In the world of ecommerce, it’s becoming increasingly common for businesses to experiment with AI. With competition at an all-time high, ecommerce owners must continuously seek out new ways to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack.
One technique that has recently gained popularity is the use of chatbots. It’s predicted that ecommerce transactions conducted via chatbots will reach a staggering $112 billion by 2023. By utilising AI and natural language processing (NLP), chatbots can interact with customers in real-time, providing immediate assistance that’s proven to be vital in boosting sales and improving customer experience.
In this article, we’ll delve into what AI chatbots are, and how they can benefit ecommerce businesses by driving sales and keeping customers coming back for more.
What is Ecommerce Chatbots
Ecommerce chatbots are computer programs or technology that can engage with online users in real-time. These chatbots can provide a range of services, including customer support, product recommendations and gathering feedback.
Essentially, there are three types of ecommerce chatbot platforms available in the market today:
This type of chatbot uses NLP as well as conversational AI to replicate human behaviour and speech patterns.
A rule-based chatbot is able to provide predefined answers to common user questions such as “are your prices inclusive of tax”
A hybrid chatbot is basically a combination of AI and rule-based.
A common example of ecommerce chatbots are your messenger bots, that are integrated with social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. This enables retailers to provide omnichannel shopping experiences for their customers.
Why Ecommerce Chatbot is Beneficial for Your Online Business
Ecommerce chatbots are a valuable tool for improving website functionality and enhancing user experience. The specific benefits of chatbots depend on how they’re implemented and utilised.
For instance, ecommerce chatbots can streamline the ordering process for customers and address basic troubleshooting issues, which can save business owners valuable time and money.
By automating tasks that were once handled exclusively by human staff, ecommerce chatbots powered by AI can be a game changer for businesses. To gain a deeper understanding of how AI technology can benefit your business, be sure to read this article.
Apart from streamlining the ordering process, here are some other ways an ecommerce chatbot can improve your online business.
1. Respond to User Queries
Ecommerce chatbots are your best employee because they operate 24/7 and with their wealth of data and knowledge, they are capable of addressing customers’ questions almost instantly while also guiding them through the user journey if necessary.
By outsourcing basic routine tasks such as answering FAQs to chatbots, business owners can focus on delivering personalised customer service for more complex requests. This is greatly appreciated by customers, boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Not only that, having a chatbot readily available at all times eliminates the need for customers to wait for assistance, thus improving their overall experience.
2. Increase Customer Engagement
Ecommerce chatbots provide customers with an interactive experience since they can answer questions, offer information, and recommend new products or services, at any given time of the day.
In the fast-paced ecommerce world, being available with instant replies is crucial for success because customers expect quick responses. This is especially important for businesses serving customers from different parts of the world, where time zones can be an issue.
For instance, a customer may have a question about shipping before making a purchase, but if your business is in a different time zone and lacks live support, the customer may turn to a competitor who can address their query instantly.
Not just giving instant replies, ecommerce chatbots can also do the following to increase customer engagement to boost sales:
- Ping customers asking if they need any help
- Make suggestions based on historical data
- Assist them on the purchase journey
- Recommend similar products or upsell/cross-sell
Cart abandonment is a persistent issue in online shopping with a staggering rate of 69.77%, as reported by Baymard Institute. This is a major concern for e-commerce businesses, and one of the contributing factors is the delay in addressing customer queries as discussed above.
Thankfully, ecommerce chatbots can be a solution to this problem by providing quick responses to customer product queries and assisting in informed purchasing decisions. Furthermore, chatbots can send reminders to returning customers who left items in their cart, increasing the chances of a sale.
To further entice customers to complete their purchase, ecommerce chatbots can be programmed to offer discount codes for abandoned items in the shopping cart, boosting sales and reducing cart abandonment rates.
4. After Sales Support
Providing after sales support is essential for building trust and loyalty with customers, which can lead to repeat purchases and increased lifetime value (LTV).
Ecommerce chatbots excel in this area, as they are always available to assist customers and address a wide range of after-sales queries, such as order problems, shipping delays, refunds, and returns.
5. Collect Customer Data and Feedback
Finally, ecommerce chatbots are not only great at answering customer queries (instantly) but are also able to collect a wealth of data
With this data, they are able to analyse customer behaviour, engagement, and interactions to provide valuable insights into what customers value and what they really want.
Business owners can use these insights to improve their website and customer experience, which is key to improving conversion rates.
3 Uses Cases for Ecommerce Chabots
In a nutshell, ecommerce chatbots can be used for three different purposes:
Ecommerce chatbots provide efficient customer support and are crucial for building a lasting relationship with customers, boosting conversion rates, and increasing repeat purchases.
Traditional customer support channels like email and phone can be time-consuming, causing frustration for customers who have to wait to speak to a representative. However, ecommerce chatbots are available 24/7 and can quickly address customer queries and issues without the need for long wait times.
With ecommerce chatbots, there are no operating hours, meaning customers can receive timely and effective post-sales support whenever they need it, resulting in increased satisfaction and loyalty.
Ecommerce chatbots engage with customers to understand their requirements and offer relevant product recommendations. They provide answers to customer queries, FAQs, and user reviews, and can actively persuade customers to make a purchase.
Additionally, ecommerce chatbots can be programmed to upsell and cross-sell by suggesting other relevant products, while also offering discount codes to returning customers to encourage them to make a purchase.
Ecommerce chatbots can help to generate leads. By using intelligent prompts and acquiring data through it, they are able to engage customers who are passive and convert them into potential customers on the online webstore, app, or other digital touchpoints.
Many customers tend to look for deals and discounts while shopping online. This is where ecommerce chatbots come into play. They can alert potential customers about any available discounts or promotional offers, provide them with discount codes or coupons, or redirect them to relevant sections of the website.
You Snooze, You Lose
With that much potential, it is without a doubt that ecommerce businesses that fail to utilise chatbots in their operations will miss out on the numerous benefits that come with this technology.
At Shopboxo, our platform makes it easy to set up Facebook Messenger Automation, providing round-the-clock customer service. If you’re an online store owner on Shopboxo and want to learn how to set up Facebook Messenger Automation, our step-by-step guide is here to help.