Conversational User Interface: 10 Reasons Why It’s Great For Ecommerce

Why do you need a conversational website for you e-commerce

Employing a conversational user interface can dramatically improve customer satisfaction and user experience for ecommerce businesses.

In such a competitive market, every e-store is on the lookout for ways to maximize customer retention and acquisition.

Using AI to create a more interactive and user-friendly site is one way that ecommerce businesses can do this.

In this post, we’ll take a look at 10 reasons why an ecommerce business should upgrade their website today.

Let’s dive right in.

What Is a Conversational User Interface ?

A conversational user interface is an interactive website that communicates with visitors.

Rather than relying on a user navigating a pre-built system of buttons and forms, a chatbot facilitates conversation with users, helping them get to where they want to go.

In other words, a chatbot is the medium for the conversation between a website and a user.

And based on the user´s input, the bot takes action on the website.

A conversational user interface allows customers to search, purchase, fill in forms, and many other actions directly in an AI shopping bot.

It can provide guidance, make page navigation easier for users, and decrease the number of actions the user needs to take to find what they are looking for or perform an action.

A conversational user interface can drastically improve the performance of ecommerce businesses.

It helps by creating a better way for brands to interact with their customers online and improves user engagement and customer satisfaction.

10 Reasons Why A Conversational User Interface Is Great For Ecommerce

If you are not sure why you should upgrade your ecommerce website, here’s a list of 10 reasons why you need a conversational user interface to stay ahead of the curve.

A Conversational User Interface is the Future of Customer Experience

In recent years, more and more customers have been switching to digital channels for their shopping, with 2.14 billion people shopping online.

For this reason, it is essential to create an interactive and frictionless online shopping experience. AI technology is one way of doing this.

The interfaces of traditional ecommerce websites are missing the brand–to–customer interaction, and the whole website experience is impersonal and lacks a human touch.

Meanwhile, a conversational design allows a website to communicate with the user as a human would. It mimics human-to-human conversation.

In other words, it imitates the conversation a customer would have with a shopping assistant in an offline store.

Graphic depicting two people building a webpage that uses conversational user interface
A conversational user interface enables personalized support for visitors to online shops.

A conversational user interface is effective because a conventional website’s impersonal experience is not enough to provide an excellent user experience.

A website needs to have a simple, user-friendly interface that makes online shopping a pleasant and enjoyable online shopping experience.

Many businesses have already recognized the need to adjust to customer needs and have started adding some conversational elements to their websites.

To illustrate, 58% of B2B companies and 42% of B2C businesses already use chatbots on their websites.

Furthermore, 64% of businesses believe that chatbots will allow them to provide a more personalized support for their customers.

Ecommerce stores that have introduced some form of conversational AI on their websites have increased their annual revenue by 7%-25%.

People Love Messaging

Messaging has become a major means of communication in recent years.

According to the Statistic Brain Institute, the number of texts sent has increased by 7,000% in the US alone in the last decade.

People seem to prefer to communicate by texting with friends and relatives, but also with companies.

Messaging is easier and faster than phoning or sending an email.

For that reason, messaging with a brand is a communication option that is always available, and many customers appreciate this.

A lot of customers already interact with AI shopping bots.

Graphic depicting three people talking via a conversational user interface
Messaging is a preferred way to stay connected not only with friends but also with brands.

According to a study by UserLike, 80% of respondents have interacted with a chatbot before.

Consumers are feeling more comfortable with the idea of chat support now than they used to in the past.

In particular, Gen Z and Millennials are more willing to communicate with brands through chatbot messaging.

A conversational design makes communication between a website and user through a chatbot possible, making the online shopping experience more personalized.

A Conversational User Interface Reduces Friction in Brand to Customer Communication

One of the challenges in the customer journey that causes friction is the lack of communication with a brand.

Customers don´t want a passive and impersonal online shopping experience anymore.

Online customers demand more now from online shops than they used to. They want to interact with brands and feel connected with them.

The interface of conventional websites is limited and does not allow customers to engage with brands. Customers are more likely to take their business elsewhere if an experience with a brand doesn’t meet their ever-increasing expectations.

According to one study, 68% of customers shop elsewhere because they think a brand doesn’t care about them.

Building a good relationship with the customers in an offline shop is easy with the help of friendly shopping assistants.

But how do you make the visitors of an e-store feel welcome and cared for when direct interaction is missing?

A conversational user interface moves one–to–one interaction between a customer and a salesperson to an online shop.

Thanks to NLP and NLU technology, an ecommerce website can communicate with a visitor as a shopping assistant would do.

It turns a depersonalized online shopping experience into a personalized and engaging one.

In other words, it gives a human touch to an ecommerce website by making customers feel appreciated and cared for.

Easy Page Browsing

Ecommerce visitors waste a lot of time searching for what they are looking for.

Browsing can be much easier on a conversational ecommerce website with a chatbot taking care of the search for the user.

It saves the user from going through infinite menus and filters.

Graphic showing a woman making a purchase through a conversational user interface
Browsing on a conversational user interface is more comfortable than on a traditional ecommerce website. It is a chatbot that takes care of searching for the right products and content.

A chatbot does away with complicated menus and endless filters and shows the user what they want to see.

It turns a tiresome and time consuming task into a quick and easy one.

To illustrate, when a customer asks a bot about a product, it can show cards with thumbnail pictures, a description, a link to every product page, a video, or other visual content.

It can also offer several products in a customized window and help the user navigate.

When a user lands on a homepage, a chatbot can start a customer journey by asking “How can I help you today?”

A user might answer with: “I am looking for floral perfumes for women.”

To which the chatbot might reply “I am happy to help! Here is a complete list of all floral fragrances for women in our store.”

A Conversational User Interface Provides Product and Gift Recommendations

A chatbot can also ask questions to collect user preferences.

Based on the input, it selects the right products as a shopping assistant would do.

Moreover, it can also display the bestselling products, and offer deals and discounts that the user might be interested in.

The Artificial Intelligence that a conversational user interface is based on understands the user´s input and learns the value of products, items, item categories, issues, etc.

The consolidated knowledge on a website´s content allows a chatbot to make personalized recommendations.

Likewise, it’s easy to find gifts for others with the support of an online shopping assistant.

Graphic showing a woman browsing an ecommerce store
A chatbot asks questions to better understand customer preferences.

Imagine you are shopping online and looking for a gift for your friend.

You are unsure what to buy.

Here, a conversational interface can be helpful. The bot can say, “I see that you are looking for _____. I can help you if you need ____”.

To find a better-suited product, it can ask additional questions, “Are you buying for yourself or someone else?”, “Are you buying for a woman or a man?”, How old is your friend? “What colours does she like?”

If you struggle to understand what your users want, a conversational user interface is a perfect tool to get know your customers better.

It can help you see who your buyers are and what problems they experience on your website.

Supported Decision Making

A conversational interface can increase the probability of a user purchasing a product.

By making the right suggestions, it can accelerate the customer journey.

When there are a lot of choices, some customers can get stuck in the decision process.

Sometimes a little encouragement can make the users proceed. It can even make suggestions like: “This shirt is cool, and I know the perfect necklace to match it with. Do you want me to show it?”

A chatbot can essentially do many of the things a shop assistant does.

A chatbot can be a useful tool that users use for consultation on their shopping.

It resembles the conversation that a shopper can have with a sales assistant in a physical store where the sales assistant often initiates the conversation.

Furthermore, a chatbot can present the user a selection of items curated by, for example, a famous makeup artist on a makeup store, or a famous interior designer in a furniture shop.

Here is an example:

User: “I need to buy a new office chair.”

Chatbot: “Interior designer Cecilie Manz has curated a selection of items for Saphir Salon. She selected these 2 office chairs. Do you see anything you like?”

Solving the Issue of Shopping Cart Abandonment

Purchasing decisions tend to be emotional, and if a consumer begins to doubt the products in their shopping cart they will either cancel the order or just leave the website.

Over two-thirds of all online shopping carts end up getting abandoned.

Often, customers need advice on whether they make the right decision.

Current ecommerce website design is ineffective at encouraging customers to check out.

A big shiny call to action button is not enough.

When a customer does not check out after a spending a long time on the website, an AI shopping chatbot can pop-up and remind the customer about items in the basket or encourage him or her to go back to shopping.

It can assist the shopper by saying, for example: “Any doubts about how this shirt will look on you? Let me help you with the size!”, or “I love this shirt too. Have you seen there’s only 3 in stock?”, or “May I show this shirt to you in a different colour?”.

Graphic showing two people shoppinig on an ecommerce site
Often customers start a check out process but drop out before completing the purchase.

A conversational user interface can encourage a shopper to check out in real-time or gather useful information on why a customer does not want to proceed.

For example, it can ask: ¨Was the price too high? ¨, Is the time of shipping too long?¨

Often, users lack information to make the final decision.

An AI shopping chatbot can help a customer find the details that they need in order to make a purchase.

Increasing User Attention

When a user browses through a traditional ecommerce website, all information is provided at once.

This can be confusing and overwhelming, resulting in the user losing interested and leaving the site.

However, a conversational interface makes it possible to progressively provide content as the user needs it.

For example, when a customer is about to checkout, an AI shopping bot could say: “You’ll get free delivery if you spend another $3. Would you like me to suggest some items based on your current basket?”

Because the user can drive and direct the conversation, their focus is increased and they are more receptive to recommendations and discount offers.

At the same time, a conversation makes that information more easily accessible to the visitors.

Personalized User Experience

A conversational user interface can play a significant role in enhancing user and customer experience through better usability of a website.

An AI shopping bot can reduce the end-user’s effort to communicate by reducing the number of clicks.

This is far more convenient as interacting with it requires nothing more than writing or directly speaking to it.

How? It can show a product page directly in the browser’s window without requiring clicking on a card or opening a new browser tab.

Due to the adaptation of conversational AI, the chatbot can add items to the basket and fill in the forms.

Graphic showing person shopping on tablet
Bad user experience is one of the main reasons many ecommerce websites do not perform well.

Until now, it has been the user that had to do all the actions on the website. A normal website does not adjust to different needs and expectations of visitors.

In the era of hyper-personalization, ecommerce businesses need to think about how to adapt to the customer journey on their websites.

Treating every customer uniquely and designing online shopping experience for every user is the right approach.

With a conversational design, a user does not need to go through an endless menu of products and waste his or her time figuring out what to do next.

A user-friendly conversational flow is more pleasant and more engaging for a user.

As design and flow are contextually driven, a conversational user interface adjusts to the user’s needs and habits.

Trust

Meaningful interaction and better user engagement speed up the purchasing process and maintain a personal touch. But it also develops trust between the consumer and brand.

A conversational user interface facilitates the interaction between customer and brand by offering help, providing personalized content and product recommendations, and solving the customer´s problems.

It can engage with users in ways that traditional ecommerce websites can´t.

When customers get what they are looking for and feel a brand cares about them, their satisfaction and trust increase.

Conclusion

A conversational user interface is an innovative way for ecommerce businesses to keep up with consumer expectations.

With satisfaction and experience becoming a key differentiator for consumers when choosing a brand to shop with, it’s never been more essential to stand out from the crowd.

Want to learn more about the advantages of revolutionizing your online store with a conversational user interface?

Check out our Conversational Commerce ebook, packed with ideas and inspiration for streamlining communication and accelerating sales.


Theis article was written by  Patrycja Hala Saçan and Luis Nagel.

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