By 2024, the global market size of chatbots is projected to cross the $1.3 billion mark.
Clearly, chatbots will be playing a critical part in directing the future of business communication.
While chatbots have existed for a long time, the technology has developed tremendously in the past decade, giving us the smart chatbots that possess the capability to make sales, to help work out customer queries, and even provide customers with support in complex matters.
In fact, the use of chatbots has become so popular that it has led to the rise of a brand new marketing trend, conversational marketing or conversational commerce (in the case of ecommerce stores).
If you are on the edge about implementing a chatbot to your ecommerce store, or simply don’t know where such an implementation will bring in the most significant benefits, you have come to the right page.
In this article, we will be discussing how other (and well-known) ecommerce stores are successfully using the power of chatbots to accelerate in their journey to success.
Before we dive into the examples, let’s begin by looking at some of the benefits that modern chatbots offer to ecommerce stores.
Benefits Of Using Chatbots For Ecommerce Stores
Customer preferences are constantly changing. Chatbots enable brands to keep up with the changing needs of impatient online customers. Let’s look at how they do this (and more):
- Reduced Time To Support
A Hubspot survey revealed that 90% of customers expect an “immediate” response when they have a customer service related query or question. Out of these, 60% of customers defined “immediate” as 10 minutes.
On the other hand, another study found out that the average time taken by businesses to handle a customer query is 12 hours and 10 minutes.
Saying that there is a huge gap in the customer experience currently being provided and what the customers expect would be a gross understatement.
This gap can be (very) effectively addressed with the help of chatbots that start responding to customers in virtually no time. Most modern chatbots respond to a customer query in under two minutes. This is perhaps the reason that 67% of respondents in a survey said that they are more likely to purchase products and services from brands that have chatbots.
In other words, brands that implement chatbots right now have a good chance of enjoying an edge over their competition who are currently not using any chatbots.
- 24X7 Availability Of Support
Another similar but amazing benefit of having a chatbot for customer service is that the chatbot does not have fixed working hours.
This means, your valued customers get instant support, regardless of the day of the week or time of they day they decide to contact you.
Imagine coming to work on a Monday and finding out that your chatbot resolved 3 customer queries over the weekend. This doesn’t just lead to a more positive experience for your customers, it also frees up time for your human support executives to focus on helping customers that have queries that the chatbot cannot yet solve.
- Personalized Customer Experience
Be it support or sales, a chatbot can provide every customer or visitor on your site with a personalised experience. A chatbot, based on the answers of preference-related questions by a customer, can provide them with personalized product recommendations, or help out with unique service/product related problems.
In a world where customer service agents ask for their customer’s name only 21% of the time, personalized service can be a goldmine. In fact, a survey by New Voice Media revealed that the number one reason for a customer to switch brands is feeling underappreciated.
- Reduced Customer Support Costs
While there is a somewhat significant up-front cost involved in implementing a chatbot, it can still reduce your company’s expenses on providing customers with support.
By replacing pricey human resources needed for customer support, a chatbot can help companies cut down on the cost of customer support.
Sure, chatbots cannot (yet) replace your entire customer support infrastructure, but they can surely help you reduce the team numbers needed to provide quality customer support. The best part is, chatbots can do that while also drastically improving the quality of customer support that your brand offers.
These were just a few of the many benefits that chatbots provide to online stores.
Now, let’s jump into the ways ecommerce stores are using chatbots to provide exemplary experiences to their customers.
How Ecommerce Stores Are Using Chatbots
LEGO Improves Conversions With The Help Of ‘Ralph’
LEGO brought in their AI chat based assistant to help their online reps deal with the amplified customer requests and queries they receive during the holiday season. However, Ralph ended up performing so well that it found a permanent space in the LEGO team.
The chatbot, focused on creating sales, begins with asking customers questions about their location, preferences, the purpose of their purchase, and of course, the budget.
With this information, Ralph’s AI mind comes up with personalized product recommendations that the customer can choose from right within the chat window.
According to the last reports out of LEGO, Ralph is responsible for a fourth of the total social media sales made by the brand. Ralph also reduced the cost per conversion by a whopping 31%, when compared to other conversion-based ads.
Marvel Powers Ticket Sales With AI-Powered Chatbot
The marketing minds at Marvel figured that most of their audience hangs out of Facebook and enlisted the help of an AI powered chatbot to bring the box office to their customer’s Facebook profiles.
They began by posting GIFs and images, coupled with powerful copy, to drive engagements from their fans. When the fans commented on these posts, they were taken to a DM chat with their chatbot.
The purpose of the chatbot was quite simple, to boost the ticket sales for Antman And The Wasp and Avengers: Infinity War.
In just a matter of weeks, the chatbot started delivering incredible results. The conversion rate for those who engaged with the posts about Avengers: Infinity War was a whopping 50%! For Antman And The Wasp, the same conversion rate was 53%.
After retargeting the rest, the overall conversion rate of the entire campaign was 68%.
Spring Uses Chatbot To Make Lightning-Fast Personalized Recommendations To Their Visitors
Spring was one of the first brands to demonstrate the use of Facebook’s AI chatbot, integrating it with their social media store on the platform.
The “personal shopping assistant”, as the Founders of Spring refer to the chatbot, provides customers with two of the things they value the most- quick responses and a personalized experience.
The chatbot has the ability to filter products by different preferences and present users with personalized product recommendations in virtually no time flat.
Thanks to the chatbot, Spring has been able to closely replicate the kind of assistance customers get when they visit physical stores, in a virtual environment.
The best part is, as the chabot is used by more and more customers, it will “learn” more and will be able to better gauge the customers’ preferences as time passes.
Ben & Jerry’s Boosts Social Media Engagements With A Chatbot
When the brand managers at Ben & Jerry’s decided to implement a chatbot, their objective was not to make more sales, but to simply create more engagements on social media.
To achieve this, they decided to use the chatbot to power real life free coupon redemptions at locations across Singapore. By driving awareness with organic and paid social media posts, they informed their customers and potential customers about the new flavours they were ready to introduce at the time.
Whenever a user would interact with one of these posts, they would be taken to a DM chat where the chatbot would strike up a conversation about their potential favorite from the upcoming flavors.
At the end of the conversation, the chatbot provided customers with coupons that could be used to try out the new flavors at one of the Ben & Jerry’s outlets in Singapore. In fact, the chatbot was designed to guide customers to the nearest Ben & Jerry’s vending machine where they could use the coupon.
The campaign’s results were amazing, to say the least. It generated 2-way conversations with 13,000 customers, and all 5,000 samples were claimed. Compared to the past social media campaigns by the brand, this one generated 5 times as many engagements.
Surprisingly, while the campaign’s objective was not to make more sales, it resulted in a 20% boost in Ben & Jerry’s sales for that period.
Customers love interacting with chatbots. They’re cheaper than their human counterparts and have proven their ability to drive better results in many cases, across locations and industries.
Sure, setting up a chatbot that offers customers delightful and personalized experience can be a bit of work, but everything worth having comes with a price. Not to forget, chatbots can dramatically reduce the bounce rates that your SEO audits keep warning you about.
As you can see, brands across industries are already using chatbots to their advantage. Yet, the technology is still in its early adoption stage and brands that start implementation now stand to enjoy competitive advantage in the long run.
In other words, if you haven’t already started working on the implementation of chatbots to your online business, it is the perfect time to start. Don’t know where to start? Ask your marketing agency for help.