The key to generating new revenue and earning customer loyalty is to provide memorable experiences that make people excited to engage with your brand. If you can provide a personalized and exceptional experience to connect with your customers, you’re far more likely to convert shoppers into repeat buyers who contribute higher order values and greater lifetime rewards for your business.
Websites that are powered by conversational AI are built to provide these types of shopping experiences. AI-powered tools recreate the experience a shopper is provided when entering a brick and mortar store. Upon entering any store, more often than not, you’re greeted by an in-store representative who offers to help you find the products you need. That’s the experience that conversational AI websites replicate for digital shopping.
But a conversational AI website goes above and beyond making product recommendations to push more sales. Similar to the in-store shopping experience, the purpose of conversational AI websites is to provide shoppers the opportunity to engage in an ongoing dialogue as they determine what products or services are best suited to their particular needs.
It’s this strategy that allows you to form deeper, trusting, and more authentic relationships with the shoppers who choose to give you their business. Invoking those qualities and feelings within your customers is how you bring them back to your brand and build a loyal following of lifelong brand advocates.
What is a conversational AI website?
A conversational AI website uses conversational commerce tools that are programmed to be a guide for your customers. They are quite powerful in that they have the potential to increase average order value up to 20%. They also drive more purchase orders and increase shopper satisfaction to generate repeat business for your company.
Such tools learn how to interpret shopping behaviors based on interactions with past clients. Patterns in behavior are identified and recorded by the platform, and it learns how to tailor website messaging and product recommendations that are best aligned with audience intent.
Here’s an image to help clarify how conversational commerce tools work:
5 Reasons You Need A Conversational AI Website
Now that we’ve highlighted how conversational AI websites work, what are the underlying business benefits for your company by integrating this technology into your experiences? We’ve touched on the net benefits for the end consumer(s), but you should also consider how AI tools benefit your in-house team.
1. Reduced pressure on customer support
If you’re an e-commerce business, chances are you’re connecting with customers who are living all over the world. People living twelve time zones away from your company may be trying to purchase products on your website, and they’ll likely need help figuring out how to navigate through your entire web experience.
Do you really have the support team in place to handle that volume of enquiries? Not to mention the fact that many of the same questions being asked by customers are versions of the same questions your team handles on a daily basis. Answering the same questions again and again is not the optimal use of your team’s resources.
Using conversational AI websites, you can automate a lot of that customer support work and free up your team’s time. For example, Norwegian Airlines implemented an automated AI chatbot to handle the majority of incoming support enquiries. Once the chatbot was fully operational, it effectively reduced live enquiries handled by support agents by 20%.
As a result, Norwegian Airlines has dramatically reduced wait times for customers with pressing concerns. At the same time, the in-house support team is far less stressed and capable of focusing their efforts on more big picture concerns that impact the size and scale of the business as a whole.
2. Opportunity for greater personalization
A survey of over 1,000 online respondents found that 80% of shoppers want e-retailers to provide personalized shopping experiences. Personalization may not be something that customers even recognize upon their first visit to your website. However, if you do it wrong or keep everything so generic that there’s no personal touch, you could drive them away rather than gain a new sale.
Conversational AI websites are always learning from past customer experiences, which means they’re always discovering new ways to improve and personalize onsite journeys that appeal to audience interests. All of the learning is done by the platform, and the recommendations are made available for you to easily deploy for future shoppers to enjoy.
This type of technology is very beneficial if you’re engaging with customers in multiple countries who speak different languages. For example, Conrad Electric deployed conversion optimization solutions that learned how to interact with audiences in a number of languages to increase the brand appeal across Europe. The results of this strategy were a 17% increase in AOV and a 40% improvement in onsite messaging engagement. People loved the personalized offers, and the improved order values were evidence that the strategy paid off in spades.
3. Trigger cart abandonment emails to re-engage shoppers
More than 70% of online shoppers abandon their experience before completing a checkout. It’s a habit that impacts e-commerce brands everywhere and without a viable solution to bring those shoppers back, it’s a lot of potential revenue left on the table.
A conversational AI website records all activity with an engaged shopper, including whether they opt out of the purchase before completing the checkout. This information is stored within the platform for your team to review, and you can then trigger automated cart recovery software to reconnect with those shoppers and bring them back to your web experience.
This is precisely how Schibsted improved their own re-engagement campaigns and generated higher conversion rates. With AI and machine learning built into their website experience, they were able to monitor when people abandoned checkouts in order to trigger an email. The email templates were provided by the platform, and they could simply customize the look and feel with images of products that the shopper was considering.
The program worked like a charm. Schibsted successfully increased click through rates back to their website by 40%, and they also generated an 11% boost in onsite conversion rates.
4. More efficiencies to improve job performance
Conversational AI doesn’t only to boost sales or improve customer service - it can also help streamline how to recruit candidates for new jobs. Some industries accept high volumes of people on a day to day basis, and that amount of business requires enough support staff to manage customer enquiries to maintain high levels of satisfaction.
This is how Adecco improved their own staffing and recruitment service for clients. As Norway’s largest recruitment firm, they’re responsible for helping many large brands recruit the next great talent to support their own growth. But their business is a two-sided affair: not only must they support their clients, they also must handle enquiries from hopeful candidates eager to land a new job.
Rather than allow support lines to get backed up, Adecco implemented an AI-powered chatbot to handle the bulk of incoming enquiries. This allowed them to divert traffic away from the live chat feature so that job recruiters could focus more on finding new candidates rather than fielding questions from people in the pipeline. This led to a 75% reduction in the number of full time employees handling live chat enquiries, resulting in more efforts focused on strategic business growth.
5. Provide product guidance to drive higher engagement
Finally, it’s not uncommon for shoppers to feel overwhelmed upon their first visit or first several visits to your website. People may have an idea of what they’re looking for or they may be browsing their options to inspire a purchase decision. In any event, it can be confusing without a clear path to purchase.
This is what Dressman recognized about their own websites. As one of the largest fashion conglomerates in northern Europe, Dressman powered a number of websites to sell their merchandise. But they soon realized that conversion rates were lower than the optimal amount as people struggled to find the products they wanted to buy.
To counter this challenge, Dressman integrated conversational AI into their website, and used the platform to build an onsite shopping journey that would drive more traffic to high-value product pages. Thanks to the more streamlined experience, onsite engagement rose 34% and, most critically, average order value increased by 17%.
Dressman’s experience proves that the right virtual shopping assistant can help guide people through the buying journey right up to the point of purchase.
Use a conversational AI chatbot platform for websites and give customers the shopping experience they deserve
In order to engineer a smooth online shopping experience that satisfies customers and guides them to your most valuable points of conversion, you should consider a conversational AI chatbot to function as a helpful virtual shopping assistant. An AI chatbot provides the most convenient path between customer support and customer experience, offering a direct means of engagement with shoppers to facilitate higher satisfaction.
AI chatbots are enhanced versions of conversion rate optimization software. Chatbots engage in humanlike dialogue with shoppers as they look for products or services to fulfill their needs. The conversations provide the chatbots opportunities to make recommendations, helping guide people to a level of comfort and readiness to make a purchase. This is how you build up your revenue stream and create a loyal following of satisfied customers who can become brand advocates on your behalf.