Technology advances at a pretty impressive rate. Things that are cutting edge today will feel outdated in six months’ time. Fostering a long-lasting business plan for a company that exists in a digital space is not easy to do in this context. Just when you think you’re getting on top of things, some new development comes along to push you back a few steps.
Adaptability and an ability to embrace this reality is key if you’re looking to grow your business. One of the newest ways to do this is through software known as an ecommerce chatbot. Throughout this article, we’ll take a look at what they are and why you should be using them.
- What Is a Chatbot?
- Is an Ecommerce Chatbot Worth the Investment?
What Is a Chatbot?
In short, an ecommerce chatbot is software designed to simulate a conversation with humans over the internet on behalf of a business. Essentially, it takes the keywords of a person’s inquiry, runs them through an algorithm and responds with the most appropriate reply. It’s like a written version of the call handling that an IVR call center would do.
As you can probably tell already, the complexity of conversations that a chatbot can have depends on how it’s programmed. If you have a skilled practitioner on hand to set it up, it can do wonders for how your company operates its digital customer-facing tasks.
Here are nine trusted reasons to start using a chatbot in your ecommerce business.
1. Time Saving
Our attention span is at the all-time low. The world around us has become so fast-paced – things that could take days 20 years ago need to happen within seconds today. For example, you might set up online quoting software to speed up the process of sales.
More often than not, when people are getting in touch with your business because something has gone wrong.
Making them wait longer than expected for an initial response, never mind a resolution, is only going to increase their frustration. A bad experience like this can prevent them from returning to you in the future.
Because of that, conversational business functions need to work as fast as possible. Chatbots provide a handy solution through automation across both customer care and marketing to reduce that wait time. Ideally, this will lead to a faster resolution. Trust us – your customers will thank you!
Just because something is done quickly doesn’t mean it’s always done properly. When considering any change to your business process, especially in the automation era, you need to consider both sides of the coin.
Resolving customers’ issues quickly is great – any inbound contact center will tell you that’s one of their main goals.
If that resolution is dissatisfying though, you’re making more work for yourself. Luckily, ecommerce chatbots can communicate with customers in a manner that is more accurate than their human equivalents.
They are a program that uses smart learning. By having access to customer profiles, preferences, and past complaints, they instantly understand customers’ history with the brand. This allows them to tailor their service and suggestions to each customer – something that would take humans much longer.
3. Cost Saving
So there’s a program out there that can perform a business function more accurately and faster than humans? It must cost an arm and a leg, right? Well, not quite.
You see, it may be more costly upfront – most changes to business processes are. However, in the long run, chatbots also have the advantage of being cost-saving tools. Chatbots can automate interactions at scale. This makes the act of employing a team of people a bad business decision.
These chatbots never go on holiday or get tired. That means that you can provide great customer service and increase revenue at the same time!
4. Return on Ad Spending
This point is a little less obvious, but think of chatbots this way. The time saving, accuracy, and cost-saving points above refer to all general conversations – pre-transaction or post-transaction.
But try to think about chatbots as marketing tools. When you spend time and money on an ad campaign, you want to be sure you’ll get a decent return on that investment.
Without chatbots, people may see your ad campaign on Facebook or Instagram, arrive at your page, and just be left to their own whimsy. But if you program an ecommerce chatbot to act in a similar manner to a sales assistant, a customer suddenly gets a resource to lean on. The likelihood of them actually buying drastically increases!
Here’s another advantage: chatbots don’t have a start and end time. They can work 24/7/365! Humans, of course, need breaks, but a chatbot can work all the time!
Customers should be able to reach out whenever and however they want. And that means that your chatbot needs to operate across all devices.
While some users still favor a classic PC browser, the majority of customers nowadays use their cell phones. Make sure to accommodate these device differences (tablets and even smartwatches) to ensure that any customer is served the way they prefer.
6. Marketing Strategy
Chatbots can really help guide your overall marketing strategy.
By utilizing chatbots as an information-gathering resource, you’re able to get a better idea about who each customer is. This, in turn, can inform the direction of future campaigns, making them more effective.
7. Abandoned Cart Revenue
One thing that gets overlooked often is the scale of “abandoned cart revenue”. This refers to how often people abandon their online shopping carts that contain at least one item. Some recent studies suggest that this number can be as high as 84%!
By having your ecommerce chatbot set up to assist in the customer journey, the reasons pulling them towards abandoning their cart is reduced.
Is an Ecommerce Chatbot Worth the Investment?
Now you know all the basics about chatbots, the best ways of using them and why they can be so effective at scaling your business. In ecommerce, different players often stand out by having slight differences that mean a lot to customers. A chatbot can be that feature that helps you stick out!
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