Long gone are the days of the old-style chatbots on sites like AOL Messenger. Many of us remember how poorly programs of the past rendered human speech, but in the decades since, live chat has come on leaps and bounds. In fact, some AI programs are so advanced, it can be hard to distinguish them from chatting with a real-life human.
Read on to see five compelling cases for bringing chatbots and live chat apps into your ecommerce brand.
Chatbots can help with top of funnel conversions
Offering your ecommerce customers a highly personalized experience of your site with the addition of a live chatbot can help guide consumers down the sales funnel, and ultimately influence their buying decisions.
Chatbots can act as an encyclopedia of product knowledge, providing support to customers who have questions or hesitations on the way to the checkout page.
Further, they can also be programmed to take data from email marketing campaigns, upsell and cross-sell products, offer discounts codes and so on, much like a store concierge.
From each interaction with a customer, the program will continue to learn from these past experiences, providing higher quality customer interactions over time.
Clothing brand H&M makes good use of this by providing live fashion recommendations through its chat application. By asking customers about the styles they’re into this season, the app ‘gamifies’ aspects of the sales process, making online shopping fun for customers who may not be sure what they’re looking for.
Chatbots can boost your marketing strategies
By building your chatbot and programming it to respond with your carefully considered marketing messages, you will have the opportunity to provide customers with personalized push ads based around your buyer personas.
Further, they can also act as a handy robotic data analyst, collecting consumer data points and trends, such as your most common customer queries. This gives businesses the chance to capitalize on this information, either by making product or service adjustments or pushing more informative messages through a targeted content marketing campaign.
KLM airlines, within their flights' app, allow customers to complete tasks like obtaining their boarding passes. Through their clever use of live chat, they also made it possible for customers to interact with emojis displaying their mood.
Based on these moods, the chatbot can then offer recommendations, such as where to eat in the airport or where to get a cup of coffee.
Chatbots can help you manage your online store
As well as interacting with customers, live chatbots can be programmed to keep track of your inventory, letting you and your customers know that you may be out of a particular item in your online store. Similarly, they can also be programmed to let a customer know that the product they were looking for has arrived back in stock.
As a benefit to business operations, chatbots provide a helping hand, saving you time and effort in managing your ecommerce store. Facebook Chat is a great example of this. Last year, developers announced that through its marketplace application and Messenger, Facebook can safely and securely take a customer’s payment details.
Chatbots can join in human conversations to boost sales
Audience insights within Facebook’s built-in advertising platform can be an extremely useful tool for learning about your customers’ behavior online. In fact, social media advertising is a great opportunity for you to gather crucial customer and purchase data.
By combining this with in-Facebook chatbots, companies are able to supercharge their sales. It was announced at this year's Facebook F8 developer conference that automation will allow brands to suggest products within Facebook chat conversations.
For example, if you’re arranging with your friends where to get food, local restaurant suggestions will soon be aggregated in real time. Keep this in mind for your brand when analyzing your customer insights data, as experts have hinted that Facebook Messenger could soon be the only chat app you’ll ever need.
Chatbots can help you cut down on customer services costs
Chatbots present many advantages to businesses looking to expand their operations by saving money in certain areas like customer service.
Live chat apps can provide a cheaper alternative to help you cut down on team numbers and provide an excellent service to customers by tracking customer contact histories and providing people with immediate, non-urgent support. In some cases, this can be sufficient to fulfill their needs.
For example, a chatbot can easily drive a conversation about returns and product exchange policy. Also, for companies trading overseas, the use of chatbots in customer service can prove very useful in helping you get around difficulties such as language barriers.
There are many reasons why businesses should consider bringing live chat apps into their operations.
From making your day job easier with automation to providing you with stacks of audience data to analyze, chatbots are becoming more and more of an indispensable tool for ecommerce.
All credits for taking the first picture of a factory worker go to Adam Harris, HealthyHandyman.com.