Written by Holly Phillips

June 13, 2022

In 2022, 23% of B2B companies said they wanted to explore automation; another 19% listed chatbots as a marketing tactic they were keen to try. These numbers are encouraging, as chatbots and automation are a boon for the businesses and customers alike. 

Automated conversations and chatbots — collectively referred to as “Automation” here — help users navigate a brand’s website or eCommerce shop by answering questions or dispensing information. Immediate answers are great for customers, and offloading this work onto software can also allow employees who would otherwise be chatting with customers to focus on other business areas. 

This article will explore why automated conversations are vital for growing revenue and share the specifics on how they can increase sales. 

Why an eCommerce chatbot is essential for growing revenue

Ecommerce sales have been steadily increasing since 2014 and are expected to surpass $7 billion by 2025. Yet, along with the growth in eCommerce comes higher expectations from online shoppers, such as a seamless checkout experience and faster response times from customer support. 

As a result, companies looking to meet customer needs have embraced automation. Chatbots can carry on conversations with potential and current customers, assist with purchasing, or answer questions about an order without a live human behind the screen. 

Depending on the software, automation can also collect customer data, run contests and giveaways, and transfer users to a live agent as needed (not to brag, but ManyChat does all of this, and more). 

With eCommerce sales on the rise and your free time decreasing by the day, utilizing a chatbot can be a lifesaver for your online business. Not only can a chatbot save time and money, but it can improve efficiency in your marketing efforts. Read on to learn how!

Top 8 ways a chatbot can supercharge sales and support for your eCommerce store

Using chatbots can boost sales and deliver better customer support for your eCommerce brand in several ways: 

Improve lead generation efforts

Use automation to attract and qualify your leads. For example, Instagram DM Automation by ManyChat has features that will automatically add users who comment on your posts into your direct messages. From there, they’ll enter an automated flow. 

Once in a flow you’ve created, users will answer qualifying questions posed by a chatbot . Here’s how it could work in practice: If you sell shoes, the chatbot can ask shoppers what types of shoes they’re shopping for and send them relevant information and product pages. 

Increase engagement

DM Automation goes beyond direct messages. You can also automate communication with Instagram users via Instagram Live, comments, and Stories. 

These features mean you don’t have to manually reply to every user who mentions your brand in an Instagram Story or leaves a comment on a post — the chatbot will do it for you. Instagram’s algorithm rewards accounts that engage with users (and can’t tell if a human or software is behind the engagement), which means more users will see your content.

Answer frequently asked questions

There’s a good chance your audience will repeatedly ask you the same questions. Common topics include sales (start dates, duration, eligible items, etc), prices, warranties, shipping, and others. 

Brands usually include an FAQ section on their websites, but users may not always go to it. Instead, they’ll ask the company itself! In such situations, you can let your chatbot answer questions for you. 

Having the chatbot answer these queries for you frees up time to work on other customer service inquiries that may require more than just rote responses (the chatbot can connect to a live agent when necessary).  

Provide ’round-the-clock customer service

Along with never tiring of answering the same questions over and over, your chatbot never tires, period. Setting up automated responses allows customers to get a reply to their questions right away, even in the wee hours of the morning. 

When your automation works at all hours, there’s no need to worry about time zones or live agent shifts—the chatbot works 24/7. 

Sell your products

Selling directly within Instagram has gotten more accessible with the Buy Button (a ManyChat Automation feature). The Buy Button allows you to show customers your products/offerings and enables them to purchase directly within the conversation without leaving the platform. 

Integrate with a payment gateway in a few easy steps with Stripe or PayPal and watch the sales roll in. Having the ability to purchase directly within the chatbot conversation window shortens the sales cycle, makes it easier for the customer to buy, and leaves less time for the customer to reconsider their impulse purchase. 

Personalize your conversations 

When chatbots collect first-party data from customers, it enables them to hold personalized conversations that improve the customer experience. 

For example, say a customer enters an automated flow after asking about the status of an order. The flow can tag the user as a customer, even asking and noting what they purchased. Later, the chatbot can use that information to ask for a product review or provide a discount code for their next purchase. (By the way, these post-purchase chatbot tasks can be automated—keep reading for more details!)

Collects feedback

You can set up a chatbot to automatically collect feedback from customers via reviews or web forms. For example, you can set up a message to send three days after a product is delivered that asks the user how they like it. 

The chatbot can also follow up on positive and negative reviews. You could send an automated message to thank customers for their thoughts on good reviews; if the feedback is less than stellar, you can take action to resolve the issue.

While chatbots helps you out in many areas of your business, they also provide firsthand look at who your customer is. You can use this information to improve your products and marketing campaigns.

Automation is a great tool that can simplify several tasks, including generating leads, increasing engagement, taking care of FAQs, providing 24/7 support, and even selling your products and services. Using a chatbot for these tasks (and others on your list) can save your business time and money.

As an eCommerce business, you really have nothing to lose—and everything to gain—by adding a chatbot. 

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The contents of this blog were independently prepared and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ManyChat or any other party. Individual results may vary.