Chatbots can be very helpful for your e-commerce business, especially if they are done the right way. What is a chatbot? It is a program driven by Natural Language Processing that simulates conversation with users on your site, designed to assist them with completing a purchase. They can dramatically streamline sales, since a customer may be browsing but are still unconvinced. Then, when they receive a message on their screen asking about any questions, they may become aware of deals they didn’t know existed, or may be convinced to consider a purchase more seriously than before.
Chatbots are efficient and cost-effective tools for your business, since they are programmed to answer questions throughout all hours of the day and night. They are less prone to errors, so they can even increase customer satisfaction. If the question is too complex or personal, the chatbots can “take a message,” by acquiring the purchasers' email or phone number, and having a live representative assist them as soon as possible. They can be used in any type of e-commerce. Here are eight of the best chatbot e-commerce examples:
- Emirates Vacations
- Hello Fresh
- National Geographic
Examining Each Example
What makes these companies strong chatbox e-commerce examples? They all utilize the tool in different ways, and have seen positive impacts on their business. Let’s explore the ways in which each e-commerce company uses the chatbox to their advantage.
Verizon’s chatbot represents forward-thinking in technology by using Digital Cx AI, combined with a personal touch. While working, the AI reads the history of the consumers who reach out asking for help. If they have contacted the company anytime in the past via SMS, email, social media, or even over the phone, the chatbot will recognize their history, and personalize the conversation off of that. Their effectiveness for answering calls and dealing with customer concerns has improved, to reduce 43 percent of call volume.
2. Emirates Vacations
Emirates Vacations has installed chatbots within their advertisements. This example of innovative advertising means that, when a customer’s eye is drawn to the product, they do not have to look any further on the page to find out information. Instead, they can immediately begin chatting with the bot to gather knowledge about all travel packages offered by Emirates. They launched a 30-day campaign to test the ads in December 2017, and they found that e-commerce sales increased 87% during that time. A customer does not even have to visit the company’s page to learn about their available trips. The company has stated that they consider this chatbot to be an extension of their original site.
Hipmunk is an example of a company that allows their potential clients to integrate the chatbot with Facebook Messenger, Slack, or Skype. Customers appreciate the ability to use a convenient research tool on the same browser, and within the same site they are using for something else. They can look up more information on Facebook, while still being able to chat with Hipmunk to check things off their travel to-do lists.
The company’s advantage of having the bot within people’s messaging channels is that they can detect the location, and then select travel deals leaving from that location, or can recommend packages nearby. The voice of the chatbox uses a familiar, casual voice, which engages the users with commonly-used language, including emojis. Engaging in these authentic conversations allows the company to gather significant research, regarding information about their clients.
Amtrak’s chatbot, Ask Julie, is more of an AI virtual assistant that can not only answer questions about travel and schedules, but can also assist with online ticket booking, provide information about train stations and routes, and walk the customer through the Rewards Program. Amtrak’s booking rates increased by 25 percent after implementing Ask Julie, and the customer engagement rose by 50 percent. They saved $1 million on customer service costs, and increased booking revenue by 30 percent.
Expensify is a business that helps with finance management, by tracking the users’ expenses through scanning receipts and setting up a budget. Their chatbot appears immediately after clicking on the website, or downloading the app. The chatbot, called Concierge, walks the user through each step of the process of setting up the app, from importing contacts to adding photos. It appears before a customer has signed up, during the sign-up process, and then again anytime a broken connection begins to cause a problem. The Concierge chatbot helped the company grow the number of subscribers to the free trial version, by 5 times their original number.
The important takeaway from Expensify’s successful example of chatbot use is the strategic placement of its appearances. With e-commerce customers, the opportunity to make a sale or engage with the clientele can be lost without a moment’s notice. They have many advertisements and engaging opportunities flashing in front of them, at all times. When a client receives a message urging them to resolve any questions or concerns, the chance of retaining that relationship immediately grows larger.
6. Hello Fresh
Hello Fresh, a meal kit delivery service, offers healthy meal packages to dtheir clients by choosing a meal plan, and including all of the ingredients necessary to prepare the meal, which is then delivered to their homes. They provide an example of a chatbot that contributes many features beyond answering questions about deliveries. Freddy can message recurring clients to remind them to make their weekly order, or offer recommendations similar to what they have ordered in the past. He can also make suggestions of Spotify playlists people can listen to, while cooking.
Freddy has helped Hello Fresh’s e-commerce by lowering their wait times on customer service channels by 38 percent, and has grown its conversions by 44 percent. Using Freddy for Black Friday promotions brought in 5 times more regular users to the service.
Buying beauty products can be a challenging experience for any customer, but a good e-commerce businessman or businesswoman understands that purchasing makeup through e-commerce can be frustrating to the point of giving up. Sephora serves as an example as a business that utilizes its chatbot to simulate the experience of trying on makeup at the store, before buying it.
They have different versions of the chatbot, depending on which site you are using. They can be used on the Kik messaging app, and they initiate the conversation by asking the user to complete a small quiz that answers questions about what type of product they are looking for, and what type of skin they have. The customer will then be redirected to Sephora’s site, according to the appropriate responses to the initial questions.
The chatbot example used on Facebook can help the customer to try on different makeup tones and shades, using a submitted photo. This personalized experience is engaging to use, and offers the practical opportunity to receive fashion and beauty advice while completing a purchase.
8. National Geographic
A National Geographic TV show, Genius, portrays various inspirational, intelligent pillars in history. To promote the show, they changed the name of their chatbot to different characters in the show, relevant to its airing. When fans asked the bot a question, it would reply with clever, humorous responses that engaged the user in witty conversations, all revolving around the topic covered by whichever “genius” was featured in the show at that time.
The chatbot generated conversations of six to eight minutes per person, and resulted in a 50 percent higher engagement rate. Aside from this, they increased a following on their social networks, and grew their community of fans overall.
Now Create Your Own Chatbot
To see the rates in your e-commerce business truly skyrocket, take some notes from these chatbox e-commerce examples. The goal, first and foremost, is to “think outside the chatbox,” and give your customers and potential clients something unique and memorable that truly anticipates, and matches, the core needs regarding your product.
If you want to accomplish this goal, you will have to pinpoint what the essentials of your e-commerce brand entail, and then decide which creative features would highlight those elements to your target audience. Refer to the previous examples to consider all aspects, like voice, tone, relevant information, and which needs or problems the customer may have that your chatbot can solve.
These will depend on the age of your audience, and the nature of your service. For example, if you are targeting a young, Gen-X audience with a trendy product, you will need something peppy and intriguing to catch their interest. If you are targeting a more mature audience with a classical product, you will want your colors to be striking, yet neutral with a fashionable feature to highlight.
Be sure to anticipate the most vital points in the customer’s purchase, that would serve as the most beneficial time to let your chatbot chime in. If your e-commerce involves a traditional type of retail, the customers will be accustomed to the process of ordering, and will not need a lot of help or explanation. They will, however, need to be persuaded to click through items or services that have caught their attention, and be inspired to continue.
If your e-commerce represents a theme or process that is not similar to other brands and needs to be explained, Expesify, the chatbot e-commerce example, proves that customers will need to be guided through the process, and offered instructions and tips for how to get the most out of this new idea they are interested in exploring.