Why African E-commerce Enterprises Should Join The Chatbot Bandwagon

By  |  October 29, 2018

In the world of enterprise, the hurdle associated with reaching new customers and communicating with the ones already on board has become the whole and sole purpose of every platform. E-commerce is such a buzzword these days because it allows retail stores whose physical presence alone is not cutting it, letting them break through the limitations and emerging virtually everywhere at any time.

Today’s move to launch an e-commerce platform has become a walk in the park, probably because no one has his tail between his legs anymore while trying to create an online store. And, as expected, the entire credit goes to the lot of turnkey solutions often christened as e-commerce platforms. This has invented great assistance to a lot of entrepreneurs, particularly the ones lacking in the aspect of technical knowledge. The intent is solely used for searching for information and connecting with people – nope, gone are those days. Before we could go to bed and wake up the next morning, products began to be sold and bought via the same medium.

Nonetheless, running an e-commerce store sometimes can be Herculean, and that’s perhaps the reason why one needs to cover everything should one want to own an all-around website. 2018 happens to be the year of AI, VR, blockchain, and so on. Machine learning is fast taking over the world. In the AI aspect, it had been used creatively in unheard sectors of e-commerce, making purchases easier and 24/7. According to Gartner, 80 percent of all customer interactions will be handled by Artificial Intelligence. Tantamount to this, cross-border companies such as Alibaba, Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten have already tapped into the AI miracle in a bid to detect fake reviews, chatbots, product recommendations, managing big data and so on.


Image result for chatbots


In case you aren’t familiar with chatbots, they are basically a set of automated gizmos that interact with customers through a chat interface and provide an experience quite in semblance to speaking with a customer service agent via live chat. Now, online selling and e-commerce fling open lots of possibilities for the sellers. But at the same time, the tough competition is making it more cumbersome to manage. So, in order to stay in the game and be at the top, what these platforms can do is leverage the power of chatbots. And these little devices can help crack up the sector and increase customer satisfaction in many solid ways, some of which you are about to know.

Improved Efficiency

Chatbots are built to improve efficiency, and as such have the capacity to improve the efficiency of the entire e-commerce team. Since the provision of fast, helpful service to customers is top priority for most companies, chatbots are here to save the day. If you have ever faced your customer, then you cannot argue how exhausting and perhaps frustrating it is to answer the same questions over and over again. Now, you don’t have to worry about that anymore because chatbots are here to play nonstop. If built correctly, these gizmos can very well serve as self-service support tools. By the time chatbots offer straightforward answers to customers’ questions, your team can have the time and strength to focus on more complex issues which bots cannot solve.

Another Sales Associate

Have you ever thought of buying a colleague or talent? Well, chatbots are offering themselves on a platter of gold. While addressing customer concerns, they can play a leading role by becoming a virtual sales associate. Chatbots can assist customers efficiently by helping them find products that meet their styles and preferences. Once the buyer opts a category, the bot will automatically reveal the features and qualities they should be on the lookout for. This will significantly reduce the day-long scrolling and sifting through pages all filled with similarly confusing products. Rather than having customer’s thumbs and indexes go numb, chatbots will help navigate directly to the products which check all the boxes. As soon as the bot’s suggestion catches their fancy, the purchase can be made, and sales can continue on an instant basis. Chatbots give a helping hand to business operations, saving a heck-load of time and effort in the management of online stores. For now, the future looks really bright, and we are dazzled.

Letting The Shoppers Say

Every e-commerce platform requires the incorporation of a service strategy and an appropriate one at that. Therefore, in order to make sure that approach is pretty much in alignment with developed standards, you need to understand what your customers need. This is because even companies you go all Albert Einstein and come up with the most advanced or hifalutin platform, their genius idea won’t pay off unless and until it does offer what the end user requires. According to numerous sources, 43 percent of consumers prefer live chat as customer support channel. Basically then, if e-commerce CEOs are on the fence about incorporating chatbots, there is absolutely no need to let anything be the rope break. Chat-based support is something with clear opportunities in the offing, allowing such online stores take customer service up several notches.

Interactive Automation

Dissimilar to traditional methods, chatbots are not just super-speed inventions. They as well give a more personalised touch to each of valuable customers. As a matter of fact, the AI-powered bots are meant to make e-commerce users feel as though they were chatting with humans behind screens in real-time. More importantly, these thingamajigs have the potential to send information out and hold humanly conversations – an advantage that will increase overall customer engagement within e-commerce platforms. The process is automatic, as it doesn’t seek approval from a central authority before attending to customers’ needs and executes tasks in the smartest way possible. Gone are those days when talking to robotic, cold and impersonal sounds was more or less a compulsive activity. Chatbots interact automatically and can even spice up the whole conversation as the owner chooses.

Better Sales

It always boils down to this – the chatbot investment has to pay off. Many e-commerce websites have heavy traffic, and the biggest challenge therein is personalising the shopping experience for a high volume of customers. Customers expect 24/7 access to everything in the virtual space, including a support agent to answer questions and resolve certain problems. Users as well need to be guided through the purchasing process, because when desire products are not found, alongside questions being unanswered, cart abandonment is unavoidable. But cine chatbots are there to fill in the gap all day and anytime, they bring value to the purchasing process. They are designed to help speed up purchases for e-commerce companies, and optimise 24/7 support with shopping assistance and dedicated, live customer service agents. Because e-commerce is a sector abuzz with unrelenting competition, players need to be steps ahead of the game by reviewing competitors’ online activities to see how they reach and interact with their customers – all of which is in a bid to level up and get more sales.

The global chatbot market is expected to eclipse USD 1.2 Bn by 2025, with a yearly growth rate of 24 percent. Another survey shows that 80 percent of businesses are currently using or planning to use chatbots by 2020. More and more businesses have realised the marketing power potential of chatbots. Users are ready for them, so let them have their way in e-commerce.

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