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March 17, 2024

The Future of Online Retail is Here: How eCommerce AI Chatbots Help Rescue Revenue and Improve Conversion Rates

Paul Campillo

With all the talk of consumers hopping back on the brick-and-mortar bandwagon — and the over 25% gap in conversion rates between online and in-store shopping — things are looking rough for eCommerce brands. 

But appearances aren’t everything. One recent innovation has been rapidly transforming the landscape, changing momentum in favor of online retailers: artificial intelligence.

The raw power of this emergent technology has kickstarted a generation of super-powered eCommerce chatbots: concierge-style sales assistants that revolutionize customer experiences, scale live sales and support capacity, and ultimately help businesses capture significantly more revenue.

What Is an eCommerce AI Chatbot?

An eCommerce chatbot is an AI-driven software program designed to interact with online shoppers as they navigate a site in search of products. 

Through the power of natural language processing (NLP) and understanding (NLU),  these chatbots can understand and respond to customer queries, provide product recommendations, guide customers through the buying process, and even gather valuable customer feedback. 

Don't judge by its simple chat interface. It's what's on the inside that counts.

There’s no doubt about it: eCommerce chatbots are now a key part of the online shopping experience. Why? Because they can provide the unparalleled real-time support and personalization that online shoppers crave.

What Features Do You Need in an eCommerce Chatbot?

Run-of-the-mill, limited-response chatbots aren’t going to cut it anymore. Closing the 28% gap between online and brick-and-mortar retail conversion rates takes more than a slick interface, custom branding, and pre-programmed dialogue.

Why? Because people want a real customer experience — not something that tries to distract them for 10 minutes, while they wait for a live agent.

Your eCommerce chatbot needs to harness the full potential of cutting-edge AI tools like ChatGPT by offering the following essential features:

One-Click Catalog Integrations

Whether you have 5 products or 500, your eCommerce chatbot needs to easily integrate with your product catalog. You need one that can sort through all your Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) and pull product information in seconds, providing it to customers upon request. 

The name of the game in this era of online shopping is making the journey as seamless as possible.

Personalized Product Recommendations 

Imagine walking into a department store and, in seconds, a representative finds the exact size, color, or favor that you’re looking for. How would you feel? Wowed. Captivated. At the very least, engaged. Well, thanks to the rapid development of AI tools, you can.

What you need — and what your customers deserve — is an AIchatbot that leverages these tools to provide accurate and personalized product recommendations.

A Trainable, Adaptable Voice

The chatbot should have a trainable and adaptable voice, with the ability to understand the nuances of human language and learn from interactions to improve future responses.

NLU gives eCommerce chatbots the ability to, well — understand — your specific brand voice and apply it to all customer interactions in a way that perfectly matches the context of the discussion. 

Contextual Intervention

Not only does AI let you train your eCommerce chatbot on a specific brand voice and tone, but it also learns from a massive amount of consumer behavior data to know — with 92% certainty — when a visitor is about to bounce from your website. 

This type of contextual intervention lets you rescue revenue from an entirely new segment of web visitors, so you get an incremental increase in conversion rate without disrupting the visitors who still have their purchase intent. How’s that for intelligence?

Customer Data Analysis

A great eCommerce chatbot knows how to use customer data wisely — and not just yours. 

By analyzing past interactions and transactions across different verticals and use cases, and using them to train the AI on novel sales and support situations, these tools gain a comprehensive understanding of all customer preferences and habits — enabling a more personalized, relevant, and effective shopping experience.

Integrates with Your Apps

If you run a store on Shopify, you probably already use tools like Zendesk, Gorgias, Klaviyo, and Postscript. These tools are great in their own right, but you need to get more out of them. 

eCommerce chatbots like Rep offer seamless integrations to supercharge your support tools — giving you complete coverage of all tickets between your live team and the AI. Optimize, divide, and conquer. 

How eCommerce AI Chatbots Are Changing Online Retail

The power of eCommerce chatbots extends beyond customer service. It helps elevate every aspect of your brand experience.  This means chatbots have substantial impacts on the broader landscape of online retail.

1. Increase eCommerce Conversion Rates and Rescue Revenue

The traditional eCommerce sales funnel is really more of a sieve: Statista reports that shopping cart abandonment rates for mobile and desktop shopping were 84% and 72% respectively in Q2 2022. 

Imagine if you could make incremental gains in revenue by reducing the number of visitors who lose search intent while navigating your site, bringing down those lofty abandonment numbers. 

That’s a massive opportunity. 

eCommerce chatbots improve conversion rates by intervening when visitors exhibit behavior suggesting they will bounce from the site. Tools like Rep AI can recover revenue by re-engaging these customers, offering assistance or promotional incentives to complete the purchase, and increasing conversion rates by an average of 14% across all eCommerce verticals.

2. Improve Customer Experiences with Conversational Commerce

Conversational commerce — the process of shopping online through live agents, chats, and apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp — is making it easier for businesses to engage with consumers in a native way. Well, generative AI is at the forefront of a new shift towards conversational commerce. 

AI-powered eCommerce chatbots facilitate real-time, personalized interactions with customers, mimicking that pleasant surprise you get from a great sales rep experience in a physical store. 

This not only increases customer satisfaction, but it also fosters brand loyalty, creating a win-win situation for businesses and consumers alike.

3. Complements Existing Sales and Support without Getting in the Way

This one’s for your sales and support team: AI is not out to get you (not yet, at least). The large vista between physical and online retail conversion rates shows that people still prioritize interactions with other people. 

So, how do eCommerce chatbots help? Well, for starters, they free up your live team to support the high-priority tickets. Tools like Rep let you offload upwards of 80% of your support tickets, all while it gathers data on everything from customer preferences and loyalty to the quality of brand experiences. 

Examples of Online Retailers Improving CVR with eCommerce Chatbots

Okay, that’s enough “tell” for one day. It’s time for some “show.” 

You want to see exactly how eCommerce chatbots can drive revenue and increase profits for your business. Well, here are a few examples of major online retailers that Rep AI has assisted over the past few years. 

Underoutfit Boosts Conversions by 3x

Underoutfit is an eCommerce clothing brand that provides comfortable, long-lasting underwear. After a year of rapid growth and revenue generation, the brand struggled to give online shoppers a true understanding of how its garments fit different body shapes. 

By integrating Rep’s eCommerce chatbot, Underoutfit rolled out its very own AI concierge, equipped to handle all sorts of product-related questions that couldn’t be answered on product pages. 

Find out how Rep increased Underoutfit’s conversion rate by 315%.

Uprising Food Sees a 21.5% Profit Increase

CPG brand, Uprising Foods, was facing a bottleneck of customer service requests related to the subscription model of its meal boxes. These requests were taking a significant amount of time and resources to process, impacting their bottom line. 

To optimize its business model, Uprising Foods approached Rep AI to reduce the volume of support tickets with its revenue-rescuing eCommerce chatbot. 

Find out how the CPG company increased its profits by 21.5% with Rep AI. 

Snow Teeth Whitening converts abandoned cart shoppers at 33%

The implementation of IP address targeting enabled Snow to identify customers who had abandoned their carts without entering any contact information. Using IP data, they could then follow up with these potential buyers, a strategy they never used before.

By upgrading their website with Rep’s AI-powered eCommerce chatbot, Snow was able to convert more traffic, including abandoned cart shoppers, and provide more support, handling shoppers' many redundant queries.

Find out more about how Rep improved Snow's conversions here.

Shoppers deserve a better experience—so let's give it to them. Conversational Shopping is the future of commerce. Join us.

Rep AI - eCommerce AI chatbot that converts more and sells more | Product Hunt