Stay on the Top of New Tech to Fuel Your Ecommerce Business
Artificial intelligence has become a buzzword today. This innovative technology powers industries of literally any type, bringing a wealth of new opportunities for businesses and individuals. It allows reducing human factor and optimizing existing workflows, leading to considerable cost-savings and better quality of life. There are multiple AI-driven solutions available on the market today, but one can see that chatbots are the ones that gain popularity at a rapid-fire pace. According to stats, 45% of users globally prefer chatbots as the primary means of customer service, whilst 80% of businesses plan to launch chatbots by 2020.
What exactly is a chatbot you might wonder? Simply put, it is a technology that communicates information via audio or text. Live chats, social media bots, and smart FAQs are just some of chatbots examples. Virtual assistants may be represented as a computer program, but we will focus on a more advanced kind of virtual assistants – Artificial Intelligence chatbots.
AI chatbots leverage artificial intelligence to actually comprehend a conversation and learn from an interlocutor. This allows them to address customers’ queries without any human involvement, providing for a more quality customer service at smaller costs. And since chatbots can be implemented in messengers, on websites or even be SMS-based, this brings an opportunity for business to reach a bigger audience.
AI Chatbots in Ecommerce
In the technology-driven world of today, online commerce is booming. The recent study revealed that 96% of Americans have made at least one purchase online. This outstanding growth brings both opportunities and challenges to online retailers. On one hand, such a huge audience shopping online can drive higher revenue. But on the other hand, ensuring quality experience throughout the entire customer journey gets more difficult. To process these new customer queries and still provide high-end customer service, merchants have two ways out. They can either engage new employees (which, inevitably, results in increased labor costs) or make use of the technology advances such as chatbots.
By incorporating chatbots into the customer service strategy, retailers can extend their customer service spectrum while optimizing the payroll costs. Chatbots are able to provide users with information about product features, update on the order and delivery status, and many more.
Opportunities for Lead Generation
So how exactly can retailers benefit from chatbots? Leveraging chatbots, ecommerce business owners can easily leave their competitors behind, improve customer service and so gain customer loyalty. Besides, chatbots can act as a perfect lead generation tool, and here is why.
AI-driven chatbots have a unique ability to communicate with customers and understand their needs on behalf of a brand. They collect historical customer data and use it further to provide a more personalized and relevant service. This allows giving customers precise product recommendations, notify them on out-of-stock or back-in-stock goods, and show the tailored ads that match customer’s interests and wants. Following such a personalized approach, retailers make their prospective customers feel appreciated and understood. In turn, this results in their increased trust and better brand perception, ultimately leading to a purchase.
Upselling & Cross-selling
There is an array of upselling & cross-selling techniques you can make use of at your ecommerce store. However, since chatbots provide a completely new level of personalization, they can unlock advanced upselling and cross-selling opportunities for retailers. Imagine a situation when a customer searches for a specific item on a website with a help of a chatbot. The AI-driven engine will save and process search queries, obtaining a complete picture of customers’ needs and preferences. Based on this data, chatbots can recommend complementary or matching goods, say, an accessory to an evening gown. As these suggestions are based solely on this particular customer’s behavior and taste, the probability of purchase will significantly increase.
A messenger bot is a powerful communication channel that allows sharing relevant information directly with the target audience. Be it a new product launch, a special deal or even birthday greetings, you can use chatbots to send private messages to all your contacts at once. The industry researchers claim that the information sent via Facebook Messenger has an average open rate of 80% as opposed to the 33% of email newsletters. No wonder, the majority of businesses believe mobile messaging apps will become the main marketing tool in the nearest future.
Chatbots drive user curiosity encouraging them to interact with a website or an application the bots are integrated into. Virtual assistants open up a more interesting and fun way of exploring a brand and its products. Will the bot answer to my question? Does it understand what I’m saying? Can it speak back to me? Such questions definitely cross customers’ mind when they see a chatbot at a web store. Therefore, they start interacting with it to try its capabilities. All this leads to higher customer engagement and enhanced user experience. And given the fact that chatbots usually turn out to be highly useful, a random website visitor is very likely to become a potential buyer afterwards.
There is no doubt that chatbots have the power to revolutionize the entire ecommerce industry, ensuring better customer service and saving thousands of dollars to retailers worldwide. Incorporating chatbots into their business strategies, not only merchants get a highly effective customer support tool, but also an additional lead generation channel.
Have you used chatbots as part of your marketing mix? If so, share your experience with us in the comments.
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