When you walk into a brick-and-mortar store, you have people around you to reach out for assistance. But what happens when you log onto an ecommerce site?

Even though technology has made our lives more convenient, people yearn for personalized, human experiences. Thus, in order to meet this gap, digital businesses are integrating ecommerce chatbots – the digitized version of human interaction.

Chatbots are automated programs that interact with customers to serve them better and offer a seamless customer experience. Moreover, with ecommerce on the rise, chatbots are believed to only evolve with time.

From helping customers make purchase decisions to resolving queries, chatbots promise to not only replicate human interactions but also transform customer experience.

Here are 7 advantages of integrating chatbots in your ecommerce site –

Enhanced Customer Service

The most important advantage that chatbots bring to the table are providing enhanced customer service. Competition is growing by the day and retailers are literally one bitter experience away from losing customers. This makes customer service a crucial aspect of any business.

Chatbots are available 24/7 to assist customers and as opposed to customer service agents, they have the ability to handle multiple queries at once. Not just that, they also provide quicker responses as compared to e-mails and call centers.

These automated customer support tools are not only more efficient but also offer a consistent and simplified customer experience.

Increase Conversion

Increasing conversion rates is a critical business goal every ecommerce player is after. The good news is that chatbots can take you a step closer to this goal.

By incorporating chatbots on your website, app or Facebook page, you can direct conversations that urge customers to make purchases. For instance, you can ask customers what they are looking for and recommend products to them without getting them to browse the site.

Chatbots also pose upselling and cross-selling opportunities wherein you can pitch more products based on their past purchases. For instance, if a customer has bought a white shirt, you can suggest trousers or accessories to go with it.

By engaging with customers via chatbots, you are able to influence purchase decisions, impart value and also remind them about ongoing offers or promotions, leading to a hike in conversion rate.

Fashion retailer, H&M does this by offering fashion recommendation through its chatbot.

Reduce Cart Abandonments

One of the biggest challenges ecommerce retailers face are cart abandonments. As per Barilliance, the average ecommerce store loses over 75% of its sales to cart abandonment. Now, that is an alarming figure!

From slow websites and a poor checkout experience to shipping and price issues – there are many reasons why customers decide to not complete their purchases. While many ecommerce players resort to sending customer e-mail reminders, chances are those e-mails may get lost in their inbox. This is where chatbots come into the picture.

Chatbots help in recovering cart abandonments because apart from offering a personalized customer experience, they also help in actively reminding customers about their unfinished purchases and offer quicker responses to queries that can help them complete their purchase faster.

Facilitate Payment

The key to a winning customer experience is to be able to offer solutions to the customer in a quick turnaround time. By enabling payments through chatbots, customers can complete their transaction with a click of a button without being directed to another window. Due to this feature, the shopping journey takes place on a single platform, thereby leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction and better user experience.

Data Collection

We are living in a digital world and it is all about the data! More the data a business has access to, better the results they yield.

Considering ecommerce chatbots are the automated touchpoint for customers on the website, they can be used to collect copious amount of data. Every customer that interacts with a chatbot, leaves behind data that can be used to offer an enhanced customer service in future.

Storing purchase histories also lets ecommerce retailers offer a more personalized shopping experience and target them with products and deals based on their past shopping behaviors.

Cost-Effective Solution

While integrating ecommerce chatbots might seem intimidating, they are a win-win solution when it comes to cutting operational costs as well.

They help businesses save money on customer service and offer a better customer experience at reduced costs. Owing to their automated nature, they are able to handle customer queries more efficiently and quickly – proving to be a more productive alternative to customer service agents.

By using ecommerce chatbots, businesses can cut down on human agents and the added costs they come with. So, why employ humans when you have a computer program doing the job for you and a pretty good one at that!

Build Loyalty

While acquiring customers is a task, retaining them is another story altogether. The most effective way to build customer loyalty is by leaving them with a satisfying shopping experience.

Chatbots build loyalty and retain customers because they provide just that. They facilitate engaging and personalized conversations which keep customers coming back for more. They help you create compelling customer experiences and make the customer feel valued. You can also drive your loyalty program by linking it to the chatbot and offer exclusive offers and rewards to loyalists.

In a world where competition is just a click away, it pays to have loyal customers.

Chatbots are not just a passing fad – they are here to stay and have the power to revolutionize ecommerce. While creating your chatbot, make sure you have a clear strategy in place and test it well enough before going live. They are a critical customer touchpoint and can boost your business if deployed correctly.

Adela Belin is a Social Media expert and a writer at Writers Per Hour. She creates content surrounding marketing with a focus on social media and digital marketing. Feel free to contact Adela on G+. Tell us what you think about ecommerce chatbots in the comments, or on Twitter and Facebook.