5 Use Cases That AI-Based Virtual Assistants Create Benefit in ECommerce
It is commonly believed that customer service is the only field that virtual assistants offer business value. Although customer service is the most prevailing sphere to see the concrete outcomes of a virtual assistant usage, it is not the only field of benefit. Especially in ecommerce, virtual assistants create value in several dimensions through several use cases. By this way, AI-powered virtual assistants offer businesses the chance to scale while providing useful functionality such as order tracking and upselling potential. In this blog, we will have a look at different use cases that virtual assistants provide value in ecommerce business.
The COVID-19 paved the way for an accelerated growth in ecommerce business globally. According to the Global Ecommerce Growth Forecast 2022 Report, published by Morgan Stanley, global e-commerce rose from 15% of total retail sales in 2019 to 21% in 2021. It now sits at an estimated 22% of sales. Morgan Stanley predicts that over the long term, the e-commerce market has plenty of room to grow and could increase from $3.3 trillion today to $5.4 trillion in 2026. They forecast e-commerce to reach 27% of retail sales by 2026.
This situation deepens the competition and forces the companies to be more innovative and efficient while scaling their business. Virtual assistants, already deployed by the leading companies and on the agenda of the mid-size and smaller ones, offer great value in many aspects and support companies to grow their operations efficiently. They became a must-have in ecommerce after live chat and CRM systems.
5 use cases that virtual assistants create benefit in ecommerce
Customers do not want to search for products in ecommerce store by navigating the website, applying filters and eventually seeing something similar to their search. They want fast and accurate results via a seamless experience. For this experience, a virtual assistant can navigate the right product page by asking the customers a few questions regarding what they are looking for and show the results via a carousel of products. They can then purchase the product with the assistance of the virtual assistant with a few steps.
Promote sales and marketing campaigns
A virtual assistant can intelligently make recommendations to customers based on active sales and marketing campaigns by integrating into the CRM system of the company. By asking questions, interfacing with a CRM system and referencing a customer’s existing account, it’s possible to provide personalised recommendations for products and services that customers actually want.
Customers are more likely to buy from companies that recognize them by their names or recommend options that are based on past purchases. If a virtual assistant is well-integrated into the predictive analytics system, it is a good way to recommend products to the customers to increase sales.
Increase Customer Engagement
Rather than a passive website or an app experience, customers prefer inbuilt messages, faster communication, getting answers to any questions easily and seeing the recommendations. An active communication through virtual assistants helps companies increase their customer engagement.
According to research conducted by the Baymard Institute, for every 100 visitors that add items to their cart, 70 of them will potentially leave without purchasing. Therefore, avoiding abandoned carts by reminding them actively to complete their lingering purchases is an effective way to increase sales. Beyond reminding, the experience includes providing additional product information, answering questions or helping to resolve any issues a customer may encounter during the buying process.
Purchase & Payment
Virtual assistants offer an end-to-end experience in ecommerce with multiple functions from product search to purchase & payments. Companies can implement an AI-based system that covers all processes and complete the process with purchase & payment without directing the customer to another link. Integration into payment systems is required for such a capability. This field is valuable as the customer completes the sales process in the conversational experience.
Customer Service and Support
The most common use case for e-commerce is providing customer support. It really offers an easy and instant way of supporting the customers 24/7. In ecommerce business, the support questions are repetitive and common and they are easily automated by a virtual assistant. An ecommerce company that automates requests such as order tracking, refund, cancellation, product add, address update can create a significant level of efficiency. By this way the agents can rescue themselves from repetitive tasks and focus on more value added ones. Answering the queries by an AI-based virtual assistant by keeping the human in the loop and handovering the customer to a live agent when required, seems to be the best model for ecommerce to sustain customer satisfaction.
Ecommerce companies can design their virtual assistant to cover all these areas to maximise the benefit. However, we suggest a step by step implementation approach where they select one field and expand the scope gradually.
CBOT has a significant expertise in ecommerce virtual assistants and is capable of building solutions for the above use cases thanks to its end-to-end conversational AI platform CBOT Platform. Customer support is an important field that CBOT invested in and built large scale virtual assistants for enterprises. Among CBOT’s virtual assistants in ecommerce the average ratio for the resolution of customer queries by AI, with no human handover is 70%. CBOT is ready to offer the most appropriate solution for your company needs.
Please find a selection of CBOT’s success stories where a significant benefit was created for the enterprise grade brands.