In What Ways Do Chatbots Help Your Ecommerce Business?

The ever expanding ecommerce market has paved way for marketplaces like Amazon, Alibaba etc and also for big, small and international retailers. Right from buying clothes for a party to ordering food, ecommerce has made itself an integral part of our lives. Although ecommerce has expanded the horizon for a lot of retailers and most of them are vying with each other for ecommerce website development, it is becoming difficult for everyone to thrive amongst the competitors. Online store owners are always looking for a USP that sets them apart from others. You can also read our related article on how to overcome ecommerce challenges

If you are someone who is looking for a unique way to attract and retain your customers, you might want to get yourself acquainted to Chatbots. You might have come across the word “Chatbots”, but you might be unaware of the fact that they are the ‘next big thing’ and they are here to bring a complete transformation with the ways in which businesses function today.

One can develop and implement bots in two ways:

  1. Configure them with the app: These bots are used within your ecommerce mobile app and they enable smooth interaction between the app and user. Mostly, these bots are used for handling business related conversations.
  2. Integrate them inside messenger: These kind of bots can be merged with a messaging system that is compatible to bots. They are cheaper as compared to the ones used with apps.

Here are the ways in which they can transform your ecommerce business.

1. Generates leads

Chatbots are a significant tool when it comes to generating leads. For eg, let’s say there is a chatbot that gives food recipes, and around 50k people have subscribed to it. Now the chatbot will send daily facts on food and nutrition or a new recipe for the subscribers to try.

If a certain cloth brand wants to promote its products, it can be done through chatbot or the company’s product can be given with a link for people to buy easily. The best part about using such affiliate marketing techniques is that you can promote your products to your target audience.

2. Turns into a conversational assistant

Myra: “What is the latest addition in body mists?”

Chatbot: “Hi Myra! Glad to help you with that. I guess you bought the Satsuma mist last time. Since it’s summer, why don’t you try our Primerose fragrance this time? It has soothing tones of primerose and lavender”

Myra: “Sure, could you add one in the basket please?”

Chatbot: “I have added Primerose to your basket. Do you want to check out our other collections?”

Myra: “No thanks”

ChatBot: “You’re welcome”

If you thought the above conversation happened between two individuals, you are wrong. Chatbots are not like any other chat based software. They identify with the needs of consumers looking for the product and give a personalized feel to every conversation. In fact, the Al powered chatbots make your customers feel that they are talking to a human being.This is because they recognize the typing pattern of the customer and make a conversation accordingly. Also, you can send push notifications about the latest offers and discounts to your customers.

3. Becomes a sales executive

You might have visited a particular store to buy a dress for the next party. And after you have bought it, the sales executive suggests you with the accessories or the sandals that might go with your dress. And you end up buying all of them! This is known as cross-selling. Suppose you have gone to purchase a particular make-up brand and the salesman recommends you another product better than the one you usually purchase.

You decide to give it a try and buy it. This is known as up-selling. Now, it is really difficult to cross sell and upsell on virtual stores. Chatbots can take care of all of it! They store the buyer’s history and recommend products with the caption “You may also like this”

4. They save cart abandonments

Cart abandonments are quite common when the particular deal or product that the customer wanted isn’t available. A follow up procedure is needed when the product is back or in stock. Chatbots will approach the customer directly and ask them if they wish to buy the product. This can be quite helpful as it can make the customers feel that they are valued and are likely to do business with you again.

5. Helps you make payments

The utility of chatbots is not just confined to assisting customers with online shopping. One can also make payments by using it. It makes the task of ordering easy and time saving. Snapchat recently introduced a tool named Snapcash. It is a virtual wallet which has the card details of the users. By using it, people can send money to brands they buy from or transfer it to their friends and relatives. This can improve online sales. Although, chatbots are used to select and shop for things, there is a little skepticism involved when it comes to making payments through them. This is majorly because the transaction happens through messages.

6. Acts as a customer care executive

Most of the popular brands of today have their pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms. The authorities of these brands often interact with their customers and answer their queries. Now you can deploy Chatbots to do the same. For eg, if someone is purchasing a Comforter Bed set and he/she wants to know if it will come along with pillows and quilts, they can simply chat with the bot and they will get their answer. This saves time for both, customers and vendors as they do not have to exchange emails over small queries.  

7. Available 24/7

So a chatbot never sleeps. It is available 24/7 and 365 days. This means your customers can have a conversation with it anytime and for as long as they want. Chatbot can resolve basic queries about products and doesn’t get overwhelmed if there are several inquiries happening at the same time.

Future of chatbots

Even Though Chatbots are a fantastic tool to deal with customer inquiries, you should never leave them to work on their own. Sometimes they do not have an answer to customers’ questions and they are left unattended. Chatbots should have the facility of prompting the retailer if the customer is stuck somewhere. The customer can also get in touch with the retailer directly and provide with the context of interaction. This will provide an insight to retailers as to what changes need to be made for it to work properly.

A 2018 research project by Salesforce, Drift and Myclever found out that 60% of US adults used chatbots to interact with a business during the past year. This means that more than half of the people who haven’t tried using chatbot would be interested in trying it. Several businesses have incorporated Chatbots and have gained benefits out of it. A survey by Oracle, proved that 80% of business owners are willing to implement chatbots by the year 2020.

Chatbots have brought a revolution with the ways in which people indulge into shopping or obtain services. They are personal, engaging and fantastic! If you want to turn your shoppers into avid buyers of your brand, investing into them wouldn’t be a bad idea. What do you think about Chatbots? Share with us.

Chatbots are undoubtedly useful for ecommerce businesses as this article shows. But they have their limitations and human interactions are more engaging and efficient. Therefore, integrate a quality live chat software solution in your ecommerce site to provide personalized buying experiences to each shopper.

Jenny Chang

By Jenny Chang

Jenny Chang is a senior writer specializing in SaaS and B2B software solutions. Her decision to focus on these two industries was spurred by their explosive growth in the last decade, much of it she attributes to the emergence of disruptive technologies and the quick adoption by businesses that were quick to recognize their values to their organizations. She has covered all the major developments in SaaS and B2B software solutions, from the introduction of massive ERPs to small business platforms to help startups on their way to success.

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