Can Chatbots Help E-commerce Businesses Increase Sales? Chatbots are considered as the USP for ecommerce stores, helping them cultivate awesome shopping experience and streamline a vast matrix of customer interactions.

By Kamalika De

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The only constant thing in the e-commerce industry is change. The ever-expanding realm of e-commerce industry has paved way for various marketplaces and retailers nationally and internationally. Right from purchasing clothes to ordering food, e-commerce has become an important part of everyone's life. Though this industry has widened the horizon for many retailers and most of them are vying with each other, day by day the competition is becoming tougher than ever. E-commerce store owners always seek for a USP that can make them stand ahead of the crowd.

If you want to make your e-commerce brand successful and set it apart from the rest, you need to foster better shopping experience and streamline a vast matrix of customer interactions. Thanks to Chatbots, you can do all these things easily.

Before discussing how chatbots help e-commerce businesses boost profit, let me tell you first what chatbot actually is. A chatbot is a software that interacts with users, answers queries, manages particular requests etc. in a conversational format, in assistance with UI language like voice, text etc. and UI graphics like images, buttons, menus etc. In a nutshell, chatbots act as an indispensable tool, allowing businesses to interact with customers one-on-one in a personalized manner.

Aharsh MS, the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder at Accubits Technologies Inc., thinks applications of chatbots are simply endless and these are growing day by day. "Chatbots are evolving, getting better each day and changing the front face of e-commerce with a new and better purchase experience for the customers. Ranging from replacing live chats to providing users with a personalized virtual store experience, chatbots help one to make purchase similar to how an in-store employee would go about it", said Aharsh.

Now let's talk about how chatbots help e-commerce businesses communicate with their target audience, deliver customer assistance, recommend products and drive sales. Here are three ways chatbots help e-commerce businesses.

  • Make the Customer Interaction Better

According to a study by Sprout Social almost 89% of messages that require a response are ignored by brands, with an average wait of 10 hours for those that do get a reply – even though consumers expect a reply within four. That's where bots come in.

Here are 4 key ways chatbots can improve the customer interaction process of an e-commerce store-

  1. Being a conversational assistant, chatbots identify the requirements of consumers and give a personalized feel to every conversation. In fact, the AI-powered chatbots make your customers feel that they are having a conversation with a human being. This is because chatbots recognize the typing pattern of every customer and make a conversation accordingly.

  2. Chatbots act just like salesmen of any brick and mortar shop. They store a buyer's history, and whenever that particular buyer again visits the store, they suggest products with the caption "You may also like this".

  3. Chatbots act as customer care executive and meet individual customer's query the best possible way while saving time for both customers and vendors.

eBay's ShopBot is an ideal example of a chatbot that gives fantastic customer experience as a virtual shopping assistant and as a result, drives great sales.

  • Stay Available for Customers 24/7/365

Consumers can have a conversation with chatbots or ask anything anytime for as long as they want because chatbots never sleep. They are available 24/7 and 365 days. They can give solutions to basic queries about products and do not get overwhelmed if there are various inquiries happening at the same time.

  • Manage Your Online Store Hassle-freely

Besides interacting with customers, live chatbots can be programmed to keep track of your store's inventory, allowing you and your customers be aware of a specific item that you may be out of stock in your online store. Likewise, they can also be programmed to help customers know that the products they were searching have arrived back in stock.

In short, chatbots give a helping hand to business operations, saving a great amount of your time and effort in managing your online store.

The future of Chatbots in e-commerce business is certainly very bright. Aharsh opined, "The next-generation of these bots are based on AI and integrate Natural Language Understanding (NLU), as opposed to Natural Language Processing (NLP), enabling them to be smarter and understand language rather than just commands."

Undoubtedly chatbots have brought a revolutionary change with the ways in which consumers indulge in shopping or avail services. From making your daily work convenient with automation to offering you with stacks of audience data to analyze, chatbots are becoming more and more of an indispensable tool for e-commerce world.

Kamalika De

Freelancer, Entrepreneur India

An independent writer and journalist, Kamalika De regularly contributes to various leading online platforms. She has founded DoQuickly to offer simple hacks to do things quickly.

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