Artificial Intelligence

5 Reasons you Should Integrate Chatbots in your Online Store

February 21, 2018

Artificial Intelligence has moved our world into the next stage of digital evolution. Global revenue from AI is expected to grow rapidly to around 36 billion by 2025. In fashion eCommerce, AI is being introduced across all spheres of the business. From supply chain to stock management to order fulfilment to the customer journey, automation is driving growth. When it comes to customer experience, one of the most exciting new developments in the world of AI is the chatbot: the automated conversational interface utilized as a customer service tool and marketing channel.

90% of our digital time is now spent on email and messaging platforms. Th chatbot is a natural and intuitive interface that can help to enhance your user’s journey. Brands including H&M, Sephora and Estee Lauder have all introduced chatbots over the past couple of years and there’s a huge opportunity to stay ahead of the game. Developing a chatbot has become reasonably straightforward and there are a number of eCommerce agencies in London who can help you here. Here’s what you could achieve for your brand if prioritise chatbots in 2018.

1. Boost Conversion

Executive Director of Estee Lauder’s digital technology claimed that the company has seen conversions driven by the five bots it has introduced in the last year. There’s a huge opportunity to prompt your customer to purchase by integrating a bot into your online store, particularly in fashion eCommerce. We’re now looking ahead at an exciting future where conversation drives commerce. Instead of being guided through site by the standard eCommerce journey, the customer’s journey is led by their conversation with your bot.

A chatbot can mean removing the obstacles that prevent a customer from purchasing. Offering payments through your chatbot which are processed without taking the user away from the app is likely to boost conversion. Your customer wants to receive information while they are shopping. Machine learning means the potential to present relevant information to the customer at key points in their journey. As an example: the customer adds a product to their basket but realizes that they’d forgotten to check the delivery time. The bot steps in to offer up this information a second time and the user’s journey isn’t disrupted – they get the information they need and head straight through to checkout.

2. Personalise Service

Your bot represents your brand is a very real way. It’s a new, more personal platform for you to make connections with your customers. It’s a chance to give your brand a digital voice. While lots of brands investing in chatbots as digital personal assistants or customer service tools began their focus with Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger alone now has over 200, 000 bots. But social shouldn’t be your only focus – integrating a bot into your eCommerce allows you to simulate the experience that your customer would get instore.

3. Enrich Customer Experience

Building a chatbot into your site can mean a smoother experience for your customer. A recent report published by McKinsey showed that the average customer journey is now made up of a series of touchpoints – both online and offline. Incorporating chatbots into your website can also be a great way to prompt the kinds of real life customer interactions that are going to be that final step in converting your customer.

In the beauty world – a sphere where those offline touchpoints are particularly important – Sephora and Smashbox in the UK are using their chat bot virtual assistants to facilitate users booking instore appointments. Embed bots in the right context and at the right time and your user journey will become seamless.

4. Increase AOV

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As well as an incredibly intuitive customer service interface, a chatbot can work as an effective marketing channel. As a piece of analysis from Digiday tells us: “brands can use deep learning algorithms on top of their customer service logs to provide personalized responses in real-time”. Machine learning means the possibility to personalise product recommendations by analyzing the customer’s purchase history, frequent product pairings and data on stock availability. For example: the sometimes not particularly visible “Often Bought With” banner becomes “What a great choice! This would look great paired with our Jamie jacket. We have it in your size and it’s available for delivery.”

5. Collect Meaningful Customer Data

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The digital revolution always meant new opportunities to access information on our customers in a whole new way, something that has been adopted eagerly particularly in fashion eCommerce. But there’s only so much insight that we can get into the minds of our customers from data on their geographical location and purchase history. Real-time conversations with our customers give us a very natural, rich script to use as the basis for more a more qualitative analysis. Make sure you’re paying attention and asking yourself the following questions:

  • What questions are your customers asking your bot?
  • When are they asking them?
  • What words are they using to ask them?
  • What role is your chatbot playing in your customer’s journey?

Integrating a chatbot into your online store should be something you do for your brand sooner rather than later. Stay ahead of the game when it comes to the AI revolution.

Article Categories:
Innovation · Sales and Marketing

Sabrina Sedicot is an experienced marketer, focussing on all things digital. She works for Appnova, a creative design agency based in London and Rome. She works on projects across UX/ UI design, eCommerce, Branding & Content Production. She’s inspired by all forms of digital storytelling and interested in creating tailored solutions that can deliver experiences to build brands.