In a nutshell, e-commerce businesses can benefit from chatbots by giving customers exactly what they want, with the optimum level of convenience. No longer do people have to trawl through shopping centres and busy high streets to find what they’re looking for; it’s all possible from the comfort of a smartphone. Prices are often much lower online, with sites able to offer a high level of personalisation to the shopping experience. And this level of specificity travels with users from websites to social media, with targeted adverts reminding them of that dress or drill they looked at the day before. Across websites and social media, e-commerce companies can benefit from chatbots precisely because of the way they offer an unobtrusive and personal customer service. In fact, chatbots can help conversions take place within messaging platforms where people spend a lot of time. It’s all about creating a seamless customer experience.
It’s no secret that online shopping has been a game changer because it allows businesses to make sales at any time of day or night, and in any timezone. But if something goes wrong, often customers can be left frustrated by the lack of available customer service at the time they’re making their purchase. And in spur of the moment transactions, it’s unlikely a customer wants to wait to speak to an agent over the phone, or when the office is next open. A chatbot can boost your availability to customers by answering the most frequent and uncomplicated questions. Plus, it will always have a sunny tone of voice no matter what time it is! With recent innovations, it’s now possible for bots to complete transactions with customers within Facebook messenger. So not only do customers not need to leave their arm chair, they also don’t need to leave social media to make a purchase.
No failure to launch
E-commerce businesses will naturally go through highs and lows through the year, and they won’t always need the same amount of customer service resource. Let’s say you’re launching a new product, which has a big buzz around it and high sales. E-commerce companies can benefit from chatbots because of the ease with which they can be turned off and on according to need. The week of the product launch, your customer service team can get a huge boost by turning on a new server and more bots to field the usual questions. When things calm down after a couple of weeks, you can return to your usual server capacity without the cost of bringing in temporary staff to cover the peak.
Chatbots can build a better future for your store
Chatbots embedded within your e-commerce site can feed in real-time data about where customers are having difficulties and identify the places where improvements need to be made. They can also deliver proactive offers of help if a customer has hit on a problem, or has abandoned their basket, with a friendly pop-up message. The global cart abandonment rate is 75.52% with the fashion industry getting hit hardest with a 68.3% abandonment rate - imagine the lost sales opportunities that could easily be reengaged using a chatbot. So not only are bots helping customers with the issues they raise, they’re also helping e-commerce companies understand their customers better and facilitate change. In comparison, a customer service agent would have to spend valuable customer interaction time filling in a report about their issue.
Open to the future
As we’ve said before, companies need to move with the times when it comes to their customer engagement strategies, or risk being left behind. For companies investing in email marketing, it’s worth noting that Messenger chats have far higher open rates and click through rates than emails. Not only that, the sales funnel generated has a much greater level of personalisation. The chatbot can respond to customer reactions and behaviours in a dynamic way, which means you can present your customers with products that are more likely to hit the mark. E-commerce companies can benefit from chatbots by making online transactions more conversational and feel less transactional. Rather than bombarding customers with mistargeted suggestions, chatbots can do a lot of the legwork of a personal shopper. But at a fraction of the cost and with a higher return on investment.
Big data in your hands
We’ve taken a deep dive into the way that chatbots can empower you to make data-driven decisions and take a lot of the guesswork out of your e-commerce business. From opportunities for upselling and cross-selling, to working out how likely a customer is to purchase something from you based on sentiment analysis – this is the knowledge about your customers that you need. There is significant potential at the fingertips of online retailers to create huge sales increases off the back of a friendly chatbot, as the likes of ASOS have seen. If you’d like to explore what a chatbot could do for your e-commerce company, we’d love to show you how it works - book a demo here to learn more.