Does your e-commerce website have a chatbot? If not, you should consider adding one. Machine learning has made it possible to build conversational chatbots. Also known as a conversational bot, companies use this software to communicate with shoppers in real-time using natural dialogue. Using the chatbot’s dialogue box (usually located in a bottom corner of the shopper’s screen), shoppers can ask questions as they would when communicating with a customer service representative. While programming and integrating a chatbot into your e-commerce website takes time, Ross Pamphilon, business leader and AI supporter, shares five benefits of utilizing a chatbot software. 

1) Streamlined Customer Service

A chatbot can streamline your e-commerce website’s customer service by answering common questions asked by shoppers. According to a survey conducted by SuperOffice, it takes the average business a little over 12 hours to respond to customer inquiries. Without a chatbot, you’ll have to rely on conventional methods of communication to handle customer inquiries, such as email or phone.

A chatbot won’t necessarily eliminate the need for email- or phone-based customer service. Instead, it will offer a new, faster way for shoppers to ask questions. If a shopper wants an answer immediately, he or she can type it into the chatbot’s dialogue box. Even if your website’s customer service department has closed for the day, the chatbot will immediately respond to the shopper’s question.

2) Increased Shopper Satisfaction

Because of their ability to answer questions in real-time, you may notice an increase in the number of positive customer reviews posted about your e-commerce website after adding a chatbot to it. Shoppers become frustrated when forced to wait days or hours for a response to their inquiry. If you don’t offer timely responses, some of these disgruntled shoppers may turn to social media or an online review portal to share their negative experience. A chatbot promotes happier shoppers by providing them with timely responses to their questions.

3) Fewer Abandoned Shopping Carts

Abandoned shopping carts are a serious problem for e-commerce businesses. Statistics show about two-thirds of all shopping carts on e-commerce websites are abandoned, meaning the shopper doesn’t proceed to check out and purchase the added product or products. While there are several ways to lower the percentage of shoppers who abandon their carts, such as allowing guest checkouts, using remarketing ads and adding trust seals, one of the most effective is to add a chatbot.

Once integrated into your e-commerce, you can program the chatbot to remind shoppers who add one or more product to their cart to finish checking out. If a shopper adds a product to their cart but doesn’t check out, the chatbot may display a message like “Don’t forget to complete your order!” You can even program your chatbot to display limited-time promo codes for higher conversion rates. When a shopper sees a promo code that’s only good for a short period presented by your chatbot, he or she will feel compelled to check out.

4) Automatic Upselling and Cross-Selling

While their primary purpose is to answer shoppers’ questions, chatbots can also be used for upselling and cross-selling. Chatbots can upsell by recommending a more expensive version of a product, or they can cross-sell by recommending related products or services.

If a shopper adds a tablet computer to his or her cart, for example, the chatbot may recommend a newer and more expensive version of the tablet computer. Alternatively, the chatbot may recommend related accessories, such as a case or stand. Regardless, using a chatbot can help you achieve a higher average order value (AOV) for your e-commerce website by upselling and cross-selling to shoppers.

5) Insight Into Shopping Habits

You can use a chatbot to gain insight into how shoppers navigate and use your e-commerce website. Chatbots create a record of all dialogue with shoppers. By reviewing the chatbot’s records, you can see which products shoppers are searching for and what questions shoppers frequently ask. Using this information, you can then optimize your e-commerce website to achieve a higher level of user-friendliness.

Chatbots are becoming more and more common. According to a survey conducted by Oracle, four in five businesses say they are planning to use a chatbot by 2020. You can get a head start on your competitors, however, by investing in a chatbot today.

About: Ross Pamphilon has more than twenty years of experience in trading, portfolio and risk management. Ross Pamphilon has experience in a wide range of fixed income areas including managing and investing in sub-investment grade securities.

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