The conversion rate of an e-commerce site refers to the percentage of visitors who purchased a product, to the total number of visitors on the website. It is therefore understandable that to increase your sales, numerous visitors just will not do the job. You have to transform this traffic into high-quality conversions.Of course, the basics of a website must be respected: site design, presence of videos, product photos, FAQs, etc. However, according to a JDN study several indispensable elements influence the purchasing decision of consumers in e-commerce :
A discussion that is automatically triggered on the website to get in contact with visitors: 82% of Internet users admit that they are more reassured if an e-commerce website offers a live chat. (Ecommerce Nation)
Personalized recommendations to web shoppers based on their preferences by proposing products appropriate for them: 8 out of 10 web shoppers need assistance in the shopping tunnel. (Codeur Mag)
A simpler purchasing process with button-driven questions that leads the user to finalize the order: 47% of consumers would buy items from the live chat. (Hubspot, 2017)
Automation of responses from visitors in providing quick answers and increasing satisfaction, always with the aim of conversion: 56% of French people believe that live chat helps to simplify their lives. (agence Conversationnel)
What is Live Chat?
Live chat, or the chat channel, allows e-merchants to have a conversation with their customers directly on their websites. It consists of offering or initiating an instant discussion through text messages with visitors on a website. This dialogue answers questions in the pre-sale phase or deals with complaints from customers in the post-sale phase, for example.
Today, the chat feature takes this a step further by automating the answers to the frequently asked questions. Indeed, with this solution, a virtual agent is integrated to help customer support staff with time-consuming, low value-added tasks. One advantage is that it is available 24 hours a day and can handle several requests simultaneously! The virtual agent responds to questions and provides information to customers, freeing up customer support time, and adding value to the purchasing process. Human agents, on the other hand, can focus on more complicated and high added-value problems instead.
E-merchants use a virtual agent for one main reason: to increase their conversion rates. According to a Keyrus study, 39% of visitors admit that interaction with a virtual agent had influenced their purchase decision.
The e-commerce sector has therefore well understood the importance of a virtual agent to assist its customers in the purchasing process. This is called “conversational commerce”, in other words, the conversation becomes the core of exchanges between humans and virtual agents.
Numerous messaging platforms provide opportunities for “conversational commerce” to develop. By integrating a virtual agent into the website chat channel, e-merchants can market their products and services via this new channel in an efficient and user-friendly way, to stand out from the competition. The e-commerce virtual agent will capture the attention of visitors at the point of purchase, i.e. on the websites of the e-merchants.
How does the virtual agent increase the rate of conversions?
Before the purchase process, shoppers wish to be guided through the purchasing process and when they do not find the expected product or do not get any answers to their questions, they abandon the website, which negatively affects the conversion rate and results in a drop in sales.
The virtual agent can influence the behavior of visitors by asking them questions and answering them. The virtual agent acts as a virtual salesperson on e-commerce sites in the same way as a salesperson in a real store. Customers feel that they are being heard and supported in their purchasing process without being disturbed, thus improving their shopping experience on the website. This solution helps customers find what they are looking for and it recommends products based on their responses. The virtual agent will be able to find out what customers are looking for by registering their tastes and offering them personalized products that best meet their expectations.
Interactive and conversation-based, the virtual agent initiates the sales process and personalizes the customer’s experience on the e-commerce site, thus building customer loyalty. They will consequently be more likely to visit the site later on. With product recommendations, the virtual agent becomes a real sales advisor on the chat channel. It supports the customer in his or her purchase and therefore accelerates the sales process. This allows e-merchants to increase their conversion rate via this new channel.
After the purchase, the virtual agent can answer several queries related to order tracking, payment and delivery methods, exchange conditions… It thus saves time for human agents who can handle more intricate requests. The virtual agent uses artificial intelligence, which makes it an effective tool that provides precise answers and understands the customer’s needs. As it does so, it understands customers’ consumption habits to better meet their needs. For e-merchants, customer loyalty is of paramount importance, so the virtual agent becomes a driver of customer satisfaction. When satisfied customers buy on the website repeatedly, e-merchants see it as a win-win situation for increasing their sales.
Thanks to the virtual agent, customer service advisers can concentrate on their job and carry out tasks with high added value. Gone are the days when customers complain about the status of their order or the terms of exchange! From now on, it is the virtual agent who takes care of these types of requests. This automation solution therefore saves support time by helping customers in their purchasing process.
With the introduction of the virtual agent in the chat channel, e-merchants can now automate their customer support. It is a way to direct site visitors to the right information, whether it is pre-sales or after-sales. The main objective is to convert visitors into loyal customers. E-merchants can record all the conversations made with the virtual agent and verify the answers given to optimize them and improve the shopping experience on the site.
According to Gartner, by 2022, conversational commerce will change consumer habits in the e-commerce industry: 21% of interactions will be with a virtual agent. Also, one out of every two sites will be investing in the integration of a virtual agent by 2021. The result will be an enhanced conversion rate and a valuable aid in the sales process (pre-sales, after-sales and even during the sale).