In 2021, the global retail e-commerce market is expected to register sales hovering around USD 5 trillion, corresponding to a growth of 27.6%. And these impressive numbers are despite the dip in sales experienced by retail considering the COVID-19 pandemic!
Even though the sector appears to be brewing up a storm, it continues to battle age-old challenges such as changing customer expectations, demand for personalization, highly competitive landscape, incompatibility of legacy systems or practices with digital solutions, customer attrition, and more.
As a result, key players in this industry are on the lookout for opportunities to harness this unmitigated growth without running into operational difficulties. Here’s where Conversational AI is bustling with potential. Let’s look at how conversational AI in e-commerce and retail is revolutionizing the industry.
AI-powered voicebots can engage customers through surveys, questionnaires, and even quizzes. And while such activities keep interactions fun and exciting while building deeper connections, they play a more crucial role in funneling customer information. Such data is no less than a goldmine that allows businesses to segment and target audiences so they can nurture them to the point of sale.
Improved Buyer’s Journey
Conversational AI deploys natural language processing and multi-lingual capabilities, which will allow businesses to conduct meaningful conversations with their customers, that too in their preferred language. Such contextual and valuable exchanges will tweak the quality of engagement and make the buyer’s journey more memorable and rewarding. At the same time, conversational AI helps bridge online and offline store experiences to maintain uniformity, which makes the shopping experience seamless even if the customer switches between these modes.
Smarter Product Recommendations
A particular area where conversational AI in e-commerce outperforms human agents is in the product recommendation area. AI-powered voicebots can harness customer data to boost personalization and offer product recommendations in real-time rather than traditional marketing. It can also alert buyers on any ongoing sales and promotions that may interest them. Such an approach unlocks cross-selling and upselling opportunities that may contribute to upping revenue. Further, it helps in retaining and rekindling customer interest to cultivate loyalty.
When multichannel sales are involved, redirecting customers from one point to another can lead to drop-offs and ruining the customer experience. In such an environment, placing orders becomes increasingly simple through Conversational AI. AI-enabled voicebots with human-like interactions can now close a deal and collect customer information, such as their name, address, contact details, and payment status. In addition to streamlining the order placement process, it also helps in analyzing purchase patterns and customer behavior that point towards intent to purchase. As such, businesses can strike the iron while it is hot!
Inbound Customer Service
According to Gartner, conversational AI may handle approximately 20% of all customer service by 2022. Specially designed FAQ bots can effortlessly dispose of user queries related to payment issues, order tracking, and every other FAQ. From pre-sales objections to post-sales support, there is not a single routine matter that conversational AI in e-commerce cannot resolve. As for the more pressing items, it can always escalate these to human executives.
24/7 Omnichannel Presence
Accessibility is a major factor concerning customers while choosing between brands. Through conversational AI, businesses can make themselves available across multiple channels while delivering round-the-clock availability. Such a combination establishes trust, improves customer experience and satisfaction, and extends self-servicing functionalities that customers will greatly appreciate.
Since the retail and e-commerce sector is on the fast track to growth, it is only a matter of time until the market saturates, causing the competition to intensify. Against this backdrop, Conversational AI will prove to be a significant differentiator that will help companies maintain a competitive edge!