Chatbots are a growing trend in the eCommerce space since it bridges the gap between the customer and retailers. For customers is an easy and intuitive way to reach out for queries, while merchants look at chatbots as another way to reach out to customers and increase conversion.
In the current smartphone era, messaging has overtaken the whole paradigm of communication, beating the big 4 social networks.
While it’s easy for a retailer to get carried away with the chatbot buzz, they should remember a wrongly built chatbot causes more harm than a website without a chatbot. This blog post provides a clear picture about the solution that chatbots can bring and their limitations,
Chatbots have a massive potential in the commerce space. A survey of chatbots revealed that among all industries ecommerce would benefit the most from the chatbot revolution. Looking at an emotional perspective, chatbots provide a human helping hand to the customer when they are doubtful about a purchase, precisely similar to how an in-store executive helps us out during our purchase dilemma.
Source: CHATBOT Survey 2017, Mindhowser.
The technology behind the chatbot is evolving with every passing discovery in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Which means that merchants have to invest in and train the chatbots. Yes, we need to educate the chatbots. Just imagine chatbots like a small kid, we need to teach them what is right and how to behave in every possible circumstance. We believe that as when we make deep inroads into machine learning, we can expect chatbots to become smarter until then the basic chatbots need to be trained.
Now that we have understood the potential and the technology in this space, as a retailer its better to introspect on where these chatbots would bridge the gap and how it needs to be implemented.
As a merchant, we should understand where exactly there is a drop in customers. That would give us an understanding of where exactly we need to place the chatbot. Looking at behavior flow of the store would provide us with possible drop off points where a conversation can be helpful. Some of the potential gaps can be
- Providing Targeted Offers
- Personalized Messaging
- Collecting Feedback
- Customer support
- Abandoned Carts
- Process Automation
Once we have analyzed our needs and gaps, we need to understand the places and platforms to strike up a conversation. The conversation can happen within the website, Facebook messenger, Amazon Alexa, Google Home and lots more. With apps like Whatsapp opening their API for business the possibilities to strike a conversation is endless. With smart home appliances like Amazon Echo and Google Home reaching a peak sales of 56 Million in 2018, the discussion gets even more interesting in the future.
There are a few customers who do not need any training of sorts, they would directly search your product, buy it and leave. While customers who are new and wary will not move so fast, a fascinating conversation would hand-hold the customers and provide a reliable user experience. It’s always better if we can split the customers into specific segments and target them in a more personalized way.
Chatbots don’t work alone, they are an addition to the existing arsenal for customer satisfaction. Hence it’s necessary that its tightly integrated with the current systems such as CRM, Support, Logistics, and platforms like Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce..etc. Combining payments within the conversation is a norm these days so that customers have a seamless checkout experience without moving back forth for making the payment.
The world of ecommerce is continuously trying to bridge the gap between a physical buying experience to the virtual one. And every new invention in this space is trying to address this gap. Chatbots help to bring in the conversational aspect which was missing in the store without significant investments in the support manpower. With new advancements in neural networks and machine learning, this section on conversational commerce is set for a steep growth.
If you are planning to bring in a conversational aspect to your ecommerce store, do drop us a line, we have an on-hands experience in building some of the most successful chatbot experience for our customers. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us help you improve your conversion and conversation.