Online shopping is more fun now than ever before!
Just imagine a situation where a personal assistant walks you through the endless product options, gives you personalized recommendations, and helps streamline your entire purchase journey.
This scenario is no fantasy anymore. It has become the reality of today’s digital age.
Thanks to online shopping bots, the way you shop is truly revolutionized. Today, you can have an AI-powered personal assistant at your fingertips to navigate through the tons of options at an ecommerce store. These bots are now an integral part of your favorite messaging app or website.
Shopping bots have added a new dimension to the way you search, explore, and purchase products. From helping you find the best product for any occasion to easing your buying decisions, these bots can do all to enhance your overall shopping experience.
With online shopping bots by your side, the possibilities are truly endless.
In this blog, we will explore the shopping bot in detail, understand its importance, and benefits; see some examples, and learn how to create one for your business.
But before moving ahead, let’s first get started with understanding what exactly a shopping bot is…
What is a Shopping Bot?
A shopping bot is a specialized computer program that can assist buyers in their online shopping experiences. Built using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms, these bots can give automated support, offer scripted responses, and work like virtual shopping assistants.
A business can integrate shopping bots into websites, mobile apps, or messaging platforms to engage users, interact with them, and assist them with shopping. These bots use natural language processing (NLP) and can understand user queries or commands.
More importantly, a shopping bot can do human-like conversations and that’s why it proves very helpful as a shopping assistant. The primary reason for using these bots is to make online shopping more convenient and personalized for users.
Importance of Shopping Bot
The shopping bot is a genuine reflection of the advancements of modern times. These bots have changed the way shopping is done. They have as much value for businesses as for shoppers. More so, chatbots can give up to a 25% boost to the revenue of online stores.
Let’s look at some of the importance of shopping bots –
Importance for Businesses
- E-commerce stores can deploy a shopping bot to offer customer support, handle queries, and assist shoppers with various aspects of the buying process.
- Shopping bots can suggest products based on user preferences and behavior. They can offer personalized product recommendations and effectively guide shoppers through the buying journey.
- Shopping bots can collect useful data on customer behavior, search preferences, and more, and this data can be used by businesses to tailor their marketing strategies.
- These bots can work on a 24×7 basis, stay neutral to time-zone restrictions, and offer help at any time and anywhere. So, a business can scale its operations easily without much investment in manpower.
- A shopping bot can automate repetitive tasks and reduce human errors, therefore ensuring improved buying experiences and reduced operation costs for businesses.
Importance for Buyers
- Shoppers can expect assistance and product recommendations based on their individual purchase history, browsing behavior, and search preferences. This enhances their shopping experiences manifold.
- Buyers can quickly get product info, know about product details, and resolve their issues in an instant. All this wouldn’t be possible if there was no shopping bot.
- Shoppers can feel easy navigating through hundreds of thousands of product listings, compare products, get guidance on complex shopping matters, and handle the checkout process smoothly.
- Thanks to the shopping bot, a buyer can now shop from their preferred channel, get omnichannel support, and make shopping a seamless experience.
Benefits of Shopping Bot
The arrival of shopping bots has enhanced shopper’s experience manifold. These bots add value to virtually every aspect of shopping, be it product search, checkout process, and more. When online stores use shopping bots, it helps a lot with buying decisions. More so, business leaders believe that chatbots bring a 67% increase in sales.
Here are the key benefits of shopping bots –
- Quick search – Shopping bots help buyers find products quickly and effortlessly. They assist buyers in navigating through endless product options, giving answers to their queries, offering links to various catalog pages, and more.
- Personalized recommendations – AI-powered shopping bots can engage with visitors and collect data about search history, buying preferences, and behavior. Based on this data, they offer personalized product recommendations that suit every individual customer’s needs.
- Faster response times – Compared to human agents, bots offer faster replies to customer queries, and present more options in front of them, and all this can ease buying decisions. When the response times are higher, it leads to improved conversion rates.
- Better customer experience – Buyers hate long waiting times and they feel bad when faced with too many steps in the payment and checkout process. A shopping bot overcomes all these challenges and makes the entire buying journey smoother.
How to Use a Shopping Bot?
More e-commerce businesses use shopping bots today than ever before. They trust these bots to improve the shopping experience for buyers, streamline the shopping process, and augment customer service. However, to get the most out of a shopping bot, you need to use them well.
Let’s look at how to use a shopping bot –
- Choose a bot platform – When you plan to use a shopping bot for your online store, the first step is to choose a bot platform that meets your business goals. You can choose custom development, rely on third-party bot providers, or use another chatbot framework.
- Define bot objectives – Once you have selected the bot platform, the next step is to define bot objectives and specific tasks you want to achieve. Whether you want the bot to be used for offering customer support, giving recommendations, or helping with product searches, you need to have a well-defined goal in mind.
- Integrate with your platform – The next step is to integrate the shopping bot with your e-commerce website or app. Make sure the bot is connected to your product database, payment gateway, CRM, and inventory system.
- Train the bot – After integrating the bot, you should consider training it. The purpose of training the bot is to make it respond to customer queries more effectively. In this stage, you will need the help of machine learning algorithms or pre-defined scripts for training.
- Add the elements of personalization – This step is very important as here you need to implement elements of personalization so that the bot can give tailored shopping experiences. The key here is to use the customer data, browsing history, and search preferences to achieve the goal of personalization.
- Test and refine – The next step is to test the bot before launching it. During the test, you need to check its functionalities, bugs, or errors. You should also get feedback as it will help refine the bot’s response.
- Launch and promote – Once you have tested the bot, you should consider launching it. It’s equally important to promote it so that users can become aware of its presence on your website or any channel you intend.
- Monitor performance – The shopping bot you have created and launched can be improved over time. This can’t be possible unless you monitor its performance as various metrics such as engagement and conversion rates.
- Consider the human handover option – While the bot can take care of routine shopping tasks, you should consider adding a human handover option as well to deal with complex issues faced by shoppers. The bot can’t be the best assistant for 100% of the situations and there may be complex queries for which you should give human handover options to shoppers.
How to Create a Shopping Bot?
Building a shopping bot was once a complex task, but not anymore. Today, you even don’t need programming knowledge to build a bot for your business. You can create a bot without writing a line of code. More so, there are platforms to suit your needs and you can also benefit from visual builders.
Here is a step-by-step guide to creating a shopping bot –
Step 1. Choose between chatbot frameworks and platforms
When you plan to create a shopping bot, you have two options: frameworks and platforms. With a chatbot framework, you will need a program to set things up, customize it, and make it specific to your business needs. With a chatbot platform, you will get a DIY model where a visual builder guides you through the steps. Plus, there will be templates to choose from for the chatbot.
Step 2. Decide on the look and feel of the bot
Now that you have decided between a framework and platform, you should consider working on the look and feel of the bot. Here, you need to think about whether the bot’s design will match the style of your website, brand voice, and brand image. If the shopping bot does not match your business’ style and voice, you won’t be able to deliver consistency in customer experience.
So, make sure –
- The shopping bot matches your brand colours
- The bot has relevant welcome messages
- The bot has a human-sounding name
- The bot widget is placed where it should to catch the attention immediately
3. Use templates for your bot
You will find plenty of chatbot templates from the service providers to get good ideas about your chatbot design. These templates can be personalized based on the use cases and common scenarios you want to cater to.
You can select any of the available templates, change the theme, and make it the right fit for your business needs. Thanks to the templates, you can build the bot from the start and add various elements be it triggers, actions, or conditions.
4. Integrate the bot with your preferred channels and tools
When the bot is built, you need to consider integrating it with the choice of channels and tools. This integration will entirely be your decision, based on the business goals and objectives you want to achieve.
You can integrate the chatbot with many channels, including –
- Facebook Messenger
If you are building the bot to drive sales, you just install the bot on your site using an ecommerce platform, like Shopify or WordPress.
It’s also possible to connect all the channels customers use to reach you. This will help you in offering omnichannel support to them and meeting them where they are.
5. Train the bot
Simple rule-based chatbots have limitations. They can’t understand complex customer queries. When you use pre-scripted bots, there is no need for training because you are not looking to respond to users based on their intent.
However, if you want a sophisticated bot with AI capabilities, you will need to train it. The purpose of training the bot is to get it familiar with your FAQs, previous user search queries, and search preferences.
Once the bot is trained, it will become more conversational and gain the ability to handle complex queries and conversations easily.
6. Monitor the bot
Getting the bot trained is not the last task as you also need to monitor it over time. The purpose of monitoring the bot is to continuously adjust it to the feedback. Only this will help the bot work optimally.
After deploying the bot, the key responsibility is to monitor the analytics regularly. It’s equally important to collect the opinions of customers as then you can better understand how effective your bot is.
Examples of Best Shopping Bots for Buying Online
Broadleys is a top menswear and womenswear designer clothing store in the UK. It has a wide range of collections and also takes great pride in offering exceptional customer service. The company users FAQ chatbots so that shoppers can get real-time information on their common queries. The way it uses the chatbot to help customers is a good example of how to leverage the power of technology and drive business.
Domino pizzas need no introduction. Maybe that’s why the company attracts millions of orders every day. To handle the quantum of orders, it has built a Facebook chatbot which makes the ordering process faster. Using the bot, customers can order a pizza from “Anywhere”. So, you can order a Domino pizza through Facebook Messenger, and just by texting.
H&M is a global fashion company that shows how to use a shopping bot and guide buyers through purchase decisions. Its bot guides customers through outfits and takes them through store areas that align with their purchase interests. The bot not only suggests outfits but also the total price for all times.
Build A Powerful Shopping Bot with the REVE Platform and Boost Buying Experiences
Building a shopping bot was once a complex task as it involved coding and in-depth technical knowledge. Things are quite different now as powerful bot builder platforms are available today.
With REVE Chat, you can build your shopping bot with a drag-and-drop method without writing a line of code. You can not only create a feature-rich AI-powered chatbot but can also provide intent training.
More importantly, our platform has a host of other useful engagement tools your business can use to serve customers better. We have video chat and co-browsing software for visual engagement. These tools can help you serve your customers in a personalized manner.
You can also use our live chat software and provide support around the clock. All the tools we have can help you add value to the shopping decisions of customers.
The arrival of shopping bots has truly transformed the way people shop. They have made shopping more fun, both for customers as well as for businesses
At REVE Chat, we understand the huge value a shopping bot can add to your business.
With us, you can sign up and create an AI-powered shopping bot easily. We also have other tools to help you achieve your customer engagement goals.