Is It Worth Implementing AI-Powered Chatbots to My eCommerce Website?
With the fast evolution of technology, increased customer expectations, and the constant need to improve user experience, chatbots have become an essential factor in customer support strategy. Chatbots are a kind of software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to simulate conversations with users. They can be used for different purposes such as answering questions about products or services, providing information, making reservations, etc.
The way businesses of all sizes and industries conduct their activity is changing by how fast technology evolves, mainly when your business relies on customer service to provide a complete 360 degree of customer experience, such as eCommerce. Chatbot usage has become a primary factor in scaling the efforts of customer service agents by providing support 24/7. Meanwhile, the human agents can engage in conversations that need their focus and situations that require a human touch.
In this article, we will talk about how chatbots have improved customer experience, the benefits of chatbots, and why you should consider implementing this technology. But first, let’s define what AI-powered chatbots are.
What Is an AI Chatbot?
A chatbot is a program that allows users to interact with technology through various input methods such as voice, text, touch and gesture, any time of day, night and day of the week, going beyond employee’s customer service hours. Contrary to basic chatbots that work based on rules, AI chatbots depend on natural language understanding, processing and generation to comprehend and engage in human conversation. AI chatbots use machine learning capabilities that make them more competent over time and use.
Companies have used a customer service chatbot to improve customer experience and business effectiveness over the years. Even though the invasion of chatbots seems pretty recently, the first chatbot was invented in the 1960s by Joseph Weizenbaum, an MIT professor. This new technology was named ELIZA, and it was programmed to mimic a psychotherapist. At that time, ELIZA was an extraordinary achievement, but as the technology has evolved, the capabilities of the machine learning models have grown extensively. Nowadays, conversational experiences with AI chatbots have become personal and empathic, giving you the feeling that you are talking with real human agents. The level of chatbot intelligence is not limited to answering only simple questions but helping consumers solve their needs, making them a great asset in your customer care strategy.
As chatbots have a variety of degrees of intelligence, they wear different names such as AI chatbot, AI virtual assistant, digital assistant, conversational agent, intelligent chatbot, etc. Nevertheless, they are growing in popularity, and if used well, they represent a competitive advantage.
Are AI Chatbots Effective for eCommerce Companies?
AI Chatbots are a great way to increase sales and improve customer service. They can be used in many different ways, from answering simple common customer questions to more complex conversational agents that can understand natural language and perform tasks on your behalf. 1.4 billion people are using chatbots. More than that, conversational AI chatbots can answer 80% of standard, common questions. Let’s explore the advantages of chatbots and how online retailers can keep up with their competition, provide valuable online shopping experiences and improve customer interactions.
1. Boost Lead Generation
Because of how AI chatbot technology is built to learn, gather information and provide the most appropriate answer, it has a high potential for increasing lead generation. Chatbots can distinguish the types of leads by asking the right questions and redirecting potential customers to the sales team or the relevant product or service. This action can cut down the amount of work that sales teams must do when looking for qualified leads, making the process faster and more precise.
2. Faster Response Times Around the Clock
Users want instant replies to their customer queries, and they don’t have the patience to wait a long time to get their answers. Consumers have to stay on the messaging platforms to chat online with a human agent without an AI chatbot. Because of the extended response times, the chat might start with a frustrated customer, decreasing the level of customer satisfaction. When online business owners decide to integrate quality AI eCommerce chatbots, instant responses are provided to users. In the case where customer inquiries are more complex and go beyond the capability of your bot, users will be redirected to one of your customer service representatives.
What is crucial to provide a personalized experience and increase customer engagement is to forward all the details that users have provided so they don’t have to start over.
3. Cut Customer Service Costs
Hiring multiple customer service teams can get expensive. According to Juniper Research, the adaption of chatbots in the retail, banking and healthcare industries will help save almost $11 billion annually by 2023, up from an estimated $6 billion in 2018. AI chatbots can take care of many business users’ requests without needing human agents to interact.
4. Improve Customer Journey
Engaging users and making their journey easier is an excellent job for AI chatbots. Still, you need to set it up properly. Especially in the retail industry, consumers want personalized experiences, and chatbot software can analyze user queries and provide answers instantly. Customer conversations are personalized because the chatbot uses the consumer’s name and engages them with real-time answers. Therefore, people will get their information fast.
Some people do not like human interactions over the phone or chat. Even if the percentage of such customers is small, talking with an AI is more accessible and less tense. Some people are introverts, and some had stressful previous experiences while engaging with customer support teams. More than that, AI have endless patience and no emotions. Therefore, consumers will not feel rushed during the conversation, they don’t have to worry about the type of questions they ask, and the risk of running into an unpleasant chatbot is non-existent.
5. Lower Human Error
eCommerce businesses value the quality of customer service agents. No matter how good your service quality is, there is a chance that your team might provide a wrong answer to your customers. Human errors are unavoidable. In return, chatbots are programmed to deliver the correct answer. Accuracy boosts the level of trust in your online business. More than that, an eCommerce chatbot is constantly learning, and it can deal with complex queries. They become smarter with use through their natural language processing capability, mainly when dealing with repetitive questions. Because of machine learning technology, chatbots will start to understand more about user intent. They collect and track customers’ answers, giving them valuable insights into understanding human interactions. The only thing you should pay attention to is providing the correct information to your chatbot.
Our Opinion: Do Customers Like Using Chatbots?
We stand by the fact that eCommerce retailers would benefit from implementing artificial intelligence in their workflows and sales processes. The more accurate and effortless the service, the happier the customers. 69% of consumers prefer to use chatbots for the speed they can communicate with a brand. The versatility of chatbots can be leveraged for sales funnel strategies, marketing activities, customer support and user engagement.
eCommerce retailers can use an AI bot as a personal shopping assistant. eCommerce is about getting personal. A shopping assistant will have personalized conversations with your customers, and according to Forbes, 75% of consumers contact brands over messaging to make a purchase. Therefore, it can be the right strategy to increase sales. An AI chatbot can improve the customer journey and smooth out the shopping experience: through a product recommendation based on the user’s needs; alerting consumers when products are out of stock; promoting sales or deals; announcing the release of a new product, helping users filling forms, etc. When users are guided efficiently, have all their questions answered, and the recommended products fit their needs, the abandonment of shopping carts and the bounce rate can decrease significantly.
We strongly believe that by implementing a skilful AI chatbot and optimizing your eCommerce website for voice commerce, your chances of succeeding and staying on top of your competition are massive. You can read more about how to succeed in the retail industry on our blog. More than that, we can help you develop a striving business, no matter the state of your company. Check out our portfolio and read our reviews to better understand how we collaborate with our partners. Contact us today! Let’s skyrocket your business and be on top of your competition while offering high-quality service and engaging your customers.