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10 Reasons to Upgrade Your E-Commerce Website to a Conversational Website

Why do you need a conversational website for you e-commerce
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Table of Contents

What Is a Conversational Website?

A conversational website is a smart website that uses a conversational interface to communicate with visitors. Here a chatbot facilitates the conversation with the users. A bot and a user go back and forth with a series of close-ended questions. In other words, a bot is a medium for the conversation between a website and a user. And based on the user´s input, the bot takes action on the website.

A conversational website allows customers to search, purchase, fill in forms, and many other actions directly in a chatbot. It can provide the necessary guidance, make the page navigation easier to the users, and decrease the number of actions the user needs to take to find what they are looking for.

A conversational website can drastically improve the performance of e-commerce businesses. It helps by creating a better way for brands to interact with their customers online and improves user engagement and customer satisfaction.

If you are not sure why you should upgrade your e-commerce website to a conversational website, we have a list of 10 reasons why you need a conversational website to stay ahead of the curve.

A Conversational Website is the Website of the Future

In recent years, and especially throughout 2020, more and more customers have been switching to digital channels. Even those that used to do offline shopping feel confident about e-commerce and have made the switch to online stores. For this reason, it is time to use AI technology and adapt to the users´ flows and habits to make online shopping interactive and frictionless. 

The interfaces of traditional e-commerce websites are missing the brandtocustomer interaction, and the whole website experience is impersonal and lacks a human touch. Yet, the conversational design allows a website to communicate with the user as a human would do. It mimics human-to-human conversation. In other words, it imitates the conversation a customer would have with a shopping assistant in an offline store.   

The conversational website is what all e-commerce businesses need because a conventional website’s impersonal experience is not enough to provide an excellent user experience. website needs to have simple, user-friendly interfaces that make online shopping a pleasant and enjoyable experience.    

A conversational website enables personalized support for visitors to online shops.

Many businesses already recognize the need to adjust to customer needs and started adding some conversational elements to their websites. To illustrate, 58% of B2B companies and 42% of B2C businesses already use chatbots on their websites. Moreover, 64% of businesses believe that believe that chatbots will allow them to provide a more personalized support for their customers. Those e-commerce stores that introduced some form of conversational AI on their websites, are increasing their annual revenue by 7 to 25%.

People Love Messaging

Messaging has become a major means of communication in recent years. According to Statistic Brain Institute, in the USA, the number of monthly sent and received texts has increased by 7.000% in the last decade.

People tend to prefer to communicate by texting, with friends, relatives, but also with companies. Messaging is easier and faster than making a phone call or sending an email. For that reason, massaging with a brand is an always-available communication option that many customers appreciate.

Most of the customers already interact with chatbots. According to UserLike study, 80% of respondents have interacted with a chatbot before. Consumers are feeling more comfortable with the idea of chat support now than they used to in the past. In particular, Gen Z and Millennials are more willing to communicate with brands through chatbot messaging.

A conversational design makes communication between website and user through a chatbot possible, making the shopping experience more personalized.

A conversational website is based on communication through a chatbot.
Messaging is a preferred way to stay connected not only with friends but also with brands.

Reduced Friction in Brand to Customer Communication

One of the challenges in the customer journey that causes friction is the lack of communication with a brand. Customers don´t want a passive and impersonal online shopping experience anymoreOnline customers demand more now from online shops than they used to. They want to interact with brands and feel connected with them.  

The interface of conventional websites is limited and does not allow for customers to engage with brands. Customers are more likely to take their business elsewhere if an experience with a brand doesn’t meet their ever-increasing expectations. 

According to The Rockefeller Corporation’s study on why customers leave a company for a competitor, 68% of customers leave because they think the brands don’t care about them. Building a good relationship with the customers in an offline shop is easy with the help of friendly shopping assistants.   

How to make the visitors of a webshop feel welcome and cared for when direct interaction is missing? 

conversational website moves onetoone interaction between a customer and a salesperson to an online shopThanks to NLP and NLU technology, an e-commerce website can communicate with a visitor as a shopping assistant would do. It turns depersonalized online shopping into personalized and engaging experience. In other words, it gives a human touch to an e-commerce website by making customers feel appreciated and cared for

Easy Page Browsing

Visitors of e-commerce websites waste a lot of time searching for what they are looking for. Browsing can be much easier on a conversational e-commerce website with a chatbot taking care of the search for the user. It saves the user from going through infinite menus and filters.

On conversational website a chatbot helps the user to browse.
Browsing on a conversational website is more comfortable than on a traditional e-commerce website. It is a chatbot that takes care of searching for the right products and content.

A chatbot sees what the user sees and shows what the user tells the bot to show. It turns a tiresome and time-consuming website browsing into a conversational and engaging search and product filter.

To illustrate, when a customer asks a bot about a product, it can show cards with thumbnail pictures, a description, a link to every product page, a video, or other visual content. It can also offer several products in a customized window and navigate the user.

When a user lands on a homepage, a chatbot can start a customer journey by asking ¨How can I help you today? ¨. The user´s answers can be: ¨ I am looking for floral perfumes for women¨, and the chatbot’s answer can be something like ¨ I am happy to help! Here is the complete list of all floral fragrances for women in our store¨.

Product and Gift Recommendation

A chatbot can ask some questions to collect the user´s preferences. Based on the input, it selects the right products as a shopping assistant would do. Moreover, it can also display the bestselling products, offer deals and discounts that the user might be interested in.

Artificial Intelligence that a conversational website is based on understands the user´s input and learns the value of products, items, item categories, issues, etc. The consolidated knowledge on a website´s content allows a chatbot to make personalized recommendations.

Moreover, it is easy to find gifts for others with the support of an online shopping assistant. Imagine you are shopping online and looking for a gift for your friend. You are unsure what to buy. Here a conversational interface can be helpful. The bot can say, “I see that you are looking for _____. I can help you if you need ____”.

To find a better-suited product, it can ask additional questions, “Are you buying for yourself or someone else?”, “Are you buying for a woman or a man?”, How old is your friend? “What colours does she like?”

If you struggle to understand what your users want, a conversational website is a perfect tool to know your customers better. It can help you see who your buyers are and what problems they experience on your website.

A chatbot helps users to find what they are looking for on e-commerce website.
A chatbot asks questions to better understand customer's preferences.

Supported Decision Making

A conversational interface can increase the probability of a user purchasing a product. By making the right suggestions, it can accelerate the customer journey.

With a lot of choices available, some customers tend to get stuck in the decision process. Sometimes a little encouragement can make the users proceed. It can even make suggestions like “This shirt is cool, and I know the perfect necklace to match it with. Do you want me to show it?” Yes, the chatbot can do everything any shop assistant does. A chatbot can be a useful tool that users use for consultation on their shopping.

It resembles the conversation that a shopper can have with a sales assistant in a physical store where the sales assistant often initiates the conversation.

Further, a chatbot can present the user a selection of items curated by, for example, a famous makeup artist on a makeup store, or a famous interior designer in a furniture shop.

Here is an example:

User: I need to buy a new office chair.

Bot: Interior designer Cecilie Manz has curated a selection of items for Saphir Salon. She selected these 2 office chairs. Do you see anything you like?

Solving the Issue of Shopping Cart Abandonment

Purchasing decisions tend to be emotional, and if a consumer begins to doubt the products in their shopping cart, they will either cancel the order or just leave the website. Over two-thirds of all online shopping carts end up getting abandoned.

Often customers need advice on whether they make the right decision. Current e-commerce website design has limited abilities to encourage customers to check out. A big shiny call to action button is not enough.

When a customer does not check out after a spending a long time on the website, a chatbot widget can pop-up and remind the customer about items in the basket or encourage him or her to go back to shopping.

It can assist the shopper by saying, for example: “Any doubt about how this shirt will look on you? Let me help you with the size!”, or “I love this shirt too. Have you seen there’s only 3 in stock?”, or “May I show this shirt to you in a different colour?”.

Shopping cart abandonment is a common problem of e-commerce websites
Often customers start a check out process but drop out before completing the purchase.

Many e-commerce businesses try to retrieve abandoned shopping carts and send a reminder by email. However, this method does not seem to be effective. Many customers do not even open those emails.

However, a conversational website can encourage a shopper to check out in real-time or gather useful information on why a customer does not want to proceed. For example, it can ask: ¨Was the price too high? ¨, Is the time of shipping too long?¨

Often users lack some information to make the final decision. A chatbot can help find the details that the customer needs from the website that will assure them they have what they need.

Increasing User Attention

When a user browses through a traditional e-commerce website, all information is provided at once and might be confusing and overwhelming. The user can be easily distracted and lose interest.

However, a conversational interface makes it possible to provide content progressively as the user wants it. In other words, the content is provided when needed. For example, a chatbot can ask ¨Would you like to watch a video showing our product features?¨

Having an actual conversation with a customer can turn a customer hooked on the product or content. The interactive experience increases user attention. A user can drive and direct the conversation, which increases the focus and makes him or her more responsive to the recommendations and discount offers, for example. At the same time, a conversation makes that information more easily accessible to the visitors.

Personalized User Experience

A conversational website can play a significant role in enhancing user and customer experience through better usability of a website. A chatbot can reduce the end-user’s effort to communicate by reducing the number of clicks.

Compared to this, a conversational interface is far more convenient as interacting with it requires nothing more than writing or directly speaking to it.

How? It can show a product page directly in the browser’s big window without requiring clicking on a card or opening a new browser tab. Due to the adaptation of conversational AI, the chatbot can add items to the basket and fill in the forms.

A conversational website can provide an excellent user and customer experience.
Bad user experience is one of the main reasons many e-commerce websites do not perform well.

Until now it has been the user that had to do all the actions on the website as a normal website does not adjust to different needs and expectations of the visitors. In the era of hyper-personalization, e-commerce businesses need to think about how to adapt even better to the customer journey on their websites. Treating every customer uniquely and designing customer experience for every user, is the right approach.

With a conversational design, a user does not need to go through an endless menu of products and waste his or her time figuring out what to do next. User-friendly conversational flow is more pleasant and more engaging for a user. As design and flow are contextually driven, a conversational website adjusts to the user’s needs and habits.

Trust

Meaningful interaction and better user engagement speed up the purchasing process and maintain a personal touch, while it also develops trust for a brand.

A Conversational website facilitates the interaction between customer and brand by offering help, providing personalized content and product recommendations, and solve the customer´s problems. It can engage with users in ways that traditional e-commerce websites can´t.

When customers get what they are looking for and feel a brand cares about them, their satisfaction and trust increases.

The article written by  Patrycja Hala Saçan and Luis Nagel.

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