Artificial intelligence is the new trend in tech and marketing. Consumers are loving it. What’s the ultimate goal of any brand or business? Engaging customers.
But what does engagement really mean in 2017? Today is the era of conversational marketing. If you want to win customers, you MUST make a real conversation with them. Even if you count how many messaging apps you have on your mobile phone, the chances are you have more than two or three apps.
Messaging apps have become important in our daily lives. 55% of the population of the planet use a messenger app every single day
And chatbot is the newest trend in messaging. A Chatbot is an interactive and interesting automated phone system which allows you to connect with a brand.
What Exactly Are Chatbots
Here’s Zembula’s quick and easy definition of a chatbot:
“In its most basic form (we’ll use basic as a relative term here), a chatbot is a form of artificial intelligence that combined with rules and algorithms that allows for a text-based chat interface to communicate with others. A chatbot is a tool that lets brands interact over chat with consumers.”
Let me make it more simple for you. Read this statement by Mark Zuckerberg,
“We think you should message a business just the way you would message a friend.”
This statement means more than any other technical definition.
Here’s an example to make it clearer:
If you wanted to order pizza from Domino’s, you’d go to their site, look around until you find your choice pizza, and then you’d order that.
But with the help of a Domino’s chatbot, you’d simply be able to message them on Facebook Messenger. It will understand your requirement by asking you relevant questions and you would simply tell it what you want… Simple.
According to David Marcus, Facebook’s VP of Messaging Products
“Bots can provide anything from automated subscription content like weather and traffic updates to customised communications like receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them.”
Watch this video – Facebook showing what a chatbot can do.
Here are some examples of chatbots:
TacoBot is the Taco Bell (Fast food chain) robot. They unveiled it on the popular messaging platform Slack, which allows customers to order food by messaging TacoBot, which asks all the right questions.
H&M, Sephora, and Victoria’s Secret have all recently introduced chatbots which make suggestions to customers and allow them to buy through the messaging platform. Burger King and Pizza Hut allow customers to order food directly through Facebook Messenger by messaging the restaurant chains’ bots.
CELEB STYLE chatbot analyses what your favourite celebrities are wearing and tells consumers where they can purchase each wardrobe item.
With 300 million downloads, the Kik chat app is used by close to 40% US teens. Facebook Messenger is another major player with 1 billion users! Some other popular platforms are: Slack, WhatsApp, ChatFuel, and many others.
Do you wonder what is the potential impact of a chatbot on an ecommerce startup? Take a look at some stats:
Live chat users spend an average of 5%-30% more and The buyer conversion rate is 5 to 10 times higher following a chat session. (Source)
90% of our time on mobile is spent on messaging platforms. People are using messenger apps more than they are using social networks. (Source)
80% of businesses said they already used or planned to use chatbots by 2020.
So, a chatbot is a BIG opportunity for your ecommerce startup to get ahead of your competition. Jes Stiles, CMO Emerging Markets, Ringier AG, perfectly answers why chatbots are important: “A messenger bot can allow you to have personalised 1-1 conversations at scale, opening up a whole new audience who do not wish to connect with the brand over email or download an app. Moreover, when built in a user-friendly manner, chatbots can actually provide a better experience than a human for common use cases with faster response times (no matter what time or day of the week) and greater personalisation of content.”
The Role Of Chatbots In Ecommerce
Let’s take a look at how chatbots will completely change the way you do business:
Customer Experience And Service
Chatbots are meant to replace traditional chats and other communication media like phone calls and emails. The days are not that far when it completely replaces all human interaction.
Chatbot will take your customer service to another level. A chatbot can give your customers a quick, personalised, and interactive customer experience. They are meant to deliver instant and round-the-clock services and support to customers in need, offering all customers a quick and instant resolution to their queries and complaints.
Improve Your Sales
An ecommerce company which has chatbots indeed offers a prominent feature on their brand.
Chatbots can help you in the generation of potential leads and drive sales. A chatbot quickly responds to the customers who are scrolling through your sales page, can help to capture all potential customers by supplying their useful information to the sales department.
Chatbot can also send notifications and reminders to your prospects.
Make Conversation With Users
You can shop or order something in a conversational style. For example, your order a pair of shoes online by using the shopping website or by downloading the app of an online shopping site.
But with a chatbot, you don’t need to download an app or open a website. Just open Messenger, type XYZ shoes and a bot will take your order. It will ask you some relevant questions and show you shoes according to your preferences.
It will save a lot of time of your users. They serve the purpose in the best possible manner.
Help Customers To Make A Purchasing Decision
Chatbots help customers (who are not tech-friendly) in putting the items in the shopping cart and successfully completing the whole shopping process.
A chatbot stores your order history and suggests similar or complimentary products. If you have a confusion about any product, you can chat with a bot to ask your questions.
Do you want to register a complaint? Or do you need to return a product?
You don’t have to write a long email and no need of a telephonic conversation. A chatbot will take care of it. A chatbot gives a personalised feel to your customers. And makes your users feel like they are talking with a human. It will help you to cut business costs.
About The Author
[The author of this post is Kunjal Panchal, Digital Strategist and a social media geek – passionate about content marketing and strongly believes in the power of storytelling for marketing.]