Chat bots were first introduced in the eCommerce world a couple of years ago, and the technology has managed to take the industry by storm. Chatbots, embedded in messaging apps, not only help drive up customer engagement but they are also a cost-effective way for businesses to provide services to customers – compared to, say, mobile applications that are expensive to build and maintain.
Messaging Apps Are Very Popular
One reason why chat bots are so crucial to online commerce – in 2017 and beyond – is because of the massive popularity of messaging apps they are embedded inside. Over 3.2 billion people use messaging apps of some kind and over a billion more people will use them by 2018.
What are Chat Bots?
Chat bots are computer programs that mimic human interactions and can be integrated into popular messaging apps like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and Skype. They let you provide useful services to customers – like helping them search for products, paying bills, and providing them with info – from within the messaging app. They can replicate the core features of native, independent mobile apps – except without customers having to download and install a separate app.
Chatbots in the eCommerce Industry
You probably see why the technology is so useful for eCommerce businesses. With the help of chat bots, companies can attract the users’ attention when they are on their favorite messenger app- which, for most mobile phone users, is at least a dozen times a day. While chat bots have to be customized for every eCommerce business, they allow customers to browse your catalog, find their favorite products, and make payments for them from within the messaging app. They are also a great tool to gain customer feedback and handle complaints.
The Technology won’t be a Replacement for Customer Service
While chat bots cannot replace customer service, they bring down engagement costs substantially, as they can help a business automate most of the process. For example, some eCommerce stores are using bots to ask customers to fill in relevant details and then, when the form has been filled, humans take over.
If you’re interested in the technology, we recommend you to consult with an experienced eCommerce app development team to learn more about how it can be used for your unique business.