Turning chatbot conversations into conversions : the developing world of chatbots

Chatbots are not only acting as customer service representatives but now letting people make the final purchase! Chatbots have moved into the payment space and created a new sales channel for brands looking to implement a more immersive and intuitive sales approach.

A trend to keep an eye on

Conversation may be the cornerstone of educating and spreading the word about a product, but who ever thought they would be taking the advice of a robot when making a purchase? Chatbots have brought this sci-fi like artificial intelligence concept to the forefront in recent years, and are set to blaze a trail as an e-commerce trend to watch in 2017. Forecasts have estimated that by 2024 chatbots will be responsible for generating as much as nearly a billion US dollars.

 

Chatbots can be fantastic customer service representatives proposing previously out of stock products to interested customers and giving updates on delivery, but continued marketing is not an avenue you should explore with chatbots. If a customer has already expressed interest in a product that wasn’t in stock before, go right ahead and make their day, send them a link to make a purchase, or even go as far as suggesting another piece that may come in the same set. However do not inundate loyal customers with marketing and promotions through chatbots; this little window of direct customer access is not to be abused.

Application in the payment process

The advancement of chatbots is set to have far reaching benefits for online payment processing as well. Companies and social networks looking to capitalize on the possibility to make sales on a more personal level are sure to integrate buy buttons into their chat windows.

In August 2016, Facebook messenger chatbots started accepting payments directly in the chat by allowing clients to click a buy button in a chat bubble and complete the transaction without ever leaving the conversation. As seen in the video, users who already have their credit card number and security information saved to their account can make a purchase in a few clicks. Although it may still be in beta and only in the USA, Facebook messenger payments have effectively opened another channel for companies to reach their clients and make a sale. The sheer speed of this payment method and the convenience offered to consumers after payment such as sending shipping notifications and questions about satisfaction make the whole process of making a sale and gaining the customers opinion that much easier and personal.

Soon enough even banks will be putting chatbots to use in the hopes of getting clients to pay bills. Société Générale, one of the leading French banks and one of the oldest, has recently outlined plans to use chatbots to answer investors questions in their equity funds, but hopes to also extend the use of chatbots to other retail products such as deposit accounts and bill payment amongst other areas planned for the future.

This increasingly effective marketing and sales tool is proving to be much more than just an annoying window greeting you when visiting a website. In fact chatbots are transforming into the exact opposite, the opportunity to create a loyal customer base eager to ask you questions and give brands their opinion, opens the door to a whole new level of engagement.

Chatbots are set to become a defining mobile app and browser feature for the future, don’t forget to download are mobile optimization white paper looking at 5 other tips to get your mobile app or site of the ground and running.