eCommerce B2c continues its growth also in 2017. In this scenario one of the challenges for sector players is making online purchasing ordinary by improving customer relations through the design of an effective user experience.
To obviate the remote sales issues some merchants are resorting to artificial intelligence, considered a solution to simplify the consumer interaction process. Chatbots are without question among the most interesting applications in this area. They are artificial intelligence based software applications capable of understanding natural language and of having conversations with users, provide pre and post-sales assistance and purchase support to web shoppers. These features make chatbots a valuable aid in the development of eCommerce, so much that sector giants have already launched some experimentation.
Amazon developed Pricetrackbot, a BOT by Telegram that enables clients to monitor a selection of products and keep track of price variations communicated by means of customized notifications. Facebook Messenger launched Conversational Commerce (used for example by Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry), a BOT that enables users to receive and examine product sheets based on their preferences. In this way users can select the type of goods, evaluate the product characteristics and purchase, all within private chats.
In China, fast shopping through social platforms is a much appreciated purchasing method by consumers. WeChat is in fact the preferred channel for communications between brand and customers, and has led to the opening of actual WeChat Stores. The innovation of chatbots in eCommerce is confirmed by the existence of some startups that are moving in this direction. Ropazi, for example, is an American startup that enables to purchase clothes through a chat. A BOT supports the user through all purchasing steps, behaving like a personal shopper and in the end allows users to purchase with PayPal or credit card. Or Hamlet, another American startup enabling the purchase of home-decor items through whatsapp.
In the future, merchants will have to be able to leverage artificial intelligence to improve company-customer interactions, increasing points of contact, simplifying the purchasing process and offering fast and effective assistance.