its launch, ShopBot has been a model chatbot for e-commerce. Users are nearly three times more likely to ask questions about specific products instead of browsing eBay’s inventory. In essence, ShopBot constitutes a great example in terms of an AI chatbot for e-commerce that can improve the shopping experience beyond what a regular ecommerce website has to offer.
All in all, implementing a Chatbot for Ecommerce will do your business a world of good. It increases user engagement due to an easy and smooth interface. It boosts sales due to a more humane and personalized approach with customers. It increases user retention through the implementation of advanced technologies, and it provides a 24/7 service.
While bots are still a nascent platform more-or-less, they are evolving at a rapid pace to create a more seamless and natural customer experience.
Therefore, Chatbots are now an inextricable part of the global ecommerce market.