With high-demands and industry standards for quality, near-instant customer service, online stores face the complex task of maintaining multiple customer relationships – from interested browsers to convinced buyers.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for managing customer relationships, chatbots have become increasingly popular for communicating with customers, and helping to further qualify their needs before conversing with your valuable customer service team.
Though there are many applications for chatbots, there are some pre-existing standards for online stores and e-commerce, as well as methods for finding the best fit for your business.
In this article, we’ll explore why including a chatbot feature on your e-commerce site can help rack up more sales and retain customer loyalty.
What Is a Chatbot?
Chatbots are automated systems through which users can obtain information. Generally, chatbots are presented to the user as a messaging interface through a small pop-up or hover-over on a website. The chatbot itself presents users with potential questions they can ask the chatbot, or offer multiple-choice options.
Chatbots are used in all industries, but are most often used for customer support, lead generation, and sales automation across multiple channels: websites, Messenger, WhatsApp.
If you’re looking to add a chatbot to your store right away, check out our list of available chatbot and customer support options on our app integrations page.
1. Consumers Demand Instant Communication
In the digital age, customers are used to receiving instant messages from their friends, family, and coworkers. Why shouldn’t businesses be able to do the same?
The most common situation is that there are more customers with demands than there are actual support agents to be able to provide their undivided attention. It’s challenging, however, because having great customer support comes at a cost.
But chatbots can help to mitigate this process! Whether morning or evening, your chatbots can be making your customers feel heard and like they are one step closer to a support agent, instead of wondering whether or not someone will look at their inquiry.
Even if the chatbot isn’t able to solve the issues for the customer, the system can save the data and pass it on to a live agent for review.
2. Simplify Your Lead Generation
Your chatbot can be designed to capture all the relevant data that you need for your prospects, such as email, phone, country, etc. Using automation, this information can be sent to your sales representatives so you can follow up on their inquiries.
In fact, chatbots can help at all stages of the lead generation process.
Additionally, if programmed accordingly, chatbots can be trained to ask specific questions regarding the item or items the customer is writing about, and evaluate the responses.
By analyzing these responses, your chatbot can filter and qualify potential customers, and upsell or cross-sell your store’s products.
3. Supercharge Customer Retention
In a recent case study, Oberlo found that 95% of customers say that customer service is important for brand loyalty.
So, once an e-commerce lead has been captured and sent down the pipeline, it’s time to focus on customer loyalty. The customer journey does not end with a conversion!
Now when eCommerce stores have captured the leads they have to send them down their marketing pipeline. Customer loyalty is one of the most important things a company should focus on. Online sellers know that the customer journey doesn’t end with a conversion.
A helpful, memorable post-purchase experience is crucial to retaining customers and boosting brand reputation and lifetime value. And an eCommerce bot can provide those experiences.
4. Gain Deep Consumer Insights
As your chatbot retains copies of all conversations, the program slowly builds a hoard of data for analytics. Understanding the patterns of behavior your buyers express can inform your future business strategy.
Leverage the questions, problems, and popular products your customers talk about in the conversations.
These insights help inform your other strategies as well, not just your consumer relationships. Think about social media, or content strategy, for example. You can optimize your strategy to focus on the questions, motivations, and problems faced by your customers in their chats.
Maybe multiple customers have written in asking a similar question. You could create a blog post or a social campaign centered on that concept. You’ll show your customers that you are listening to their concerns and truly concerned about helping them.
5. Get a Headstart in Personalization
Similar to simplifying lead generation, chatbots can also assist with personalizing the shopping experience for customers.
Your developers can program chatbots to integrate with APIs that authenticate the customer, and pull data from their records such as invoices, payments, order status, available discounts, order history or any specific services.
All of these automated activities reduce significant energy from your customer service teams, and keep costs low.
With the right chatbot and personalization methods, companies can curate product recommendations for customers. Try using them during the holiday season to assist your customers to find the perfect gift with filters and options for price range, interest, and other options.
6. Provide Multi-channel Support
Messaging apps are popular because they enable users to quickly communicate, and, as stated, this is now the industry standard with businesses. Consumers expect a response within a few minutes, not days.
However, customers also expect to be able to reach businesses on any platform they desire to use: Messenger, WhatsApp, website chatbot, etc. There are many chatbots or programmatic examples of chatbots available on WhatsApp or Messenger.
Being able to offer a unified, multi-channel support method across all forms of communication may be difficult, but 68% of consumers claim that they would be willing to pay more for a product or service dependent upon the company’s customer support methods.
7. Start Leveraging Multi-Lingual Strategies
Want to broaden your market but not sure how to offer customer support in another language? Many chatbots detect the input of the written language, and modify their questions based on this information.
With a few simple clicks, you can start opening up your store to customers all around the world.
Chatbots in e-commerce are nothing new, but they significantly improve customer satisfaction and the sales process, while keeping costs low.
These bots integrate easily with websites, and provide personal, instantaneous communication to your customers. In doing so, chatbots can be a significant sales channel for your online store as well.
And, if you’re looking to include chatbots in your store, check out our library of available apps. Get started selling today!