Online shopping doesn’t follow a single path. Just like there are many channels you can list your products on, there’s an abundance of ways to make an online purchase — apps, email, social media. These multiple options can be disorienting to customers if there isn’t one clear route for reaching businesses.
Enter “conversational commerce,” or businesses and buyers connecting through messaging apps. Companies today can use chatbots to instantly communicate with customers and resolve their issues on multiple platforms, such as Facebook or their online store. These round-the-clock bots use AI to infer customers’ preferences and create a valuable, individualized shopping experience.
Learning how to set up your business for conversational commerce isn’t always clear since bot technology is still developing. To help sellers out, we’ve created this guide to cover everything from defining exactly what a chatbot does to measuring your bot’s ROI.
Chatbot is an automated interface through which the user can obtain information from a machine. The interface is usually in written form (chat) and in many cases the chatbot presents the user information with a simple multiple choice type of option. Chatbots are used in multilingual customer support, lead generation and sales automation across a variety of channels (e.g. websites, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS).
Chatbots for ecommerce companies are typically designed to complete buyers purchase, offer buyers product recommendation and provide customer support
Conversational commerce isn’t just a cool-sounding concept — user research shows that buyers are more ready and willing than ever to shop online with bots. Here are a few reasons why your online business should be using a messaging app to host a bot and boost sales.
People Want To Shop With Messenger Apps
People aren’t just using messenger apps to chat with friends — they’re also excited about shopping with brands’ bots. Here are a few stats to show buyers’ willingness to shop with messenger apps:
These high figures show that a large chunk of buyers trust chatbots as a way to interact with businesses. These numbers are only expected to grow, so adopt a messaging app now to meet the increasing bot demand.
ECommerce is a competitive space — with so many other merchants, you have to stay ahead by tracking other sellers’ activity to see how they’re reaching their customers. Right now, the data shows that merchants are embracing bots.
Messaging apps aren’t just a quick fad—more and more businesses are integrating chatbots to serve their customers in the long-term. Adding messaging app technology to your business now will allow you to support your buyers efficiently and personally instead of falling behind your competitors’ levels of service.
Before you add a chatbot to your business, it’s important to understand how this technology works. Understanding the different types of bots out there will allow you to generate one that serves your online business’ needs. Chatbots work through two systems. The first type functions based on a set of rules, and the second type functions using machine learning.
Chatbots that function based on a set of rules are restrictive. They can only respond to specific commands rather than interpreting a user’s language. Rule-based chatbots are great if users are only expected to have simple queries that refer to a limited set of information. The personal finance app Digit, in the example above, uses rule-based chat since the user is only expected to ask a narrow set of questions about their account.
Chatbots that function through machine learning use AI to handle a wide range of conversations and requests from users. Instead of only responding to specific commands, AI chatbots can interpret a user’s language to understand and meet their needs.
AI chatbots make sense if you want to handle complex queries and comments from users, such as a user asking for a product recommendation. Whether you opt for the simpler rule-based chatbot or advanced AI chatbot all depends on what you’d like your chatbot to do. If you only want your bot to handle simple customer service requests, a rule-based chatbot may do the trick. With that said, most ecommerce merchants would benefit from the more advanced AI bot that can learn about customers’ preferences to encourage more purchases and provide personalized service.
AlphaChat is a no-code end-to-end Chatbot platform allowing eCommerce companies to build Natural Language Understanding Intelligent Virtual Assistants. The platform also offers advanced features for enterprise customers such as authentication, SSO, APIs, agent co-pilot mode and intelligent routing.
What’s special about this tool: Standard Package offers everything from building your own AI. insights into customer conversations (topics discussed, customer satisfaction) and statistics on AI value performance. Enables to train the NLU chatbot in one language and have it automatically chat in any language. SLAs and AlphaOS with DIY custom code writing available for enterprise accounts.
Pricing: 10-day free trial. Paid plans from €399/month.
Ebi is a chatbot platform for building chatbots utilizing IBM Watson machine learning models.
What’s special about this tool: Ebi offers custom virtual assistant development projects to build an eCommerce chatbot MVP in 30 days.
E-bot7 offers a chatbot tool for customer-facing conversation automation
What’s special about this tool: E-bot7 uses smart routing for transferring customers from the chatbot to human agents when escalated.
Activechat is a platform for building smart eCommerce chatbots that is bundled with a live chat tool and a conversational intelligence module.
What’s special about this tool: Activechat gives a tool for training the eCommerce chatbots and connecting them to built-in live chat.
Netomi is a customer service automation platform with Natural Language Understanding
What’s special about this tool: Netomi has built automation solutions for chat and email through its intent detection and ticket clustering capabilities.
Clinc is aimed for financial institutions that are seeking to deploy Conversational AI solutions.
What’s special about this tool: Clinc offer banks and finance sector organizations a way to automate their support and provide enhanced customer experiences for eCommerce.
MobileMonkey is a chatbot platform for marketing, sales and customer support for Facebook, SMS and websites.
What’s special about this tool: MobileMonkey integrates with various channels and has extensive features suitable for eCommerce.
Drift is a chatbot builder that helps companies capture leads from your website and convert them to paying customers.
What’s special about this tool: Drift is focused on conversational sales and marketing through automation, chat and video chat.
Pandorabots is a chatbot platform that comes with an IDE and allows to build code-based and no-code chatbots according to open standards.
What’s special about this tool: Comprehensive platform for building chatbots and writing your own code with plenty of flexibility.
Freshchat is a chatbot product from the freshworks family that also provides CRM and customer support software.
What’s special about this tool: Freshchat operates within the Freshworks family of products that provide a variety of features.
Pricing: Paid plans starting from €69/month.
Talking to a robot sounds foreign, cold, and impersonal. And yet, chatbots have made many brands more human and approachable to buyers. These bots are personal in remembering customers’ preferences and are convenient as a 24/7 service. As long as companies are upfront about bots being technology and not actual people, this technology is a surprisingly intimate and useful way to communicate with buyers.
If you are looking for AI chatbots for your customer service, then feel free to sign-up for an account with alphachat.ai In just 5 minutes you can get your own natural language understanding AI chatbot that you can connect with your website.