The benefits of chatbot adoption in e-commerce

When it comes to shopping online people have a much broader range of options to choose from. This makes it difficult for companies to please each and every customer as all of them have their preferences. Some want to have long product descriptions, others choose products based on the “top 10” articles. Various ways to find and buy the product get customers confused, so businesses are implementing solutions that help customers with the buying process.

Chatbots are one of the simplest things that help customers in their shopping journey. They are programs that imitate live conversations with users to complete one specific task. They can suggest products based on users’ preferences and even place an order for them. Furthermore, chatbots give users the opportunity to have human-like dialogue without the need to talk to an actual human.

How do chatbots work?

There are two types of chatbots: regular and intelligent chatbots. Regular ones have the narrow set of questions and possible answers written in their script and are triggered by the users respond. They are perfect for simple conversations when users are not expected to ask open questions.

Intelligent chatbots are based on artificial intelligence and can learn from users’ questions. Those chatbots can handle complex discussions and “understand” users’ requests. This type of chatbots is useful for product recommendations and personalized customer service.

The benefits of chatbot implementation

The biggest advantage of chatbots is its availability. Users can reach out to the chatbot at any time that allows customers to receive the answer immediately and to quickly resolve their problem. Chatbots create a better experience and help users to speed up the purchasing process. In fact, 54% of users when given a choice between a chatbot and human customer service consultant would pick the first option if that way they can save 10 minutes. Chatbots don’t have to think about the question that is why they can answer in a matter of seconds.

However, chatbots can’t replace customer service consultants. There are users whose problems are too complex for the computer program and require human interaction. Chatbot in such instances can act as a mediator. By asking a closed question it compiles information needed to connect the user to the right consultant. The ability to ask simple questions is also preferred both by users and consultants as users can receive an instant answer and workers don’t need to waste time on such tiny tasks.

Chatbot implementation

In spite of appearances, chatbots are not that difficult to build. Programmers can use open source API to create customs chatbots, but there are also many easy to use tools that allow you to create chatbots in a matter of minutes. The only thing you need to do is to include some code into your site script and write the text for the chatbot to use. Chatbots can be incorporated with the commonly used messengers such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, or Telegram. They also are a great addition to the website or online store.

Companies most often choose Facebook Messenger to communicate with their customers. Facebook is the place where people spend a huge portion of their day to day life, so it is relatively easy for companies to reach their customers there. Messenger already has some useful features like automatic responses, but adding a chatbot helps customers to complete the purchase or some task instead of simply encouraging them to write first.

Facebook also offers a Messenger Platform where developers can build a bot from scratch to use on Messenger. It requires some level of programming skills to use, although the platform offers a drag and drop option for bot creation. Chatbots than can be used on the company’s fan page or be implemented into the website through the plugin.

Other development platforms like Chatfuel or allow people without programming skills to build chatbots and incorporate them into the chosen messenger or website chat. All you need to do is to come up with the questions and answer options. Then when the user enters the company’s page or website, it triggers the chatbot and its greeting message.

Despite the benefits of chatbots and the simplicity of their creation, many brands don’t adopt them. Some companies think their customers will not use chatbots enough to justify the implementation, others don’t want to take away the human aspect from the communication with users. However, chatbots are the perfect way to save both time and money. They can handle simple conversations while customer service consultants focus on more complex matters.

Chatbots are still in their early stage. Not every website and company use one and not every user is familiar with them. However, their efficiency can help businesses to improve the customer service which in conclusion affects the level of clients’ satisfaction, improves brand perception, and drives more sales.

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