It is no secret that more shoppers than ever are relying on e-commerce. However, at the same time, they’re also craving contact with real people. In fact, according to research, 74% want more interaction with humans. Yet, on one of the biggest sale days of the year, most of the sales activities will take place online. Therefore, how can you balance providing a personal experience with managing costs and scaling sales across your online channels?
Intelligent automation is one of online retail’s greatest allies on the Black Friday battlefield. And conversational AI chatbots are its secret weapon, harnessing natural language processing (NLP) to understand and talk ‘human’, while providing scalable, multilingual customer service and support that cuts response times and increases sales.
Sounds interesting? Here are 9 ways you can use a chatbot to boost your Black Friday strategy and help you emerge victorious!
1. Engage visitors and increase conversions 🛒
When a potential customer lands on your website, you’ve got just seconds to catch their eye and pique their interest before they exit. Proactive chatbots use visual features and rich messages to grab shoppers’ attention and engage them in conversation during that tiny window of opportunity.
Just like a welcoming shop assistant, a chatbot can help users avoid a tedious, frustrating search through pages of offers. By asking visitors the right questions (and using intelligent search), the chatbot instantly comes up with the most suitable deals to increase click-through rates.
2. Personalize shopping experiences 🛍️
A chatbot can greet shoppers, ask them what they need, and make personalized recommendations based on their interests and what they’ve bought before. It’s a great way to make visitors feel valued and attended, replicating that in-store feeling of a personal shopper.
This contributes to a great customer experience and a positive brand interaction, increasing the chances of a purchase. And a chatbot can also upsell or cross-sell similar items by making proactive suggestions based on users’ information.
3. Promote offers and send alerts ⚠️
Black Friday strategies are built on a sense of urgency and the fear of missing out. A chatbot can share discount codes and limited-time offers, and remind shoppers when deals are about to expire. Other options include adding a countdown timer or sending alerts when stocks are low.
You can also personalize vouchers or notifications based on user attributes or behaviors. Likewise, a chatbot can let customers know when an item they’ve saved in their cart is about to sell out, or automatically recommend similar products if it’s already sold out.
4. Encourage shoppers to check out 💳
A transactional chatbot helps remove potential obstacles to buying. It can guide shoppers through checkout to make the whole buying process smoother, including promoting offers, filtering products, adding items to the shopping cart, summarising orders, and taking payment.
The global cart abandonment rate was around 78% on Black Friday in 2020. A chatbot can gently remind shoppers about items in their cart and encourage them to complete the purchase. It can also give order status updates, confirm delivery dates and provide helpful information once customers have ordered their product.
5. Make exchanges and returns easier ↩️
When people shop under pressure, they over-purchase and buy on impulse. This equals lots of returns or exchanges, which is a big headache for retailers. Chatbots can also automate this process, making it fast, easy and convenient for shoppers and reducing costs as part of your Black Friday strategy.
Chatbots simplify the procedure for both customers and your support team, whether by guiding users through the steps to complete the return themselves or by collecting the necessary information to pass on to agents so that they can carry out requests.
6. Collect customer data and feedback 📝
With Google and others phasing out cookies and third-party ad tracking, retail businesses’ Black Friday strategies need to make the most of every single customer interaction to collect first-party data.
In each conversation, an AI chatbot gathers valuable information such as users’ email addresses, as well as data about their preferences and online behavior. This can help you effectively retarget the customer at a later date.
Chatbots can also gather feedback by asking shoppers to rate their experience so that you can find out more about their pain points. Through getting to know your users, you can understand their expectations, remove barriers to conversion and improve your customer experience.
Read also: How to Build your Own Transactional Chatbot
7. Reinforce your support ranks to meet demand 💪
With Black Friday comes an inevitable spike in support requests. Multilingual chatbots make sure you can meet that demand, providing personal, friendly, and efficient assistance at all hours of the day in over 30 languages. It’s your first line of support to ease the pressure on your team.
Chatbots can cover instances when your team is temporarily short-staffed and they’re a viable alternative to hiring extra seasonal support, which saves on recruitment and training expenses. Also, when a customer interacts with a chatbot before an agent, the cost per query falls too.
Plus, you don’t need to worry about customers noticing that they’re interacting with an automated tool. Our AI chatbot uses NLP to communicate with users in their own words. It can interpret the nuances of what people say to understand what they’re really asking for.
8. Automate repetitive queries 🥱🤖
Online customers prefer to use chat for contacting businesses because it’s fast and convenient. Your Black Friday strategy should prepare for your team to be overrun with the same questions and requests, over and over again. Which not only take up a lot of time but are very boring to deal with.
A chatbot will happily respond to repetitive queries (and handle lots of them at once), provide the information shoppers want, and escalate bigger problems. This frees up your team to focus on more challenging problems that need a real person to intervene, boosting your team’s productivity.
Additionally, by having more interesting work, employees will feel more motivated, enjoy greater job satisfaction and provide better customer service. They’ll also be less likely to move on, reducing staff turnover and therefore costs related to finding replacements.
9. Provide faster answers across all channels ⚡️🏃🏻
By automating simple tasks like those above as part of your Black Friday strategy, not only do you make your agents’ jobs better, but you also improve shoppers’ experience. For 82% of shoppers, the number one factor in excellent customer service is how quickly their issues are resolved.
A chatbot can help reduce response times and quickly provide answers using a range of information sources such as knowledge centers or support forums. But if a customer has a more complex issue, the chatbot will smoothly escalate their case to an agent (along with all the data collected).
What’s more, our chatbot can do all this across multiple channels with an omnichannel approach. So even if a customer starts an interaction on their mobile, when they move to a different device this will also move across for a seamless, consistent experience.
Are you ready to do battle? ⚔️
The hordes are fast approaching and your Black Friday strategy will soon be put to the test. Prepare your e-commerce chatbot so that it’s ready to leap into action when customers need you most, with instant, automated guidance at the right time, wherever users are in their buying journey.
Whether it’s personalizing interactions, helping visitors grab the best deal, upselling with targeted suggestions, or following up with attentive support, a conversational AI chatbot will be by your side to deliver a great customer experience to ensure satisfied shoppers.
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