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How Retailers Can Use Conversational AI to Drive Positive CX This Holiday Season and Beyond

On December 13, 2023 | 6 Minutes Read
Conversational AIConversational CommerceConversational EngagementConversational MarketingCXRetailWhatsApp Business API

How Retailers Can Use Conversational AI to Drive Positive CX This Holiday Season and Beyond

Be it Black Friday, Christmas, Diwali, or any other holiday, your customers are bombarded with notifications of lucrative discounts. Customers wait all year round for brands to shower the best deals.

Potential buyers often feel a sense of accomplishment when they come across a great deal and are automatically compelled to shop. The fear of missing out on the opportunity to buy items at a lower price results in high transaction volumes during the holiday season.

Despite this holiday rush, shoppers expect you to provide impeccable customer service and assistance throughout the buying journey. 82% of consumers expect an immediate response to a sales or marketing question, and 90% expect their customer service questions to be answered immediately. 

But it’s not feasible for brands to have a 24×7 customer service team onboard. So, how do you ensure you don’t test your customers’ patience or waste their valuable time? 

This is where conversational AI comes to the rescue. 

Retailers today are increasingly incorporating conversational AI chatbots to accomplish general tasks, like attending to customer queries, without human engagement. These AI-powered capabilities enhance engagement and ensure that brands deliver a positive customer experience during the busy (and not-so-busy) times of the year.

Conversational AI Transforms Your Customers’ Purchase Journey Conversational AI Transforms Your Customers' Purchase Journey

Sales chatbots are a dime a dozen, but how many lend that personal touch to the conversation? 

Regular chatbots usually have predefined responses like “Is this the order you need help with?” or “Please wait while we connect you to one of our executives.” Relying on predefined rules, most of these chatbots fail to offer a personalized experience. 

On the other hand, a conversational AI platform is powered by pre-trained NLU (Natural Language Understanding) engines and is equipped to identify the intent and sentiment of the users and respond accordingly. 

The best thing about conversational AI is that it can understand the customers’ moods, preferences, and true intent based on the conversation flow and curate responses accordingly, offering a more personalized experience. Since conversational AI can interpret natural speech, intent, and sentiments, it can steer intelligent conversation. It identifies the best course of action and calls in a human agent if necessary.

Fashion and lifestyle e-commerce store Myntra has recently been in the news for rolling out Maya, an AI chat assistant that provides fashion recommendations to buyers based on their preferences and the occasion. Popular fashion retail brand H&M has also incorporated a conversational Style Advisor feature that uses an AI algorithm to offer personalized recommendations to shoppers based on their preferences or the occasion for which they pick an outfit. 

Conversational AI chatbots enhance the shopping experience by engaging customers and helping them browse collections, place orders, track shipments, and give feedback. 

How Can Conversational AI Help Tackle the Holiday Shopping Rush
Conversational AI for Holiday Season

As brands compete to stand out in the digital space, the focus is on leveraging AI-powered chat assistants to help customers have the best shopping experience. 

If you are aiming at increased sales positive CX, here are a few strategies to reap conversational AI benefits in the holiday season:

Personalized Shopping Assistance

The primary benefit of conversational AI is that it ensures each customer enjoys a personalized experience. AI allows brands to understand the users’ intent and curate customized experiences, from online research to purchase and post-purchase support. This helps customers find what they are looking for, increasing conversions. 

A Swiss Luxury fashion brand has incorporated an AI digital shopping assistant, which has increased the conversion rate. Nearly 8.5% of conversations resulted in a purchase. 

Brands can also leverage conversational engagement on WhatsApp Business to give their customers personalized experiences. Estée Lauder was one of the first global beauty brands to take this approach and launch personalized skincare experiences for customers over WhatsApp.

Customized Product Recommendations

AI can identify the customer’s tone and analyze the intent, even if the customer makes a vague request. Based on the information provided by the customer and the data gathered, conversational AI can recommend the right products for the customers. 

These conversations provide brands with insights into customer preferences. As a result, brands can send customers updates on new launches and holiday offers that will likely align with their interests. These suggestions are more effective compared to random guesses. 

Deploying zero-code bots and integrating them across channels like WhatsApp, Instagram, and the web enable hyper-personalized conversations with customers. 

Reduced Cart Abandonment

Not every item that customers add to their cart ends in a purchase. Studies have shown that cart abandonment rates are as high as 87.93% and 87.79% for luxury and fashion items, respectively. 

Now, that’s not good news for brands. But conversational AI has the answer.

Brands can leverage conversational AI to overcome this issue. They can collect data based on the user’s previous activities and send targeted reminders periodically via in-app notifications, WhatsApp, or SMS. 

It is also advisable to add CTAs wherever applicable. Something like, “Your favorite t-shirt is waiting in your cart. Check out before you miss out on the biggest deal of the year!” This can help make up for the loss that would otherwise be incurred due to non-fulfillment of purchase to some extent. 

24/7 Customer Support

During holidays, which are the peak times of the year, brands need to ensure that shoppers enjoy a streamlined, quick, and hassle-free experience. They should be able to seek support at any point in time to avoid confusion. 

Businesses can automate conversational engagement on WhatsApp Business and save the hassle of deploying customer service staff for tasks like tracking orders or round-the-clock expert support. 

For instance, Amazon and Nykaa send orders, shipments, and delivery updates to buyers over WhatsApp. A Global herbal wellness brand offers a streamlined experience to customers through automated chats. By automating 70% of customer queries, the brand has also ensured 24×7 availability of customer support. Customers have conversed with automated chat assistants for a whooping 700+ hours per month!

Conclusion

Holidays are the busiest shopping season. While e-commerce has brought the stores to our doorsteps, thereby averting the hassle of waiting in queues for long hours, customers’ favorite products going out of stock still remain a problem that leads to customer dissatisfaction. 

Modern digital capabilities incorporating AI can alert customers to the availability of the last few pieces of the product they have been eyeing. Even if a product goes out of stock, a customer who had once shown interest in it will be notified once it is back in stock. It is truly noteworthy how AI has come such a long way in facilitating human-machine interaction in a personalized manner. 

Are you ready to capitalize on conversational AI to boost holiday sales? Partner with Gupshup and let your customers — no matter where they shop — enjoy an immersive experience across channels

Conversational engagement for marketing, commerce, and support powered by Gupshup can help brands deliver personalized and smooth customer journeys. Be it through conversational engagement on WhatsApp Business, SMS, Instagram, or any other messaging channel, you can streamline customer communication with powerful integrations.

Vartika
Vartika leads marketing at Gupshup and has ~16 years of experience in marketing across early-stage startups and large enterprises. A Marketing specialist by profession, a wanderer at heart, an enthusiastic cook, and a painter for the soul.

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