The new money in eCommerce? Chatbots.
The future is here, the ChatBot revolution has started, and for the early adopters in eCommerce, the benefits could be huge! So what is a Facebook Chatbot and what can it do for your eCommerce store?
In simple terms, a Facebook Chatbot is simply an artificial intelligence bot plugged into Facebook Messenger (don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds). The advantages of the Chatbots are consumer experience, ease of marketing and the potential to upsell.
When Chatbots first arrived on the scene they were clunky and largely aimed at those wanting to ‘break’ them by asking confusing questions. They were fun for a few minutes and then instantly forgotten.
Thankfully in a VERY short period of time, Chatbots have grown-up and are now the focus of a huge land-rush in Silicon Valley and amongst major retailers globally. But thankfully the technology is available to companies of all sizes due to a few nifty tools that are compatible with the big eCommerce platforms such as WooCommerce and Shopify.
To really help you understand the opportunities that Chatbots can bring to your business, let’s go through the customer journey only using Chatbots.
This is so freaking cool!
Getting your brand out there
The opportunities to engage with your customers here is incredible and arguably the biggest revolution in digital marketing since Facebook first launched it’s Ads platform. Once someone has opted into your Chatbot you could directly sell to them but that wouldn’t be smart.
Chatbots are not the new email list; most people use Facebook for fun, connecting with family and sharing memes. The smart thing to do would be to engage with your audience. If you’re a fashion store, offer them insights on the latest trends. It’s about building a relationship between the user and your brand.
Partnerships could be another big attraction for some stores. For example, if you know of an influencer in your niche who has a big following you could partner with them to get your products sent directly to your audience’s message box.
For instance, if you’re a fitness brand, you could arrange a partnership with a fitness professional who could recommend your products. Obviously, this is being done all the time on Facebook and Instagram but the benefit of doing it with a Chatbot is you can customise the responses.
Remember, this is new technology, the messenger inbox still feels highly personable as it hasn’t been penetrable to marketers before. Communicate smartly within it and the engagement in return could be unprecedented for your brand.
As you can see in the above example from H&M, the user asks questions and the bot responds. We can do this all the way through the sales process.
The opportunity to engage with customers like this is golden. Here’s an excellent example from Facebook’s latest conference where the Founder Mark Zuckerberg created a Chatbot for a local Flower Shop.
Customising the responses for certain products, remember the text response doesn’t have to be boring like the example from Dominos below. Rather than ‘Please choose size for your pizza’ (this isn’t even good English!), you could have a more playful tone and say ‘How hungry are you feeling? What size of pizza would you like to order?’
Just as the tone of voice and attitude of a sales assistant in a shop directly affects the customer experience and their thoughts and trust with your brand — the same can be said for Chatbots. The benefit, of course, is that the Chatbot never has a bad day so can always be happy to portray your brand in the right way.
We also have the possibility to include product information, as you can see in the example below for a wine merchant, they were able to recommend wines to match the customer’s meal plans.
So carrying on from the wine merchant, wouldn’t it be a great idea to then offer the customer a multi-buy offer? Or if you’re a shoe retailer, you could recommend the perfect accessory to go with the shoes based on your stylist’s recommendations.
If the user has a previous order history with your store, you can recommend complementary products. For example, if you are a Razor blade supplier and your customer ordered 4 blades a month ago, you could automatically send a direct message asking if they are ready to order again.
The opportunities to engage and directly influence the buyer in a positive way are incredible.
From dispatch, delivery all the way through to asking for a product review, you can send personalised messages to the customer. Which I guarantee will have a much greater click through and engagement rate than emails.
Customer service representatives can be a drain on your resources, but a Chatbot should be able to reduce this. We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule, 80% of the questions your customers ask will be the same. FAQs and help desks on websites have helped massively with this.
With the Chatbot, you can include all of your FAQ information AND should that not be enough, a human (a real human!) can take over the chatbot and directly converse with the customer.
Complaints and Returns
Complaints and returns are just a way of life in eCommerce but if handled correctly can really increase your brand’s appeal to customers.
For the customer this can often seem like a difficult process of emailing or calling. The ease of which we can automate this in a Chatbot can make life easier them. Here’s a great example of what could be possible from a shoe merchant.
Having Fun! (but still collecting important data)
Remember Messenger, just like Facebook itself, is a place for fun. So there is absolutely no reason you can’t have fun with your customers using the platform. The only limit is your imagination.
An airline could ask the user what their dream holiday destination is and for those typical answers such as New York, London, Dubai they could have prearranged fun responses. But they’ve also collected an important piece of information meaning that the next time they contact the user, they could offer discounted flights to their favoured location.
The more fun and engaging your Chatbot is, the better the results will be for your company.
Want more info?
We know you’re excited! We are buzzed about the opportunities this offers eCommerce! If you want further information or want to get your Chatbot geek on just drop us an email at email@example.com or tweet @goroguedigital
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