Unlike in the past when holiday shopping meant making rounds in physical stores looking for season's must-have accessories for your children, e-commerce is here and forever changed the game entirely.
Right now, all you need is a device with internet connectivity to shop online and get items delivered right to your doorstep. While online shopping boasts a myriad of benefits for e-commerce owners and customers alike, it also demands that you provide a seamless, integrated, and personalized shopping experience.
During the festive season, e-commerce staff are fully occupied with various responsibilities and sometimes the shops are forced to hire temporary employees to meet the increased demand. However, most of them still fall short in delivering the experience that consumers need to produce answers timely; leading to bad ratings or poor reviews. This is where chatbots have excelled and have become a vital resource for online stores. Initially designed to supplement customer support, today, chatbots have become an intuitive solution that can be used in promotion.
With the holidays around the corner, online stores and Facebook pages can leverage chatbots to engage customers, enhance the flow of information and elevate their sales.
No matter the type of questions the customers are asking, Chatbots are programmed to provide them with answers. For example, when you want to know what to buy for your dad on father’s day, the bots will display some options for you. With the information provided, customers can confidently decide to buy the product, and if they don’t, there is a high probability that they will come back because of the informative experience they had.
For swift and first interaction, online stores need to train chatbots to answer questions that are related to products and prices. Additionally, they can use artificial intelligence to foster in-depth conversations.
One of the most daunting tasks is finding a product in a new store where you have for the first time. Visitors need to be sure how the store operates and understand if they can rely on the store for top-notch services before they make any purchases.
Chatbots helps to reduce the time taken by customers when making a buying decision. They provide new visitors with information that would be previously acquired by reading online reviews, getting referrals from friends or even contacting customer support.
With most of the conversations and engagements in online stores following the 80/20 rule, chatbots can be designed to provide answers to close-ended questions (which are about 80 percent) and leave those that need detailed answering (nearly 20percent) to the support staff. This Integration allows customer support to focus their attention on questions that need in-depth answers and leave those that require a standard or stepped response to the chatbots. This helps to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of customer support, and also helps to save money and time.
Since it takes time for a company to deliver products ordered online, customers get worried during the delivery process and sometimes they need someone to confirm the status of their package. While contacting customer support is an option, it takes a lot of time. However, chatbots can be swift and reliable if they are assigned this task. The bots can gather the information about any package by running queries or from the database, and then pass it to customers in the conversation box.
This can come in handy in this festive season. Support staff can focus on other valuable tasks and leave the responsibilities of tracking packages to chatbots.
Besides being support assistants, chatbots can also cross-sell and upsell. For example, when a client orders a particular product, the chatbots can prescribe another one that is similar. This can lead to increased sales if customers agree to purchase the second product.
Chatbots arrival evoked mixed responses from various individuals; praised them for their efficiency and criticized for poorly constructed use of conversational intelligence.
Currently, not many visitors are aware that chatbots can help them expedite and simplify the buying process. It will take a few years for people to get used to them. However, it is the responsibility of the online stores to keep training their visitors about chatbots through push notifications and pop-ups. Once people get accustomed to chatbots, they can now be absorbed into other processes.
Some obvious options would be as follows:
Chatbots can now be integrated into various payment platforms. This will simplify the buying process as people will get information about a vast array of products, and make their payment right on the message window. One platform that has adopted this solution is Facebook in their Messenger with the tokenized payment option. This platform is in beta mode, and it is only available to US individuals with business Facebook accounts.
Soon, the trend of web-less e-commerce shopping is also expected to continue soaring. For example, since the discovery of Alexa voice assistants, it is estimated that close to 20% of the users have utilized it for shopping. It is also projected that with the chatbots becoming popular every day, most shoppers will start using shopping assistant to look for products and make payments directly on the conversation window.
Chatbots will also take up various universal roles such as that of virtual assistants. Rather than employing real individuals to make calls, send emails or conduct virtual errands, companies can use chatbots. There are a few examples of online shops that are using chatbots, and they include Apple Siri, Google assistant, Samsung Bixby, and Amazon Alexa.
There has been alot of hype on chatbot capabilities and their impact with consumers and the results have proven that they do make a positive impact to the bottom line. Chatbots are the next big thing in e-commerce. Chatbots will not only help store owners market their products but also work to improve customers buying experience. For online stores that are preparing to make holiday sales, chatbots should be in your marketing strategy playbook. They are cost effective and have a solid line of case studies proving out that the customer is more honest and willing to communicate and buy from our robotic friends.
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