The etymology of the word “robot” is derived from the literary drama of the Czech writer Karel Čapk “Universal Robots Rossu” from 1920. Amazingly, after just a hundred years, what was once a literary fiction is now our everyday reality.
Automation is already existing in every field of life and it’s no different on the e-commerce market.
What is a Chatbot and How Does It Work?
Chatbot is a computer program created to conduct a dialogue with an online client. In principle, such a virtual assistant is to replace a living person in the customer service process. The chatbot does not need sleep or takes days off, can talk to the client at any time of the day or night and will respond immediately. Plus – it can talk to multiple clients at the same time. This is a very important factor when selling online if the customer’s decision to buy is based on communication with the seller.
Statistics show that customers of online stores decide to shop in the evenings and on weekends, outside of standard store working hours. Your store can be equipped with detailed product descriptions and a question and answer page.
However, in real life, it sometimes happens that visitors either do not reach the content they need or have additional questions essential for the purchase decision.
Customers value assistance in choosing products, especially in stores with a wide range of products.
If you don’t live in the cave, the concept of chatbot is definitely not strange to you – this is how Siri, Google’s assistant or Alexa work. Conversation bot technologies are constantly developed with the help of “machine learning” and artificial intelligence. Thanks to this, bots can not only rely on the database loaded into them but also gradually learn from conversations that have already been made.
In addition, spontaneous response generation functions (NLG) are being developed more and more.
The function and manner of answering by the bot can be varied in terms of the specific expectations of the industry:
- Information bot – answering customer questions;
- Sales bot – aimed at bringing the customer to the end of the purchase;
- Advisory bot – helping the customer choose the right product from the offer;
- Remarketing bot – notifying about promotions, new products, etc.;
These are just a few examples of using the virtual assistant function. Chatbot can be programmed to perform all of the above functions at once. It can also lead a more “natural” chat, make jokes or change the topic of conversation. It can also be programmed for up-sell and cross-sell activities so that it suggests additional purchases to the customer that match the query.
Other popular features include:
booking a flight or hotel
ordering food by conversing with the bot on your own.
Chatbot Advantages & Effectiveness
It is worth realizing how a wide group of recipients can be accessed by using a bot.
Between 50 and 90% of users of the Messenger application interact with chatbots.
Let us consider that only in Poland there are as many as 11 million users of this application. In addition, bots have a significantly higher ad click rate. Traditional newsletter emails account for around 20%, while the bot has around 80% effectiveness.
Such chat can be a great store optimization tool. Thanks to the data collected by him, you can analyze frequently occurring problems in queries and introduce improvements. Thanks to personalization, the bot can also save abandoned baskets, e.g. by offering customers personalized promotions or responding to leaving the sessions.
Interestingly, a chatbot can be given a “personality”. This factor includes his response style, the unique language he uses, and the way he conducts the conversation. To create bots identity, you need an additional database that identifies the different generic responses that appear in most conversations. The assistant’s original personality can make him more attractive to the recipient. An interesting example is Funbot from 4funTV station, which response to swearing. It was highlighted in the report “Polish Chatbots”, where it was emphasized that this bot can detect the emotional attitude of the interlocutor, and analyze the history of conversation.
However, remember that chatbot is still a robot, not a living man. How well he is doing, depends mainly on the ability of the person programming him.
However, even the best-prepared one will not reply correctly, if it cannot find the answer or does not understand the question. It is, therefore, necessary to supplement his activities with a real consultant who can take action when needed. If any task exceeds the capabilities of the bot – he will be able to send the client to a competent employee.
The process of incorporating a chatbot into an e-store should be well analyzed and adapted to the specifics of the industry.
The benefits of such innovation are:
less stress in hotlines
convenience for customers.
Artificial intelligence is still far from completely displacing the human factor, but it is an innovative and effective tool in communication with the client that can bring real profits for the business.