3 Ways to Transform Your Ecommerce Business With Chatbot Automation

Every year, technology further transforms the way we interact with the world around us. The rise of digitalization has led to an ecommerce boom, with online sales expected to top $4.9 trillion globally by 2021.

This surge in demand is helping to push the boundaries of technology. New tools are constantly being developed to make shopping online easier, more convenient, and more enjoyable for consumers. One of the most compelling new tools for ecommerce businesses of all sizes is an artificial intelligence chatbot (also called an ecommerce messenger bot).

An AI chatbot can help ecommerce stores streamline their processes by automating core sectors of the business. We live in a world of instant gratification, with consumers no longer accepting the traditional levels of 9-5 support from a store. Instead, consumers expect 24 hours a day service, seven days a week. They demand that ecommerce businesses offer an omnichannel presence across social media, phone, email, and live chat. On top of providing this support, businesses still have to find time to generate leads and actively promote more sales.

All this places significant pressure on retailers, especially smaller ecommerce businesses and startups. Fortunately, chatbots can help ease this pressure by automating a wide range of processes across three key categories: lead generation, sales, and customer support.

How chatbots can generate leads

When you think about chatbots, and wonder "Do chatbots really work?", you might think of the clunky, first-generation solutions, which were more frustrating for the user than they were beneficial. However, modern solutions are a world away from those early online chatbots. Nowadays, 63% of chatbot users don't even realize they are engaging with one!

A well-designed chatbot is now a vital aspect of the marketing and lead generation efforts of your ecommerce store. Not only can a bot help you maintain a strong relationship with existing customers, but they can also help to attract new customers in several ways:

Offering assistance to your website visitors

One of the most common areas where ecommerce sites fall down is through a lack of communication with visitors on their website. Adding a chatbot to your website will help you to provide a personalizedand instant method of communication with every visitor.

That way, they'll always have the option for support, 24/7. As soon as they visit your website, users can be greeted by your bot in a chat window, and they can immediately start interacting with it. Not only can the chatbot answer customer questions, but can also convert them into genuine sales leads by capturing key information that you can follow up on later.

Automatically respond to Facebook page posts

Your Facebook business page is a valuable tool in helping you to convert visitors into leads, and prospects into customers. However, responding to every comment that your page receives in real-time is an incredibly time-consuming task.

Setting up a Facebook messenger bot to automatically reply to comments can transform your approach leads. It will help you keep interested parties engaged because your bot can immediately start answering questions, offering incentives, recommending products, and driving visitors towards your website where they can buy from you. And don't worry: chatbots are allowed on Facebook.

Run Click-to-Messenger ads

Click-to-Messenger ads appear like any other ad on Facebook or Instagram. But when a user clicks on it, they'll be instantly redirected to a chat with your bot in Messenger instead of to your website. Once the user arrives, your bot can answer questions and recommend products to move them down the sales funnel. It's a great way to put your lead generation on autopilot.

To make these Facebook ads even more effective, you can show them to highly targeted audiences. If you already have a segment of valuable customers in your chatbot, you can send data on those users to Facebook Ads Manager. From there, you can use it to create a Lookalike audience of new users who are most similar to your existing key users.

How messenger bots can help boost sales

By bringing new leads to your website, messenger bots can also help increase your overall sales. By providing consumers with a 24/7 level of interaction, it can help to bring interested consumers firmly into buyers by immediately responding to any questions.

Best AI chatbots can be incredibly informative as they seamlessly chat back and forth with consumers in an easy, conversational style. That way, the consumer can learn more about what your brand sells without feeling directly pressured into a sale. They can ask questions and get custom recommendations for a product they need, all in a tone of a casual, friendly chat.

One great example of a chatbot recommending products is the Clinique chatbot. It takes the prospect through a short quiz to determine their skin type first. Then, according to the result, it offers them a direct link to products specifically suited to them.

Chatbots are also very useful in automating the follow-up process, sending reminders to warm leads directly via Facebook Messenger. It can send messages designed to lead users back to your ecommerce store. Your bot could remind shoppers of goods already in their basket, and even offer them an incentive to complete the purchase.

How chatbots can automate support

With competition in the ecommerce world so high, customer service is crucial in helping you to stand out from the crowd. For many consumers, customer service is more important than price. In fact, it's estimated that customers service will become the biggest differentiator between brands.

Poor customer service can severely impact your brand image. In this social media-driven world, negative reviews can appear instantly and be spread across channels. It's bad press most brands can't afford, so you must always be working to ensure that your customers are fully satisfied. The better the overall customer experience is, the more likely a customer is to return to your store. It's estimated that attracting a new customer costs up to five times as much as retaining an existing one! So it's in your best interest to keep existing customers happy and impress new prospects with a high level of customer service.

A chatbot will make sure your brand can answer the most common questions it receives instantly, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is far more cost-effective than having a customer service team on hand around the clock. Chatbots aren't meant to replace human agents, but they can act as a first line of defense for common queries, and answer routine questions when human staff aren't available.

Finally, a chatbot can help with customer service after a purchase has been completed, too. A bot can ask for reviews, send helpful information on setup or instructions, and keep the customer in the loop with updates to make them feel valued and a part of your brand's community.

Why chatbots are the future?

Staying ahead of the competition is becoming an increasingly difficult challenge for ecommerce retailers. Growing consumer demands means businesses are now expected to be providing an in-depth service around the clock, placing immense pressure upon business owners to meet these demands.

Automation with chatbots is a cost-effective solution that is transforming the ecommerce world. In addition to offering consumers round-the-clock support, they can also help convert browsers into customers, driving up sales automatically in the process.
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Bojana Vojnović - content strategist

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Bojana is a content strategist with a finger on the pulse of the world of Messenger chatbots. She oversees a content creation strategy that helps business owners take their brand to the next level.

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