One of the biggest differences between online shopping and in-person shopping is choice. The sheer number of choices that comes with shopping online is what has made it so popular. Yet, as we have all experienced, having too many choices can itself be a problem, hence the paradox of choice.
As marketers, it is our job to provide our customers with a smooth shopping experience. While brick-and-mortar shops have store clerks, online stores have conversational marketing tools (also known as chatbots). As these automated software applications have become more sophisticated, more and more customers have gotten used to getting help from them when shopping.
If you are looking to deploy a conversational marketing tool on your website, you should know that not all of them are created equal. While the standard chatbot can provide basic information and answer questions around the clock, an advanced one can help you convert shoppers.
Differentiator #0: Sounding more natural
We call this differentiator zero, as opposed to one, because sounding more natural and providing helpful answers is a basic requirement for any useful conversational marketing tool nowadays. One of the reasons more consumers are accepting these web-based, task-oriented chatbots for customer support is that they have become more sophisticated so they understand what you are asking better and provide answers that are more helpful.
Many of us may still have negative preconceived notions of these conversational marketing tools from our experiences a decade ago when you would ask a question and the bot would spew out the same answer over and over. However, today’s solution is nothing like that. And, as our CEO Dr. Chih-Han Yu pointed out on a recent IDC podcast, such conversational marketing tools are likely to further evolve in the future, so that when you type something you want to ask, “as naturally as you ask your friends for some advice, the chatbot can provide information to you.”
Differentiator #1: Knowing when to step in
One key characteristic that will actually set your website’s user experience apart from that of your competitors’ is a conversational marketing tool that knows when to step in. While these 24/7 chatbots can be helpful, they can also be annoying if they keep popping up at random and blocking website content. Like a well-trained store clerk who knows when to offer their advice and when to let the customer freely wander the store, the right conversational marketing tool can do the same—with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) of course.
Appier enables its clients to have such a helpful conversational marketing tool on their websites by pairing its conversion optimization cloud, AiDeal, with its conversational marketing platform, BotBonnie. The former identifies hesitant shoppers who may need help using the power of AI, while the latter pops up with a helpful message once the hesitant shopper is identified.
For the shoppers who do not know where to start looking and are having a hard time picking items that are right for them, this AiDeal x BotBonnie synergy presents a smart way for brands to engage with them. Once AiDeal has identified the hesitant shoppers—based on 400+ user attributes—BotBonnie can strengthen purchase intent with items and content that the brand wants to showcase. Just like a human salesperson, BotBonnie helps the customers better understand what the online store has to offer.
Differentiator #2: Keeping the customer relationship alive
The one thing that conversational marketing tools can do that salespeople cannot is follow customers beyond the store. If you have noticed, more and more online stores are prompting browsers to connect with them on social media. This is today’s version of signing up to the mailing list. Once connected with customers on social media, the brand can send out periodic notices about promotions and new launches via direct messages.
One of the factors that sets BotBonnie apart is the number of channels on which it can be deployed—namely, websites, the LINE app, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. As such, when a client uses BotBonnie, it can maintain and nurture relationships with customers that visited its website on any of these four social media or messaging apps. This makes the website only a starting point for the customer relationship, and even if a browser does not purchase on their first visit, the continued relationship maintained via social media can keep them coming back.
Are you ready to leverage the power of conversational marketing in your business? Contact us now for more information.