The impact of chatbots on eCommerce – The chatbot is an increasingly used system in eCommerce, this is because consumer preferences are changing.
As Salesforce reports, there is a progressive increase in the use of chatbots (reports available in English) for Customer Service functions with customers.
Call2Net also claims that chatbots will be key to improving the consumer experience with programs that can adapt and mimic human behavior.
The study carried out in Italy reveals that over 50% of companies plan to invest more and more in chatbots rather than mobile apps and that this form of automatic messaging can reduce company operating costs by up to 30%. One of the reasons behind this growing popularity is due to the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (content available in English) (ML).
Although the digitalization process to foster business development still has a long way to go, a recent article published by Idealo highlighted that 85% of Italian digital shoppers make at least one online purchase a month.
These are encouraging data, on the basis of which it is appropriate to believe that eCommerce in our country is in sharp growth. Furthermore, with the use of best conversational ai chatbots, eCommerce brands can improve their interaction with their customers, thus allowing significant business growth.
In this article we will first describe what is meant by a chatbot, we will analyze its impact on the eCommerce industry, we will examine the existing types and the advantages associated with the adoption of this technology and, finally, we will provide instructions on how to create a chatbot for your company.
Table of Contents
What is Chatbot?
A chatbot usually refers to computer software that replicates or mimics human conversations (both written and verbal) to offer certain services.
Since chatbots are automated, their response times are faster than human ones. A popular example of a chatbot is Google Assistant or Siri.
A chatbot designed specifically for eCommerce, on the other hand, will be aimed at providing assistance to customers during the purchase process, for example with product recommendations.
Impact of chatbots on eCommerce
According to a recent article published, chatbots and artificial intelligence continue to have a significant impact in the eCommerce sector. it is estimated that chatbots will affect more than 95% of customer interactions by 2025.
As far as eCommerce companies are concerned, AI technology and machine learning can prove to be extremely useful tools in the context of analyzing customer needs and buying behavior. Thanks to the use of chatbots, companies are able to create a personalized online experience based on the history of customers’ purchases, also favoring the planning of a more efficient marketing strategy and its execution.
What types of chatbots are there?
After seeing what a chatbot is, let’s see what types exist. The types of chatbots in eCommerce used by companies can be different. According to an article published by Finwin Technologies, the most common types of chatbots (content available in English) include support, transactional and skill types. We will examine its features below.
How can eCommerce businesses benefit from chatbots?
The impact of chatbots in the eCommerce sector concerns several aspects. According to what emerged from the fourth edition of the State of Service report published by Salesforce, the use of solutions based on AI and chatbots for the automation of certain processes has registered an increase of 32% and 67% over the last two years. Below we will provide you with some indications on how to take advantage of the use of chatbots in the eCommerce context.
Reduce the costs associated with customer service
Chatbots help reduces business expenses in a number of ways, including resolving customer complaints without the need for human intervention, providing around-the-clock assistance, and offering customer service with limited resources. For example, if a customer wants to change the shipping address of a particular order, a chatbot will be able to solve the problem without having to wait for human intervention.
Increase the level of customer engagement
Since the operation of most chatbots is based on automated systems, the ability to adapt to changing circumstances is improved. For example, an AI-powered chatbot will be able to change its tone and style based on the learning gained from human conversations. Furthermore, the resolution of problems in real time and the simultaneous management of multiple cases result in an overall acceleration of response times and, consequently, the overall level of customer engagement.
Keep a log of real-time conversations with your customers
Another advantage associated with the use of chatbots in eCommerce is the ability to record interactions in real time with customers. Such data can be extremely useful for understanding the issues associated with the customer experience and analyzing their specific needs, as well as helping to customize interactions with customers. Thanks to the use of chatbots, it will also be possible to make direct contact with customers and send them offers on their favorite products.
Offer quick responses and 24/7 availability
One of the main benefits associated with using chatbots is extremely fast response times. This factor, associated with effective and structured management of complaints, can lead to an increase in the level of loyalty of your customers.
For example, a shopper who wants to change the size of a pair of shoes is unlikely to be willing to wait three days before they can speak to a customer service representative. In this case, a chatbot will be able to resolve the issue much faster and more efficiently.
How to create a chatbot for your business?
There is numerous software for creating chatbots on the market. The fundamental goal is to always keep in mind the needs of your customers. Below we present some of the main steps to follow in creating your chatbot.
Select the type of chatbot that suits your needs
First, you’ll need to choose the type of chatbot that’s right for your business. For example, using a support chatbot on a medical and healthcare website will make it easier to schedule appointments. Likewise, the use of a transactional chatbot designed for ticket booking will be better suited for a flight booking website.
Identify a target market in which to launch your chatbot
Once you’ve chosen the right type of chatbot for your business, you’ll need to find the most appropriate communication channel. Whether it is a website, a social media channel, or a mobile application, the chatbot you have chosen must be accessible to the target audience and be easily visible, regardless of the type of platform users access.
Identify the technology to use for your chatbot
The time has come to find the right technology for your chatbot. Some of the technologies employed for building chatbots include artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP). Your chatbot may be based on one of these technologies or on a combination of one or more of them.
Create a conversation script
For conversations between chatbot and user to happen naturally, it is necessary to keep in mind and anticipate possible customer responses, for example by having the chatbot call users by name and use a personalized conversation tone.
Train your chatbot to meet your goals
Once you have implemented the above steps, you will need to train your chatbot. For this to happen effectively, we recommend that you use data from external sources collected by your company (e.g. messages on social media, e-mails, or other multimedia channels). This data provides chatbots with crucial information about customer needs and allows them to respond appropriately.
Test your chatbot for problems
You can test your chatbot manually, by starting it on a platform of your choice and entering all sorts of possible questions, or by using software for User Testing, which conduct tests on the product in question in the presence of a real user.
Install the chatbot and track the results
Now is the time to install your chatbot. At this point, you should have all the information on its operation, in order to define any room for improvement. You will also be able to add a customer feedback option, thus obtaining useful information.
What key aspects to consider?
According to Market Research, the chatbot industry’s growth potential could reach $6 billion by 2023. It is also a sector not particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and whose use in the eCommerce sector is destined to grow in the years to come. An adequate chatbot, designed to meet the specific needs of your customers, will allow you to always be one step ahead of the competition.