Who doesn’t like shopping with the help of assistants? Shopping assistants have always helped push sales and bring back customers. But in a technologically driven world where, according to a 2018 study, there are 47.3% digital shoppers in the world, the idea of shopping has undergone a sea-change. Now people do not step out of their homes to shops but rely on their trusted ecommerce stores to meet their needs. But shopping without assistance can be a daunting task. That’s why about 65% online shoppers prefer to message a business with their queries expecting them to reply immediately. In fact according to chatbot case studies, businesses have seen growth by incorporating chatbots into their online stores.
Do customers get a response? Yes, almost immediately. This has become a reality today thanks to chatbots that assist shoppers with automated responses. Chatbots have helped ecommerce businesses to go ahead of their competitors and have an interactive relationship with their customers. In fact several research indicate that almost all online stores with enable chatbots by the end of 2020 to understand their customers better.
Before we delve into the many benefits and utilities of chatbots in ecommerce businesses, let us first understand what chatbots are and how they function.
What are Chatbots
Here we are talking about a software that does the job of a human assistant (without human intervention). There are different types of chatbots – support operator chatbots, service desk consultant chatbots, personal coach chatbots, shopping assistant chatbots, etc. In other words chatbots are advanced forms of Artificial intelligence (AI).
Many call chatbots, especially in ecommerce, as conversational commerce as they assist shoppers take informed decisions. Conversational chatbots make the entire virtual shopping experience enjoyable, believable and authentic. Chatbots have in more than one way changed the face of ecommerce businesses. Those who haven’t jumped into the bandwagon and aren’t using chatbots are surely missing out on one of the biggest innovations of our times.
What Are The Benefits of Chatbots in Ecommerce Business?
A chatbot in an ecommerce store functions quite similarly to a real-life shop assistant. It first asks about your well-being and then proceeds towards helping you make an informed selection. The chatbot helps a shopper find his/her way within the online store while carefully leading them towards a successful purchase.
While illustrating the benefits of chatbots, there are two ways of looking at it. What attracts users to chatbots and what are their benefits for ecommerce businesses. We shall be highlighting both of them elaborately.
What Makes Chatbots Attractive for Users
From the user point of view, there are many benefits of chatbots. Some are –
Everything Happens On A Single App – Most chatbots come inbuilt with the ecommerce platform’s messaging platform. This means that users do not need to download any additional app to chat.
No Registration Hassles – Users do not need to take any extra step to ‘enable’ a chatbot. Whether users are logged into the online store or visiting as a guest, the chatbot will be available to them. While they may need to complete registration before making a purchase, they do not need any registrations for using chatbots.
No Information Sent Over Multiple Pages – Many users complain that a vast and complicated online store leaves them baffled. They specially seek a chatbot on such sites. While providing the necessary information on the messenger, every link, video, image, product catalogue is displayed in the same place. Users need not open multiple tabs.
Benefits That Businesses See In Chatbots
While chatbots make online sites navigable and simplified for users, their benefits for businesses are much more far reaching. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits businesses see in using chatbots.
Enhanced Engagement Opportunities with Customers - A Harvard Business Review research highlights how businesses making even a 5-minute delay in responding to a customer query can decrease engagement rate while a 10-minute delay can decrease that further by 400%. Businesses cannot afford to ignore their customers and in the present day scenario where customers prefer messages rather than talking over phones, chatbots play a very important role in increasing engagement rate.
Improves Revenue – When customers feel welcome on an online shopping site, they come back again and again. For businesses this means not only an increase in conversion rates but also improved revenue generation. If chatbots are able to provide offers and deals, this further attracts customers to the site.
Helps Cut Customer Acquisition Cost – The customer acquisition cost is a metric that shows much money businesses have to spend to attract one customer. The lower this cost, the better it is for the businesses. It has been seen in several instances that the CAC considerably comes down when businesses make use of chatbots to interact with their customers. Chatbots are seen to be especially effective in retaining the amount of time a customer spends on the site.
Reduces the Cost of Customer Support – Businesses have had to invest quite a lot in customer support even for answering simple questions posed by customers. On the other hand a simple FAQ chatbot can answer these basic questions without much difficulty. By doing so businesses can cut customer support cost by up to 30%. Having said so, businesses should have human agents who are able to answer complex queries as and when needed.
Helps Build Customer Loyalty – Customer retention is one of the major challenges for ecommerce stores considering the stiff competition in the industry. It has been seen that an integrated chatbot instantly connects with customers, improving engagement. Over a period of time it has been observed that customers begin to trust such ecommerce sites.
24*7 Availability – Since chatbots are automated, they are available 24*7 for customers. This helps business further reduce expenditure on maintaining 24 hours human agents.
A cleverly planned and executed chatbot that is adequately backed by advanced technology becomes a valuable addition to an online shopping store. For a business owner, chatbots attract, engage and help retain customers. A streamlined vision regarding chatbots can further help ecommerce businesses to increase sales and improve customer relationships.
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