How to use E-Commerce Chatbots to Maximize Your Sales (With 5 Effective Examples)
Do you remember all the hype surrounding chatbots when they first entered the scene?
Everyone was excited to have their chance with one. For no real reason other than “just because I can.”
Now, after all the hype has died down, we’re entering a new phase of the chatbot era.
And instead of ‘just because I can”, it’s something more like, ‘Ok, we can. Now, what’s the point?”
Well, if you consider it a worthy point to be able to
- Collect customer data to make better marketing decisions
- Increase conversion opportunities
- Overall, make more cash for your business
Then you’ll be happy to know that chatbots can be just the thing to help you get there.
On top of that, 86.67% of people said in a survey that they would be interested to talk to a brand via chatbot. And e-commerce chatbots are a massive part of that.
But the biggest question here is, how can you get in on the game, too?
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is a software that’s used to simulate human conversation (e.g., talk to your customers) like a virtual assistant.
In e-commerce, you see it on websites, mobile apps, messaging applications, and sometimes you even hear it talking on the phone. Even technologies like Siri and Alexa are more advanced versions of voice chatbots.
Chatbots listen to your customers and get better at responding to them by self-learning over time. But we’ll get more into how they work later on.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at why you should even use one in the first place.
Why Bother With a Chatbot?
You may be thinking that you enjoy talking to your customers. And you know that a personal touch plays a big part in building strong relationships.
That’s all true.
But there’s a limit to how well we humans can do certain things within our businesses. Or at least, how well we can do them efficiently.
And a chatbot is a viable resource that’s working for plenty of companies across the board to fill in those gaps.
So why bother getting an e-commerce chatbot for yourself?
These reasons stand out as the most important. A chatbot can:
- Provide 24/7 customer engagement and support
- Lighten the load on your customer support team
- Appeal to younger generations (Millennials and Gen Z) that increasingly prefer communicating through chatbots
- Provide customers instant gratification (which they’re demanding more and more)
- Filter customer requests to get them to the right place
- Gain insights from user data to give personalized recommendations and make more sales on the spot
How does a chatbot work?
A chatbot works by using natural language processing (NLP). That means it processes the conversation with the customer, analyzes its reservoir of data, then gives an intuitive response.
Because they’re self-learning, chatbots require what’s called a ‘training period.’ That means you prepare your bot by chatting with it using the specialized language of your business.
That would be stuff like terminology or jargon, common questions, common requests, and the different navigations or choices within your store.
Once the bot has a foundation, it automatically takes care of the rest.
How do Businesses Use Chatbots to Maximize Sales?
Here are some awesome examples of e-commerce chatbots in action.
1. Aerie Uses a Chatbot for Customer Acquisition
Aerie uses an e-commerce chatbot to give personalized recommendations to shoppers with a ‘this or that’ feature. It’s kind of like an elimination process that gets smarter.
The bot displays two similar products and asks the customer to choose one. Then it continues to narrow it down based on the customer’s choice, ending in the most optimal outcome for sale.
The benefits of this eCommerce chatbot have been so remarkable, the CTO of Aerie said the chatbot acquired more than double the average number of new monthly users from all social channels combined.
2. Staples Gives Instant Customer Support and Completes Purchases
Staples takes advantage of what’s called ‘conversational commerce,’ which refers to shopping through instant messaging.
They use a chatbot through Facebook Messenger to give customers immediate answers to common inquiries like late items, damaged items, or returns. Then, the customers can make purchases from the chatbot within Messenger as well.
And in case you were wondering how people are responding to getting their customer service from chatbots, a poll done by a Hubspot study discovered that 47% of consumers are open to buying products through a bot, and 71% are willing to get their customer service from it.
3. Buddy Nutrition Refines it’s Landing Page Targeting
This landing page isn’t just enhanced by the chatbot; it is the chatbot. To maximize conversions, Buddy Nutrition has cut out all ambiguity by getting straight to the heart of it.
By using a full-page chatbot, they’re able to narrow down and target each customer individually, without giving them any unneeded distractions on the page. Then finally, an irresistible call to action (CTA) for their special product recommendation seals the deal.
4. Hello Fresh Cuts Down Customer Wait Time and Increases Engagement
Hello Fresh is a meal-kit company from Germany. They take their personalized service to a whole new level with their chatbot named Freddy.
Freddy is the first point of contact with customers before reaching a representative, and it takes care of most issues right away.
On top of that, Freddy has some fun, engaging features like creating a Spotify playlist for customers to listen to while cooking a meal-kit, delivering the latest news from Hello Fresh, and sending notifications to remind customers to make their weekly food orders.
Thanks to Freddy, Hello Fresh has decreased customer wait time by 38%, and that is despite the 44% increase in total conversions.
5. Sephora Virtual Artist
Sephora got creative when they started using an e-commerce chatbot to give their customers a live experience with their product.
First of all, it uses quizzes on the messaging platform Kik to refine its customers’ needs and make specific product suggestions.
Then they take customer engagement a step further and use what they call a Virtual Artist, which takes your selfie and shows you what the product will look like when you use it.
How Can You Use E-Commerce Chatbots in Your Own Shop?
If you found the examples above as inspiring as we did, you’re probably already pondering how an e-commerce chatbot could enhance your own business.
So let’s look at some different ways a chatbot can work to increase sales and grow your shop.
Nowadays, customers are becoming immune to the charms of pop-up subscribe windows.
A chatbot tackles that problem by using a friendly, conversational approach to asking for their email. For example, it could say something like, “I’ll just need your email address to get started,” or “Can I have your email so I can send you some recommendations?”
It takes the “desperate” edge off a subscriber request and feels more like jotting down your number for a friend than signing up for marketing emails.
Bot Landing Pages
When a customer clicks into a bot landing page, they’re greeted by a full-page chatbot, which takes the lead in the sale (like you saw in example #3 for Buddy Nutrition).
The customer has no choice but to engage in a conversation, and the bot uses their responses to make tailored suggestions intuitively. Follow it up with a well-executed CTA, and you could be experiencing 3-4x more conversions than the average rate of 2-3%.
Facebook Message CTA
The beauty of chatbots and CTA’s is that they don’t have to follow the traditional rules of “click here to do this” commands.
Let’s say your CTA is to download a PDF. Instead of recommending it and giving a link, you could display the PDF directly on the chat screen, with a link to download underneath it.
The friendly, non-confrontational nature of a well designed CTA within a chatbot has been shown to increase conversions by 95%.
One of the biggest perks of using an e-commerce chatbot widget on your website is that it helps you figure out what’s going wrong with your conversions and gives you data to improve.
For instance, if a customer abandons their cart, the bot could prompt a short survey to get a reason why. Then you’d have the data from the answers to make more informed decisions later on.
And that’s aside from all the necessary inquiries a chatbot can take care of, which in turn, lightens the load on your customer support team, and satisfies customers with the instant answers they’re after.
What Mediums Can You Use For a Chatbot?
Now that you know how a chatbot can work for you, it’s time to see where you can use one.
Although the options are vast, and from now, the choice of mediums will continue to increase. The following are the four most common platforms that people are using for their e-commerce chatbots to connect to customers and help improve their sales.
Kik is a messenger service that’s widely popular with Millennials and Generation Z for messaging and used by companies like H&M, Target, and Sephora as a chatbot medium.
And since studies show that 60% of millennials have used chatbots, and 70% from within that group had a good experience, it’s safe to say the younger generation is catching on. You could benefit by taking advantage of a platform they like.
2. SMS Messaging
Using a chatbot through standard SMS messaging has the added benefit of not requiring any new apps to download. Plus, you can still use the same conversational techniques you would in any other bot messaging.
What’s more, marketing through text messages sees a 98% open rate and a 45% conversion rate. That’s incredible in comparison to, say, the average open rate of emails, which is only 20%, with a click-through rate of less than 5%.
3. Your Website
Whenever your customer has a different question, like shipping times, product availability, sizes, and such., they have to navigate to your contact page and send an email, and then wait for a reply. Within that time, there’s a good chance they’ll leave for good.
A chatbot on your website works for you 24/7 to answer those questions and facilitate the sale, so you lessen the chance of missing out because you weren’t around.
It also streamlines customer support and gives personalized recommendations to help customers find the perfect product to close a sale with.
4. Facebook Messenger
63% of consumers believe that businesses should be on Messenger. And when used, messages boast a whopping 84% open rate.
Then, consider this.
Over 7 million businesses advertise on Facebook, and 2 billion messages are exchanged every day with businesses and their customers. And yet, only a mere 100,000 chatbots are being used on Facebook Messenger.
So what does that mean? It means that Messenger is not only an invaluable medium for using your chatbot with high performing results, but it’s also a widely untouched channel for your ecommerce chatbot to get in and make an impression.
How Can You Build a Chatbot?
Now that you know what a chatbot is good for and where to use it let’s take a look at some providers you can use to build one.
Botsify is a user-friendly chatbot platform used on Facebook Messenger. It’s drag and drop templates make it easy for people who don’t have much technical knowledge to use the features like self-learning, analytics, and various other plugins.
They also provide a handy ‘human takeover’ service in case the bot isn’t enough to get the job done.
You can get a free 2-week trial, then if you like it, purchase a bot for the long-term.
Another excellent choice for the non-techy crowd is ChatFuel. Over 17 million users around the world work with them, including Adidas and Hello Fresh, who both run ChatFuel through Facebook Messenger.
They’re incredibly easy to use for third party integration, and you can fill them in with both canned and intuitive responses that are consistent with your brand.
You can use a basic chatbot through ChatFuel for free, then pay for an upgrade to get more features.
If you’re a developer, Botkit is an excellent choice for you. With GitHub as a hosting service, It can also be used with Facebook Messenger.
What sets Botkit apart is that they’re a community-supported (by over 5000 developers), open-source software. They have a lot of useful tools for the builder like a core library, plugins, and a boilerplate app starter kit. And it’s free to use.
ChatBot boasts a fully open API, which makes it easy to connect with third-party apps using webhooks. They’re compatible with nearly everything, including Facebook Messenger, Slack, Kik, Skype, Twitter, and YouTube.
Also, ChatBot has an exciting feature called “Stories,” which allows users to create personalized, intuitive responses for the bot to use in conversation with the customers.
ChatBot offers a free 14-day trial period to test them out before you buy.
In this article, you’ve gleaned insights on how best to approach chatbots when it comes to your business. There are many options out there to compare. That’s why GoodFirms lets you browse ratings and reviews of the top bot development companies to know you’re getting the best partnership for your business.
Taking that first step of deciding to build a chatbot can be daunting, but with the help of picking the right Facebook messenger chatbot tools, it can be beneficial and a ... continue reading