Chatbots today are revolutionizing the manner in which people shop. They are providing improved customer experiences in product selection, shopping, customer service, and more.
According to Statista, an estimated 2.14 billion people purchased goods or services online in 2021.
The number of active chatbots is growing at its quickest rate yet. In 2017, Facebook Messenger had 100,000 chatbots, which quickly rose to 300,000 within 12 months. This rapid expansion shows that the collaboration between humans and chatbots is and will continue to improve as time passes.
If that isn’t indication enough of how useful people find chatbots, take a look at the stats below:
- 40% of millennials claim that they use chatbots daily
- 64% of internet users say round-the-clock service is the best chatbot attribute
- 67% of millennials say that they are more likely to shop from websites using a chatbot
Do you want to know how this theory of eCommerce chatbots works in practice? Let’s take a look at Masha.ai, a shopping assistant chatbot by Facebook Messenger.
Masha.ai began as an experiment to help customers reduce the amount of time they needed to accomplish their shopping and soon grew in popularity among users. The chatbot, which was designed to assist buyers with shopping options and assist them in placing orders, also provided consultation to its users and sent them news of new stock updates.
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The need for eCommerce chatbots
You can save a great deal of time for both your employees and consumers by using a chatbot while also improving your revenue.
Let’s look at the most popular eCommerce use case – placing orders online. As an eCommerce business owner, you must guide customers through the three stages of the customer journey before they make a purchase:
On paper, the development appears to be straightforward. However, it might be challenging to properly guide online shoppers through all three stages.
So, what do you do here to help prospects along the customer journey so that they end up at the Decision stage more frequently?
Simple. You deploy a chatbot.
These bots can be built to offer a variety of services to prospects while gently nudging them towards the final stage. Here’s how to do it:
- Engage during the Awareness stage: A chatbot can go beyond simply luring prospects to your brand and the problem(s) that your product(s) solve. They can even engage them in a unique way that distinguishes your business and prepares them for the next stage.
- Inform during the Consideration stage: It is up to you to educate leads to assist them so that they progress smoothly to the consideration stage – a job well-suited to a chatbot. These bots can tell consumers your brand’s story, promote your products, and pique the curiosity of potential buyers as well. These bots can also service customer queries and satisfy the objections of prospects so that they are more ready to buy.
- Convert at the Decision stage: Bots can make the purchasing process simpler and more appealing. Furthermore, they can follow up with individuals who were on the verge of converting and encourage those who did purchase to return and buy again.
5 Examples of successful eCommerce chatbots
Chatbots that are well-designed can have a favorable impact on customer experience. The channels on which they are most popular are often the ones with the best user experience and simplicity of interaction. What role do chatbots play in the world of big brands? Let’s take a closer look.
1. Nike StyleBot
Industry: Sports apparel, accessories, and equipment.
Major takeaway: Chatbots can improve conversions for retail campaigns.
- The average click-through rate (CTR) is 12.5 times higher than other brand campaigns
- Conversions improved by 4 times the brand average
In an effort to promote Nike AirMax Day, Nike considered adopting a conversational marketing campaign that utilized a chatbot for the purpose. An AI eCommerce bot, aka the Nike StyleBot, the brand brought its exclusive Nike ID platform to Facebook Messenger. Customers could create their custom shoe designs or go through previously submitted versions for ideas.
Among other things, users can communicate with the chatbot in natural language and receive multiple-choice responses in the form of text, interactive buttons, gifs, and photos. Of all the functionalities, though, the customized sneaker-creation one remains the most fascinating part of the bot. All you have to do is submit a photograph of your favorite pair of shoes and select a color theme from NIKEiD. The opportunity to play with colors and create their own sneakers all through the chatbot helped make Nike StyleBot a huge hit.
Brand: Michael Kors
- Gained more than 350,000 active users
- 55% decrease in inbound service volume
- 90% containment rate
Major takeaway: AI chatbots can reduce service volume and improve customer satisfaction.
Michael Kors spent the year 2018 focusing on creating and deploying an improved chatbot for its worldwide audience. The chatbot that came about not only provided existing deals and item suggestions but also supports consumers in making the right purchase by redirecting them to their eCommerce store to complete the transaction.
Michael Kors’ chatbot also provides FAQ help and reroutes customers to real human agents when the need emerges. The chatbot allows you to learn about the brand’s products. Users can ask the bot their questions and it will respond and keep them interested.
The chatbot not only continues to attract new clients but also accurately responds to more than 80% of consumer concerns and retains them with a 90% containment rate.
Industry: Beauty and makeup
- Achieved a 4.4-25% increase in conversions across platforms
- 18% of Sephora’s customers now make purchases online
Major takeaway: Chatbots can provide personalized recommendations to foster a unique virtual shopping experience.
Mary Beth Laughton, Sephora’s Senior VP of Digital Marketing, delivered a keynote speech in which she announced that Sephora would partner with Kik Messenger to create a chatbot to provide its clients with engaging shopping experiences. Users could now have one-on-one chat experiences via phone with Sephora’s Kik chatbot.
If you have ever been inside a Sephora store, you’ve definitely been startled by the vast array of items. This is where Sephora’s Kik bot comes into play. Users can learn about makeup through Sephora’s video clips, special tips, and photo tutorials seamlessly. What’s more, Sephora’s Kik bot also assists users in discovering the items used in makeup tutorials and recommends top-rated items for a specific category.
Industry: Apparel and accessories retail
- Hit $100,000 in revenue within the first month of operation
- Increased overall revenue by $5,000,000 in a span of 12 months
Major takeaway: Chatbots can act as personal shopping assistants to improve engagement.
GearBunch is a clothing company established in the United States that specializes in goods with unique patterns. Their highest-selling and most popular products are women’s leggings, but they also sell other apparel like caps, accessories, and shoes. They also designed a chatbot named Betty to assist with sales.
Betty operates as a personal shopper for users, recommending certain products and even intervening when a user fails to convert. As a consequence, prospective buyers who would otherwise be lost can be reengaged and persuaded to buy. If a customer does not convert after their first encounter with Betty, the bot targets them by:
- Offering discount coupons: GearBunch sends out sale notices and coupon deals to its customers. Given that 48% of consumers believe they are more likely to purchase a product sooner than usual to take advantage of a deal, this is a highly beneficial tactic for GearBunch.
- Following up on cart abandonment: If a user adds something to their cart on the GearBunch website but does not purchase it, the bot will contact them again. It will send a cart abandonment notification to the consumer via Messenger that also contains a link to take them back to where they left off.
This has aided GearBunch in increasing conversions by offering its users a personalized shopping experience and assisting them in finding the perfect product, increasing the likelihood that they’ll convert.
Industry: Meal-kit industry
- Improved conversion rate by 64%
- Increased message volume by 47%
- Decreased response times by 76%
Major takeaway: AI chatbots can decrease response times to provide improved customer satisfaction and consequently boost conversions.
HelloFresh is a meal kit startup established in Berlin. In 2017, their Facebook page released Freddy, a chatbot, to assist them:
- Increasing message volume from prospective buyers
- Reducing the time it takes to respond to those messages
Freddy began this exercise by interacting with visitors in an innovative way as they progressed through the Awareness stage. It enticed prospects with engaging, seasonal content to lure them in. For Black Friday 2017 and 2018, HelloFresh made Facebook posts containing a question or a riddle. Whenever a user gave the correct answer, Freddy would contact them over Messenger and send them a promo code. This campaign was so successful in 2018 that it had a conversion rate of 64%.
The HelloFresh team also gave Freddy a few amusing features in order to offer visitors a distinctive brand experience that would retain them by keeping them interested. Freddy’s Breakfast Quiz, for instance, is the perfect example of an engaging way for users to learn about HelloFresh’s products.
Freddy paid off big time as part of this bot effort in the following ways:
- Once configured and deployed, the process of delivering discounts, generating leads, and closing purchases were essentially totally automated, saving the team at HelloFresh both time and energy.
- It provided users with a memorable, delightful experience with the brand, increasing their likelihood of conversion and/or re-engagement in the future – an important part of this stage in the customer journey.
To bot or not to bot?
As the chatbot examples above demonstrate, the future presents nearly endless possibilities for eCommerce companies.
Irrespective of the industry you are from, a chatbot may increase your brand’s performance and revenue by attracting new customers, teaching them about your offerings, and improving customer satisfaction by lowering the time it takes to respond to support issues.
So, regardless of which method you adopt, this revolutionary technology can help your brand improve its performance to reap substantial benefits.
Guest author: Srushti Shah is an ambitious, passionate, and out-of-the-box thinking woman having vast exposure in Digital Marketing. Her key focus is to serve her clients with the latest innovation in her field leading to fast and effective results. Working beyond expectations and delivering the best possible results is her professional motto. Other than work, she loves traveling, exploring new things and spending quality time with family. Reach out to Srushti Shah on Twitter or LinkedIn