With the advancement in technology and shoppers becoming more than habituated to convenience, eCommerce has become an inseparable part of the 21st-century living. The pandemic has undeniably acted as a catalyst for the eCommerce industry. In India alone, eCommerce is one of the fastest-growing industries, poised to reach USD 111 billion by 2024.
However, with increased competition, keeping up with customers’ evolving needs is the key for eCommerce brands to thrive. But, how do they do it? The answer lies in technology! One example is Conversational AI, which has recently emerged as a powerful tool in the brands’ arsenal. It has garnered attention worldwide because of its engagement capabilities and impressive pace of interaction, which can drive growth for businesses of all sizes. According to IDC, the market for conversational AI will surpass USD 77.6 billion by the end of 2022.
What is conversational AI?
Conversational AI refers to several methods for allowing computers to converse with people. The most common types of conversational AI with which people interact today are chatbots and voice assistants and this technology has become an integral part of our personal and professional lives and brands can leverage them to amplify customer-centric processes. As philosopher Nick Bostrom said, “Machine intelligence is the last invention that humanity will ever need to make.”
Let’s look at how conversational AI can help eCommerce brands to grow and increase sales.
Help customers with product discovery, and offer personalized shopping experience
Consumers often get lost in the maze of millions of products while looking for the desired product. Virtual Assistants can help customers discover the product they are looking for in a vast catalogue. For example, eBay’s ShopBot walks clients through their products, asks questions to understand their needs, and makes recommendations like a real shop salesperson.
According to Epsilon, customers are 80% are more likely to make a purchase when brands provide personalized experiences. Brands can use chatbots to recommend products, discounts, or offers to encourage customers to make an instant purchase. Provide support during the checkout process so that customers with last-minute queries or problems can receive immediate assistance. A happy customer will form a positive attitude toward the brand, which will lead to higher sales performance.
Help brands retain customers
Customer retention is undoubtedly not an easy task. According to HubSpot, 93% of buyers are likely to make repeat purchases from brands they trust and enjoy. Exceptional customer service and support can pave the road for outstanding, long-term customer relationships. With a virtual assistant, brands can send transactional messages throughout the purchase and post-purchase journey. This will allow them to interact and engage continuously and provide a seamless customer service experience 24/7.
Help brands drive sales
Recent statistics show conversational AI has increased sales by 67% on average. The AI bot can comprehend visitors’ needs by analysing the things in their carts and wish list and can offer better products to users. This might lead to an increase in consumer base and sales. The built-in functionality of Virtual Assistants enables eCommerce brands to find and execute up-selling and cross-selling opportunities at scale.
Help brands utilize resources efficiently, and lower cost
Conversational AI can help to automate their repetitive tasks, which in turn will help brands engage in other value-adding activities while saving a great deal of time. For example, the brand can automate various business areas, including product recommendations, low-level support, social media marketing, and many more and minimise costs associated with doing these manually.
Today’s customer expects a more engaging and interactive experience when it comes to online shopping and is willing to pay more for it. Brands wanting to tap into this growing market need to do everything they can to provide a superior shopping experience. With rising costs, brands will need to rely on advanced technologies such as conversational AI if they want to grow.
— Mangesh Panditrao, CEO and Co-Founder, Shoptimize.