The Benefits of Chatbots for E-commerce Websites

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The e-commerce market is rapidly expanding by the hour, and it is one of the most crucial parts of a business, which ensures an uninterrupted, smooth flow of services

This is true especially after the COVID-19 pandemic when people shifted to online means for delivering items to their doorstep.

The online commercial market offers everything a customer needs, and catching up with trends to match such customer needs is an essential aspect of any e-commerce business to increase its brand value and presence on online platforms. 

However, companies often need help to cope manually with the increasing demands of customers around the clock

This was when they shifted to automation, using Artificial Intelligence based technologies and services to amplify consumer satisfaction and customer-centric practices.

What are Chatbots?

Chatbots are software applications developed using modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to develop an online conversation with the customer through speech or text.

The Benefits of Chatbots for E-commerce Websites

They mimic the job of human customer support agents and try to solve the initial queries on different websites based on the products or services offered by the company. 

Since their responses are based on previous experiences and chat history, they are highly beneficial in solving customer queries.

Chatbots on e-commerce websites are mainly used for conversational marketing to tackle any worries or queries of the customer.

For example, when a consumer has a question or clarification regarding their purchase, a chatbot guides them in different ways on various platforms.

In addition to conversational marketing, they also provide instant and Intelligence sales support without the need for a human sales representative.

E-Commerce websites mainly use two kinds of chatbots:

  • Rule-based chatbots – These bots do not use Artificial Intelligence and generally provide branch-like questions that allow customers to choose from different options.
  • Advanced chatbots with AI – These bots mimic human conversation with the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Chatbots for marketing

Chatbots are essential for marketing strategies which helps e-commerce companies stay ahead of the curve

There are three types:

  • Business to consumer (B2C): Businesses sell their products directly to customers, and AI-powered chatbots are the most popular on e-commerce websites. Amazon is one of the most popular examples of B2C, where AI chatbots are implemented to better understand consumer needs.
  • Business to Business (B2B): These businesses need influential communication with other businesses. For such e-commerce sites, lead bots are implemented with artificial intelligence technology. These chatbots are programmed in a way to help convert site visitors into leads by enquiring about their budget, products or services they are looking for, and so on.
  • Consumers to Consumers (C2C): It is also called an online auction site. The chatbots used on this site generally benefit third-party platforms, which helps in rightly funneling the customers to suit their needs and requirements. They converse with the customer and direct them to the required product page.

Why AI Chatbots for e-commerce websites?

When we speak of implementing chatbots for e-commerce sites, AI-based bots are a smart choice as they instantly reply to customer queries without depending on the customer support teams.

Why AI Chatbots for e-commerce websites

Furthermore, machine learning technologies implemented on e-commerce sites and chatbots allow them to learn from previous customer interactions and enhance the process of decision-making within seconds.

Chatbots will direct the customers through the websites and allow them to skim through relevant products for more info by implementing different strategies.

It is one of the best ways for online e-commerce owners to gather more info and provide a seamless communication platform

It also helps business owners to understand their target audience through questions and answers and ease their journey.

Chatbot advantages for e-commerce websites

AI-powered or rule-based chatbots on e-commerce websites act like online sales representatives who analyze consumer preferences and jump from one conversation to another without lag.

In addition to this, there are numerous benefits of chatbots on e-commerce platforms.

Seamless interaction

As mentioned earlier, AI chatbots mimic human interaction by learning from previous experiences.

Compared to rule-based bots, which are mechanical and non-engaging AI-based bots are preferred on e-commerce sites

This is because they link one question to another, which provides a personalized feeling to the customer and keeps them engaged in finding a solution to their problem or query.

Around-the-clock customer service

Humans can always understand emotive and intuitive questions, but when they become repetitive, it is often frustrating and time-consuming, which is when chatbots come into play.

Moreover, since they are machine-generated, they do not need a human presence and can work around the clock, answering questions all day and night

Hence, instead of hiring manpower to work in different shifts, e-commerce sites can simply switch to a more viable option.

Data security

Chatbots track the conversations of customers based on their previous data. In any business, withholding customer privacy and security with the collected information from previous chat history is essential

This means e-commerce business owners ought to regularly test and update their bots to preserve their users' privacy.

Helps in e-commerce business growth

One of the best ways to grow an online business is to build trust and improve customer service.

Depending on the conversation history on chatbots, an e-commerce business owner can track the positive and negative experiences of customers, which will, in turn, help them reach the sales funnel and ultimately target business growth.

CRM integration

CRM refers to Customer Relationship Management. When Chatbots are integrated with CRM, they get access to thousands of similar online businesses.

They help automate the data entry process and simplify complex tasks. The data collected from customer interactions can also be added directly to CRM systems.

Page targeting

One of the primary advantages of implementing chatbots on e-commerce websites is legitimate page targeting.

Whenever a potential consumer reaches a webpage, a chatbot of that page pops up, asking related questions.

Hence, based on the history and frequency of chatbot triggers for a page, a business owner of the website can understand page targeting, even without using metrics.

Improved customer experience

A part of business growth depends not only on the tone of interaction but also on its speed. Chatbots are designed to satisfy this necessity by replying to queries in no time

The quick and hassle-free responses provide the following:

  • A sense of personalized customer experience offering.
  • Effective guidance.
  • A problem-solving approach.
  • Ultimate customer satisfaction.

Thanks to the improved engagement of AI chatbots which is expected to reach 22 billion dollars by 2024.

Low human errors

Human errors are inevitable when linked to manual work, which can decline the consumer's experience.

However, when businesses implement chatbots on their websites, they have no room for human errors and complications, allowing the machine to handle any hassle.

Managing complicated queries

Not all customer queries are straightforward. Some require an intense search on the website database to retrieve answers to questions.

While a team of customer support professionals can do it within hours, a chatbot can do the same in a few seconds. Hence, it is the best solution to manage complicated queries.

Improved team productivity

Since chatbots handle all initial questions, it completely eliminates the need for a customer support team to deal with simple queries. Instead, it can also be designed to direct complicated queries to support 

agents who will further assist the customers. Hence, such a process will surely increase team productivity and reduce the company's money in paying employees.

Three important metrics of chatbot

Incoming messages

Most e-commerce chatbots allow businesses to fetch an overview of the total messages sent by users

Incoming messages

Therefore, it is important to monitor such messages as they help maintain conversational flow, increase engagement of the visitors, and also help businesses stay intact.

Total users

With AI chatbots on Shopify and e-commerce sites, users can easily access different kinds of information, depending on the site's users. Bots need to engage with the users to convert the traffic into potential buyers.

Session length and user stat

User stat is essential in providing a complete list of metrics for analysis and engagement of the users and understanding growth patterns

It also helps display the bot conversation's duration, the number of incoming messages, the average daily sessions performed, and more. Hence, it is an important part of business growth for commerce websites.

Why your e-commerce business needs a chatbot?

E-commerce and online Shopify stores need chatbots, which do more than just answer queries.

They also tempt the customers to make a purchase. According to statistics, nearly 50% of users close the site if they do not get an instant response while shopping online, which is when chatbots are of extreme importance.

When a customer visits a page, spends time on it, and is about to exit, a chatbot will trigger a message with promotional offers and discount codes. This will help drive customer traffic, thus significantly reducing the abandonment rate.

If your e-commerce business is skeptical about implementing an AI-powered chatbot, here are some reasons you should include them:

  • Conversation AI enables 2-way communication with the customers. This means they do not just guide them but also learn, hear their queries, and build a strong relationship with them.
  • Chatbots are experts in switching between conversations. This means if a customer support agent can interact with five customers in a minute, a chatbot can do the same with 15-20 customers, thus saving time and energy. 
  • It opens new channels to drive sales, like Messenger, Telegram, WhatsApp, and other touchpoints.
  • Chatbots also send promotional messages via different touchpoints, a great engagement strategy for creating a powerful brand.
  • E-commerce businesses that make use of AI-powered chatbots can increase annual revenue by 7 to 25%

Best practices for E-commerce chatbots

Customers on E-commerce sites are constantly looking for the most personalized shopping experience, for which bots must be updated frequently and implemented with distinctive features.

Be transparent

Chatbots, especially AI-driven chatbots, provide a seamless chatting experience and can hold conversations fluently, maybe better than humans.

However, it is always best for customers to know they are talking to a bot instead of assuming otherwise. Although they do not prefer talking to machines, it is always best to be transparent in business.

Protecting consumer privacy

While shopping online, one of every customer's concern is protecting their privacy. Hence, chatbots should be designed in such a way that it does not intrude on the privacy of the customer and only trigger when necessary.

Integrate AI

When talking to chatbots, they are expected to have answers to almost all queries from customers.

Hence, they need to be designed properly and trained appropriately. AI-based chatbots are the best, which take the help of machine learning algorithms to understand and modify previous data and experiences.

Prioritizing responsiveness

One of the primary goals of implementing chatbots on e-commerce websites is instant response.

Prioritizing responsiveness

Hence, it is essential to design in a way they are both appropriate and trained to respond to customer inquiries. In addition, it should also be able to provide concise information, just enough for the customer to resolve their issues.

Knowing when to refer to a human support

Although AI chatbots are extremely efficient in providing the best customer experience and responses, they are not 100% perfect.

Furthermore, since they are based on previous human responses, they take time to adapt to complex queries and situations

Hence, instead of repeating the same solution repeatedly, it is best to hand it over to a customer support professional at the right time.

Lead ahead of the competition with e-commerce chatbots

The world of e-commerce and Shopify is extensive and complicated. It is easy to get submerged in the competitive madness of the world. With millions of merchants selling similar products, e-commerce websites must stay ahead of the curve.

Although it is impossible for chatbots to completely replace humans, it is still an essential addon on the e-commerce site, which is part of a smart marketing strategy

Chatbots are considered a boon as they help serve customers efficiently, increase productivity, personalize the experience, and provide support around the clock.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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