With Diwali around the corner, shopping on an ecommerce website is a task that figures in the minds of Indians to buy and gift products to loved ones. Ecommerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal and others have become highly successful and popular among the masses over the years. Despite facing issues of trust deficit as the customer is unable to see or feel the product before purchasing it, ecommerce in India has managed to capture the imagination of millions of shoppers.
Also, when it comes to an ecommerce website, customer experience holds the highest priority as that is what sets them apart from competition. So, how have the ecommerce companies in India managed to address the issue of trust deficit? How have they adopted themselves to the ‘Digital Transformation Journey? And how are new age technologies like artificial intelligence deep learning and chatbots being used to enhance customer experience (Cx)? Mr Arun Pratap Singh, Founder and Director, Dial4 Trade, in an interview with DataQuest, offers clarity on the same.
How Ecommerce Companies in India Address the Issue of Trust Deficit
Ecommerce portals are bridging this gap by focusing on the most important aspects of selling online. This means that ecommerce portals make it fast and easy for consumers to purchase items and also to return items if needed. Another way ecommerce portals are bridging the trust deficit is by selling a high-quality product at attractive prices. Doing both of the above means consumers benefit because they can pay an attractive price for a product of good quality knowing that if they are dissatisfied with the product they can quickly and easily return it.
Good ecommerce portals are also projecting themselves as friendly mom and pop stores. When consumers see a large ecommerce portal as a mom and pop store, consumers grow more willing to trust it and to buy more products from the store. For an ecommerce portal transforming how it is perceived by consumers is important for its success.
Just as consumers see mom and pop stores to be reliable and friendly, in the same light do consumers see successful e-commerce stores. Good ecommerce stores allow consumers to make this shift in their perception and see the ecommerce store in the same light in which they see their friendly corner store.
Protecting consumer data today is more important than it ever was before. News of data breaches regularly makes headlines making clear that ecommerce companies need to keep their customer's data safe. An ecommerce company that does not keep its customer's data safe is in danger of rapidly losing its customer base.
So many ecommerce players who want to bridge the trust gap they face do so by using encrypted shopping cart technology. Ecommerce player also honestly share details about their security safeguards with their customers and also share what their policy is in the unlikely event of a data breach.
To further strengthen the trust barrier between itself and consumers, ecommerce portals are also flaunting their reviews and testimonials. Doing so allows consumers to more easily trust an ecommerce portal. Finally, by delivering products quickly and by providing 24x7 Customer Support ecommerce portals are ensuring that customers remain happy and if they have grievances they can easily share them with the portal.
Ecommerce Website and New Age Technologies like Artificial Intelligence
AI has come to prominence in many industries today and will gradually play a bigger role in the future. Ecommerce portals are using AI to create more customer-centric searches. AI allows customers to be introduced to products they are more likely to buy and it reaches out to customers who are more likely to be receptive to a portal. Artificial Intelligence also allows ecommerce portals to create a more efficient sales process making it easier for customers to buy products and it also creates personalizations across a number of devices used by the same person.
Portals are also using AI to provide better customer service. This is made possible by using chatbots which effectively answer questions posed to them by visitors to a site. A few other ways that ecommerce portals are using AI is allowing by AI to provide customers with better recommendations and by allowing shoppers to shop for products virtually as though they were in a real store. AI is also being used by e-commerce portals to build an assortment intelligence tool which enhances the knowledge ecommerce portals have about their competitors. As customers search for a product, AI is also used to generate keywords with names of products consumers are likely searching for.
Tools Ecommerce Websites Adopt to Enhance Customer Experience
A few tools that ecommerce websites adopt to satisfy their customers include a multichannel strategy as well as offering the option for a live chat and live support. By reaching out to customers and regularly asking for feedback, many ecommerce sites are also using proactive customer service to keep customers satisfied. Such customer service also includes rewarding customers by offering them discounts and attractive offers.
Another effective tool ecommerce sites are using is sending personalized email campaigns that make an impact with potential customers.
Many ecommerce sites are also creating a brand story which helps customers better understand and connect with a brand. Automating and optimizing online order fulfillment is another tool ecommerce sites are adopting to keep customers satisfied. A few other techniques ecommerce sites are using to connect with customers are connecting and engaging with mobile users on mobile devices and offering 24-hour telephone support. The use of customer service software by ecommerce portals is also creating more satisfied customers than was possible earlier. Finally by quantitatively measuring how satisfied customers are ecommerce portals are able to enhance their service in the future.
Will Chatbots Replace Humans?
As stated earlier AI will play an important role in the future. Today Chatbots are found on the homepages of many websites and as AI advances such chatbots will grow increasingly sophisticated. Many software programs today are able to recognize even poorly uttered sentences and have made voice experiences mainstream. Such voice experiences are changing how people interact with machines and such experiences are likely to grow deeper in the future.
Blockchain may already be a surprising ally of chatbots and this relationship will also grow deeper in the future. Chatbots will also be used for marketing on social messenger applications and as chatbots grow increasingly sophisticated they will be more easily able to influence customers and more accurately predict their behavior.
In the not too distant future, the reach of both Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence will grow and chatbots will be adopted by more and more users. As more and more users adopt chatbots across domains the cost of such chatbots will fall. So as machine learning, deep learning, and AI evolve together they may begin to replace humans in a few decades.