As consumers demand a seamless and omnichannel experience, retailers have to be on the alert and provide only an innovative approach to shopping. That is why the retail industry didn’t miss a chance to jump on the bandwagon of technological progress and involved virtual guides both in online and in-store commerce.
Retailers have turned bots from simple computer programs with basic functionality into full-fledged personal shopping assistants that automate all the processes. They can guide customers around a brick-and-mortar store or take an order in an online shop, recommend the best-matching goods or possible variants for purchase based on client’s preferences, and, of course, directly answer shopper’s questions and collect valuable data about them.
We are now at the age of conversational commerce, where customers and retailers interact mostly through messengers. Thus, integrated into a retailer’s website, connected to social media or built into an app, chatbots can efficiently communicate with customers, provide proper responses and recommendations. Moreover, bots collect masses of data about shoppers and their preferences and use it to offer personalised deals. The result is smashing – buyers are delighted with their shopping experience, while retailers get higher conversion rate and more in-app or online purchases.
Yes, humans may also perform these tasks, but is it as efficient as in the case with AI-powered assistants? Not at all! According to the State of Customer Service Experience 2016, 21% of consumers contacting brands via social media claim never to get a response while with chatbots your brand can be online 24/7 within various channels, providing instantaneous responses whatever the business hours of your store are. Moreover, retailers can get immediate feedback on a provided service if bots are programmed to ask questions similar to “How did you like your experience with us?” or “Are there any ways we can improve for you?”
Also subtract human factors like a bad mood or low productivity from the efficiency of bots, and you will receive a perfect solution for customer service. Thus, retailers now actively use AI-powered personal assistants, and, most likely, you won’t surprise shoppers with them. But don’t worry, as chatbots are here not to astonish, they are to enhance and simplify shopping experience, make it customer-centric and omnichannel-tuned. Here are the examples.
Customers tend to be very responsive to innovations with bots – over 3 million units of Amazon Echo device sold in less than two years is substantial proof of such a statement.
ELEKS has also made significant steps towards virtual advisors: we decided to advance the customer experience of managing routine tasks with smart solutions. We experimented with innovations powered by Artificial Intelligence in retail and designed tools that can make life easier both for retailers and their customers.
Our expert team developed a voice-controlled shopping assistant for smart fridges to help customers complete orders times quicker, using voice commands instead of touch interactions. The shopping bot recognises human speech and can respond back, so that users may browse an online grocery store, add, remove or change items in the cart, and complete the checkout straightaway, simply talking to a refrigerator.
One more ELEKS AI experiment is a Gift Recommender tool – perfect for choosing ideal gifts for children of different ages. Browsing a website in search of a present can be very time-consuming. That is why we offer users to interact with a bot-analogue of a human shopping consultant, answering simple questions based on gift parametres and children’s likes to determine the most suitable variants of presents. As a result of such interaction, users received a short list of appropriate gifts tailored to a specific child, saved time and had an effortless shopping experience. Your benefits are a loyal audience and rising sales.
In this new era of cognitive collaboration, machines become effective agents in performing tasks and helping businesses expand their services. They reshape the customer experience, helping make better decisions and simplifying the customer journey.
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