Part of the success of any eCommerce business depends on how your customers feel when they shop with you. Since the opportunity of greeting and helping your customers in person is lost in eCommerce, it's important that you have the tools needed to interact with customers virtually.
It's no secret that providing an interactive, supportive, and responsive customer experience results in repeat purchases and builds confidence in your brand.
But how can you maintain friendly relations, answer questions, and be responsive within a decent timeframe, when you're running your store 24/7?
This is where eCommerce chatbots come in. In this post, we'll talk about what they are, why they're important, and the top recommended bots you should know about.
What exactly is a chatbot?
A cut-and-dry definition of a chatbot is an artificially intelligent software or computer program that conducts or mimics a conversation. The interaction can be via text or auditory.
When you interact with a chatbot, you should feel as if you are talking to an actual human. Usually, the way it starts is that you type in a question and the chatbot responds per the limitations set in its program.
What are the benefits of using a smart chatbot?
Chatbots are your very own representatives that are available 24/7 and can be trusted to respond to your customers immediately. As long as your customer can get the relevant answers they need, they most likely won't be bothered that they're not talking to an actual human being.
There are many other benefits of using a chatbot for your website:
- Increase in sales by introducing new products and offers
- Streamline the sales process by giving guidance customers
- Make customer service more efficient
- Upsell by suggesting complementary or additional product options based on what customers put in their cart
How chatbot software can help increase sales
With increased usage of messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp, people are becoming more comfortable interacting with bots and making purchases from their recommendations.
According to Sellbrite:
- 47% of users consider making purchases of items recommended by bots and through bots
- 71% of users are willing to receive customer service assistance through chatbots
- Customers are willing to pay an average of $55 or more on purchases through chatbots
These figures show that chatbots are slowly becoming a very useful sales tool and a reliable alternative to an actual person. Additionally, large corporations are receptive to using chatbot platforms to enhance and expand their ability to increase sales. Sephora, H&M, Staples, and Lego are just a few examples of big brands that are using chatbots to engage with customers, offer suggestions, and facilitate the buying process.
5 recommended chatbot platforms
There are a lot of eCommerce chatbots to choose from. You can go with either a popular AI company that makes customized chatbot software for you, or start out with a free chatbot to test the waters for your store.
Additionally, you can also find Facebook chatbots that work with your store's site.
Here a few smart chatbots we've come across that you may want to consider:
- ManyChat is a top contender amongst AI chatbot platforms. It's very user-friendly and easy to set up. They offer a free basic plan, with paid plans starting at $10/month.
- Chatfuel is a free chatbot that's easy to use and you don’t need to know how to code to use it. However, it's pretty flexible, so if you do want to customize it you have the option to do custom coding if you'd like. It's also open for third-party plug-ins, but lacks marketing tools. Paid plans start at $15/month.
- Conversable is a topnotch SAAS platform with many high profile clients – think P&G, Whole Foods, and CES. As they tout they are "more than just basic bots", this is a good option for enterprise level eCommerce stores.
- Botsify is a good option if you're looking for a web chatbot or live support chatbot. They offer a free 14-day trial, with plans starting at $50/month. They also integrate with Shopify, Wordpress, and more.
- Engati offers a decent free starter plan that allows up to 1000 interactions per month and retains data analytics for up to one month. Their paid plans start at $21/month and allows a human takeover if necessary.
What are your experiences with chatbots? Let us know in the comments below!