The eCommerce landscape advanced significantly over the years. With the addition of AI, chatbots for online stores became popular.
These AI-driven tools are transforming the way eCommerce businesses interact with customers, making shopping experiences more personalized and efficient. In fact, recent statistics show that the chatbot market is set to reach up to $15.5 billion by 2028.
To get in on the trend, learn what chatbots are, how they can help your eCommerce business, and which chatbot tools you could use to kickstart your journey.
What are eCommerce chatbots?
An eCommerce chatbot is an AI-powered program that can simulate a conversation with human users. Integrated into eCommerce platforms, these chatbots are designed to communicate with customers through text or voice interactions.
They’re programmed to handle a wide range of tasks, from answering FAQs to helping with product selection, making them a versatile tool in the eCommerce sector.
By using natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning, chatbots can:
- understand and respond to customer inquiries
- assist in navigating the website
- recommend products
- help with transactions
Types of eCommerce chatbots for every business
ECommerce chatbots’ primary goal is to enhance customer satisfaction through immediate, automated responses to various queries. This improves the efficiency of your customer support and enhances your online shoppers’ overall shopping experience.
But chatbots have different types depending on their functions, such as:
- Customer service chatbots. These chatbots are designed to handle customer inquiries, provide product information, and assist with issues or complaints.
- Sales and product recommendation chatbots. They analyze customer data to provide personalized product recommendations, enhancing the shopping experience and increasing sales.
- FAQ chatbots. These bots are programmed to answer frequently asked questions, providing quick and accurate responses to common customer queries.
- Feedback and survey chatbots. They collect customer feedback and conduct surveys, which is crucial to improving your products and services.
- Order tracking chatbots. These chatbots provide customers with real-time updates on their order status, enhancing transparency and trust.
6 ways an eCommerce chatbot can support your online store
Aside from facilitating conversational commerce, chatbots also offer several other benefits that can improve their customer journey:
Provides 24/7 customer support
Chatbots offer round-the-clock assistance to online shoppers. They’re always there to answer customer questions, no matter what time it is. This feature is particularly advantageous if you’re an eCommerce business serving an international clientele under different time zones.
With chatbots, there’s always someone (well, something!) available to help your customers whenever they need it, day or night. This means your customers get quick help whenever they shop, making their experience with your store even better.
Instant response to customer queries
Unlike traditional customer service, chatbots provide instant responses to customers’ questions. This immediate reaction is great because customers get the help they need right away, without any waiting. Quick answers keep customers happy and interested, so they’re more likely to buy something.
Personalizes shopping assistance
Through data analysis and learning customer preferences, chatbots can offer personalized shopping advice. They pay attention to what customers look at and buy on your website. Then, they use this info to give personalized suggestions.
For example, if a customer often looks at sports shoes, the chatbot will start showing them new sports shoes or deals on those. This makes shopping more fun and easier for customers because they see stuff that matches their interests.
Streamlines the checkout process
Chatbots can guide customers through the checkout process, making it more efficient and user-friendly. They make the process smoother and faster. For instance, if a customer isn’t sure how to fill out a form or has a shipping question, the chatbot jumps in right away with answers. This reduces cart abandonment rates due to confusion or frustration at checkout.
Handles returns and exchanges
Chatbots make returning or exchanging items effortless for customers. They quickly guide them through the process, like explaining the return policy and helping with return labels. This means less hassle for everyone and happier customers as they can sort out returns and exchanges smoothly and without confusion.
Gathers customer data and insights
Chatbots do a fantastic job of gathering important information from customer interaction. They keep track of what customers ask about, their preferences, and feedback. This is helpful to your businesses since you get a peek into what customers really want and need.
With this info, you can make your marketing more effective by targeting the right people with the right messages. Plus, you can use these insights to improve existing products or even develop new ones that customers are looking for.
Choosing the right chatbot for your business
Now that you know how adding an eCommerce chatbot to your website can help your business, it’s time to learn which eCommerce bot is the right fit for you. To narrow down your choices, here are some factors to consider:
A well-integrated chatbot makes things easier for you and provides a better experience for your customers.
When choosing a chatbot for your eCommerce business, it’s essential to make sure it runs smoothly with your online store and other tools you use. This ensures the chatbot can access the right information, like product details or order status, to help customers effectively.
Also, check that the chatbot can access and utilize data from the software you use, ensuring consistent and accurate customer service. Most chatbot providers will tell you what platforms they work with, and many offer trial periods to test this out.
Look for a chatbot that’s easy for both your customers and your team to use, with a clear and user-friendly interface. The chatbot should be able to handle customer interactions effectively, offering intuitive navigation and providing useful features like instant responses and personalized shopping assistance.
Multiple customization options
Choose a customizable chatbot you can match to your brand’s style and voice. You should be able to adjust how the chatbot looks and talks so it feels like a natural part of your business. It must fit with your brand’s personality, whether that’s fun and casual or more formal and professional. The goal is to keep your branding consistent so customers can distinguish your eCommerce company.
Also, the chatbot should be flexible enough to change as your business grows or your needs change. Your chatbot should not only look right but also communicate in a way that resonates with your customers and meets your specific business needs.
AI and learning algorithms
When choosing a chatbot for your business, it’s important to check its AI capabilities. Advanced AI chatbots are better at understanding and responding to customer questions in a way that feels natural. They learn from each conversation, getting smarter over time. This learning ability helps them give more accurate and personalized help to customers.
Alignment with business objectives
Your chatbot should align with your specific business goals, whether you’re targeting to improve your customer service, boost sales, or collect customer insights.
It’s also important to regularly check how well the chatbot is doing in meeting these objectives through customer feedback and performance metrics.
Pick a chatbot that’s able to grow with your company. This means the chatbot can handle a higher volume of customer conversations and more complex questions as your business expands.
Look for a chatbot that’s not only great for your needs today, but also can upgrade and integrate with new tools in the future. A scalable chatbot ensures that no matter how much your business grows, your customers will continue to receive quick and efficient service, keeping them satisfied and engaged with your brand.
Cost and ROI
Weigh the costs against the potential benefits, such as upfront costs like purchase or subscription, customization, and any ongoing maintenance expenses. The return on investment (ROI) should be evaluated in terms of both immediate and long-term benefits:
- improved customer service efficiency
- cost savings from reduced need for additional staff
- increased sales
- valuable customer insights
A more expensive chatbot may offer advanced features that align with your long-term business goals, potentially saving money over time. This means the decision should balance the initial and ongoing costs with how much value the chatbot will add to your business, both now and in the future.
Support and maintenance
You never know what hiccups you’ll face, so it’s important to ensure there’s reliable support and maintenance from your provider. Good support means having access to quick help if any issues arise, ideally with 24/7 availability. Regular maintenance is also crucial; it keeps the chatbot up to date with the latest features and improvements and allows for necessary adjustments as your business and customer needs change.
Top 9 chatbot tools available for your business website
There are several chatbot solutions available you can use to enhance your online operations. Here are a few notable eCommerce chatbot platforms:
Chatfuel is a user-friendly chatbot platform that’s great for businesses of all sizes. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to use it, since it offers a simple drag-and-drop system to build and launch chatbots quickly. This is especially helpful for smaller businesses without a lot of technical support.
It works seamlessly with Facebook Messenger, connecting your business easily with a huge number of Facebook users. You can create chatbots that offer personalized customer service or help with buying products right in Messenger.
The platform also allows for lots of customization, so you can make your chatbot match your brand’s style and voice. With advanced AI and language processing, Chatfuel’s chatbots can handle complex questions from customers. It also provides valuable analytics to better understand customer needs and improve your services and marketing strategies.
ManyChat is a popular tool also designed for creating chatbots on Facebook Messenger. It’s known for being easy to use, regardless of your technical expertise.
One of its standout features is its marketing capabilities. It offers automated sequences, allowing you to set up a series of messages that are sent out automatically based on certain triggers. This is useful for guiding customers through a sales funnel or providing consistent follow-up information.
Additionally, ManyChat provides broadcast messaging, which lets you send a single message to a large group of users. This feature is perfect for announcements, promotions, or updates.
Drift is well-suited for business-to-business (B2B) companies. It focuses on conversational marketing and sales, which means it helps businesses engage in real-time conversations with potential leads and customers. This real-time interaction is key to quickly answering questions or guiding leads through the sales process.
This platform is known for its personalization options. With Drift, you can tailor conversations to each visitor’s specific needs and interests. Customizing your conversations with your customers is great for creating a more personal and effective sales experience.
More than a standard chatbot, Intercom is a comprehensive platform offering a suite of tools for:
- customer messaging
- covering support
This versatility makes it a robust solution if you’re looking to manage various aspects of customer interactions in one place.
Like Drift, it can also deliver personalized customer experiences and lets you tailor your communication based on customer behavior and preferences.
5. Zendesk Chat
Zendesk Chat, previously known as Zopim, is a chatbot solution that seamlessly integrates with the Zendesk suite of customer support tools. This integration is particularly beneficial for businesses already using Zendesk since it unifies their approach to customer service.
This platform enables real-time chat with customers to provide smooth assistance. The smooth integration with other Zendesk products means that their regular users can manage all their customer service interactions, including chat, in one centralized place.
Tidio uniquely combines live chat capabilities with automated chatbot functions. It stands out since it’s easy to integrate into a wide range of eCommerce platforms, making it user-friendly and easy to set up, even for those who aren’t tech-savvy.
This blend of live chat and chatbot tools allows you to provide instant automated responses to common queries while also having the option for real human interaction when more complex issues arise. This combination helps in improving the efficiency of customer service with a balanced and flexible approach to customer communication.
Botsify is known for its AI capabilities that help provide a smarter and more interactive conversational experience. This allows Botsify chatbots to understand and respond to customer queries in a more nuanced and effective manner.
What’s great about this platform is its ability to facilitate more natural and engaging conversations with users. Whether it’s for handling customer service inquiries or engaging potential clients on your site or Facebook page, Botsify offers a sophisticated yet user-friendly solution for businesses looking to leverage the power of conversational AI.
MobileMonkey allows you to create chatbots for multiple channels, including Facebook Messenger, SMS, and web platforms. This multi-channel capability particularly benefits businesses aiming to engage with customers across various digital touchpoints.
With MobileMonkey, you can ensure a consistent and unified communication experience, whether your customers are interacting through social media, text messages, or your website. It’s an excellent choice if you’re seeking to broaden your reach and maintain cohesive customer interactions across different platforms.
Freshchat, a product of Freshworks, is designed to enhance customer conversations across various business areas like marketing, sales, and support. It’s built with teams in mind, offering features that facilitate efficient and effective communication with customers. Freshchat’s main feature boasts of its user-friendly interface and robust functionality.
Whether it’s providing timely customer support, nurturing sales leads, or engaging in marketing dialogues, Freshchat provides a comprehensive platform to manage these interactions seamlessly.
Success stories of eCommerce chatbots in action
You’re ready to start implementing your own eCommerce chatbot into your website. But before you get down to business, it’s always best to see how other brands are doing it. Take a look at these success stories of the best eCommerce chatbots in action.
H&M’s chatbot on Kik
H&M’s chatbot on Kik is a pioneering tool in fashion retail, offering a highly personalized shopping experience. It interacts with users to suggest outfits based on their style preferences, combining H&M’s fashion expertise with AI technology. Perfect for young people who enjoy shopping online, it offers a new way to find cool clothes items and makes staying fashionable easy.
Sephora’s Virtual Artist
Sephora’s Virtual Artist on Facebook Messenger lets you try on makeup virtually. Customers can see how different products like lipsticks and eyeshadows look on them through augmented reality (AR) technology. It’s a fun and easy way to shop for cosmetics. This tool makes online shopping for beauty products more interactive and personal, right from the Messenger app.
Domino’s Pizza Bot
Domino’s Pizza Bot, named Dom, makes ordering pizza easy. You just chat with it on their digital platform, tell it what pizza you want, and that’s it – order placed! Dom’s friendly and straightforward, making pizza ordering quicker and more fun for customers. It shows how technology can make ordering food simpler for everyone.
LEGO’s chatbot, Ralph, helps you find the perfect LEGO set. Users simply tell Ralph what they’re looking for, provide their age range, budget, or favorite themes, and the chatbot suggests sets that match. This makes choosing the right LEGO set quick and easy. Ralph is great for making LEGO shopping straightforward and more fun, especially if you’re not sure what to buy.
EBay’s ShopBot acts as a personal shopping assistant, designed to navigate eBay’s vast inventory. It simplifies the shopping process by searching for products based on the user’s specific requests and preferences. You simply say what you’re looking for, and it searches for the best deals, specific brands, or unique items for you.
Level up your eCommerce website with chatbots
ECommerce chatbots are a significant leap forward in online shopping. They offer online retailers a unique opportunity to enhance customer experience and interaction, streamline the shopping process, and ultimately drive sales.
As technology continues to advance, the role of chatbots in eCommerce is poised to become more integral, and missing out can spell disaster for your business. With these tips, leverage this trend and get ahead of your competitors.
Of course, we realize that integrating chatbots into your website can get a little technical. That’s why, if you lack the time, resources, or experience to do it yourself, you can contact our professional website developers for assistance. Just tell us what you need, and we’ll make a website tailored to your business goals!