Chatbots Help Consumers Shop Till They Drop

Andrea Lowe | December 18, 2017

It's every retailers nightmare during the holiday season – customers are browsing online loading up their shopping carts, they head to the checkout and then – poof – they disappear, completely abandoning their journey.

This frustrating occurrence happens often – a study conducted by Baymard Institute found that 69% of all e-commerce visitors abandon their shopping cart – and is commonly a side effect of a disjointed shopping experience that isn't in line with the expectations of today's demanding consumers.

In the digital era, customers often use a number of channels to complete their journeys. No matter how many times they switch channels, they expect continuity and instant access to the information they need to feel confident about moving forward with their purchase. If retailers fail to provide continuity across channels or offer a shopping experience full of hiccups, they'll likely see a number of abandoned shopping carts. Some common online shopping pain points include:

  • No customer support. It's not uncommon for customers to arrive at the checkout with some nagging questions or concerns about their purchase. What happens if the garment doesn't fit? What is your company's return policy? If customers can't find the information they need, they likely won't complete their purchase.
  • Complicated checkout process. Are customers required to complete a number of forms before they checkout? Do you force them to create a user account? Maybe they already have, but they forgot their password and are now forced to go through the motions to retrieve it. Overcomplicating your checkout process is a sure way to lose customers.
  • Unexpected costs. Do unexpected fees appear out of nowhere once a customer reaches the checkout? Are your shipping costs higher than normal? Unforeseen costs often prompt customers to look elsewhere.
  • Limited product information. Customers want to know as much about their potential purchase as possible. Whether it's sizing, dimensions, product shots, reviews, etc., providing customers with as much information as possible empowers them to feel confident moving forward with their purchase.
  • Poor shipping options. For all its conveniences, online shopping doesn't offer the satisfaction of leaving the store with a tangible purchase. In exchange for the convenience, customers are willing to wait a few days for delivery, but not much longer. They won't want to wait 2 weeks for their purchase to arrive and they won't pay exorbitant amounts to have it delivered within 2-3 days.
  • Questionable checkout page. Providing credit card information will likely always cause some customers concern having a professionally designed, clean looking checkout page builds trust and helps customers feel confident about doing business with you.

Deploying chatbots across all channels is an ideal way to solve many of these pain points. Chatbots provide consumers with the continuity they expect, enable customers to self-serve and find the information they need, and can provide offers or assistance at the right moment – all without requiring customers to leave the checkout page. Intelligent chatbots can even prepopulate forms when possible and can seamlessly escalate any complex inquires to human agents, helping to resolve issues well before a customer becomes frustrated, while preventing them from having to start their journey over again.

By engaging customers with chatbots when and where they need it, you'll provide a more enjoyable journey, inspire confidence about shopping with your company, and encourage more conversions. Learn more about how intelligent chatbots can help customers shop till they drop this holiday season.