A Chatbot as a New Sales Channel
Previously Chatbots.Studio has considered the benefits of allowing cost reductions for businesses — optimization of information management, automation of the working process and how bots make advertising campaign cheaper.
The next series of articles regards increasing profits from new sales channels and cross-selling. It is obvious bots as sellers are a novel function for entrepreneurs. If the bot sells goods or services successfully you get major value from the bot. Let’s discuss how a chatbot as a new sales channel can impact revenue.
Chatbot in Messenger is a new sales channel to handle communication with existing customers and increase loyalty to services or goods.
To measure the efficiency of bot for business as a sales channel, we have identified the following metrics:
- The cost of attracting one client to a bot in Messenger;
- The average checks total;
- The number of users on the sales channel;
- The number of sales-through the bot handles to the total sales amount.
A customer usually connects with a bot on the web and on Messenger. We consider how a bot sells goods or services and leads the customer through the sales funnel step by step via messengers like Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Viber, Kik etc.
WARNING! A common mistake of chatbot implementation is deploying the chatbot as a polyservice solution. It’s a bad idea to make a chatbot with the functionality as Amazon has. Chatbots work great with one or a few services the entrepreneur provides, for example, water delivery.
The main reason chatbots have become popular as a sales channel is bots sell services or goods directly at the place where prospects are gathered.
The following reasons make a bot an efficient sales channel:
- The bot in Messenger is a flexible way to make a purchase without communication with a live agent and app downloading;
- The bot in Messenger is easy to access and available 24/7. The customer opens an appropriate messenger and starts to chat with the bot anytime. It is more convenient than calling support or making purchases offline;
- The bot covers a wide range of customers in Messenger. For example, Facebook Messenger has more than 1 billion users.
There are two main scenarios for how businesses can benefit with bots in sales:
- Building a community in Messenger. Marketers via chatbot can fill channels with contents leading to sales. In another case, the bot sells services or goods directly in the channel;
- Providing quick and easy to use services. There is no need to download an app or search the browser to find the goods you need. The bot is always within your reach and ready to help. It is possible to buy or sell in one click.
Let’s consider examples for each scenario to understand how it works in real business cases.
Travel bots, besides providing relevant content by sending articles via messenger every day, make the best tour offers to followers. Click navigation makes a chat with a bot easy. The customer taps the details button and books the tour or gets more information.
Take a look at the Hipmunk travel bot. This bot plays a few roles in Messenger: books flights or hotels and provides appropriate content (advice, for example, about the best time to fly, flexible destinations, etc.).
The service provider gets a wide, young audience in Messenger and doesn’t need to deploy huge advertising campaigns because prospects are gathered in the channel and are interested in the services or goods.
As can be seen, by providing relevant content, the chatbot increases members loyalty, and as a result, increases sales through a new sales channel.
Another case is auction bot from @skaybu in Telegram. Clients send requests to buy smartphones but can’t get one because it is already sold. A bot has been created to satisfy the customers need to buy smartphones by bidding. The prices and queues have opened for followers since the bot has started work. After bidding, the staff calls the winners and invites them to get the goods. The bot provides easy use and access service for the customers.
Three years ago at a conference, Pavel Durov payed a lot of attention to implementing the Payment API. This payment system allows automating payments from customers using a chatbot. Clients can send money directly to an entrepreneur to pay for additional services.It seems a buzzy topic about chatbot-sellers for entrepreneurs. Let’s consider more examples to understand how it works.
BotCommerce integrates Shopify and Magento. Besides selling, the bot acts like customer support; it answers questions and provides information about orders.
The WayForPay_Bot is a functional solution for online-sellers and buyers. The bot as a payment service allows control of selling and purchases. Besides 24/7 availability, payment status, reports, and notifications, its main function is payment via Messenger.
The bot creates a payment QR code the customer can scan and pay for service. The bot creates and sends an invoice via Messenger or another available way. Soon, customers have the opportunity to add funds to their mobile phones or transfer money.
As a new sales channel, a chatbot not only provides payment but also successfully gathers leads from the target audience.
In Messenger channels or on web popups, a chatbot gathers leads and converts them into existing clients. How do chatbots play this role?
- Chatbots send offers to get a loyalty card, discount, coupon etc. To attract customers, chatbots offer a value;
- Popups with the chatbot gather personal information, for example, to make an appointment. The lead enters name, number phone, email address, etc. and is signed up to the master or doctor. In the meantime, the entrepreneur has enough information for the further engagement with the lead;
- Community and channels with chatbot are a great way to offer the value to the target audience. The entrepreneur makes sure the bot works in an appropriate place.
Let’s consider how it works in real business cases.
- The Hellotars.com chatbot gathers requests and personal data communicating with customer for further engagement.
2.The Fuzzy.ai chatbot offers the value, a promo code, to save the customer interest and move him/her to the action to buy a service.
3. DocDocBot makes an appointment for the doctor. In the meantime, the doctor gets the lead and personal data.
Obviously this really works well for B2C cases. Of course, a chatbot isn’t the only sales channel but it is a real solution as a part of the sales process in businesses. Follow me and stay in top of chatbot novelties.