By Jordi Torras, Inbenta
This year, over $123 billion of holiday shopping is expected to take place online — a 17.5 percent increase from the $106 billion of holiday purchases done online in 2017. Now is the time to ready your site for the incoming tide of online shoppers — and there’s no better way to prepare than with a chatbot.
Customers often face difficulty navigating the swell of online sales and discounts during the height of holiday season. This is worsened by the rush to complete their purchase — whether it’s the pressure of the Black Friday countdown, the looming competition with other online shoppers for the same products, or simply the need to find a perfect gift in time for the holidays.
Online shopping can actually be quite stressful but leveraging a chatbot with strong functionalities can relieve shoppers of these stresses and make shopping productive, timely, and enjoyable once more. Plus, when customers are already eager to rejoin to the company of their loved ones during this special time, using the right chatbot to create a stress-free shopping experience gives them the chance to do just that.
Here’s how the right chatbot can bring joy to everyone (especially your customers) during the holidays:
What Does A Chatbot Need To Be The “Right” Chatbot?
Here’s a breakdown of what your ideal chatbot needs at minimum to provide customers the most out of their online shopping experience:
- Natural language processing (NLP) to understand what it is that customers are looking for.
- Transactional capabilities to help customers complete their purchases.
- Webhook processing to retrieve the most relevant information from different systems.
NLP-Based Chatbots Make Shopping Easy By Understanding What Customers Want.
Equipping your e-commerce site with an intelligent, NLP-powered bot creates a new realm of possibility for customers helping them avoid rabbit-hole searches, infinite browser tabs, losing track of coveted items, and fear of missing the best deals.
Giving shoppers the ability to search for and purchase products without having to exit the conversation window helps them keep their focus narrowed in on finding what they want, not what they could settle for. This increases the number of satisfactory purchases, while also decreases returns. When a customer’s time is budgeted, a chatbot is a great solution for efficient, delightful shopping.
With the power of natural language processing, an intelligent chatbot can analyze a customer’s query within a conversation to identify exactly what’s being asked. For e-commerce, this includes distinguishing products from their characteristics, such as color, clothing size, product measurements, and price range.
NLP-powered chatbots with webhook capabilities also can help your chatbot solve user questions that require specific user inputs, such as those pertaining to in-store availability, store locations, shipping times, return policies, and more.
Paired with your product catalog and FAQ knowledge base, as well as the transactional capabilities to finalize their purchases, your chatbot becomes an all-informed virtual shopping assistant that your customers couldn’t do without.
Available 24/7, Chatbots Also Reduce Strain On Live Support Agents.
Live agents spend most of their time parsing through repetitive user inquiries and requests. During the holiday season, these support tickets multiply. Instead of expecting agents to combat an onslaught of redundancy on a daily basis, a chatbot can pick up on those high-volume, low-urgency tickets, saving the more important issues for live agents.
Working alongside a chatbot creates bandwidth for agents to address more of these critical issues, resulting in better quality responses, more query resolutions, and higher customer satisfaction.
Chatbots also can be used as a mechanism for process feedback and improvement by leveraging executive reports with valuable insight from the chat logs. This helps you address critical problems in your support process as they arise, instead of having to wait until next year to improve.
About The Author
Jordi Torras founded Inbenta in 2005 to help clients improve online relationships with their customers using revolutionary technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing. The first beta version of the Inbenta Semantic Search Engine was released in 2010, thanks to an awesome team composed of linguists, software architects and customer care specialists. In 2012, Jordi moved to California to continue to grow Inbenta there.