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5 Scalable Ways to Leverage Messaging Channels for E-Commerce


Most businesses understand that having a quick and efficient channel of communication allows them to engage with their customers more effectively. Engagement helps brands boost sales and conversion rates, re-engage customers who have dropped off, increase brand awareness and loyalty, and cut costs.

Most brands began using chatbots to build this channel of communication in 2016. Unfortunately, such brands are not satisfied with available chatbots. Chatbots frequently fail to understand the context of a conversation or the user's query, and they frequently forget information about the user's preferences.

There is another complication: customers expect brands to interact with them on their preferred platforms regularly. At present, customers prefer messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Messenger, and social media platforms like Instagram.

This brings all brands to ask pertinent questions:

Are chatbots really the right way to engage my customers? Is there a way to get all of the benefits of a chatbot without any of the drawbacks?  Can I use that on social media platforms as well? And finally, is an integrated tool the right answer for me?

Yes, yes, and yes! A chatbot is indeed the right answer, as long as it is a Level 3 Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot and not the existing generation of chatbots. 

As for whether a chatbot integrated across different channels, like your brand website and various social media platforms, is right for your brand, we give you all the tools to find out!

Why Should I Even Care About Messaging Channels?

Customers drive interactions with brands, and the best way to engage with them through the platforms they prefer. So what are customers most comfortable with? 

Additionally, according to a survey conducted by Capgemini, when chatbots helped provide excellent buying experiences to customers:

  • 72% of the customers placed higher trust in the brand;
  • 64% of customers provided high ratings for the brand and shared positive feedback on social media; and
  • 71% shared their positive experiences with friends and family.

As a result, most customers value chatbot interactions because they provide 24*7 service and instant responses to queries, both of which are difficult for a live team of customer service technicians to provide.

How Can Chatbots Help E-Commerce Brands?

So, aside from assisting my brand with customer engagement, can chatbots help my brand in any other way? Yes! Good chatbots that engage your customers well can assist you in the following ways:

  • Increase conversion rates and sales - Chatbots can help you engage your customers more proactively. You can start a conversation with every customer who visits your website and effectively answers every query. If they efficiently guide customers through their buying journey, they can help your brand achieve 30% higher conversion rates. This eventually helps you delight your customers, scale faster and stand out from the competition
  • Effective Retargeting and reduced RoAS - Chat channels like WhatsApp and Messenger have much higher open rates compared to traditional mediums like Email and SMS. Furthermore, customers are more likely to reply to and engage with you on chat, which you can nurture into an eventual sale. This leads to a 2-3x better conversion rate for checkout abandonments for new users, significantly bringing down RoAS. Existing customers can also be engaged through replenishment campaigns, win-back campaigns and cross-selling campaigns, reducing remarketing CAC by 70%.
  • Build brand loyalty and brand recall - 64% of customer support agents who utilize AI chatbots can spend most of their time solving difficult cases. Thus, human agents can invest their time on much more important high-impact tasks that contribute the most in brand loyalty. Reducing response times to a few seconds results in an exceptionally memorable customer experience, leading to happy and loyal customers.
  • Reduce customer service costs- Efficient chatbots can help teams of sales agents or customer service agents be more productive by handling and resolving repetitive, mundane queries. This allows companies to scale much more easily since they don't have to scale up the size of their live customer service teams. This enables brands to become known for delightful customer experiences as they scale, while at the same time fully utilizing the potential of chat as a revenue channel.

To reap these benefits, all that brands must do is choose a suitable chatbot. Such a bot must deliver the experience customers are looking for and streamline the buying journey into something resembling a customized, in-store experience.

Why have Chatbots Failed in E-Commerce?

Unfortunately, most brands are unable to find a chatbot that meets all of their requirements. This is because these bots lack the technical and practical considerations that would make them truly great. Let's take a look at what these issues are.

Technical problems: The existing generation of conversational interfaces consists of Level 1 and Level 2 AI chatbots, both of which have several flaws.

Level 1 AI chatbots are click-based and display pre-defined responses as per pre-defined input buttons. As a result, the programmer restricts the scope of the user's queries and only shows a limited number of responses. A template like this can't cover every customer's question, which leads to a drop-off when a question isn't answered. Additionally, a limited set of concerns and responses mean that responses are not tailored to the consumer, dulling the buying experience.

Level 2 AI chatbots allow users to input free text and are not limited to a pre-defined template. However, they often fail to understand the user's input unless it matches their programming in grammar and word placement. Thus, the chatbot often asks the user to repeat themselves, causing customer frustration and drop-off. Additionally, the chatbot does not remember previous information about the customer, such as their preferences or customizations. Because of the repetitive questions, the user frequently abandons the site and does not believe the brand values them as a customer.

 

 

Practical problems: As highlighted by Stan Sthanunathan, the executive vice president of Unilever, the biggest problem with existing chatbots is that the programmer does not spend their time and effort to understand the environment in which the bot is deployed. A chatbot must be trained to understand the environment it is deployed in and the context in which it operates.

Most technicians lack the desire or patience to learn everything there is to know about a vertical, whether it be banking, retail, or e-commerce. When the programmer does not understand the vertical, it becomes difficult to train the bot to respond well to queries of a particular context.

Thus, the technical limitations of existing chatbots compromise your brand's quality of customer service and assistance regarding product components and other technical specifications. The practical failings of this generation of bots make them unable to deliver a personalized, delightful customer experience. 

So does this mean that you must give up on the idea of chatbots completely?

No! We have some exciting news: the second generation of chatbots, powered by Level 3 AI technology, have finally announced themselves.

Level 3 AI Technology: Creating the Next Generation of Chatbots

There was a revolution in AI technology in 2020. A new version of Natural Language Processing came into being. Additionally, a new generation of technology- Level 3 AI technology- has been developed.

What is Level 3 AI technology? What are chatbots based on Level 3 AI technology like, and how are they different from the previous generation of bots? 

Well, Level 3 AI technology introduces machine learning into itself. This allows chatbots to identify patterns in user input, retain useful information about these patterns, make decisions, and learn from past conversations. A bot based on Level 3 tech will thus formulate better responses for future customers while retaining every customer's preferences. It will customize every consumer's buying journey and make it seamless and delightful.

Level 3 AI technology also uses Natural Language Processing and Understanding to identify the user's intent and the conversation's context. This helps a chatbot powered by Level 3 AI technology understand the customer even if they make spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Thus, instead of offering customers a pre-made menu of queries, customers can ask the bot anything they like in any way they want, and the bot will always understand and curate a response.

Additionally, this technology uses sentiment analysis to understand how a customer is feeling and respond accordingly.

Thus, if a customer asks the bot, "will this (product) really work," the bot understands that the customer is doubtful about the product's efficacy. It can then curate an appropriate response to assuage customer fears.

These technological advances automatically make the new generation of conversational agents or interfaces based on Level 3 AI technology far superior to the previous generation of bots. If such a chatbot is also tailored to a specific vertical, it would help the brand that uses it reach untold heights. 

A good example of such a bot is LimeChat, the first bot powered by Level III Conversational AI. LimeChat is tailored specifically to the e-commerce vertical, making it an unstoppable force for the digital brands that use it.

 


Why should I consider a Messaging Bot?

Every brand knows how important its customer base is and constantly looks for more ways to attract and retain a larger customer base. Everything a brand does, from curating its list of products to marketing them, pricing them, and finally selling them, is geared towards its target consumer base. 

This makes it even more important to reach out to customers to solve their queries or to entice them to your brand on a platform most preferable to them. These platforms are often either messaging platforms like WhatsApp or Messenger, or social media platforms like Instagram, in addition to the bot on your brand website. 

How important is it to reach out to customers on social media?

And why should you engage with your customers on messaging apps?

Right Chatbot + Right Channel = ?

A level 3 AI chatbot is powerful by itself. Its smart nature and ability to learn from past conversations and alter its responses accordingly make its effects more potent. This compounds the benefits it would yield to any brand that uses it:

  • Increased sales- An integrated chatbot would allow your brand to engage with customers on a platform they are already comfortable with. Customers could access all information about your products and their components without needing to navigate an unfamiliar website. A smart bot that can streamline your customers' buying process, remember their preferences, quickly guide them to the right products, and build trust to cross-sell and up-sell additional products would greatly increase your sales.
  • Higher conversion rates- A level 3 AI chatbot swiftly provides customers the information they seek about your products, their efficacy, their reviews, and pricing. It also makes the checkout process much simpler. A level 3 AI chatbot can mimic a live sales representative by understanding your customer's intent and emotion, allowing you to engage with every customer deeply. These qualities work even better on social media platforms or messaging platforms, converting more customers to your brand.
  • Better customer engagement- People use social media platforms and messaging platforms for authentic personal conversations. Level 3 AI chatbots use AI tools to mimic this authenticity, creating the impression that the customer is conversing with a live, knowledgeable salesperson. Their effect on customers is compounded by the personal nature of the social or messaging platform. This helps create awareness about your brand and deliver delightful, memorable customer experiences. It also helps build trust and loyalty in your brand. In the long run, an integrated bot creates a conversational synergy that entices more buyers to click on the chat icon and instantly feel connected with your brand.
  • Omnichannel experience- Most brands prefer to give customers an omnichannel experience. Brands wish to provide customers a positive, seamless, and integrated buying journey across every channel they use. This requires your brand to build a presence across every channel while creating a unified message, voice, or motto. Level 3 AI chatbots can help you fulfill this goal exceptionally well. Its ability to remember past information and mimic authentic human conversations helps you give your customers a crisp, memorable experience. Additionally, its smart nature enables a Level 3 bot to switch seamlessly between channels and deliver appropriate responses.


But Every Messaging Channel Is Different!

Yes! The best thing about chatbots based on Level 3 AI technology can adapt to the benefits and limitations of every platform. 

Every social media platform and messaging service is frequented by a certain demographic that behaves differently from other demographics. Additionally, every platform is devised differently and has a different purpose.

To tackle this, L3 AI bots undergo a training process where they are exposed to different situations.

"They learn and adapt from every conversation. This means that a conversational assistant based on Level 3 AI technology will learn what every demographic responds best to. It will curate its responses accordingly and deliver a fantastic experience to each customer".

This is why a Level 3 AI chatbot can work efficiently across every platform. All you have to do is study what demographic or combinations of demographics your brand caters to and study the pros and cons of each platform. Once you have selected which platform or platforms you wish to deploy a bot on, the Level 3 AI bot will deliver on its promises!

So Which Channel is Best for My Brand?

The purpose, structure, and demographic of every channel, whether a social media platform, messaging app, or brand website, are different. You must know specific details about these components so that you can match them to your target demographic. 

Here is a list of the demographics, pros, and cons of bots on the most popular messaging apps, social media platforms, and brand websites.

1. WhatsApp

Demographics:

Pros:

  • Compared to other social media, WhatsApp has a very high penetration rate. 69% of internet users (excluding China) use WhatsApp.
  • Users engage the most on WhatsApp.
  • Approximately 175 million people send messages to business accounts on WhatsApp every day.
  • The open rate of outbound messages is very high. 80% of messages sent to WhatsApp are seen within 5 minutes. WhatsApp Business records an open rate of 99%. On the other hand, the open rate for emails and other traditional methods of engagement is only 2-4%.
  • A WhatsApp chatbot allows user re-engagement. A user who went through your list of products and FAQs is usually interested in your brand and is more likely to be converted if you keep engaging them on WhatsApp.
  • WhatsApp Business API makes the process of customer engagement much simpler by redirecting chat to bot platforms.
  • Chat automation means customers can find suitable products on their favorite messenger platform without having to scroll through an unfamiliar website.

Cons:

  • WhatsApp does not support buttons like "purchase a product," "buy a product," "add to cart" etc. This gives it limited functionality and makes your website difficult to navigate.
  • WhatsApp does not allow alterations to fit your brand persona.

However, a Level 3 AI bot overcomes the need for buttons by determining your customer's intent and sentiment and responding accordingly. Additionally, its state-of-the-art technology enables it to give your customers a tailored, delightful experience, thus making your brand memorable.

2. Messenger

Demographics:

Pros:

  • Messenger rate has a high engagement rate. 
  • People exchange over 20 billion messages each month with businesses on Facebook Messenger.
  • The User Information provided by Facebook means that you can hack into micro-targeted audiences hit customers who are most likely to convert. Additionally, a Level 3 AI chatbot can use available information to personalize your customer's buying journey to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
  • Conversations between brands and customers via Messenger have a 30% better ROI than retargeting ads
  • Customers are 3.5 times more likely to open a Facebook message than a marketing email.
  • Messenger supports buttons, which gives your chatbot more functionalities. This makes your customer's buying journey that much quicker and seamless: they can complete their entire journey, from product discovery to payment, within a single chat.
  • A bot on Messenger allows you to re-engage interested customers, making their conversion more likely, and increasing your revenue without much effort.

Cons:

  • The open rate for texts on Messenger is lesser than that on WhatsApp, but still much higher than emails and other traditional methods of engagement.

3. Instagram

Demographics:

Pros:

Cons:

  • At present, Instagram has limited functionality and no proper API.

However, the Instagram chat will be merged with Messenger in the future, giving it all the benefits of a Messenger bot.

4. Web Chat 

Demographics:

The demographics for your website chatbots depend entirely on your target audience.

Pros:

  • Website bots have the best outbound rates.
  • A Level 3 AI bot on your website can start the chat from different points depending on which page your customer is visiting. Different responses for the product page, pricing page etc. make your conversations simpler and easier to navigate. 
  • Webchats can use buttons, increasing their functionalities and making our customer's buying journey easier to navigate.
  • You have greater control over your user interface, making it richer and allowing you to successfully build your brand persona.
  • You can use your website metrics to track customers better.

Cons:

  • Webchats do not allow you to re-engage your customers. If your representatives don't respond to queries immediately, customers are likely to leave the chat and website. It then becomes impossible to contact them or respond to their query, lowering your sales and conversion rates.

LimeChat - The Solution for Every Channel

You know the limitations and flaws of the previous generation of chatbots. You understand the technological superiority of the next generation of chatbots. You want a chatbot tailored specifically to your vertical. So the ultimate question: Where do I find the perfect chatbot? The answer: LimeChat!

LimeChat is the world’s first human-level chatbot, powered by Level 3 Conversational AI, tailored specifically to the e-commerce vertical. It uses state-of-the-art AI technology to understand customer queries, intent, and emotion to replicate an in-store experience across the website, WhatsApp, FB Messenger, and other chat channels. It integrates with tools across the e-commerce value chain like Shopify, logistics providers, CRM systems, product recommendation, and review apps to provide a quick and hassle-free setup for brands. Overall, LimeChat guides your customers from discovery to the recommendation to checkout, making their experience delightful and seamless.

5 Scalable Ways Limechat Helps E-Commerce Brands Leverage Messaging Channels

  • Limechat can help your users get a guided buying journey on your e-commerce website. It can understand their concerns during product discovery, reassure them when they have questions, and seamlessly handle their checkout. This can boost website conversion rates by as much as 30%
  • A whopping 48% of e-commerce shoppers would prefer buying through chat channels because they feel websites have too much information and decision-making steps. Limechat helps you identify these users and target them through conversational ads to bring them directly to FB Messenger or WhatsApp. Limechat’s AI-guided buying journey on chat yields conversion rates as high as 15%, 4 times that of the website.
  • Chat channels have high open rates and capture user replies as well. Limechat can help you leverage these factors for effective outbound campaigns, yielding checkout abandonment rates as high as 15%. Moreover, for buying journeys happening entirely on chat, Limechat can help you re-engage users with messages tailored to the dropoff stage in their buying journey on chat.
  • Limechat’s post-purchase automation workflows can automate 70% of customer service queries, bringing down your support team costs by the same amount. Instant replies from the Limechat bot bring down overall response times to under a minute. Limechat’s agent dashboard identifies high-impact queries and prioritizes their assignment to agents. This ensures that angry customers are dealt with immediately, improving CSAT and NPS. The combined effect of quick response times, personalized responses and human touch boost brand loyalty.
  • Limechat’s conversational assistant is trained to respond across every channel you choose. It learns from every interaction to curate a personalized response for each user, considering each channel's advantages and limitations. It allows you to be present alongside your users wherever they are, and deliver an extremely memorable and compelling experience.
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