There is a new term being bandied about in the world of e-commerce: conversational commerce. The idea of conversational commerce is fairly simple. It suggests that e-commerce entrepreneurs can increase their sales by engaging with customers in useful conversations. Those conversations can be in person, over the phone, or through digital means. The variety of digital options opens the door to serving customers via chat bot.
If you are not familiar with what a chat bot does, it essentially automates conversations with customers. Shopify fully supports the use of chat bots through the deployment of third-party apps. Deploying a chat bot makes it possible to engage in conversations with your customers without actually being present yourself.
Chat bots can be used to:
- answer basic questions
- help consumers find the products they are looking for
- provide instructions for ordering and payments
- help customers understand shipping options.
While the topics chat bots can discuss are virtually unlimited, these automated software robots are not unlimited in terms of their practical use. You need to remember that chat bots simulate actual conversation, but they usually do not fool consumers for long. It only takes a few questions and answers for users to figure out they are chatting with a robot. Sometimes they don’t mind, but other times they do.
Use Them Wisely and Judiciously
Conversational commerce involves looking at customer engagement in a specific way. The core of the conversational concept is providing some way to engage customers at all hours of the night and day. As a Shopify user yourself, you may be running a small operation with a very limited staff. In fact, your entire staff might be you. You cannot be online 24 hours a day.
You can use chat bots to fill in the holes when you are not available. Just make sure you do so wisely and judiciously. For example, you might want to limit chat bots to answering FAQs. This is one of the best uses of chat bots we have seen. The best part is that it is easy to set up a chat bot for such a function. And once it’s done, you don’t have to worry about it ever again – unless the answers to the FAQs change.
The one thing you should never use a chat bot for is trying to solve complex problems that have multiple solutions. Remember, chat bots can only carry on conversations according to the information you program into them. If a customer enquiry is especially complex, the chat bot will not be able to offer satisfactory answers. The answers it does offer could be embarrassing to your company.
At the end of the day, you can use chat bots to better serve your customers when you cannot be online. A well-programmed chat bot offers a more personal experience. It allows you to better engage with your customers, and it stimulates conversation that can begin in the robot realm and lead to a personal contact from you.