Conversational commerce is the newest ecommerce trend.
It's the talk of the town. That's why business owners strive to integrate AI into their business framework. They say it's the future of ecommerce.
But like any other emerging trend, there are many questions left unanswered:
- What are ecommerce chatbots?
- What types of online shopping bots are there?
- Are they smart enough to replace humans?
- What are their limitations?
- What are the best chatbots for ecommerce businesses?
And the list goes on…
To help you out, I have created this conversational commerce guide to cover what exactly chatbots can (or cannot) do for your business.
I will also share a few real-life examples of brands using AI to communicate with their customers.
Continue reading, and you will also find the top 3 best chatbots for ecommerce business in the end.
Let's dive right in...
What Are Ecommerce Chatbots?
Ecommerce chatbots are artificial intelligence systems capable of:
- Interacting with users via text
- Responding to questions
- Providing information
- Giving instructions
They are smart customer service tools that complement human activity. A business can use it round-the-clock to respond, assist, or inform its customers.
The concept of conversational commerce gained popularity in 2015, thanks to Chris Messina, an American blogger and hashtag inventor.
Messina drew attention to messaging apps and their future role in ecommerce. He didn’t talk about chatbots in particular.
But in e-commerce, chatbots are one of the biggest forms of messaging solutions.
Wondering what chatbots can (or cannot) do for you?
Let’s start with the possibilities first…
What Chatbots CAN Do?
1. Streamlining Customer Service
Businesses install chatbots because they want to stay connected with their customers.
With eCommerce chatbots, your customers can:
- get a quick reply to their queries
- get their issues resolved in no time
- get a more accurate and detailed response
Apart from that, chatbots can also:
- predict customer's desires by tracking purchase history
- communicate in a natural language using APIs
But chatbots haven't grown to the point where they can handle everything on their own. To make chatbots work, you need to use them with emails, social media, and other messaging apps.
Facebook Messenger presents one of the largest conversational commerce opportunities.
It enables you to maintain a line of communication with your customers in a multi-device world. Also, with Facebook Messenger, you can:
- help your buyers make a quick buying decision
- resolve conflicts
- clear any doubts
- confirm shipping
- collect feedback
The bottom line?
Chatbots used with messenger apps will uplift your customer service efforts.
So, what else can chatbots do for you? Let's find out…
2. Chatbots Help Marketing & Operations
Chatbots can also be of great help in marketing and operations.
Let me explain how...
While chatbots cannot directly help with building your brand image, it streamlines many things for you.
Many big names, including BBC, CNN, and NBA, are already using it. They use these bots to share trending updates and news with their viewers.
You can also take the example of Kit CRM here. Shopify recently acquired it. The kit is an AI marketing bot. It uses SMS and other messaging platforms to help businesses interact with their customers.
And the best part is that...
It's just like a magic spell. You only have to say it to get things done.
Want to know more about Kit? Here’s what it can do for you:
- Targeted Facebook and Instagram ad creation
- Tailored thank you emails
- Comprehensive business reports
- Converting a 5-star review in an ad
Besides that, did you know Chatbots can also help with…
3. Data Collection
With chatbots, you can collect data. Not only this, but you can also analyze data to offer a more personalized customer experience.
With chatbots, you can also automate the process of lead generation.
4. Lead Generation Automation
Modern chatbots can easily interpret natural language. That means they can offer more accurate and friendly help than human agents.
Chatbots can remove friction from the buying process. Also, they lead customers to find what they’re looking for.
Customers have many questions. And they want you to answer them quickly.
The good news is you can also use chatbots to educate your customers.
5. You Can Use Chatbots To Educate Your Customers
The purpose of chatbots is to ask questions.
By asking a series of questions, you can direct your customers to find the details they need. For example,
- Hello, my name is Sara. How can I help you today?
- Which products are you interested in?
- Looking for more help with this product? I also have a similar article with more advanced specs (trying to upsell!).
- Can I have your contact info? Our sales team will get in touch with detailed answers.
You seem excited, I can tell. But wait, here's the catch...
There are also things a chatbot CANNOT do for you. To learn more, scroll down to the next section.
What Chatbots CANNOT Do?
1. They Cannot Ensure Data Security
A chatbot is a computer program.
Sure, it can collect lots of insightful information for you. But your sensitive info is always at risk during the process.
Unless you have invested in a super protective tool, you should be ready to see breaches from time to time.
Another limitation is...
2. They Cannot Understand Emotions
Bots cannot interpret emotions as humans do.
Sure, they can identify the buyer's intent, but they don’t know how your customers feel at the moment.
That means the conversation will not be as personalized as you’re expecting it to be.
3. They Cannot Replace Humans
No matter how much AI progresses, it can never replace humans.
Let’s consider the example below...
You can't expect your buyers to know about product specifics only if you sell any medical product.
What if they want to discuss their condition with you?
What if they want to know the details of any specific ingredient?
The thing is, chatbots fail when they have to handle multiple or multi-step queries. Or anything that involves emotions or empathy.
4. They Require Maintenance
Chatbots require optimization from time to time. That also means you’ll need personnel who know how the software works.
Also, as your business grows, you may have to upgrade your solution to match your needs.
While you get chatbots as low as in the $50-$500 price range, the optimization costs will add to the expense.
You can see there are things a chatbot can do for you. But it also has its limitations.
Do you want to see chatbots in action? Let's see how some of your favorite brands are using them...
Top 3 Examples of How Brands Are Using eCommerce ChatBot For Enhanced Customer Service
Currently, Sephora offers 3 bots:
1. Sephora Reservation Assistant
2. Sephora Virtual Assistant
3. Kik bot
The brand uses all these bots to handle queries from its customers. Not only this, but it also shares beauty and makeup tips through these bots to engage with the buyers.
Another brand that uses chatbots to connect with its audience is H&M. Let's see how they use bots to their advantage…
H&M also has a chatbot on Kik that interacts with the users. It asks them about their styling preferences and shows relevant products.
Aside from H&M, let's look at another brand...
eBay also has a Shopbot that helps customers find products on eBay within their budgets.
The tool is easy to use. All you need to do is enter some details about your requirements. The chatbot will ask a few questions. And you're all set to explore a range of options fit for your needs.
How cool is that?
Thinking about creating your own bot?
We’ve got you covered!
Below is the list of the chatbot platforms you can use to build your website’s very own chatbot in minutes.
Best Chatbots For Your eCommerce Business
With Chatfuel, you can build a feature-rich bot in just 7-minutes. Yes, that's right in just 7- minutes.
Here's a quick overview of what Chatfuel has in store for the users:
- Unlimited chatbot flows
- Audience segmentation
- Drip sequences
- Triggered messages
- Bot analytics
Flow XO is another chat-building platform you can use to build a custom chatbot for your business.
It has 100+ built-in integrations. Also, you can create one solution and use it on multiple platforms.
Key features include:
- A virtual welcome greeting for your visitors
- Pre-filter leads
- Data collection
- Live chat
- Accept payments through Flow XO
Many of your favorite brands have used Conversable to build chatbots. Pizza Hut, Victoria’s Secret, and Viacom are to name a few.
Conversable comes with some of the best chatbot features you can think of. This goes without saying that it is pricey too. So, this solution isn’t for you if you have a limited budget.
Here's what you get with this tool:
- Intent manager
- Conversation analytics
- AI-powered conversational cloud
- Connect and converse through channels preferred by your customers
The simplest of all... Facebook Messenger!
Social media marketing is incomplete without the presence on Facebook. People are familiar with Facebook messenger and use it many times a day to connect with their friends and peers.
Did you know Facebook messenger is the third most used app in the world?
Thus, connect your Shopify store with Facebook Messenger. Relax! It’s not complicated, especially when you have Debutify.
Debutify offers Facebook Messenger Add-On which easily connects the chat widget to your store.
Debutify has many other add-ons that can boost your sales. Start your 14-Day FREE trial today to experience the power of Debutify. Download Now!
Chatbots Are Smart But They Can’t Handle Everything For You!
Chatbots are great, but they cannot handle everything for you!
Use them with messaging apps if you want to make the most of them. It's also important to set expectations before you invest in any eCommerce chatbot.
Wondering how you can improve sales using chatbots?
Use it with Debutify. Our smart conversion boosters will help you use AI to boost conversions.
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