Ecommerce is one of the fastest-growing and lucrative industries in the world. Its advantages over traditional retail are obvious, with the digital element of ecommerce leading to greater convenience and reduced costs for both the companies and the customers.
As a digital industry, ecommerce is constantly evolving, with new technological developments regularly bringing about significant improvements. One such technology is the chatbot. Chatbots for ecommerce enables businesses to automate and speed up many processes, saving them money and streamlining operations,
In this article, we discuss some of the potential uses of chatbots for ecommerce.
What are chatbots for ecommerce?
All chatbots work in a fundamentally very similar way. In essence, they converse with a human user in a way that imitates a person-to-person interaction, usually via a text-based messaging format. Generally, they are used in customer-facing roles to speed up interactions.
Chatbots for ecommerce are normal chatbots that have been designed for and applied to a context of ecommerce, for example, to answer questions about products or deliveries.
However, many basic chatbots struggle to interact with people in a convincing way and are limited in the useful responses they can give to complex or unexpected queries. Some more advanced chatbots, utilizing AI and machine learning technology, have overcome these limitations and are now capable of far more nuanced, relevant responses in a wider variety of situations.
Possible use cases for chatbots in ecommerce
Searching for specific products
Browsing product lines is generally the most time-consuming part of any customer’s buying journey, so anything you can do to simplify it is likely to lead to greater customer satisfaction and higher sales volumes.
AI chatbots can be deployed to help customers find products in various ways. For example, a customer may ask a simple question like “Do you have green t-shirts?” and the chatbot can bring up a list of matching products. This kind of automation can save customers time, help to promote specific products, and potentially lead to higher conversion rates.
Following on from the previous point, many customers spend large amounts of time browsing products online without purchasing. One reason for this is that they don’t find what they’re looking for, but another is that they might not even have a good idea of what they want.
Ecommerce businesses can use AI chatbots to get around this issue, offering recommendations to help customers choose what to buy. For example, in the context of a clothing store, a chatbot could provide look recommendations based on current trends or by asking a few simple questions. Alternatively, a chatbot for a video game store could ask a simple question like “What games do you usually play?”, then provide targeted recommendations.
Providing targeted offers and promotions
An important part of any retail business is promoting specific products to influence sales in a certain way, such as encouraging purchases of products with high-profit margins, upselling additional products, and more.
Traditional, this would be done using banners, pop-ups, emails, and so on, but many customers are desensitized to these strategies. AI chatbots can offer another promotional channel that can have a strong impact on sales without feeling intrusive and off-putting to customers. Promotions can be given as part of a natural conversation, making it feel more like a useful service than a marketing ploy.
Converting abandoned carts
A big concern for ecommerce companies is the issue of cart abandonment. Customers who have gone to the trouble of visiting an online store, browsing products, and adding them to their carts are generally hot leads with a strong interest in making a purchase. However, if they abandon their cart, that purchase could be lost forever, resulting in a massive lost of potential for businesses, not to mention issues with stock control.
AI chatbots can provide an effective and automated solution to the issue of cart abandonment, sending timely, targeted reminders to customers. These messages can be sent through various instant messaging platforms to encourage purchases and increase conversion rates.
Tracking and editing deliveries
Even after a purchase has been made, the work of an ecommerce business is not complete. One of the most common reasons for customers to contact a business at this stage is to request or edit delivery details.
A properly designed AI chatbot for ecommerce can help with this by allowing customers to interact and flexibly source information about deliveries, as well as change specific details. For example, they may request an estimated delivery time, change their delivery slot, or edit their delivery address, all without the need for human intervention from an employee.
Internal workflow optimization
Chatbots are not only useful for customer-facing applications, and they can actually streamline internal operations in many innovative ways. The exact applications can vary, but on a basic level chatbots can provide an intuitive interface for employees to find certain information or issue commands.
For example, a chatbot could be linked to inventory software to allow employees to check stock levels or place orders instantly, directly from their devices. This and many other potential applications can act to effectively optimize employee workflows and improve overall operational efficiency.
How can Skil.AI help your ecommerce business?
At Skil.AI, we create customizable AI chatbots and virtual assistants to boost operational efficiency and improve customer interactions for ecommerce businesses. We build our virtual assistants to work seamlessly with your operation, using cutting-edge AI and machine learning technology to enable them to flexibly integrate and automate key elements of the ecommerce journey for customers and internal staff members alike.
Speak to our team today to learn more and see Skil.AI in action.