Revenue generated by e-commerce websites keeps on rising, reaching approximately 547 billion dollars in 2019 in the US only. (Source).
Consumers, who are increasing in number and becoming more demanding, face a multitude of sites and offers every day.
Providing a pleasant and useful customer experience on an e-commerce site is not as simple as it seems.
Chatbots are known for their benefits on customer experience and relation, here are some examples of how a chatbot can help boost your e-commerce site and create a competitive advantage.
E-commerce chatbot: support the customer journey
In 2019, 25% of adults in the US carried out online purchases at least once a month, bringing the number of American digital buyers to approximately 224 million for the past year. (Source) E-commerce websites are therefore exposed to a lot of traffic and it is only by providing an optimal customer experience that yours will make a difference.
Chatbots can prove their effectiveness on an e-commerce site in several ways. As a starter, it is essential to analyze your customer journey in order to identify key moments and act on some crucial points. These can vary depending on your needs. From a customer’s perspective, two aspects are particularly important when buying online: autonomy and support.
A Zendesk study shows that 81% of customers try to take care of their own problem before reaching out to support channels. It is therefore essential to set up a solution that allows your web visitors to easily find any information they might be looking for. According to another study conducted by Pegasystems, 75% of customers have stopped doing business with an organization due to its poor client service and 39% have even immediately abandoned their purchase to switch to another supplier.
A chatbot is a solution specifically designed to meet the users’ expectations. First and foremost, thanks to its constant availability and ease of use: users can ask a question at any time of the day and get an instant answer. This feature is an excellent way to provide the autonomy your customers are looking for.
Then, thanks to its intelligence: a chatbot with NLP technology is a bot that is able to understand natural language i.e. human language. When a customer asks a question, for example: “Credit card payment no working”, the bot will understand exactly the meaning of the sentence, despite spelling mistakes, abbreviations or formulations. This understanding allows the customer to be reassured when most needed.
Nowadays, loyalty goes further than the “quality/price” criteria or the implementation of a simple loyalty program. Customer experience occupies a large place in the consumers’ mind, and this criteria is more than ever a source of differentiation. An e-commerce chatbot is an excellent lever to offer a remarkable customer experience, thanks to its availability and its ability to reassure customers.
E-commerce chatbot: a product recommendation tool
With the explosion of digital, buyers have never had so many choices. But not everyone is able to find the right information and the right product for their needs, even with the help of a basic chatbot.
“This product is excellent for sensitive skin”: sure, but is it what I need?
Advice is completely absent in a digital shopping experience. It is easy to ask a salesperson for advice on whether a product is suitable for your needs when you’re in-store, but on an e-commerce website, the consumer is left to his own devices. This can lead to shopping cart abandonment, representing huge annual losses.
When the information provided is not enough, a chatbot can act as a “digital seller” and introduce advice into the customer journey.
By fitting your chatbot with a recommendation functionality, it becomes possible to push a product that meets the customer’s expectations, right on cue. In the form of a chat window, the bot offers a spontaneous interface, suitable for a conversation. When the discussion is engaged, the chatbot can:
- Proceed to qualify the need, like a human being would do: “What are you looking for?”, “For what purpose?”;
- Suggest products based on the client’s interests and past purchases;
- Guide the visitor during his search to find the product corresponding to his need;
- And finally, trigger the purchase.
Setting up a chatbot capable of qualifying your customers’ needs and providing targeted advice is an excellent way to make the purchase easier and create a personalized and appealing customer experience. It is possible to take the shopping experience one step further, for example by providing targeted usage advice.
What is the added-value of an e-commerce chatbot?
The advantages of chatbots are well-known by now: available 24/7, increased satisfaction rate, reduction of incoming contacts, management of peak traffic, etc…
A recent study went further in analyzing the impact of artificial intelligence on the e-commerce sector. It shows that the implementation of a bot has several other advantages:
- Finer predictive analysis by investigating customer queries, allowing points of attention to emerge and the implementation of better-targeted campaigns;
- Time savings on team members’ schedules, allowing them to devote more time to tasks with greater added-value, thanks to the reduction of inbound contacts;
- Improvement of the customer knowledge database by collecting customer data;
- Customization of the customer journey.
According to that same study, these elements would ultimately lead to an increase in turnover and a significant competitive advantage.
Although there are many advantages to deploying a chatbot solution, you need to ensure that your chatbot offers a possibility of escalation to a human agent. A chatbot is not intended to replace humans, it is simply there to manage tedious and repetitive tasks, allowing human agents to focus on missions with a greater added-value.
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“E-commerce: the bot as a product advisor and reinsurance tool”