You’ve probably heard the word ‘Chatbot’ a lot recently. It is one of the strong trends in retail and it’s gaining a lot of attention. So if you’re still wondering what a chatbot is, if you should be using one, or how to set it up, this article is for you.

What is a Chatbot?

Chatbots are new tools that speak with your customers (existing or potential) via messaging applications. They can direct and support online shoppers with their purchasing decisions, answer questions, etc. These techniques are known as “conversational commerce”. Chatbots bring several major benefits to any business — including huge resource savings.

generate leads

Why is it Smart to use a Chatbot?

Chatbots can be used at different stages of the customer journey. You integrate them:

  • on your website or app
  • in an unlimited number of messaging platforms (such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger).

The development of an application dedicated to your brand will not necessarily be a profitable operation. A comScore study found that people only use three applications on average frequently, while Localytics found that almost one in four users abandon an application after one use.

At the same time, the use of messaging apps has grown exponentially in recent years and, according to Business Insider, they now go beyond the use of social media. They are therefore potentially more interesting for businesses, since they are where your customers already are. Chatbots can allow you to access this active audience, allowing them to consult your offer, receive recommendations, or even pay without leaving the messaging application.

Consumers have already adopted the interaction with the chatbot: 47% of consumers would buy objects from a chatbot and that 37% of consumers prefer to buy items via a company’s Facebook page rather than through its website (HubSpot, 2017).

Finally, according to Gartner: “Chatbots will fuel 85% of all customer service interactions by 2020. The average internet user will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse.”

The Advantages of a Chatbot for your Website

In the digital field, providing a flawless and pleasant experience is essential to convert your prospects into customers. When a prospect arrives on a website, they want the best user experience. They will also want a flawless after-sales service. Let’s not forget that offering a successful experience will be shared by your users and will contribute to marketing.

1. More sales, fewer costs

Using chatbots increases income. Thanks to efficient customer assistance, which requires much less human presence and intervention. 

A conversational agent will never replace a real relationship with a human, but the chatbot has certain advantages that can significantly improve your customer support:

  • the robot can interact with many visitors, 24 hours a day
  • it can ask qualifying questions to identify the most serious prospects and generate leads
  • it carries out targeted follow-up of the prospects most likely to lead to conversion

In addition, when a potential customer reaches one of your landing pages, the chatbot can be doubly useful:

  • It can send a welcome message to the visitor to initiate the conversation
  • It can direct him to a specific page according to his request.

This can have a beneficial impact on your bounce rate. Internet users arriving on a new site sometimes feel a little lost, which can push them to leave immediately. By welcoming and guiding them, you limit this risk.

In addition, bots relieve your customer service of less productive and time-consuming tasks by answering basic questions and only switch to a human agent when necessary. Customer service can then provide further service. With less low-value tasks to take their time, your customer service has more time to analyze the data and bring up the relevant information for marketing.

2. More personalized experience

According to HubSpot, 55% of consumers are likely to interact with a company using messaging applications to solve a problem which gives you tremendous leverage for personalization and customer satisfaction. The Artificial Intelligence of chatbots and digital assistants can be combined to provide your customers and prospects with all the information that will help them transform or retain their loyalty.

For example:

  • Provide recommendations on products based on elements likely to interest the buyer
  • Notify if the items are out of stock and possibly the restocking dates
  • Ask if customers want to change the hours, dates or the delivery address
  • Offer appropriate products or lots based on their ideal price range
  • Ensure that they are satisfied with their products
  • Provide personalized ads that match the customer’s purchasing characteristics and behavior

With step-by-step support, cart abandonment’s decrease, and the opportunities to resume them increase. 

Greater convenience, more precise personalization, ever greater customer satisfaction: this is the recipe for success in the digital strategy of an e-commerce brand. But this can be adapted to any other type of business online. 

3. Better brand image

Your brand has everything to gain from being perceived as innovative in its customer relationship. People perceive any brand at the forefront of technology as forward thinking. The use of smart chatbots is therefore a simple way to earn this level of respect.

Furthermore, once the purchase is made, it is important to get feedback from your customers, not only to improve yourself but also to post positive opinions on your products — online buyers rely on it enormously. The chatbot can precisely offer buyers suggestions, remarks, or even take complaints. Thus, chatbots can also help you establish a relationship of trust with your customers.

Perception and experience therefore build your brand image and shape your reputation.

In a nutshell

Chatbots offers you an opportunity to explore new horizons in your marketing efforts. You can now retain more customers. In the future, 80% of companies will adopt a form of automation based on Chatbots by the end of 2020.  That’s because 47% of users would prefer buying products directly from a