Chatbots, the perfect ally for attracting customers in the "new normal"
Online sales have become the most viable and safest option for consumers, allowing them to stay home
Consumer purchasing habits and preferences have changed in a matter of weeks since the pandemic began. This has resulted in online sales becoming the most viable and safest option for consumers given the presence of the virus and the need for social distancing.
It is highly likely that this trend will continue in the so-called 'new normal', even after the pandemic ends, as consumer perceptions of online shopping improve during the pandemic. In fact, 7 out of 10 people said they feel safe and satisfied with this way of shopping, as revealed by the Asociación Mexicana de Venta Online- AMVO (Mexican Association of Online Sales) in its COVID-19 Impact 3.0 Report on online sales in Mexico.
This report highlights that at the beginning of the lockdowns, basic goods were the most sought-after categories for online shopping, but categories such as technology, fashion, accessories, beauty and personal care have gained more attention both now and in the post-pandemic period.
This broadening of sectors that did not rank among top consumer preferences makes it even more evident that companies require technological tools that will enable them to improve and streamline communication with their customers to boost their sales, and the best way to do so is by using communication channels already familiar to consumers.
According to the consulting firm Kantar, 8 out of 10 Mexicans have used Facebook during the pandemic, while almost 8 out of 10 have used WhatsApp to approach a company and buy a service or product. The fact that a company can reach its customers through these platforms represents a great opportunity to boost its sales, and chatbots are its main ally to do so.
"The latest developments in Artificial Intelligence have perfected the skills that chatbots have, among the most outstanding is the level of service they have with customers, as they are able to answer complex questions, even using conversational natural language, generating a pleasant experience for the customer. In addition, they generate data with which to predict consumer purchasing trends, in order to offer products according to their tastes and interests," notes Gustavo Parés, CEO of NDS Cognitive Labs, a company specialized in developing Artificial Intelligence solutions.
In this regard, this is how chatbots can help improve your sales, according to NDS Cognitive Labs:
Simplify shopping. Customer service centers equipped with recorders featuring multiple options to solve queries or complaints are not always the ideal option, since customers usually have very specific questions. Unlike them, a chatbot has the ability to respond to the most particular and specific concerns buyers could have, with the added bonus that they do it with simple, friendly language that promotes a good shopping experience.
Improve retention rate. One of the main obstacles faced by online businesses is the abandonment of shopping carts, often because the customer is not 100% convinced in buying the products, either because they do not know their features or because they are not exactly what they are looking for. To address this, chatbots are ideal tools to provide the consumer with the product they are looking for, explain the qualities of what they are interested in, or make personalized recommendations based on their requirements, interests or previous purchases.
They influence the conversion rate. Conversion Rate is an indicator that contrasts the number of people who visit an online store in relation to those who make a purchase. Chatbots can improve these statistics by attracting potential customers, since they are always available and their interaction can lead to a purchase and convert a potential customer into a guaranteed sale.
Useful for calculating the NPS. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an indicator that serves to determine the level of customer satisfaction, as well as their feeling of loyalty and the likelihood of them recommending your company's products or services. In this regard, chatbots play a fundamental role in improving customer satisfaction, as well as interacting with them about their shopping experience, learning how the company can improve and asking if they would recommend it. This data aids in the continuous improvement of the service and is extremely useful.
Immediate attention. One of the main advantages of chatbots during the pandemic is that they are available 24/7 and their responses are immediate. This has been very useful since, during lockdowns, a lot of people had to work from home and take advantage of their free time or days off to shop, i.e., during hours when customer service centers do not usually operate. Chatbots are not bound to a schedule nor do they need to put calls on hold, which are often annoying since users do not always want to wait.
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