According to a Deloitte study, 60 percent of holiday shoppers will visit online retailers this season. The study also forecasts a 17 to 22 percent increase in ecommerce sales in 2018 compared to 16.6 percent in 2017. Ecommerce holiday sales are expected to reach $128 to $134 billion.
Chatbots are a great tool to take advantage of this spike in online consumer behavior. They help drive revenue and reduce the demands on customer support teams. Here are 6 ways your company can use chatbots during the busy holiday season.
1) Avoid an internal Nightmare Before Christmas
Customer satisfaction levels and response times are a challenge to maintain during the holidays. During peak season, companies will have to plan ahead to manage increased customer service inquiries. If agents become overwhelmed by work, both the internal team and the customer will suffer.
Thankfully, a holiday chatbot is able to do a lot of the heavy lifting. Because the increased support tickets are usually predictable, these FAQs are ripe for automation. Order status updates, tracking information, and delivery schedules can all be handled by a holiday chatbot. This will allow customer service teams to operate at more manageable levels.
It also isn’t rare for shoppers to pass the stress of the holidays on to customer service teams. Fortunately, a holiday chatbot is immune to these types of encounters. A chatbot is a helpful line of defense to protect the team against negativity and keep them motivated.
2) Your holiday chatbot’s gift advice moves customers through the sales funnel
Gift ideas can be the hardest and most stressful part of holiday shopping. A chatbot helps guide your customers through the gift selection process. For example, your holiday chatbot can ask questions like “Who is this gift for?” or “How much do you want to spend?”.
It can also enhance the customer experience by suggesting related products and recommendations. Then, it can display a call-to-action that drives users through the sales funnel.
3) Chatbots help create wishlists that drive revenue
You can also use chatbots to help your customers create wish lists. And, you can enable social sharing to allow people to share this content with their friends. This alone has the power to increase sales. But, even if no immediate action is taken, you now have great insight into the products your customers want.
4) Your holiday chatbot can send push notifications with seasonal offers
This year, a holiday chatbot is more likely to get through to shoppers than other marketing strategies. Chatbot push notifications have extremely high open rates. The click-through rates range from 15%-60%. Even the lower end of that spectrum well surpasses the average email marketing campaign CTR (which is only about 4%).
Using your holiday chatbot, you can reach consumers directly with strategic notifications and improve your local marketing. You can also encourage conversions to reduce shopping cart abandonment with limited-time offers like discounts or free shipping.
This is a great way to use the information from your customer’s wishlist. If a customer still has items on a wish list, a 20% discount could be the boost needed to convert them.
5) Chatbots can let you know when Christmas gifts are on their way
Shipping is a big concern for Christmas ecommerce and can make or break a brand during the holiday season.
As we mentioned before, you can use a chatbot to simplify shipping information that customers need to know before purchasing. This includes estimated delivery times, and deadlines to purchase in time for Christmas. Your chatbot can also provide customers updated tracking and return policy information.
6) A holiday chatbot can help customers make important reservations
If your business is in the hospitality or catering industry, chatbots can help your customers make reservations. A recent study found that 33% of respondents already make reservations using chatbots. For businesses trying to plan for peak season capacity, chatbots make a big difference.
A chatbot can help your customers plan their Christmas meal or holiday stay, and make sure things go smoothly. Trying to coordinate during Christmas time often comes with last minute plan changes. If your chatbot is helpful and accommodating, it will create a strong brand experience for your customers.
You can even use a chatbot if your business does not accept reservations. Chatbots can answer questions about wait times, special menus, directions, and more.
Chatbots are an excellent way to make sure things go smoothly for your customers and internal teams this season. They also help improve the customer experience before, during, and after Christmas day. In an increasingly competitive market, great customer experiences are what differentiate brands.