How Ecommerce Chatbots Can Become a Game Changer This Holiday Season

7 min read
Nov 16, 2020
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The holiday season is going to be different this year. Big players, like Walmart and Target, decided to close on Thanksgiving so they don’t give customers a reason to gather in crowds. Also, many customers are now buying different goods than they normally do, and they’re making more conscious decisions because their lifestyle or economic situation has changed. 

One thing will stay the same though. Customers will still be looking for holiday gifts for their loved ones. However, more of them will be shopping online this year. In fact, in July, ecommerce sales were up 55% compared with the same period in 2019.

So, even if selling online is how you make your daily bread, taking care of so many customers online might be challenging. The more people purchase your products, the more support questions will come up and need resolution. Let’s be honest, the period between Halloween and New Year’s Eve can be a nightmare for many customer service agents.

What if you could make the holiday season easier for your team? What if you could diversify your marketing activities and improve conversion rates at the same time? Ecommerce chatbots can make it possible this holiday season. 

Automate managing orders and returns 

Chatbots help you to automate many business processes and can lower the cost of acquiring a digital client. An ecommerce bot can team up with your support agents and become your first line of customer support. By doing this, the bot can take care of the most repetitive support questions and transfer chats to agents only when they require the human touch. 

As a result, your team won’t be burned out by solving the same issue over and over. Additionally, they will gain more time to focus on other challenging tasks. Data shows that chatbots can help you save up to 30% on your customer support costs and an equal amount of time.

Going further, if you can’t afford to deliver human support around-the-clock, you can use a chatbot as a standalone after-hours agent. It can help visitors purchase products, collect complaints, or manage returns no matter what your business’s hours are. This will give them the convenience of getting things done when they want. That translates into higher customer satisfaction. 

The chatbot on the next door burger bar website
Source: Next Door Burger Bar

Build better relationships with personalized recommendations  

Unlike brick-and-mortar shops, ecommerce stores have the capacity for an endless number of products. Lower production costs and fierce market competition motivate businesses to constantly expand their offerings. 

One the one hand, this trend is good. Customers can now pick and choose from a wide variety of products they could only dream about just a couple of years ago. On the other hand, too many products make customers feel overwhelmed. Over 50% of consumers stop purchasing from a brand when choosing a product becomes too difficult. 

Does this mean you can’t offer a wide selection of products? Not if you personalize your store’s experience. 

Studies show that 68% of consumers expect their favorite brands to give them personalized product recommendations that let them make a purchasing decision quicker. A chatbot can help you offer recommendations through casual conversations. 

Your website chatbot can ask a person a set of clarifying questions to verify what types of products might interest them. You can either ask a person to write in what they want or let them choose from predefined answers with buttons or quick replies. 

Epic reads chatbot on kik
Source: Epic Reads chatbot on Kik

After learning about a customer’s preferences and interests, your chatbot can look for matching items in your store and present them using product cards and carousels in the chat. That’s a win-win. Your customer will feel taken care of, and you can maximize your chances of a successful sale. 

Increase sales with custom discounts 

Sales are an integral part of every holiday season. Customers expect them and, whether you like it or not, lowering your prices will let you meet customers’ expectations. But, preparing attractive offers it’s only half the battle. The other half is to make customers aware of them. Chatbots can help you with that, too.

An ecommerce chatbot can display a short, but eye-catching, welcome message on your website that can inform visitors about ongoing promotions. That type of greeting feels more personal than pop-ups and banners, and it helps to engage shoppers into a chat. 

Then, after the ice is broken and a person engages in a chat, your bot can present them with all the hot deals you’ve prepared for them. Customers don't even have to browse your pages. Your chatbot will give them what they’re looking for on a silver platter. 

Add a pinch of excitement using brand quizzes 

Promo codes are a tried and tested way to pull customers into your store. Up to 40% of consumers look for digital coupons and promo codes before shopping. Of those, 39% who find discounts purchase more, and they do so from brands they would not have otherwise considered. 

Obviously, you need coupons or discounts this holiday season. After preparing your coupons and promo codes, you can share them on social media or through your newsletter. Maybe this year you would like to offer them using a chatbot? An AI agent can give your coupons away, and it can amuse your customers at the same time. You can create, for example, a short chatbot quiz and share coupons only with customers who provide the correct answers to your questions. 

Or the other way around. You can create a fun game and share your promo coupons with everybody who completes it no matter their result. Go the extra mile to make this experience memorable. 

Quizz bot

Offering coupons via chatbot quizzes already gives customers the feeling that you’re rewarding them. It helps to boost engagement and build a better brand experience, too. Additionally, chatbot quizzes could help you gather customers’ emails. You can add collected contacts to your newsletter, and reach out to them with your future marketing campaigns.

Improve a post-purchase experience with package tracking 

The increased number of online purchases has become a difficult proposition for many delivery services. What’s more, the pandemic may have intensified ecommerce trends, but it didn’t lower customer expectations. Over 70% of American consumers want their packages to be delivered within a week. 

Meeting these expectations isn't easy. According to data from Salesforce, packages shipped this shopping season will exceed delivery capacity by 5%. That translates into 700 million holiday gifts that will arrive late. Not a best-case scenario. 

You can’t always affect the speed of delivery, especially when your package delivery services are managed by external companies. What you can do, however, is to make sure your customers are not left high and dry with their missing packages. 

By using an ecommerce chatbot you can keep your customer updated with the status of their order at least. This type of chatbot allows customers to check their order status whenever they want. Customers will stay calm by knowing what the status of their package is. All of that will contribute to a better post-purchasing experience. 

Retarget hot leads 

Remarketing activities let you reconnect with people who already know you. These users could’ve visited your fan page, however, they didn't make a purchase. Some of them might have been interrupted by a phone call. Others might have been just browsing to compare prices and sadly forgot your store's name the next day.  

Display ads work great when it comes to retargeting, but they can be expensive. Messenger chatbots can help you bring your visitors back. A chatbot can send proactive messages to your leads on Messenger. It can remind them about the products they were interested in, helping you to increase your brand recognition and maximize your chances of a successful sale. 

TemplateMonster bot on Messenger
Source: TemplateMonster bot on Messenger

Over to you

The holiday shopping season is quickly approaching. You have a lot of work in front of you, but now you know how chatbots can help you “wow” customers, so give them a try. Streamline your support services, and make the most of the season. 

Good luck! 

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