Benefits of Using AI Bots for ECommerce Websites
When we talk about AI bot solutions for ecommerce websites, 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 chatbots can make the shopping experience more personalized and interactive.
Moreover, a conversational AI bot can speed up the process as it handles checkouts for a user.
AI bots in a conversational web framework can create a new and improved customer experience on the site that traditional online shopping lacks.
From the perspective of an online shop, an AI bot conveys messages automatically from the brand to the customer, learns from customer input, and gathers 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.
Customer service chatbot and chatbots as shopping assistants are the two most common use cases for AI chatbots for ecommerce websites.
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 bots for ecommerce websites and learn about the two most important chatbot use cases.
Customer Service Chatbot for ECommerce Website
Providing excellent and fast service is a top priority for ecommerce businesses as customer support plays a vital role in creating a positive customer experience and generating sales.
Regardless of the type of ecommerce business, customers tend to have questions and need some assistance.
Consequently, customer support representatives spend a lot of time answering those 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 a 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,”
Customer Service Chatbot to the rescue!
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 customer service 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 an AI bot.
For small customer service teams, an AI bot can serve as an assistant handling some part of the daily tasks.
Meet Foliekniven AI Bot – Felix
“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,”
“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 an AI Bot?
Adopting a conversational AI framework is an approach to customers that aims to provide the best communication between a brand and a buyer.
AI bots for ecommerce websites 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 ecommerce business can start using 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.
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,”
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.
“The faster the response time, the better the customer satisfaction. That is why a chatbot is extremely important to us,”
adds Nadin Kempel Sigh.
Was the AI Bot worth implementing?
Implementing an AI bot 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,”
Nadin Kempel Sigh finishes.
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 increase.
“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 better training of the customer service 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.
“Conversions differ from one month to another but they are usually between 30 and 60%,”
finishes Rune Fabricius.
AI Bot as a Shopping Assistant for an Online Store
A shopping assistant is another use case of AI bots for ecommerce websites.
Introducing conversational experience for ecommerce 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.
An AI bot 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 catalogs of products, and browsing through them can be time-consuming.
When the AI bot is integrated with a product catalog, it can make product recommendations.
A customer service chatbot makes it easier to find information or a desirable product.
Moreover, when an AI bot guides customers and recommends suitable products, it can decrease shopping basket abandonments and reduce the bounce rate.
How does the AI bot work as a shopping assistant?
The AI 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 a particular product is 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’ customer service chatbot Astrid
A Norwegian company that designs, produces, and sells bags for convenient travel, DoucheBags introduced a customer service 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 AI bot offers a few alternatives and explains why it selected specific bags.
AI Bot as a Gift Finder
An AI chatbot for ecommerce websites 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.
Furthermore, the retailers collect data on users when they visit their ecommerce 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 be suited for the visitor and not the person the gift is for.
Here comes an AI bot for an ecommerce 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 recommendations, the AI 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 Bot
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 ecommerce.
This is where a conversational AI bot 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 ecommerce 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 customer service chatbot 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 Bots
The AI bots for ecommerce websites 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 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, an AI bot 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.
Another excellent way to learn about your customer’s needs is to create a survey or a quiz.
When a chatbot is connected to a 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?
Customer service chatbots and chatbots as shopping assistants are the two most common use cases for AI bots for the ecommerce website, increasing sales, and improving customer experience and customer satisfaction.
The conversational AI bots 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.
If you are interested to learn more about the new cutting-edge conversational experience on your ecommerce website make sure to check out what Certainly has prepared for you!
The article was written by Patrycja Hala Saçan.