6 Ways Automation Improves your eCommerce Business

You probably don’t need me to tell you that the pandemic has caused a dramatic shift in online shopping. But do you know just how dramatic a shift we’re talking about? 10 years of eCommerce growth in just 90 days, with a whopping 84% of consumers shopping online.                                                           

The eCommerce space is more competitive than ever. With the cost of customer acquisition skyrocketing, businesses can’t rely solely on advertising to attract new customers to grow. Your biggest asset will be a stellar customer experience. 

Customers today expect brands to cater to them. This means easy and intuitive storefront experiences, 24/7 support, an omnichannel presence (including messaging and social media platforms), and personalized brand interactions. CX has become a top differentiator online, and brands that deliver on those expectations are seeing the greatest returns.

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Since many eCommerce businesses are struggling to compete on customer experience, the greatest opportunity lies in personalized, scalable CX. In order to capitalize on this opportunity, you need to optimize your eCommerce’s marketing, sales, and support strategies, and align them to the shifting behavioral changes of online shoppers. 

You need to be investing in a tech stack that automates CX across the entire customer journey. This is the best way to provide valuable brand interactions at scale. If you don’t already have an eCommerce chatbot on your storefront, that should be your highest priority.

Once that’s set up, automating the processes below will reduce the number of tickets your support staff is handling, increase your customers’ cart value, and deliver fantastic CX across the entire customer journey.

Automated, personalized chat interactions

Think of chatbots as in-store sales associates. When customers are struggling to find the item they’re looking for, or when they want help picking something out, they need someone to talk to. If that’s not easily and readily available, they’ll find somewhere else to shop.

This is part of the reason we said an eCommerce chatbot should be your highest priority. But it shouldn’t stop there. Implementing an automation-first strategy for your chatbot will allow your customers to self-serve, getting instant replies to their queries. It also alleviates the number of mundane, repetitive tickets your support staff gets, letting them to focus on more complex queries that require human intervention.

You can make it even easier for your customers to get the information they need by offering pre-programmed quick replies. These look like little chat bubbles that customers can click to quickly navigate the conversation. For example: check order status or product recommendations.

For Shapermint, freeing up their agents allowed them to focus on developing better relationships with their customers. This resulted in a 50% increase of sales facilitated by live agents, making their engagement with customers that much more valuable. Similarly, implementing our conversational AI bot helped Balsam Hill customers easily access the information they’re looking for—be it videos, FAQ articles, tutorial guides, and more— which decreased live chat volumes by 30%, and helped their agents provide a more careful and empathetic service.

WISMO inquiries 

“Where Is My Order”—more lovingly known as WISMO—integrations use APIs to connect your bot to your eCommerce platform. Using a WISMO integration, customers can chat with the bot to track their packages in real-time, giving them complete visibility on their orders. 

Indigo used Convey API integrations and our Ada chatbot to create a fully-branded customer interface hosted on the website. Customers use the bot to conduct simple order lookups and status updates immediately and on the spot. As a result, Indigo’s containment rate increased and support wait times decreased. Shapermint also automated WISMO inquiries using our conversational AI bot, which resulted in a staggering 75% containment rate.

Personalized product recommendations

You’ll hear us say this time and time again: Personalization is king. 92% of customers want a convenient and highly personalized experience when they interact with a brand. 91% of consumers are more loyal to brands that provide personalized experiences across the entire customer journey.

What this means for you is keeping track of all the customer’s interactions with your brand, including things like their browsing history, cart items, and past purchases. This is something that most eCommerce businesses are already doing (think of Amazon’s “related to items that you've viewed” section for example). But it shouldn’t stop there.

The next step would be to offer the same kind of personalized recommendations in a chat experience, and automating something like this is fairly simple with the right tools. By integrating your chatbot with your eCommerce ecosystem, you can deliver personalized product recommendations based on your customer’s interest within the chat UI, including multimedia messages like links, images, and videos. Not only does this create positive brand interactions, it also leads to higher value carts and easier upsell opportunities.

Personalized, proactive messaging

Continuing on the same train of thought, automating personalized, proactive messaging will create even stronger loyalty with your customers and makes it possible to cash in on those upsell opportunities we just mentioned.

Proactive messaging can include things like back-in-stock notifications or loyalty program reminders, but it also includes special birthday offers, and cross-sell/upsell promotions. The idea here is to deploy this messaging to the right customer, when the customer is ready for it. Shapermint leveraged proactive messaging to increase their daily customer engagement rate by 15%.

Checkout

The difference between the best checkout conversion rates and the worst checkout conversion rates is only 50 seconds. That’s all the time it takes for a high intent prospect to abandon the checkout process due to checkout friction.

Long or confusing checkout processes are contributing to a $236B loss in annual potential revenue, and having poor cross-sell/upsell functionality means you’re leaving even more money at the table.

Automating the checkout process by integrating a checkout app directly into your chatbot removes checkout friction. Your customers will be able to pay directly within the chat, unifying and containing the entire customer experience within the same interaction, and reducing checkout friction.

Support and engage with customers through social media

Social media and text messaging have quickly become customers’ favorite interaction channels with brands. In fact, 90% of global customers want to use messaging to interact with businesses. To deliver great CX, you have to be available to your customers on the channels they prefer. But more channels = more brand interactions, and if you’re not unifying the interactions from multiple channels within one system and automating your support, it’ll lead to overworked support staff and unhappy customers.

Integrating your chatbot with social channels allows for automation and engagement wherever your customers are. You can offer the same kickass, tailored brand interactions consistently across your entire brand presence.

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