Guest Post by Hassan Khan
Image source: https://www.yo-kart.com
Often thought of as the unique selling proposition of the world of e-commerce and marketing, chatbots are short for chat robot technology which has the ability to simulate human interactions, in this case sales assistant and consumer interactions, through artificial intelligence. This software can interact with consumers, answer their queries as well as their concerns in the format of a regular conversation which uses text and sometimes even voice and images.
The realm of telegenic marketing is fast evolving with innovative ideas and strategies being introduced. It is considered that chatbots are an asset to e-commerce stores due to their ability to cultivate a shopping experience that resembles real life commerce. To what extent can chatbots assist the e commerce business? That is something that must be discussed in detail before a company chooses to adopt this novel strategy.
Improving Consumer Interaction
A research conducted by Sprout Social came to the conclusion that 5 out of 6 messages that require a reply go completely unanswered by most companies with a waiting time of around 10 hours being the average for those which do get a reply eventually. It is frustrating for customers to be required to wait so long to get an answer to a fairly simple query and this is where chatbots come in.
Chatbots can impersonate a conversational shopping assistant who has the ability to identify exactly what the consumer is looking for and is able to offer tailored assistance. Chatbots are able to make your conversations with a robot feel like they are personalized and real – almost like you are conversing with another human being! These artificial intelligence robots are able to evaluate typing patterns and answer queries in accordance to that.
Moreover, chatbots can also impersonate a regular salesperson. They do this by storing buyer history and suggesting products accordingly. They can also be sensitive to a customer’s needs and meet their individual queries in a way that a busy salesperson may be unable to do so in real time. eBay’s rendition of a chatbot called ShopBot is a good example of this and is proven to have boosted sales.
Unlike an actual shop with an opening and closing time and changing shifts of salespeople, chatbots are free of all such time and space limitations. They don’t need food, they don’t need sleep and they don’t need to rest. Chatbots can operate and maintain conversations for as long as the customers require them to without being overwhelmed by multiple customers. Time management no longer remains a problem for commerce with chatbots!Unlike an actual shop with an opening and closing time and changing shifts of salespeople, chatbots are free of all such time and space limitations. Click To Tweet
E-commerce markets can be organized and managed in a hassle free way thanks to the introduction of chatbots. While interacting with and responding to customers, chatbots can simultaneously be programmed to keep records and to monitor your company’s inventory. This will provide the company as well as its customers with specific information regarding the availability of items and products which may be going out of stock in your estore soon and require replenishing. Similarly, chatbots are also capable of helping out consumers with important information that they would like to be reminded of such as whether a product previously out of stock is available for sale, whether there are any deals relevant to them and whether there are products available at a discounted price.
The Success of Facebook Messenger
Second only to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger can now boast itself as the second most popular messaging app in the world with over one billion users worldwide and has even surpassed the actual Facebook app in terms of active users. Brands have increasingly started incorporating Messenger as a chatbot for their company’s digital marketing strategy. They can now conveniently sell their products on a platform with an established user base which is also continuously growing, works on almost every device and is quite user-friendly.
Messenger chatbots are possibly the best option for a company which may be unable to invest in its own version of a chatbot. The chatbot of messenger can be viewed as your new employee who you aren’t paying directly and is able to work 24/7 for you online store. From chatting with your customers, to helping you sell products and helping customers find the right products for them, this chatbot operates in a way which isn’t unlike a salesperson only more efficient.
The Messenger chatbot can also be customized in accordance with the needs of the employer and their customers. It can be funny, amiable, formal or even sarcastic – operating like a real person in conversations! This chatbot is also able to recognize the moments when a customer’s queries are beyond its job description and it those situations, it redirects the customer to a real employee who will be able to understand the problem better in case of communication gap.
Possibly one of the most interesting and inventful features of this chatbot is that it can send bulk messages to broadcast lists of a company’s customers or even tailored ones to specific customers. Is your company about to introduce a new product and wants to offer premium pre-orders to existing customer base? Just let your chatbot know! It will instantly send out messages to inform customers about the new offer or about arrival of novel products.
To sum it up, chatbots seem to be fast approaching their way to become one of the most important tools for e-commerce. In fact, the co-founder of Accubits Technology, Aharsh MS is of the opinion that this is just the beginning; chatbots are evolving to provide customers with the most personalized virtual experience possible. They have the ability to allow businesses to communicate with their target consumer base, deliver top notch customer service, make product recommendations and help users navigate the website. Engagement with customers has become an indispensable part of today’s world of e-commerce, with competitive marketing strategies coming out. Chatbots are sure to help your business stand out in this regard.Chatbots are evolving to provide customers with the most personalized virtual experience possible. Click To Tweet
The near future of using chatbots for e-commerce seems to be quite bright indeed. They have drastically altered the way e-commerce activities take place and the ease with which customers are allowed to make full use of shopping services.
Hassan Khan is an Online Marketing Specialist with 7 years of experience in Digital Media and is currently CEO at Techvando, a leading e-commerce web design and development agency. Over the years, Techvando has successfully delivered projects in Magento, WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla and other CMS/shopping cart platforms. You can find him on LinkedIn.
Editors Note: Check out the 20 Minutes of Influence Podcast interview with Carrie Jessica Gottschalk on Chatbots. You can see a sample chatbot in action at https://www.messenger.com/t/WebStoresLtd. Let us know if you are interested in having us develop this technology for you.