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How many times have you opened a website or even a Facebook page, and a chatbot popped up? Frankly, this is quite a norm in businesses in general and not just a fashionable webpage style trend. Chatbots are automated messages which welcome visitors coming to your webpage and guide them through your website.
They perform a set of assigned mundane and repetitive tasks, something too basic for humans (and boring as well!). Facebook recently incorporated chatbots into their Messenger app, in a way to cater to businesses present on its platform.
What are Chatbots?
Chatbots are automated bots that interact with customers as they land on a website through a chat interface and provide a seamless customer experience as if visitors are speaking to customer service agents using live chat.
Chatbots can be used in a variety of ways but they are most commonly used for providing customer service. Their effectiveness lies in their ability to provide quick automated responses.
The global chatbot market will be worth $9.4bn by 2024. Now, most web pages are shifting towards this trend that provides convenience and a sense of 24×7 availability. Similarly, e-commerce businesses should also think about integrating chatbots into their online platforms. Let’s discuss why!
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Benefits of Chatbots in eCommerce
Chatbots in eCommerce Upsells
Chatbots are a great way to increase your marketing efforts for the latest collections and deals. AI chatbots can even calculate personal preferences, order history, and social media activities to figure out which item best fits a visitor’s needs. This not only helps e-commerce businesses to market their new products to new customers but also creates a potential for upselling.
Integrating chatbots in an e-commerce business might not be as much of a challenge as giving it a human touch. Companies that provide increased levels of personalization in their chatbots are more likely to outperform. Speaking to a bot that delivers generic responses is fine. However, if one modernizes it by giving it the ability to read, understand customer response and analyze past purchasing behavior to generate replies is one level above.
Sephora is one of the largest retailers of beauty products and is also one of the prominent eCommerce chatbot examples offering personalized customer experiences. Sephora has a team of 3 chatbots i.e. Sephora virtual assistant, Sephora reservation assistant, and Sephora’s Kik chatbot deployed between Facebook and Kik. These chatbots offer advice to customers, let users book beauty appointments, and more.
Seamless Checkout Procedures
Subtle attention to details goes a long way, especially in the case of e-commerce businesses. In e-commerce, one thing that customers hate is a dragging checkout process. Sometimes added features like editing cart items show customers of the “human touch” involved. Whether yours is a product-based or service-based e-commerce business, chatbots can make the complex checkout process easier for customers.
Chatbots can even make checkouts through Facebook’s Messenger! If we look at eCommerce chatbot statistics, studies suggest that by 2023, chatbots are projected to drive eCommerce transactions worth $122bn. Similarly, 25% of consumers are open to talking to a human or a chatbot, as long as it leads them to their desired outcome. Therefore, chatbots can even take care of the customer service on behalf of businesses.
Solving Customer Problems
Chatbots can greatly facilitate businesses by handling customer queries and complaints 24/7. This is one of the most important and common e-commerce chatbot use cases. Chatbots can directly converse with customers for support in case of grievances or feedback that needs instant handling irrespective of the time and location.
Additionally, offering 24-hour support is a great way to ensure customer satisfaction. Nowadays customers prefer to interact with a bot which makes up for almost 35% of users.
Since chatbots are fully capable of doing all customer service activities, this can help save a massive amount of resources spent on hiring, training, and retaining a customer service team. Chatbots have self-learning capabilities due to machine learning technologies which is why it requires less human interference.
Moreover, companies can focus more on their core business operations by efficiently deploying chatbots in eCommerce. Besides, chatbots leave little or no room for costly errors and mistakes.
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Few disadvantages of using Chatbots
Even though chatbots are a great way to provide seamless customer service still it has some downsides, such as:
- Chatbots lack human emotion. Human customer support personnel usually understand the emotions of their customers and respond accordingly, whereas chatbots do not. They are just too mechanical and only perform pre-programmed conversations.
- It is difficult to build a chatbot from the ground up. Developing a chatbot initially may cost a handsome amount. But there are some platforms available that let companies easily build a chatbot. But only a custom-developed chatbot is a better functioning chatbot. Hands down!
- Chatbots are only designed to handle general questions such as answering only those queries which are fed into the system. But oftentimes, we find queries we didn’t even know existed and hence, chatbots are not designed to solve complex problems.
- Just like any other online system or software, chatbots require regular maintenance. They need to be continuously optimized to better interact with customers. At times, it becomes difficult to track every single customer interaction. But with the help of AI and Machine Learning in eCommerce, they can be trained to respond quickly.
The Future of Chatbots
Opening a business online means that the website might receive traffic around the clock. Providing efficient customer service is difficult unless you opt for outsourcing the department, which can make things easier. But a simpler method like integrating a chatbot that can guide your visitors allows you to take more control of the sort of customer experience you want to maintain.
Chatbots in e-commerce not only transform the online process but also increase customer engagements, retain customers, and improve sales. Besides, integrating a chatbot into your online platform is a smart marketing strategy. If you, too, are looking for a smart and clever e-commerce application strategy, then InvoZone is your go-to. Our complete solution package can provide you with consultation, solution, and implementation services that can uplift your online presence.