Benefits of Using AI Chatbots for E-Commerce Website
When we talk about AI chatbots for e-commerce website, we think of solutions that use AI technology to enable seamless communication between the brand and customers through a chatbot or a voice interface. Conversation through chatbot can make the shopping experience more personalized and interactive. Moreover, a conversational AI chatbot can speed up the process as it handles checkouts for a user. AI chatbots in a conversational web framework can create a new and improved customer experience on site, that traditional online shopping lacks.
From the perspective of an online shop, an AI chatbot conveys messages automatically from the brand to the customer, learn from customer input and gather crucial data on the user’s behavior and preferences for a variety of purposes. Consequently, instant and personalized support translates into more sales and increased revenue.
Chatbots for customer service and chatbots as shopping assistants: these are the two most common use cases for AI chatbots for e-commerce website. An AI-powered customer service chatbot provides 24/7 support to customers on various questions related to their orders, company info, FAQs, etc. A chatbot as a shopping assistant can make a targeted product recommendation, answer questions related to a product, or place an order.
Read more about conversational AI chatbots for e-commerce website and learn about two the most important chatbot use cases.
Customer Service Chatbot for E-commerce Website
Providing excellent and fast service is a top priority for e-commerce businesses as customer support plays a vital role in creating a positive customer experience and generating sales.
Regardless of the type of e-commerce business, customers tend to have questions and need some assistance. Consequently, customer support representatives spend a lot of time answering questions.
The questions that often occur are about orders and deliveries, before as well as after the purchase. For example:
- How much does delivery cost?
- What is the time of delivery?
- What is the return policy?
Since many of those questions are repetitive, the self-service support tool as first-line support can be a very efficient and productive solution to busy customer service teams.
Customer support teams typically work between 9-5 on weekdays. There is often no one to answer the customers’ questions late at night or during the weekend. Long response time might be why customers leave the website and look for a better customer experience elsewhere.
Customers want the brands to respect their time, as 66% think that valuing buyers’ time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer experience.
“We have customer representatives working 9-5. However, we also have customers that reach out to us after 5 pm or before 9 am. We decided to introduce an AI chatbot to become more available to our customers”, says Nadin Kempel Sigh, Customer Care Manager at the premium fashion brand, Tiger of Sweden.
Of course, customer inquiries can be made through email or on the phone but giving the customers an option to cancel or check on the order through a chatbot widget can be a more convenient and faster solution.
It does not mean that human customer service jobs become redundant. Human involvement is still needed. In particular, they can focus on more complicated customer inquiries. When a chatbot cannot solve a problem, a human representative takes over. Besides, customers should always have the option to communicate with a customer service representative when they do not wish to talk to a chatbot.
For small customer service teams, an AI chatbot can serve as an assistant handling some part of the daily tasks. “When we lost an essential customer service employee, we had to look for a solution. After seeing how easy it can be to build a bot, we decided to have it for our small customer service team”, explains Rune Fabricius, the owner of Foliekniven, an online store offering signs, banners, foil texts, and stickers.
“Felix became our employee that works 24/7. We trained it as we would train an employee. We gave it the voice and tone of the company, so that it can speak like one of us. Felix is a member of the team and is in the first line of customer support. If he can’t answer, he hands over the conversation to a human”, says Rune Fabricius.
In the end, Foliekniven’s team did hire a new customer service representative as well, but Felix remains the most needed and important digital assistant.
How to Win Over More Customers Using a Conversational Framework
Adopting a conversational AI framework is an approach to customers that aims to provide the best communication between a brand and a buyer. AI chatbots for e-commerce website can help win over more customers by providing fast answers to common questions.
An AI-powered chatbot enables a shift from selling to helping and from transaction to relation and dialogue with a customer. An e-commerce business can start using a Conversational AI as a business strategy by introducing instant messages.
Tiger of Sweden needed to provide fast, automated, and accurate answers to the inquiries that the customer support team was receiving. “There are several crucial aspects for us: time of response, availability, and self- service. We noticed that our customers tend to prefer to look for the information themselves”, says Nadin Kempel Sigh.
Introducing an AI chatbot for their e-commerce business allowed them to decrease email and phone inbounds by 50%. The chatbot proved to be a real support to the customer service team, handling 30% of customer inquiries. Yet, the success of a chatbot should also be measured through customer satisfaction. ‘The Support Customer Satisfaction Score’ has increased from 73% to 96% in just one year,” explains Nadin Kempel Sigh.
Before Tiger of Sweden implemented the chatbot, their customers had to wait for a response from customer service for around 20 to 26 hours. Today, when the bot makes a hand over to a human, the average response time is 10 hours. They observed the connection between response time and customer satisfaction.
Implementing an AI chatbot, therefore, proved to satisfy both the customers and the customer service team. Today, 40% of the customers contact the brand through chat, and the employees do not need to handle repetitive tasks anymore.
This means that they have more time to help consumers with particular inquiries. For example, the customer support team answer questions related to clothes sizes and measurement. Human representatives should handle these kinds of specific problems.
“The more the bot is tailored according to the customers’ needs, the better satisfaction”, adds Nadin Kempel Sigh.
Rune Fabricius says that their customers are happy to get quick answers or links to products they are looking for. “When customers receive the support they need, they are more willing to buy. Therefore, our sales increases”. He adds, “The automation is important not only to provide immediate support to the customers, the AI chatbot also provides us with a lot of valuable data, that helps us improve our products and services”.
The data helps Foliekniven to improve its website and promote products that the customers tend to need. Moreover, it allows for a better training of the chatbot. “We tailored the answers according to what our customers are looking for. For example, “What window tin do you need?” And then the bot guides the customer to the right place. It becomes more convenient for buyers when Felix says, “Click here to find the right product.”
AI Chatbot as a Shopping Assistant for an Online Store
A shopping assistant is another use case of AI chatbots for e-commerce website. Introducing conversational experience for e-commerce’s customers seems to be the right strategy to increase sales as 75% of consumers contact brands over messaging to make a purchase.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technology enable human-like communication and personalization of customer experience. With NLU, a chatbot can analyze the meaning and intent despite spelling and grammar mistakes.
The good news is that the chatbot learns from data input and interactions with the users. It becomes smarter over time and can adjust to the customers preferences.
A chatbot can make the online shopping experience easy, smooth and more interactive through:
- recommending a product based on who a user is shopping for
- notifying customers when items are out of stock
- promoting deals and sales
- communicating the release of a new product
- helping with filling the forms and many others.
Many online stores have a large amount of content and it might be difficult for some customers to find what they are looking for. For example, online clothing shops have massive catalogues of products, and browsing through them can be time-consuming.
When a chatbot is integrated with a product catalogue, it can make product recommendations. A chatbot shopping assistant makes it easier to find information or a desirable product. Moreover, when a bot guides customers and recommends suitable products, it can decrease shopping basket abandonments and reduce the bounce rate.
How does the bot work as a shopping assistant then? The bot asks questions and the user enters responses directly into the message window. The bot takes the input and matches it with the programmed responses. It can show the product, provide a link to the product, offer an alternative item, or inform that particular product are not available at the moment.
A chatbot can work with pre-programmed responses as well as with dynamic information from the user’s input. Integrated with a database, it can provide a more personalized experience, which a simple website search engine cannot do. The more it knows, the better recommendations it can make.
DoucheBags, a Norwegian company that designs, produces, and sells bags for convenient travel, introduced a chatbot named Astrid, supporting customer service by answering questions regarding delivery, warranty and shopping cost.
Answering common questions is not the only thing that Astrid does. The chatbot works as a shopping assistant too. A user needs to provide information about desired products. Astrid asks a few questions to personalize the recommendation: “What type of bag are you looking for?” Then it gives some options.
To know the purpose of the purchase, it asks another question: “What do you plan on using it for?” Based on the customer’s input, the chatbot offers a few alternatives and explains why it selected specific bags.
AI Chatbot as a Gift Finder
An AI chatbot for e-commerce website can also serve as a gift finder. The customers often get frustrated when they try to find the right gifts for their family and friends. The reason for that is they might not know what they are looking for.
Further, the retailers collect data on users when they visit their e-commerce websites and show the relevant products based on this data. When a visitor is trying to buy a gift for someone else, the recommendations might suited for the visitor and not the person the gift is for.
Here comes an AI chatbot for an e-commerce website that can work as a gift bot and solve the challenge of gift recommendation. It can inspire online shoppers on what to purchase and make them confident that they are buying the right product.
To provide personalized product recommendation, the bot can ask questions, for example: “Are you looking for a gift for a woman or a man?”, “How old is your friend?”, “What books does your friend like to read?”.
The bots that support customers with their gift purchases prove to increase sales. Saxo, a Danish online store, experienced 400% higher conversion rates after introducing an AI chatbot to help their visitors with the gift selection.
Boosting Sales with a Conversational AI Chatbot
With thousands of online stores out there, catching the attention of your online store’s visitors is crucial. If you do not get the users hooked on products or services you offer, they might move to another online store. High-quality products are not enough. Excellent customer service is a new trend in boosting sales in e-commerce.
This is where an AI conversational chatbot comes to the rescue.
The chatbot can start a conversation by saying, “We have a deal this week for summer clothes. Use our code #summersale to get a 40% discount on all items! Hurry up!”. The bot, hereby, works as a shopping assistant; it promotes the products and hooks users to the best offers through starting a conversation. Keeping the customers’ interest can improve retention rates and even boost sales if the bot is successful in upselling products.
One of the challenges that e-commerce businesses experience is cart abandonment. One of the reasons buyers do not complete their purchases is that they are not sure if they selected the right items. Big online stores offer many products and choosing the right one can be time-consuming. A bot can simplify choices by narrowing selections and presenting the most suitable offers.
A chatbot can also remind users of those items and ask them if they are willing to proceed towards checkout or if they would like to make changes in their shopping carts.
Further, people tend to not like filling out tedious forms. Often, they get confused. A chatbot can make this process more interactive and lead the customers to the conversion.
Know Your Customer Better Through Conversational AI
The AI chatbots for e-commerce website are useful in understanding the audience. Generating leads and conversions can be much easier if you know what your audience wants. Data that a chatbot receives can be used to understand the shopping habits of your customers. When a customer visits the next time, the shop can provide a seamless user experience and convert them more easily.
A chatbot can also be the connection between a potential customer and the sales team in real-time. For example, a chatbot can provide a phone number or even allow a user to call directly from the chatbot widget. The chatbot can be located on the main page where, with a few clicks, leads can be generated.
The excellent way to learn about your customer’s needs is to create a survey or a quiz. When a chatbot is connected to CRM it can send the info to the database. Sales representatives can use this data to get more qualified leads in the future. In other words, the chatbot generates sales opportunities and the team works on the leads.
What Is Next?
Chatbots for customer service and chatbots as shopping assistants are the two most common use cases for AI chatbots for the e-commerce website, increasing sales, and improving customer experience and customer satisfaction.
The conversational AI chatbots can provide the best communication between a brand and a buyer 24/7 and make online shopping more pleasant and smooth.
Now, it is time to take one step further and sell more and sell better.
Learn about the new cutting-edge conversational experience on your e-commerce website.
The article was written by Patrycja Hala Saçan.