Why AI chatbots are important to e-commerce

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What is an AI chatbot?

Hello, my name is Sophie and I am a consultant.
An AI chatbot is a system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate conversations with users. These AI chatbots use advanced technologies such as natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to understand the context of a user's conversation and generate natural responses appropriate to it. In contrast, general chatbots only respond based on predefined scripts and do not have the deep understanding and learning capabilities that AI chatbots have.

AI chatbots have become an integral part of the e-commerce industry, with conversational commerce (including SMS, chatbots, and smart speakers) sales projected to reach $290 billion by 2025, according to a 2021 Juniper Research research report by 2025, according to a research report by Juniper Research. Furthermore, by that year, half of all conversational commerce sales will come from chatbots. This is based on the expectation that sales via chatbots will reach $145 billion by 2025, a staggering 590% increase over 2021.

Let's take a closer look at the importance of AI chatbots to the e-commerce industry.

24/7 customer service

Even before the coronavirus outbreak, various surveys revealed the fact that more than 50% of customers expected their business to be online and available 24/7 via online chat as well as phone, email, and sms. And in the wake of the coronavirus, this customer expectation is even higher.

If a company still relies on traditional means of communication and has not yet implemented an AI chatbot, now is a great time to invest in a software solution to implement a fully functional tool within a few months to meet customer expectations.

According to a study by Research and Markets, the chatbot market was worth about $17.17 billion in 2020, and this is expected to reach about $102.29 billion by 2026. The reason for this can be attributed to the fact that more and more companies are using chatbots.

Business Automation

AI chatbots can be used to automate frequently asked questions (FAQ) and routine tasks in various industries. This allows employees to spend more time on higher-level problem solving and value-added tasks. Responding to routine questions about products, services, delivery dates, return procedures, etc. Wastes employees' time. This time should be used for business development, product and service improvements, and marketing and sales strategies. One measure to achieve this is to automate faqs with AI chatbots to make them more efficient, deeper, and more engaging.

AI chatbots can save approximately 6-12 minutes of customer response time per employee by answering common questions. These questions account for about 70-75% of overall customer response time, according to many studies, and Business Insider Intelligence research shows that companies can reduce customer service chatbots' use of customer service by up to 30%. This is because the automation of daily tasks allows employees to focus on their core business. For example, one of Umni's clients, TEZ Tour, Russia's largest tour operator, operating in Bulgaria and the Balkan region, was able to save its marketing and reservations department employees a total of 850 work hours in 10 months through the use of chatbots.

Provide a personalized customer experience

AI chatbots can help provide a personalized shopping experience tailored to each customer by learning each person's interests, buying habits, and response patterns through interaction. Based on this information, it can then provide product recommendations and personalized marketing messages tailored to each customer's needs and preferences. This allows customers to feel that they are receiving a special, personalized experience, which in turn improves customer satisfaction, increases repeat purchases, and spreads word of mouth about the brand.

Reduction of operating costs

By using AI chatbots, companies can also see the economic benefit of reduced operating costs. Labor costs for customer service represent a large portion of a company's expenses. However, the introduction of AI chatbots can automate some customer service, allowing human operators to spend more time focused on resolving more advanced issues, resulting in greater overall efficiency.

Use of data collection and analysis

AI chatbots collect data on customer behavior patterns. This reduces the likelihood that customers will leave the website prematurely, potentially increasing average session time and the probability of purchase after searching for information. In addition, chatbot functionality improves the website experience by efficiently directing customers to the information and actions they are seeking on the website. Companies can use statistical data, including user behavior patterns, to determine what they viewed, what they searched for, and when they accessed the site. Through this data analysis, additional benefits include quick and precise decision-making. These are essential elements to avoid missing opportunities and preventing customers from contacting competitors.

AI chatbots also automatically collect customer behavioral data (excluding personal information). Information such as the time of day the chatbot is accessed, search content, time spent in the chatbot, frequently asked questions and frequently viewed information, the number of forms submitted and the location from which they were submitted, etc. Is captured. By analyzing these data, companies can better understand customer needs and offer products and services that address them. This information can then be used to make a variety of business decisions, including product development, inventory management, and marketing strategy development.

Promotes willingness to purchase

AI chatbots can help guide customers through the buying process smoothly. AI chatbots provide real-time assistance to customers who have questions or concerns when selecting products and services.

Specifically, they provide information about product characteristics and benefits, and suggest products that match the customer's requirements. In addition, they inform customers about pricing and discount details, availability, and delivery options. When proceeding with the purchase, clearly guide the customer through the steps of entering the required information, selecting a payment method, and choosing a shipping address. And after the purchase is complete, provide information and assistance with returns and exchanges. This ensures that customers enjoy a pleasant buying experience and get the information they need quickly and reliably. In a nutshell, AI chatbots play an important role in facilitating the customer's buying process and motivating them to purchase.

Summary

AI chatbots provide a powerful solution to the key problems of e-commerce businesses: responding to customers 24/7, automating operations, providing personalized customer experiences, reducing operational costs, collecting and analyzing data, and driving purchase decisions. As such, AI chatbots have become an indispensable tool for e-commerce companies to remain competitive. Based on these factors, the further proliferation and evolution of AI chatbots will play an important role in the growth and development of e-commerce.

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