How about a chatbot helping you choose the perfect bridal wear for your wedding day? Looks like something straight out of a Hollywood movie, right? Well, not anymore! The recent pandemic has pushed innovation in the eCommerce industry to new heights, and more organizations are now adopting powerful technologies like chatbots to enhance the user experience.
According to a report, total eCommerce sales will reach $4.5 trillion by the end of 2021 worldwide. One of the key drivers to increase sales is the number of innovations in the eCommerce experience for customers. A chatbot is one of those innovations that is changing how customer interactions occur in the eCommerce paradigm.
From Amazon to Netflix, there are several instances where businesses use Artificial Intelligence for personalized experiences, and you can leverage the same through a chatbot. So, let’s not waste more time and dive right into the benefits of chatbot for your eCommerce business?
Top Benefits of Chatbots for Your eCommerce Business
From retentions to reducing cart abandonment rates and even generating leads, chatbots can help your eCommerce business in many different ways.
Chatbots for Retentions
Retention is one of the most challenging tasks for any eCommerce business. Customer retention is the ability of any company to retain its customers over a specific period. With a higher retention rate, the customers will come back to rebuy your products or services.
There are two important reasons you have higher retention rates; the first is expanding your business that needs customers coming back for more. The second reason is ongoing costs that you will have to bear for new customers due to lack of retention.
Here a chatbot can help your eCommerce business through a higher retention rate. Most of the customers leave a brand due to slower response times. According to Hubspot, 90% of customers believe that an “immediate” response is essential, and 60% of customers define an “immediate” response as 10 minutes or less.
Chatbots can reduce the time needed for response to a customer query making it an efficient option. However, if your eCommerce website loads slower, customers will not only have delayed responses but also a bad experience. So, it is essential to check on different technical aspects of your website through different tools available in the market.
Another essential aspect that you should consider is how chatbots can help you gather data regarding user’s tastes, behaviors, and buying patterns for the customization of products or services. So, if a customer is happy with what is on the offer, retention reduces organically.
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Reducing Cart Abandonments
One of the most significant issues that every eCommerce organization faces is cart abandonment. According to a report, cart abandonment rates range anywhere between 57.60% to 84.27%. Such a high rate can harm eCommerce businesses as it is a blow to conversions.
Chatbots can reduce cart abandonment by assisting customers in completing the checkout process faster. According to Statista, the prime reason for cart abandonment is a lack of clarity regarding the shipping cost and final paying price.
A chatbot can help your eCommerce business through intelligent estimates of the final price with a breakdown to allow users to understand the entire invoice. As a result, there are no hidden costs, users will not feel cheated, and cart abandonment rates will reduce.
One of the most significant advantages of chatbot integration into your CRM or Customer Relationship Management system is enhanced engagement. For example, the “Call of Duty” team leveraged a social media messenger chatbot to engage customers and improve curiosity about their new release. As a result, they received more than 6 million messages from different users in just 24 hours.
Another way eCommerce businesses can engage better through chatbots is by leveraging them in a gamification approach. Users are involved through participation in different activities for your business and receive reward points for such transactions. Loyalty programs can be a great way to engage customers, and chatbots can enhance it through automated assistance in redeeming reward points or other such activities.
Recommendations & Sales
Based on the data aggregated through imitation of human-to-human interactions by a chatbot, an algorithm can offer personalized recommendations. However, you can take a step further and allow your customers to complete the transactions through chatbots. Thus, it will enhance the entire user experience.
If you are a B2B business, Google chatbots can be a great option to leverage. There are several add-ons available in the market that will allow you to customize the Google chatbots and offer intelligent recommendations of services or products.
These are some of the benefits that you can leverage by integrating a chatbot into the eCommerce platform. However, the question at its heart is how to develop one? So, here we are with a step-by-step guide on creating a chatbot for your eCommerce business.
A step-by-step guide to Chatbot Development for Your ECommerce business
Developing a chatbot for your eCommerce business needs several stages of planning, execution, and monitoring.
Analyzing the Need
The first stage of chatbot development for your eCommerce business is to analyze the need. It can be a need for retention or customer support and even for marketing purposes. Need analysis helps you form the business logic behind the chatbot application. To determine the need, you will also have to research your audience.
One of the most significant factors to consider for audience research is the marketing funnel. There are three stages in a marketing funnel- Top of the funnel(Tofu), Middle of the funnel(Mofu), and Bottom of the funnel(Bofu).
Depending on the stage at which your audience is, you will know why you need a chatbot. For example, you may need a chatbot to improve Tofu customers’ awareness or compare your products with options in the market for Bofu customers. Chatbots can also offer recommendations for Mofu customers and provide intelligent insights into the features of products.
Once you have the need determined, the next stage is all about wireframing the architecture.
Wireframing the Architecture
There are several different architectures that you can use for chatbot development. However, integrating a chatbot into your social media messenger can help improve the marketing campaigns and assist in activities like customer support, retention, and even offer eCommerce transactions through redirects to the main website.
Here, you can see a chatbot architecture that uses the messenger as a platform for user interactions. It is connected to the chatbot platform through APIs or Application Programming Interface. The core engine has the business logic, executed as per trigger action initiated through a function.
These functions are trigger-based, which are powered through NLP(Natural Language Programming) or a linguistic algorithm that processes chatbot interactions based on user’s behavior or patterns. Algorithms at the engine’s core are also connected with database storage and different third-party services through webhooks.
Development & Deployment
The best way to develop a chatbot application is to leverage an agile approach. Divide your development into small sprints to help you develop, test, and deploy with each incremental iteration. As a result, your chatbot development will move towards a final version from the initial Minimum Viable Product or MVP with each iteration.
It is essential to develop and deploy initial versions of chatbots without third-party integrations like payment gateways or others. Further iterations will help you make changes quickly and even offer a real-time feature experience to customers.
ECommerce is booming, and there is no doubt about how it will grow in the future due to rapid innovations and integrations like chatbots. First, however, you need to understand the exact need, plan for the features, and then develop a chatbot for your eCommerce business.
One of the critical aspects to consider is customizing APIs to help your system interact with the chatbot interface. But, not just custom APIs, data security is also quite essential for consideration of chatbot architecture. So, start enhancing your eCommerce business with a chatbot and achieve higher conversions.
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How to Develop a Chatbot app for your eCommerce business in 2021? was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.