10 practical chatbot uses in ecommerce

Chatbots have survived their hype cycle, and are ready to get to work across many industries and functions. From health to finance, they’re starting to find their feet.

Ecommerce is an area chatbots fit comfortably. In fact, for ecommerce business, there are more than a few handy chatbot uses.

Here are ten of them.


1.    FAQ handling

Starting with the basics, one of the most common chatbot uses in ecommerce is FAQ handling. So, rather than navigating your static help files, customers can get quick answers. All via a friendly conversational interface.


2.    Data acquisition

Chatbot uses aren’t restricted to answering questions, either. Chatbots can ask online visitors for information too.

Ecommerce chatbots can replace webforms and surveys. Instead of static fields, a chatbot can gather data from customers as part of a conversational flow. So, the customer provides info in a relaxed, chatty context.


3.    24/7/365 support

Part of what makes bots so useful is they don’t need to switch off at night. In ecommerce, then, this enables round-the-clock accessibility.

Obviously, the level of support the customer receives won’t be as handy or flexible as human support. But, chatbot uses like this bridge support gaps. In this sense, by enabling customers awake at 4 am (or in different time zones) to get wanted information.


4.    Bookings and reservations

Perhaps your ecommerce offering involves bookings or reservation. There are chatbot uses to help with this too. For example, a chatbot can collect relevant details and log the booking request. Advanced deployments can even integrate with your systems to push-pull the required data.


5.    Navigation assistant

One of the popular ecommerce chatbot uses is as a navigational assistant. That doesn’t just mean giving online visitors directions to a physical location, either. A navigation bot helps your customers find the products and pages on your site that are relevant to them.

In other words, they can act as a humanised, conversational search function.  


6.    Proactive engagement

Chatbot uses extend beyond responding to visitors to include proactive support.

This might be a simple greeting as they land on your website. Or, an offer or deal. Or just to highlight the presence of ready-and-waiting support on pages with high bounce rate.


7.    Sales and transactions

Chatbots can act in a sales capacity and even handle transactions. Customers could order or pay via a chatbot in a single window.

So, the customer could tell the chatbot the name of the item they want. The chatbot could find it and offer any deals or related products. It can answer questions about the item, and the customer can complete the checkout process as a conversation.


8.    Customer portal

Chatbots can integrate with an online customer portal too. So, alongside supporting your main website, chatbots can support your customers when they log in to serve themselves.


9.    Booster for your live chat channel

You can also hook a bot into your existing live chat service to speed up handling times. This integration brings benefits to your chatbot, your agents and your customers.

The chatbot isn’t left floundering when it cannot help a customer. Instead, it escalates complex requests to a human agent. Your team, meanwhile, have fewer repetitive questions clogging up chat queues. So, customers aren’t stuck between struggling chatbots and long wait times.


10.  Internal chatbot

Most ecommerce chatbot uses are customer-facing. But your team can benefit too, with an internal chatbot.

An internal chatbot can help your team by answering quickfire questions about your business. (As in, ‘Where can I find our staff handbook?’)


The many chatbot uses of ecommerce

A host of chatbot uses await ecommerce businesses. However, it’s also important to remember that chatbots aren’t infallible. Rather, they’re best used with human agents ready in the wings, to support them and take on escalations.

So, is it time you added a chatbot to your ecommerce offering?


Useful links

Accessible customer service: is your business open?

Live chat and your customer portal: a match made in heaven

The falsity of the chatbot vs live chat debate