AI-Powered Ecommerce Chatbots: The New Standard for Online Retail

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AI-Powered Ecommerce Chatbots: The New Standard for Online Retail

A few years ago, retailers had to hire support agents to provide adequate customer support. It was a costly and challenging endeavor as not only they had to offer a large staff but also be available 24×7 to handle customer queries.

These days AI-powered eCommerce chatbots have flipped the script by reducing customer support costs and enhancing engagement with customers. It comes as no surprise that these chatbots will become the main customer service tool for 25% of companies by 2027.

While reading this, you might’ve many questions in mind, such as what AI-powered eCommerce chatbots are, why they’re becoming so popular, and how to use an eCommerce chatbot to increase sales on your online store. This blog answers them all. Let’s begin:

What is an AI-powered eCommerce Chatbot?

An AI-powered eCommerce chatbot is a sophisticated chatbot that acts as a customer support agent on autopilot. Whenever a customer approaches your website, it automatically engages with consumers, handles their queries, and offers product suggestions.

But doesn’t a regular chatbot do the same? Yes, but since AI eCommerce chatbots use artificial intelligence to simulate human-like conversations, they can create delightful customer experiences, offer solution-centric support, and suggest products tailored to individual customer requirements.

Why are AI-powered eCommerce Chatbots Becoming Popular These Days?

Here’s an interesting stat I discovered while writing a blog for a company for eCommerce development: 36% of businesses these days turn to chatbots to improve lead generation.

The question you might want to ask is: why are chatbots becoming so popular. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Chatbots offer 24×7 customer support, which you can’t achieve easily with human customer support agents.
  • Chatbots take care of all common queries by promptly generating relevant responses to them. This way, your customer support agents can focus on more important and complex tasks.
  • Chatbots allow customer engagement by interacting with consumers from the moment they land on the website, actively responding to their queries, and suggesting products they may like based on their behavior and purchase history.
  • Since many chatbots offer multilingual support, you don’t have to hire separate support agents for customers across different regions.

AI-powered eCommerce Chatbots Use Cases

Here are a few areas where you can use AI-powered eCommerce chatbots as a retailer:

1. Resolving Customer Complaints

AI-powered chatbots offer 24-hour support, which is challenging and requires a lot of investments in case of a human chat support agent. Also, these chatbots swiftly handle simple queries and frequently asked questions, thus putting less load on your customer support teams.

2. Automating your Marketing and Sales Operations

You can also train an AI-powered eCommerce chatbot to understand your brand style, tone, values, and products. Then, these chatbots can effectively engage with customers at different stages of the buyer journey and promote offers that facilitate sales.

3. Automating Order Processing and Booking

You can also automate the processing and booking of product orders using AI-powered eCommerce chatbots. This way, the chatbot can inform a consumer right away if a product is out of stock and suggest an alternative, reducing friction and a chance of making a sale.

4. Collecting Customer Data to Make Informed Decisions

An AI-powered chatbot can also help you consume crucial data and feedback using feedback forms, quizzes, polls, and surveys. This way, you can find out which product is in demand, how customers are interacting with your online store, and what’s the scope of improvement.

How to Choose the Best AI-Powered eCommerce Chatbot for Your Website?

The key to choosing the best AI-powered eCommerce chatbot is to choose the one that meets your and your customers’ requirements. For this you need to follow a step-by-step approach mentioned below:

Step 1: Understand your Goals

The first step is to ask yourself what you want to achieve with the chatbot. It is essential because as a retailer you may have many goals in mind, such as:

  • Answering simple queries from customers.
  • Performing pre-sales engagement (sales promotions, product suggestions, prompt for adding items to cart, product add-on suggestions).
  • Performing post-sales engagement (gathering feedback from customers, encouraging them to share reviews, sharing updates on the order status).
  • Offering general support to customers. Promptly reaching out to them and suggesting relevant resources.

Checking off all the above points would help you decide whether you must choose a normal chatbot or an AI-powered one.

Step 2: Research all Available eCommerce AI Chatbots in the Market

Once you’ve figured out what you need from the chatbot, start doing research on platforms like Capterra, TrustRadius, Gartner to shortlist vendors.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind while shortlisting and selecting an AI-powered eCommerce chatbot vendor:

  • How much money can you spend on the chatbot? There’s no use of buying a chatbot that’s beyond your budget and puts you in a financial rut.
  • What technologies does the Chatbot vendor use? Can the chatbot they create process natural language? Can it learn and adapt on its own?
  • How much experience does the Chatbot vendor have? You would certainly not want to go with someone who doesn’t have enough experience.
  • Does the chatbot vendor offer a free demo? If not, it’s already a red flag. But if yes, you get a chance to try the chatbot before you buy it.

Step 3: Choose the Chatbot that’s Right for your Business

Once you’ve done your research and shortlisted enough vendors, you need to choose the one that meets your business needs. You can do this by conducting voice interviews, studying online reviews, and reading through the comments section. It would help you see which chatbot accurately suits your business needs.

Step 4: Integrate the Chatbot on your Website

The next step is to install the chatbot on your website. For this, you must talk to your sales team and find out the spots that are leading to the maximum friction from buyers. You can also use Google Analytics, heat maps, and other tools for the purpose. It would help you decide where you should deploy your chatbot.

Once you have figured out your sweet spot, install the chatbot by following the steps mentioned by the vendor. You can also create customized user flows after the chatbot is live.

Step 5: Measure the Performance of your eCommerce Website

Integrating an AI-powered chatbot into your website is not a small decision. Since it involves a lot of time and resources, it should get you a good return on investment (ROI). That’s why you must measure the performance of your online store after the chatbot is live and running on it.

Talk to your sales team. Ask if they noticed any positive changes. Measure your website’s performance on analytics tools to notice the changes in user behavior. It helps you see if your efforts paid off or not. These metrics would also serve as the holy grail for improving your website’s user experience.

User engagement, customer satisfaction, and sales funnel impact are some of the metrics you should measure to see if the chatbot integration had any positive impact.

In Conclusion,

AI-powered chatbots have soared into popularity over the past few years and they have a positive impact on many online stores. But before you go all in, you must understand that they can be a double-edged sword.

If you do your research, choose the right AI-powered chatbot, and integrate it on your eCommerce website – you would yield positive research. Otherwise, you would soon find yourself experiencing heavy financial setbacks, loss of reputations, and dropped sales. So, you must do it properly.

Another thing that you must keep in mind is that you may not get the chatbot integration right in the first go. Instead, it’s a long process where you need to continuously experiment, fail, and learn until you find your sweet spot. Best of luck!

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