Chatbots have been an eCommerce trend for the past few years and will continue to be one as we move into 2020. Why? Because chatbots keep getting better and more valuable for your website. The trend will continue and if you’re wondering if you should implement a chatbot, the simple answer is yes!
If chatbots are completely new to you, then let’s quickly run through what modern chatbots are.
What Are Chatbots?
Chatbots are customer service tools that respond to digital conversations with users on your site. The purpose of a chatbot is to provide a solution or answer to frequently asked questions (FAQs) that your customers have about your website, or at least that used to be the case.
There are two main types of chatbots worth knowing about: standard chatbots and AI chatbots which are powered by machine learning.
For AI chatbots, machine learning and advancements in natural language processing (NLP) have changed the game for user experience. Chatbots are no longer “basic”, and have become effective tools for both customer interactions and digital advertising.
Chatbots can answer an unlimited number of inquiries from customers. They provide 24/7 support and are much cheaper than paying employees to monitor basic inquiries. Customers will always be responded to instantly no matter their timezone. They don’t get bored or tired of conversion and—because what they can say is limited—they don’t need to be supervised.
Chatbots are also a unique way to gather data, such as the name of a user and their email. It’s also a way of discovering what your customers really would like an answer to. If a user question is reoccuring, then you may want to consider reprogramming your standard chatbot or updating your website FAQs.
However, these benefits aren’t given. A chatbot is only as good as its programming. A standard chatbot may not know how to react to a misspelled word or even an incomplete sentence. It’s very common for eCommerce businesses to have customers from all over the world, all of whom speak different languages. You can imagine there are a lot of variables that can cause a chatbot to make mistakes, and become more of an annoyance to users than a solution.
The solution? AI chatbots! AI chatbots are programmed to do more than read a keyword and blurt out common replies. AI chatbots can understand a sentence, learn from misspellings or grammar mistakes and can make sense of synonyms. AI chatbots are even multilingual which is hugely valuable for the future of eCommerce.
The Impact of AI On ECommerce Chatbots
Anyone with a mobile phone is extremely likely to have a messaging app or even multiple messaging apps: Facebook messenger, Slack, Kik, WhatsApp, Wechat, Viber, the list goes on. Therefore, it makes sense for business to move to chat. Chatbots can use popular messaging apps to their advantage, especially if your business’s target audience also uses a certain messaging app.
Many chatbots are being deployed on messaging apps, these have the ability to personalize conversation and—through machine learning—cater their knowledge specific to a messaging app. AI chatbots inspire a lot more user interaction by answering questions, creating personalized messages or notifications, collecting data and scheduling appointments.
You’ll have to create a separate chatbot if you’re interested in this. Each messaging app has its pros and cons, so there’s a lot of research to be done before you find the right messaging app for your chatbot.
Compared to apps, chatbots are a lot lighter to interact with, no download required either. The same technology that was used to create Amazon’s Alexa can now be used by chabot developers. For eCommerce, chatbots are a lot more convenient than an app; having a live chat that can accurately answer any questions or resolve any doubts a user may have will increase conversions. Chatbots are a lot less expensive to develop or change compared to an app. Especially if your business app struggles to get downloads from users, then a chatbot is a new way to give the benefits of that app to your customers, without them needing to do any extra downloading.
Three Popular Chatbots You Can Integrate With
The trend of chatbots has caused a variety of chatbots to be developed that can be integrated into your website, social media pages or other form of light chat technology. Different chatbots are made to suit different purposes or industries. The following three chatbots are popular choices and will cover a range of industries.
- Clare.AI: for financial institutions that need to automate business processes
- ChatBot: generalist approach, makes chatbots for all industries—75% customer satisfaction rate
- Morph.ai: focused on social media and easy marketing integration
Custom AI Chatbots
Integrating with a premade chatbot is convenient and time efficient, but it does leave you limited in terms of functionality and customization options. The best chatbot you can use will be unique to your business, that way you can provide a better user experience than your competitors. A lot of business owners outsource eCommerce development and are now beginning chatbot projects to further optimize their sites. If you’re looking for a developer to make a custom chatbot for you, CodeClouds’ chatbot development services are the right choice. They also offer custom eCommerce development services, so they’re a one stop shop for all of your needs.
A chatbot is measured by how much value it provides to the user. AI chatbots have opened up so much for potential for how valuable chatbots can be. The most useful chatbots for your business is an AI chatbot that has been created specifically for your business and will machine learn or language process specific to your users. Chatbots with emotional intelligence that reflect your brand personality will boost user experience and make your site a lot more memorable.