Chatbots have been along the way for a long time now, and people have started to accept them in various domains with the provided ease of use. Retail businesses of all types can leverage massive growth opportunities with custom chatbots. With the right implementation, chatbots can help users make purchase decisions in much less time and effort, skyrocketing the overall sales for your business.
If you own a retail business and plan to develop a chatbot for it, you are at the right place. We will be discussing various aspects of chatbots in retail in this blog; by the end, you will have an overview of what needs to be done for proper implementation. Let’s get started with the basics first, and then we will move on to the development part.
- Chatbots in retail have found a profound liking for uses other than support.
- Online retail industry is booming and people are looking for alternatives which could offer more.
- AI offers different pathways and approaches to enable a different and better customer experience.
- An NLP based chatbot can revolutionize the shopping experience for users in various ways.
Table of Contents
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is software designed to answer queries, offer relevant products, and make interaction easier with the visitors to your website or app. A basic chatbot offers a list of queries, while an NLP-based chatbot can interpret what the users want from the query they type. AI-enabled chatbots offer different implementation possibilities, including showing a list of relevant products from your entire catalog.
While creating a basic chatbot is simple, creating one specifically for the retail industry can be tough. While implementing AI in your chatbot, you need to connect all your legacy systems for it to fetch information in real-time. Suppose a user wants to track their order; the chatbot would be able to do so for them in an ideal scenario. In case the user wants to shop from previous orders, you need to fetch the details from the database and feed it into the chatbot.
To decide which one you want, you need to start with planning what you want to accomplish in the segment. When done through a professional retail chatbot development company, the more always, the better, as practically a user would be able to do everything, they want with the chatbot itself.
Why Should Retail Businesses Invest in Chatbots?
Online retail has been competitive as ever, and chatbots can be a way to stand out from the crowd. A lot of retail businesses are trying to implement AI in their systems, and implementing it through a chatbot ensures the users can utilize it to its full potential. The challenge for retail businesses today is that they all offer wide catalogs but no interactive way for users to browse through them. However, users now prefer more immersive interactions than before; therefore, now could be the best time to implement a chatbot for your retail business.
Benefits of Chatbots in Retail Businesses
Retail is a vast sector with various offerings in different niches, and to list them all in one place while keeping users engaged can be troublesome. Chatbots can help the situation by offering a new way of retail shopping for customers. With a custom implemented chatbot, you can achieve a lot more than just engagement, and you can offer your entire services automated through NLP.
In the retail business, users love to compare goods, and it usually is a big hassle for them to do so while browsing. You can give them an option to compare as you like; they can either view the items in the chatbot after or simply raise an NLP query saying: Compare product 1 to product 2 or Which of product 1 or product 2 should I buy? – The chatbot would provide a detailed comparison of two or more products.
A major chunk of retail research and development goes into categorizing similar products a user would order. A retail chatbot opens up a new world of possibilities for it, and the chatbot can fetch a list of recently bought together items or show the list of items people who were looking for similar items bought.
Users can access their order history and re-order the items using the chatbot itself; they can even include/exclude items based on specific categories. For example, a user can re-order home supplies but ask the chatbot not to include dairy items or exclude a particular item.
No more manual filtering and sorting would be required when you implement the chatbot. Fast browsing is enabled by getting user information and fetching products only suited to them (based on previous orders, shopping patterns, size, etc.) when they raise a query through the chatbot.
Instant support for people looking forward to having their queries resolved through human staff. The chatbot can queue based on priority and can connect the user to a support executive in just a few seconds.
Users want to know where their favorite product is, all the time. Through the chatbot we built for you, they will be able to access the exact status of their order by just typing track. While it is a feature too in most apps, having it on chatbot is a lot easier for users and can change the way they browse your app.
Custom Chatbot for Retail Business: Development Process
AI chatbots are extremely beneficial for the retail business, and the development process on your end is not as complicated as you think. There is a sequence of steps that you need to follow, and in the end, you’ll have an intelligent result-oriented virtual assistant for your business. The first step that you’ll need to take is to plan and decide what you want to achieve with your AI chatbot development.
Step 1: Planning
Planning has to be the first step for the development of anything, and you need to decide the audience, goals, targets, budget, etc. Assuming you have half of them decided, you need to proceed with planning implementation where you want the chatbot to be. As we stated above, a well-developed chatbot can easily replace other systems and act as the first point of contact for your user base. The retail industry has been obsessed with long catalogs of products, and you can change that with your custom chatbot. So pen down everything you have thought of till now, the tangibles, the must-haves, and connect to chatbot development consultants; they will put everything into perspective for you.
Step 2: Hiring the Right People
Assuming you already have app/website development teams, you would still need experts in AI/ML and chatbot development. You can hire through websites, augment staff from a staff augmentation company or hire them to do it for you, and it all depends on how far you want to go to watch your project succeed. It is very important to hire the right people, and you need to define if you require the expertise of professionals or can make-do with freelancers or full-time employees you hire to work per your instructions.
Step 3: Development
The first two steps would probably help you decide everything for this one, the toughest step in the job. Once you are ready with a team comes the development part. What you specifically need to take care of is choosing the development strategy and the development technologies. Both highly affect your project if you want to make it big in the retail industry. If you are planning to create an all-powerful chatbot, you will need to choose technologies and strategies which allow Agile, as well as scaling as you go.
Step 4: Maintenance and Updates
Maintenance and updates are the core components of chatbot development, as none of them are perfect from the start. An NLP-based chatbot would learn and learn from interaction with your audience, and you need to implement so as you go. A trusted development company like Matellio can help you with it, as we offer various packages specifically built for clients looking for maintenance and upgrades. You need to take care of this step to ensure your project succeeds; as your chatbot grows, you will need the developers again and again. And choosing professionals would ensure you have them readily available as you want.
Chatbots are known to make things easier for shoppers, and that’s something everyone in the retail industry wants. So, of course, that makes the entire chatbot development for your retail business right for you, but there’s a catch, a badly built chatbot can ruin the customer experience too. All the features we mentioned above require an intricately built chatbot, and not anyone you hire can do that.
You need a team of professional chatbot development experts to achieve the best from it, and we are here for you. Our team at Matellio has tremendous experience in AI/ML and chatbot development, and we can implement what you want the way you want. All you need to do is give us a call or fill in the details, and our experts will reach out to you for the rest.
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