10 Uses of Chatbots in Retail Market

Now in the business world, the measure of success is bringing in a client and making them satisfied. Communicating with the customer directly is the basis of sales and increasing customer satisfaction in a very competitive retail market.

In this article, I prepared key scenarios to help cover this business need. First, let’s consider communication channels for interaction with the customer in retail.

The first one with the maximum limited functions is SMS. Texts are a very simple way of vendor-client communication. Retailers mostly inform a customer about novelties, offers, and redirect them to very informative sources.

The next way we define communication is through mobile applications. Mobile apps provide a wide range of functions to cover clients’ needs fully. Mobile apps even include push-notifications. Of course, this has a disadvantage. Fewer and fewer users download mobile apps because of limited phone memory. Sometimes, a client uses an app once. That’s why he/she prefers to chat with a chatbot rather than download additional software.

Phone/call centers. A lot of channels need to have a live agent, despite the wide range of technical ways to interact with customers. But human accessibility is more costly than other ways of communication.

A website is similar to mobile applications due to the functionality, but with one big weakness. Unfortunately, websites can’t send push-notifications via chatbot.


We consider chatbots as in-messagers apps. They can be a way of communication to build closer relationships between retail businesses and customers. Look at the following tips before building communication with a chatbot.

  1. Convince a customer to subscribe to a community/channel where a chatbot works. Chatbot will engage with the audience regularly. It helps to increase new sales, but the main purpose is to provide cross sale when a user comes to buy something again from a trusted vendor. Make sure that you don’t send spam because it is ineffective. You could even be banned from the in-messaged service because of spam.
  2. A great user experience provides high conversation rates. Messengers provide a user-friendly interface that makes communication easy. It is incredible. Chatbots Studio helps the vendor to convert 30 percent of the customer base into a bot.

So, a chatbot is a great way to build close and trustful engagement with clients.


Let’s consider a chatbot’s main value and functionality in retail before implementing a chatbot into your business.

User Support

After chatbot implementation, call centers’ workflow reduced up to 50 percent. The reason is that customers’ desire to write about a problem rather than call to a support representative. This is the most popular scenario of using a chatbot in business.

Chatbot helps to solve issues and consult the customer in real time. Image source

Loyalty Card and Score Bonus Points

Bonus cards, like dinosaurs, died. How many times per day do you use a different retail card? Probably less and less. Shop cards are gathering dust in your wallet. Retailers use chatbots to offer services, gather client information, identify customers, or get feedback quickly and easily. A great example in the Ukrainian market is the chatbot of the cafe chain that provides a list of functionality, including personalized offers, points scoring, info about free sandwiches, or coffee. Metro has a built-in chatbot bonus card that customers use while paying for purchases.

Chatbot makes personalized offers based on customer’s info and collected points. Image source

Sales

One more main chatbot goal is to sell as much as possible. Choose the most popular messenger among your audience and open a new sales channel there. You can insert into the messenger where your bot is and a payment method, and then get more revenue. Just let your customer know about the new way of communication and shopping. Be aware that it is a bad idea to build Amazon-like solution and sell a wide range of goods via chatbot. Sell simple, unified products — less than 10 items. For example, Barista chatbot offers a few types of coffee and cakes.

Another example is the coffee chatbot that makes barista’s workload less and increases sales. Image Source

Repetitive Sales

One more source of additional sales is offering to make new purchase based on a customer’s prior preferences. Chatbot can predict (with vendor help) when customers need your services again and send notification to them. Sephora knows its customers’ habits and notifies customers about special personalized offers when the customer hasn’t made purchases for a while or can’t select the product.

Sephora interviews the existing user to learn more habits and offer very specified goods. Image source

Shop Long

With chatbots, Google isn’t needed to list where is the coffee spot is located or a favorite bakery is. Chatbots could send the list of addresses and define the nearest place. For example, Aldi, 2Cups, and IQOS have this function.

Chatbot offers the nearest stores based on user’s location. Image source

Returns

Unload your call center and focus on the important things. Chatbot could report a 40 percent cost reduction, making returns automatically.

Chatbot makes returns fast and easy without additional calls and papers. Image source

Personalized offers

The retailer knows his customers and has good ideas for selling them more of what they want. For example, consumer electronics retailer provides personalized discounts for everybody who subscribed to a bot, or they provide a discount for power banks or headphones once a mobile phone has been purchased.

Based on user’s purchases or intents history chatbot makes very personalized offers. Image source

Service Requests

If the customer is faced with any issue with the product, especially in electronics, a chatbot can help. Then after a request for service, a chatbot provides service status to assure the client that his or her needs will be covered. For example, when something wrong is with Phillip Morris’s IQOS device, chatbot could recognize the issue and forward info to appropriate staff.

Chatbot offers to diagnose the issue and pass to the appropriate department. Source: Viber IQOS Ukraine

Complaints and Feedback

This function is working very well in the Australian chain of markets. Facebook accepts and passes along customers’ feedback. The customers know that in case of any problem, they can report and get feedback from a chatbot.

After chatting with user chatbot ask him to leave feedback to gather information about services that the company provides. Image source

Education and FAQ for Retail Agents

This scenario is in the list of the popular among others. It is widely used for internal team communication or staff training. Pharmaceutical companies use it for giving and checking bonuses to their sales representatives. Phillip Morris International created a chatbot that manages sales in the field. The Ukrainian supermarket chain Varus tracks employee satisfaction by eNSP interviewing via chatbot. Also, chatbot manages staff vacations and check-ins.

Chatbot answers on FAQ and performs user’s requests. Image source

I hope this 10 uses inspires you. Feel free to contact me if you need a similar bot for your retail chain.