Why AI Chatbots for your retail business?

Why AI Chatbots for your retail business?

When digital marketers and customer service agents think of “chatbots,” they typically think of an automated text-based response program that can only do mundane automation tasks such as answering FAQs. Think of a complex query, and the belief is that ‘a bot will fail’. This is a big underestimation of chatbot software’s capabilities as I have learned over the last 2 years of our conversational ai startup journey. Use this technology for the right use case in your retail business and you will realize that a bot is a lot more than automated text response. A conversational chatbot is a very powerful marketing tool! What matters is the use case and when used correctly, a bot can offer brands exciting marketing benefits such as providing product information directly to prospects and customers, spreading brand awareness at scale and collecting data on market trends and customer service issues.

If your business hasn’t yet implemented an AI chatbot in Retail yet, now is the time to do it. Here are some arguments on how a bot can give your business an edge in your market.

As a Shopping Assistant (Chatbots) in Retail, can convert prospects to paying customers

A smart bot can today answer questions which were considered impossible to answer by a machine five years back. Train the AI working at the back-stage of your chatbot on your retail products data and on your customer service queries, and in a matter of days, it will boost your customer engagement on your social media pages and website leading to far higher conversions.  As a proof point, for one of our customer – a fortune 500 CPG global brand in The Netherlands, our retail AI chatbot has influenced 10X conversions across multiple countries and channels while at the same time learning continuously about the brand’s business from its customers. Also, Juniper Research in its report released on May 2019, says that retail sales resulting from chatbot interactions will reach $112 billion by 2023. That surely makes a great business case – isn’t it?

Chatbots Bots don’t sleep. They are always available and most often accurate.

Your customer support chatbot provides service to your customers twenty-four hours a day, regardless of any circumstance (except technical failures). Moreover, they are quick and efficient – when a customer messages your AI chatbot, they get a fast response. This sort of anytime availability can greatly boost your brand reputation. As an example, one of the customers in the UK looks at the AskSid conversational AI solution as a potent way to establish her brand as ‘the most helpful brand in the UK’.

As Virtual Customer Assistants in your customer service team 

As consumers, we hate the term “automated customer service” because it basically means being met with a boring and frustrating IVR – “press 1 for support, press 2 for complaints” etc. In this instant-gratification age, a pre-recorded phone message is desperately outmoded. Do you remember when was the last time you called your favorite brand’s call center and got overjoyed and ecstatic about your experience? I don’t and probably you don’t either.

Chatbots have made huge strides in automating customer service queries – not just simple ones but even complex queries such as product related queries and product recommendation queries. Let your chatbot handle the simple customer service problems and direct the more complex issues to your customer support agent. For one of our customer in Europe, AskSid conversational AI solution has delivered automation equivalent to adding 8 extra agents at 20% the cost. Isn’t that awesome?

Precision marketing insights from Chatbots messages

Many companies record and log conversations with customers—the all-too-familiar phrase “this call may be recorded for quality assurance” and those communications are often later used to analyze customer pain points and market trends. However, there is effort involved to create those call logs, review the data and build metrics and reports that can then be submitted to business stakeholders for decision making. A chatbot can automate this entire process for you. All communication messages between your customer and your bot get stored automatically and with the press of a button, you can get all the necessary insights out and delivered as dashboards to your business.

Furthermore, the data collected by your conversational AI solution can be used to create personalized communication with your customer, improving customer relations and the overall service experience. Chatbots in Retail have been proven to inherently increase engagement by giving the customer an impression of being personally serviced – something that even the best videos and websites simply cannot do.

In summary, conversational AI technology in retail is the future of customer service with limitless possibilities for your business if used appropriately against the right use cases. No wonder Gartner in its recent report says that 25% of global brands is going to integrate virtual customer assistant technology by 2020, up from 2% in 2017.  So if you are digital marketeer or you manage customer service of your business, 10X conversions and 3X cost savings are your reasons on why you should no longer ignore this AI technology anymore.

(If you wish to know more about AskSid.ai, we are available at curiousmuch@asksid.ai. Just drop us and note and we will be glad to show you a demo of our solution)

 

A letter to Global brands: Conversational AI to your rescue! Why? Amazon will soon know more about your products than you do.

A letter to Global brands: Conversational AI to your rescue! Why? Amazon will soon know more about your products than you do.

Global Brands,

Wake up! Amazon will soon know more about your products than you do. You like it or not, they already know more about your customers, and now they are going after your products knowledge.. want to know How? Read on….

I will build my case at 3 levels. First, what is the consumer need that is driving Amazon to do this? Second, how Amazon is going about it and Third, what can you do about it now?

The retail need: Your customer wants to buy your product but before she does, she has questions about the product for which she must get an answer. I refer to ‘about the product’ questions. Does not matter what product you make and sell, (shoes, fashion, paints, furniture does not matter) this is universal – She needs to know more about the product and without answers, she will not buy. Forrester report states that a whopping 53% of retail customers will abandon the sale if she does not get quick answers to her question. The need is this acute – you lose 1 in 2 customers if you don’t address this. The challenge, however, is how do you know what questions she has especially if she is shopping online at your webshop. All you know is what she clicked, how much dwell time in specific product pages but no way you can engage her in a conversation to know what questions she had.. right? Only if you knew her questions, you could have given her the answers instantly – after all, it is your product and you know everything about it. Isn’t it?

Enter Amazon! They too sell your products and your customers flock there too. Amazon has recognized this consumer need but they have limited knowledge about your products. So what do they do? Amazon launches a Q&A feature on its product pages where your customer posts a question and then amazon is allowing crowdsourcing of answers from other customers and sellers. This is Gold mine of information and product data in the making – One, they know more about questions your customers ask on your products while you are still with your FAQ list. You might think that you have ‘Contact Us’ form on your Webshop and that is enough. But no, ‘Contact Us’ webform do not work anymore. (refer my colleague Prajwal Simha’s article on why your customers are rejecting ‘Contact Us’). Two, with answers coming from the crowd they are compiling a compelling product knowledgebase about your products that will become a competitive advantage over you very soon.. your customers will flock more to Amazon since Amazon knows more about your products than you do

What can you do? First, wake up! Leverage Conversational AI in your eCommerce strategy

You are sitting on all the data about your products that your customer will ever need. Second, look at tech options that can help you deliver this product knowledge to your customers whenever and wherever they need and the good news is that Conversational AI (or chatbots) can help you do this. Typically, I would assume, you associate chatbots to automate repetitive tasks and queries that can help you save costs, but the good news is that if your chatbot is part of a full-stack vertical AI solution for retail that understands your domain ontology and that can be trained easily on your enterprise product data.

How Conversational AI for retail and CPG can help your brands?

Conversational AI for retail and eCommerce (chatbots) can be very effective in not just answering product questions of your customers but also discovering new questions and updating your product catalog. The best part is that your artificial intelligence (AI) bot will start self-learning with more usage and the underlying machine learning algorithms will keep getting better with time and minimal effort from your team.

AskSid.ai help global brands solve this precise problem and we have done this successfully for leading global brands in Europe, Asia, and LATAM already. The outcomes have been staggering – 2X conversions, 10k unique new questions discovered and above all, for a specific brand, we delivered automation equivalent to adding 8 agents at 30% the cost. Interested to know more? Reach us at contact@asksid.ai and we will be happy to schedule a demo.

Thanks and best regards

The Sidlings @ AskSid.ai