The notion of Conversational commerce emerged from a 2015 Medium article by Uber’s Chris Messina, delineating the fusion of messaging apps with the realm of shopping. Over time, this concept has broadened its horizons to encompass voice interactions, leveraging advancements in speech recognition technology.
Chatbots inevitably come to the forefront when discussing AI’s impact on eCommerce. However, it’s crucial to discern how AI-powered chatbots diverge from those annoying pop-ups that interrupt our browsing experience from the bottom right corner, often before we even get a chance to explore merchant’s products.
The problem with traditional chatbots is they aren’t built with true AI. They work on predefined rules vs. machine learning and natural language understanding. Customers only get an answer if they search exactly for what the chatbot is trained to find. Many need customers to use specific predefined vocabulary to give the correct answers, which can be frustrating if a visitor doesn’t ask the question precisely how the chatbot requires.
New-generation chatbots support Conversational Commerce that leverages natural language processing and new machine-learning techniques to understand what a user is searching for. These bots allow shoppers to have conversations with the machine that is returning humanlike responses.
A chatbot powered by conversational AI uses contextual awareness and analyzes incoming customer queries to understand shoppers’ sentiments and intent. That means shoppers are likelier to get their questions answered the first time they engage.
As the “conversation-first” future arrives, people’s impression of one’s brand will be affected by the bot’s effectiveness, how much contextual value it has, and how fast it can deliver it. Conversations go nowhere unless people perceive them as valuable. The chatbots should be connected to a customer’s shopping history, anticipate what they seek, and answer questions instantly through chat. They should be available 24/7 year-round and get smarter every day.
I cannot emphasize this enough! Quality of the Conversation experience affects human emotions and perception. When customers encounter a frustrating chatbot experience, their sentiments often spill over to affect how they perceive the brand.
Want to learn more about AI opportunities in Ecommerce?
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