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Chatbots in eCommerce: How to Plan and Execute

Chatbots for eCommerce

Chatbots Are the Future of Customer Service and Sales

The development and implementation of chatbots has continued to grow over the past few years. While many were first launched as marketing gimmicks, they have evolved in ways that save companies money and improve the user experience.

The chatbot market size is estimated to be $1.34 billion for 2024 and is expected to reach $3 billion by the end of the decade, indicating significant growth in the industry. A notable trend is the increasing use of AI-powered GPT-3 chatbots, which offer advanced natural language processing capabilities. About a quarter of businesses currently use chatbots, with smaller businesses adopting the technology more rapidly than larger ones due to their efficiency in handling a large number of requests simultaneously.

Consumers Clamor for Chatbots

One of the main barriers marketers face when considering chatbot adoption is audience reception. Will your customers need training on how to interact with the bot? Will your business lose its personal touch because of the computers?

Chatbots have been effective in enhancing customer engagement and experience. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • Only 1% of consumers who used chatbots reported having a negative experience.
  • Businesses that offer engaging, high-quality chatbot experiences see about 70% more customer interactions.
  • Around 64% of companies believe that chatbots enable them to provide a more customized support experience.
  • Chatbots have become a crucial tool in handling customer queries, with 75-90% of customer questions being addressed by chatbots in 2023.

5 Tips for Adding Chatbots to Your eCommerce Brand

Along with customer adoption concerns, brands often question whether they have the bandwidth to launch and maintain a chatbot program. With the right onboarding process, almost any eCommerce company can successfully add a chatbot to its customer care team.

1. Make Sure Customers Are Aware of Your Chatbot

Look for opportunities to promote your chatbot to get customers to test it. You can either let people know they are talking to a robot or simply place the customer service window strategically on your eCommerce website.

Remember: the more people your eCommerce chatbot interacts with, the more it can learn, so it’s better to test its mettle instead of hoping for improvements over a slow roll-out.

2. Set Goals Beyond Conversion and Sales Revenue

Brands aren’t just tracking eCommerce conversion rates anymore; they’re also looking at clicks, engagements and satisfied customers. The same concept should be applied to your eCommerce chatbots. Instead of just tracking how many sales your bot generates, consider factors like:

  • Percent of total site visitors who interact with your chatbot
  • Percent of positive interactions customers have
  • Average time spent interacting with the chatbot
  • Number of questions answered on average

With these analytics (amongst others), you can see how your chatbot improves your business and helps customers with the buying process.

3. Train Your Chatbot on Your Brand Personality

You wouldn’t let your customer service team answer calls without brand training, would you? Then why would you let your chatbot respond to questions without teaching them about your brand?

Some eCommerce chatbots have features where chatbots “read” your brand voice by filtering keywords and analyzing conversations. Other tools allow you to create scripts that reflect your brand.

Either way, make sure your chatbot enhances your brand and sounds natural, or customers could feel awkward engaging with it.

4. Track How Your Chatbot Learns Over Time

Most chatbots are powered with AI and machine learning capabilities to make them better at their jobs. A notable trend is the increasing use of AI-powered GPT-3 chatbots, which offer advanced natural language processing capabilities. Ensure you keep track of what problems your chatbot can solve to see how it affects customer satisfaction.

5. Keep Humans Nearby to Help

Like all new trainees, your chatbot might need help from their managers on occasion. Consider moving a few of your customer service team members to supervisory roles to monitor chatbot conversations and help when needed. You can even make passing off the conversation to a manager part of the script.

You should also track the number of times your chatbot needs to hand off the conversation to follow its improvement over time.

Chatbots grow more advanced each year and continue to learn from the people they work with. If you decide to add a chatbot to your customer service team, your eCommerce website and buyer satisfaction should continue to grow.

Rely on OuterBox to Enhance Your eCommerce Strategy

For businesses looking to navigate and excel in this evolving landscape, OuterBox stands as a reliable partner. With expertise in high-performing B2C & B2B SEO, paid search, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and comprehensive digital marketing campaigns, OuterBox can help elevate your e-commerce strategy. Let’s get started!

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