How Chatbot’s Voice Commerce Revolutionizing Live Commerce | by Ashok Sharma | May, 2021
In the neck-throat competition of the e-commerce industry, the business offering the best and time-savvy customer support often wins the race. It is precisely why the customer support sector has seen such a wide range of innovations in recent years.
And even though you may feel that your e-commerce venture is foolproof, there’s always scope for improvements and refinement. The defining part of any business is how available are your services or products for the customer if they require your assistance.
Employing a dedicated person delivering 24×7 customer service is unrealistic and expensive. That’s where chatbots solve the problem and take care of consumer needs round the clock.
As is the rule of any conversation, chatbots are a two-way thing — that offers benefits for both brands and users. Chatbot help in interacting with new, current, and future consumers channeling them into the sales funnel without directly interacting with them. You get to send personal messages without actually hiring a dedicated person for the job.
So what are chatbots?
Chatbots are pre-programmed software bots that interact with customers via an automated chat interface and carefully scripted conversations. Interacting with a chatbot is like talking to real-life customer support as you get prompt replies to queries or feedback.
And though they can be deployed for different purposes, they are primarily used in customer service-related settings. However, there’s a razor’s edge difference between a fully automated chatbot and a semi-automated chatbot as they are categorized into –
- Decision tree or rule-based chatbots — These Chatbots work according to a predefined set of rules fed into them beforehand. They are designed like flowcharts delivering readymade responses to problems. Rule-based chatbots are not capable of answering outside the domain of predefined rules. It is because they answer only according to the set-ups you train them for.
- AI or NLP (natural language processing) based chatbots — These are ML (machine learning) enabled chatbots that offer interactions just like we humans do. They respond mindfully, extracting meaning and context from previous interactions and specific phrases to provide suitable responses. NLP and ML let them learn from every interaction, enhancing their performance with every response.
- Multi-linguistic Chatbots — Using a combination of NLP and ML, this bot can interact within their language. Bots with this feature are capable of switching languages according to consumer’s utterances.
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Decoding the link: Live Commerce & Chatbots
Live commerce is a product of two ingredients — e-commerce and live streaming. In other words, when you market products live through e-commerce platforms utilizing real-time interaction between buyers and sellers, that is called live commerce.
The concept first originated in China, where products were promoted and sold by influencers on their social media platforms. Live streaming emerged as an alternative for businesses to transport surplus inventory, spreading their reach, especially for small and local enterprises under prevailing pandemic conditions.
How chatbots overhauled e-commerce?
Cutting-edge technologies like ML and AI have marked their presence in almost every aspect of human lives. So why leave customer care untouched. Gartner had predicted that by the year 2020, more than 80 percent of client interaction in the e-commerce business would be managed using AI, which became evident.
Today, chatbots are extremely popular in the e-commerce industry, but why let’s find out:-
1. Surge in the use of online messaging platforms — Did you know approximately 63 percent of consumers are of the opinion of letting businesses run on messenger. That is why online messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger etc. have become instant hit amongst people. Deploying Chatbots on these apps can prove to be a potent medium in helping consumers regardless of their presence on online portals.
2. Dedicated support and cuts waiting time — Chatbots efficiently manoeuvre that task of giving personalized attention to every customer delivering uninterrupted customer support. They also reduce time wasted by consumers in waiting for an appropriate response.
A survey states that roughly 40 percent of customers of all age groups favour using chatbots for online shopping. They offer instant support, available round the clock and provide complete satisfaction to clients. And 64 percent of users online find 24-hour service to be the best feature of Chatbots.
3. Help in resuming of shopping — When people shop online they often compare several brands, and might not finalize a purchase early. Moreover, there are going to be lot of queries and page visits that may not get converted into successful deals.
Using a conversational chatbot, you get an opportunity to get those buyers back and finalize shopping. Personalized messages can be sent via chatbot giving product recommendations, similar products, discounts and offers etc. This gives you an opportunity to build profits and earn money from a deal as good as lost.
4. Minimizing operational overheads — The money and manpower that you would have invested in employing a customer support executives is reduced by using a single software agent for your business. Chatbots are said to reduce operational cost by up to 30 percent.
5. Product Notifications — Sending suggestion and recommendations through mails and other means becomes somewhat repetitive and uninteresting. Instead brands can utilize chatbots for advertising products in real-time which seem more appealing and conversational.
6. Order Processing and tracking — Customers can even make online purchases through bots and check information about their product without visiting the site directly. They can even track their purchase using a bot without having to call a customer executive or posting a query online
7. Holiday Promotions — Remember ecommerce bots work on ML and AI. Therefore they learn and keep track of your queries and suggestions. This way they help buyers look for specific products more easily.
Bots in travel sites work in this manner, they look for destinations and sites entered by you. They even compare prices, checks reviews and offer the best decision. They can be deployed for delivering offers and discounts and even promote holiday packages.
8. Choosing the best chatbot — There are lot of options available while choosing a right chatbot for your venture. It is always recommended to make final selection after proper research and analysing the requirements. The following points should be kept in mind before coming to any conclusion
- Information repository — If you want your chatbot to work as a self-sufficient tool then it should have a rich repository of knowledge. The repository should be well framed and should have scope for all scenarios. If you can assimilate the information repository with your chatbot, this can prove to be good solution.
Third-party integrations — To enable your chatbot to process business automation smoothly and resolve recurring issues, it needs third-party integration with different applications like inventory management, CRM, software management, etc.
- Code free bot builder — An intelligent code free bot builder is the best option to develop bot workflows. A ready to use bot builder is basically multiple nested if-then-else conditions which try covering all scenarios.
- Detailed analysis — A good reporting mechanism and analytics are required for Chatbot optimization. A typical Chatbot solution will give detailed analysis along with reports that can be utilized for measuring performance.
9. Optimising social media marketing and other channels — Already crossing the mark of 3.5 billion user mark, social media is now one of the most powerful digital marketing tools. By integrating chatbots to your social media and other channel marketing strategies you can just imagine the impact it can create for your business and brand.
Future looks bright for Live Commerce with chatbots
Live streaming e-commerce is a rapidly growing industry. Statistics reveal the annual growth has reached nearly $60 billion. Successful deals obtained via live commerce reach about 100 percent mark in 2020 unlike 2019 which was almost 9 percent of total sales online.
Chatbots significantly alter how businesses are done, be it engaging customers, handling campaigns, converting sales, lead generation, or payment automation.
The future of chatbots is intensely moving towards payment automation and allowing consumers to make payments directly over live chat or messenger apps.
Recently, MasterCard launched a chatbot, especially for customer payments, to answer account-related queries, assist customers in setting payment alerts, and collecting final payments from customers.
Live e-commerce and interactive commerce are the future of the retail industry. The chatbots are forecasted to double this impact every year to a whopping $112 billion by 2023. And businesses that have invested in conversational commerce early witnessed a steep rise in profits, deal conversions, and optimizing resources.
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