Chatbots have become an important part of most eCommerce websites. These AI-driven automated programs are used in customer support to maintain a natural conversation with customers. Its effortless interface drives more sales and ensures satisfactory user experiences. Besides customer support, eCommerce chatbots are also useful for buyers' product recommendations and checkout processes.
They generate actionable pop-ups featuring recommended products (as per the shopping activity) to drive users' attention. Thereby, this increases the online checkout rates and generates leads from the target audience.
All these features of eCommerce chatbots (in integration) contribute to better marketing automation. Moving forward, we will discuss the concept in detail.
What are Chatbots?
A chatbot (or Chatterbot) is an AI-based computer program that stimulates natural conversation with the users. A user can interact with chatbots through text or speech, and they respond likewise!
Usually, chatbots follow the simple rule of understanding, acting, and responding. Whenever you send them anything, they process that information first. Then they use specific algorithms to illustrate the data and take actions accordingly. Usually, they respond to the questions through pre-set answers.
One of the best things about chatbots is that they maintain a human-like conversation with the users. The reason behind such a realistic experience is the technology called Natural Language Processing (NLP).
It is another branch of AI-based solutions that helps computers to communicate with humans in their language. They are popularly used in smart assistants, digital phone calls, and search results.
The automation working principle of chatbot helps eCommerce businesses to give quick responses to customer queries. It also helps the customers by facilitating effortless communication, reducing stress, and ensuring 24*7 assistance.
Benefits [Use Cases] of Chatbots in eCommerce
eCommerce Chatbots are helpful for generating business revenues and sales conversion. It also has numerous other benefits that can help any eCommerce business to bloom. This includes:
#1 Provides Instant Assistance
Chatbot stimulates customer convenience through fast and immediate responses. Most customers hate waiting for long to get assistance. This comes from the survey that says customers only wait 14 minutes before being attended. Also, nearly 75% of businesses lose their potential customers due to long waiting hours; and we all know once they leave with frustration, there is no returning back.
As chatbots offer quick replies and limited wait times, eCommerce businesses can stay assured of such issues. The average wait time for live chats is around 27 seconds for consumer products and services. That's comparatively lesser than most conventional methods. Chatbot quick replies are also useful for surveying, providing suggestions, and meeting schedules. Their responses rely on technologies like machine learning and predefined scripts. They are so perfect that most customers remain unsure whether they are talking to a real person or bots.
#2 Reduce Extra Costs for Customer Service
According to 2020 data on US customer service representatives suggest that the median salary of the best-paid customer care professionals ranges around $45,400. That's a decent amount! However, eCommerce businesses can cut on that cost by including automation technology, like a chatbot, in their customer service. Chatbots can replace human representatives and replicate their work.
Likewise, they can also reduce operational costs by cutting on the duration and volume of phone calls. Their unique mechanism can ensure real-time support and scalable care without spending a fortune. All in all, the benefits of chatbots can reduce customer service costs by 30%. eCommerce stores can save these funds and use them to optimize the websites for better sales.
#3 Works as an Effective Marketing Strategy
Chatbots are one of the best marketing strategies to boost sales. Imagine your customers are scrolling through their social media feed, and they see some product from your eCommerce website. Instead of opening applications to make purchases, it would be much simpler if they could buy the product from the same page. That's what chatbot can help with!
Nowadays, chatbots are commonly deployed on WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. So whenever a customer finds a reliable product, chatbots allow them to make purchases without switching the pages. This ensures an omnichannel experience and negligible efforts from customers-end.
Ralph, a chatbot built by Lego, is a clear example of such an approach. It provides product recommendations to the customers and processes orders on platforms like Facebook Messenger. As a result, Ralph has a conversion rate that's 8.4 times of Facebook Ads.
#4 Additional Benefits
Some other benefits of eCommerce chatbots include:
- Lead generation
- No human errors
- Provides support when the work pressure is high
- Customer guidance
- Ensures smoother customer journey
- Cart recovery
- Better customer engagement
Step-by-Step Guide to Start Using Chatbots
Now, let's learn how you can create eCommerce chatbots from scratch. Before starting, note that you would require a chatbot-building platform (or coding skills) to create a chatbot. Moving on, here's a step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Decide on the Chatbot Purpose
First, ask yourself why you need the chatbot and how it would help you. Is it for customer assistance or driving traffic? Also, research well about the use cases of eCommerce chatbots. This will help you know which chatbots are appropriate for you.
Step 2: Identify the Location
Next, decide on where you want to display the eCommerce chatbots. Is it your website, social media, or messaging platforms? Based on your answer, you can decide on a chatbot-building platform.
Step 3: Finalize a Chatbot Building Platform
You can create chatbots either through AI frameworks or chatbot-building platforms. While the former involves coding, later ones employ building blocks to create chatbots. If compared, building platforms are more time-saving than AI frameworks. Usually, they operate on subscription plans, but some may offer free plans.
Take your time to select a chatbot-building platform. Once done, sign up and log in with the credentials to continue the next steps.
Step 4: Build the Conversation Flow
Chatbot building platforms work on building blocks with drag and drop features to build conversation flow. So, its user interface is simple for even amateurs. In the case of AI frameworks, chatbot developers will take care of this step.
Step 5: Check Your Chatbot
Once you are done with the eCommerce chatbot creation, test your chatbot and see if it works as you expected. Most building platforms have a preview option where you can see how the eCommerce chatbot looks for your customers. Make sure to correct the flow if you find any issues. Always aim for an eCommerce chatbot that gives valuable replies and encourages the customer to take action.
Step 6: Maintain the Chatbot
Ecommerce chatbots require assistance from your end for better operation. Make sure to introduce new phrases, modify chatbot answers and monitor chatbot interaction for better insights.
Best AI Chatbots for 2022
When choosing an AI chatbot for eCommerce websites, you should go for a chatbot that could help with brand growth. It should give a human-like feel to the customers, and they should feel heard. Of course, your customers want a seamless experience. For that, the eCommerce chatbots must have multi-channel and multilingual support. Based on these critical factors, here is the list of best AI chatbot apps for 2020:
Freshdesk Messaging (Formerly Freshchat )
Freshdesk messaging is a messaging application that also offers chatbot support. It provides exceptional and time-saving assistance with the help of automated resolutions. This assists the companies in onboarding their new customers while maintaining the old ones. Freshdesk chatbots are efficient for reducing handling times and delivering scalability.
It provides optimized support to increase team productivity and reduce staff hiring costs. One of the best benefits of Freshdesk chatbots is that it engages customers through small conversations. Your customers are likely to get genuine answers instead of robotic ones. Additionally, it has ready-made bot templates for easy setup and customer acquisition.
- Offer messaging solution
- Comes with productivity tools to resolve customer queries
- Allows team performance analysis
- Bad customer support
ManyChat is a cloud-based chatbot solution that helps eCommerce businesses to automate interactive conversations in Facebook Messenger, SMS, and Instagram direct messages. They are helpful for both marketing and customer support on these platforms. Its efficient features help eCommerce businesses to drive sales, generate leads, and automate conversations.
ManyChat is responsible for more than 1 billion conversations yearly as per their website. Their customers see a CTR rate (click-through rate) that is 130% more than the industry average. They do not require any coding skills, which is helpful for beginners. Also, the chatbot setup takes merely 2 minutes.
- Simple user interface and more flexibility
- Offer A/B split testing
- Reports bot performances
- Easy integration with platforms
- It may be costly for a large audience.
Freshdesk Messaging vs ManyChat
MobileMonkey is a chatbot software that automates SMS, Webchat, Instagram, and Facebook messaging. It helps eCommerce businesses to boost sales, generate leads, and ensure a satisfactory user experience. MobileMonkey provides a money-back guarantee with their plans if you do not get desired leads. The low-cost chatbot can cut the customer care cost. It also directs the urgent chats to live agents for instant assistance.
Besides, it's also useful for sending promos and updates to chatbot contacts in Facebook Messenger. The open rates of these chats are around 80%, which is pretty high! It also alerts you about any quality leads (if they chat with the bot) through SMS, slacks, and emails.
- Provide chatbot reports and analysis
- Creates conversion funnels
- Click-to-Messenger and Sponsored Message Ads
- Auto-response to Facebook comments
- Lack of location-based marketing
ChatfueI is a chatbot-building platform that helps to generate a no-code chatbot. It is useful to automate marketing, personalize sales, and develop better leads. The drag and drop features can help you build a simple bot within three minutes. In addition, it allows you to send ad prospects from the bot rather than the landing page.
Besides, it's integrated with Twitter, Dropbox, and Facebook for better synchronization within these platforms. It is also supported with analytics technology to give you an in-depth knowledge of the bot's performances.
- Automate responses
- Good for beginners
- Easy and scalable setup
- Limited options
Intercom is a customer communication platform that offers custom bots to scale your eCommerce business. It provides efficient features with faster customer resolutions, code-free customization, and 24*7 assistance. The custom bots work by collecting information from customers and offering quick support.
Comparatively, it's much more effective than emails. Intercom allows you to design a bot in minutes. It also instantly starts a conversation that further transforms into conversions. Overall, it's an evolved and modern chatbot that helps you build good customer relationships.
- Offer A/B testing
- Provides personalized reply templates
- Extensive functionality
- Only monthly plans
Zendesk is a well-known SaaS (software as a service) customer service software that meets customer requirements and ensures a successful eCommerce business. It provides numerous services like live chat, email marketing, etc., with multiple customization options.
Regardless of the business size, the platform has customer service tools for all. The solution also provides a front-end portal that could be modified easily. Zendesk is integrated with popular applications like Google Analytics, Salesforce, etc. Additionally, it supports multiple languages to prevent language barriers.
- Straightforward setup
- Ticketing management and automated workflow
- Omnichannel support
- High price
ActiveChat offers smart AI chatbots that help to automate customer service and boost sales of an eCommerce business. It uses the AI natural language to ensure better customer interaction and communication. The chatbot works across different platforms like Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, website chat, SMS, etc. It is supported by efficient features like an easy user interface, data-driven insights, multi-channel support, and advanced NLP.
All this ensures better team productivity and user experience. It requires zero coding skills or technical background. Thus, you can cut on development time while harnessing valuable features. It combines the work of three software, i.e., live chat solution, chatbot platform, and conversational analytics tool, to provide the best assistance.
- 50+ conversation building blocks
- Communication channel handling in one interface
- Cut down software costs
- No credit card is required for trial
- Only 14 days free trial
So, this was the list of best eCommerce chatbots 2022, along with its role in marketing automation.