Before, it seemed that this fact will always be in favour to offline shopping. But, the times are changing. With new technologies and the arrival of artificial intelligence into e-commerce, it is possible to achieve the offline shopping experience in online stores. How? By implementing chatbots. It’s called conversational commerce.
Carrots, Cheese, and Chatbots
Think of your favourite granny on the marketplace. What she is to you, that’s chatbot to an online shop.
Conversational Commerce enables real-time interaction between brands and customers via messaging. That messaging can go through different messaging interfaces such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeTalk, custom-built chats, etc. It is an approach that puts communication between brands and their customers in the centre of online shopping.
Sometimes at the marketplace, you needed to stand in the line to have a chit-chat with the old lady about her carrots, onions, cheese, eggs, and other homemade products you were interested in. You were doomed to wait because the lady cannot physically serve more than one customer at a time.
Online checkouts are faster than any other traditional option, even if you require help while shopping. Chatbots are here, waiting for you and your inquiries, ready to help. And you will be the first in the line because the line doesn’t exist online (heh). Chatting in this way, handling a large volume of conversations won’t overwhelm merchants anymore.
How is a Chatbot Capable of Answering my Questions?
The issue that bothers users is – how do you always get the information you need, considering you are communicating with a bot and not a human?
Chatbots are perfectly capable of handling frequent questions about brands and products, scheduling appointments and even making payments for goods without the intervention of human agents.
How? Because chatbots, artificial intelligence software, are used to tailor conversations according to individual customer needs. There are numerous criteria at work here, like customers preferences that they have expressed, historical data patterns, brand recommendations, etc.
If there is good and pleasant design, chatbots will bring exceptional, customised user experience, and that’s what counts today.
Use Chatbots to Indulge Your Customers
People are increasingly relying on messaging apps for any form of communication – personal or business. Also, they love to make their errands simple and quick. With chatbots, it is possible to indulge them.
After chatting and deciding on your purchase, chatbots can make the purchase immediately, all from within the messaging app – without even visiting a brand’s website. There is no need to go in and out of different apps. And all the information about shipping and delivery are available in one place.
Brands are now partnering with chat companies to make it simpler for customers to buy products or services from them. For example, Uber partnered with Facebook, so today you can request an Uber ride directly through the Facebook Messenger app and receive updates about your ride before its arrival. No calls, no spelling addresses to an agent, no more peeking through the window to see if the car has arrived. What a life changer, right?
The benefits are clear. By using chatbots, you will improve the ability to attract and engage customers across the social media and messaging apps and provide great customer satisfaction, which is a deciding factor. Also, by using chatbots, there is a significant money saving for retailers, because using human agents is more expensive. It is worth to think a bit about it.
Make Your E-commerce More Conversational
Generally speaking, people love using messaging apps. The number of users increases each year, and expectations are that by 2019, a quarter of world will be using some form of a messaging app. Is there any better access to such a large number of potential customers? No.
Conversational commerce has a huge potential because the human nature aspires towards the natural instead of the conventional interactions. And conversational commerce is supposed to work using natural communication, by understanding what’s being asked and providing relevant results. That includes understanding not only text, but voice and emojis to maintain a meaningful and efficient conversation.
When you are using a messaging app, even if you are communicating with a brand, it feels like home. It’s like you are typing with your friends or family. Besides, you use this kind of apps every day, so the conversation will feel relaxed and casual.
Also, conversational commerce makes the search for a product more interactive through dialogue. Hence, the shopping experience is more engaging. There is no fun in sitting alone and searching for the desired product using a search box on a website.
Feeling of proximity and interaction – the secret lies in that combination.
Fish Where the Fish is
A great example of the perfect match is Millennials and chatbots.
Simply, those generations grew up with technology, smartphones, and online communication. They rather use messaging than any other form of communication. That’s why brands must target this group in an untraditional way, and that way is through messaging services.
Millennials are people that will adopt and adapt fast to new technologies, so they are very receptive to chatbots. They will not shrink from chatbots or think twice about utilising that invention to communicate with retailers.
This kind of communication allows them to be lazy, to find something they want without a lot of trouble. Before, they needed to spend the time to look for information that interests them, but now they can get answers rapidly and effortlessly by asking a chatbot. Using websites or apps for any kind of transaction, whether ordering food, clothes, rides or making reservations, will become a thing of the past.
Why should you focus your business on Millennials? Mostly because there is a lot of room for work and improvement. They are the least-engaged generation of consumers. But, their purchasing power is enormous. Businesses that embrace chatbots to drive conversational commerce to the Millennials will gain a significant competitive advantage.
2017 is the year when bots made a significant breakthrough in e-commerce. Conversational commerce is a new trend that puts customers satisfaction and flawless shopping experience in the first place. And that trend is here to stay. The use of mobile devices and messaging applications is booming. People rather chat about products and services they want to purchase, than making a call, writing an e-mail or anything else.
So, it is no wonder that many businesses started to incorporate conversational commerce into their customer services strategies. With careful planning and integration into the existing systems, brands can increase their sales and completely satisfy customers on their shopping journey, just by chatting with them.
Including conversational commerce to your business is just the thing you need to spice things up. Today, a business without chatbots is like a summer party without Despacito. Now you know how serious I am. Start working on it.