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Chat Bots to Boost Sales

Here’s How These Brands are Harnessing the Power of Chatbots to Improve their Marketing and Sales

It must have dawned on you by now that we are surrounded by bots. If you read between the lines of fascinating success stories like Arby’s hilarious pizza slider bot, the future of brand awareness lies in the tiny digital paws of chatbots!

Today, more and more businesses are using chatbots to create more personalized interactions with their target audience, make purchases, recommend products and provide excellent customer service. You can book an appointment, order your favorite food, and get recommendations for anything you can think of.

Accenture Strategy recently found out that individuals are forever in need of advice and guidance, which can be a tough nut to crack for retailers, especially when there has been a shift in consumers towards mobile and eCommerce retail, entailing the need for round-the-clock communication. The use of chatbots offer marketers a fantastic opportunity to boost their brand, engage with customers on a personal level, improve their marketing and sales and generate higher ROI. According to Ubisend report, 1 in 5 consumers would prefer to purchase products and schedule an appointment using a chatbot.

Irrefutably, chatbots and virtual assistants are the future of marketing and customer support, having a vast propensity to offer innumerable opportunities for your brand. The assistance provided by chatbots when it comes to customer decision alleviates time perusing through search results, and in turn entails fewer steps to complete a purchase, consequently resulting in lesser decision points where a customer could change their mind.

However, when using chatbots, the key is to strike the right balance. A bot needs to exude a healthy curiosity about each new acquaintance and capture a user’s attention quickly, but too much intrigue can put people off and push them into creepy territory. While bots cannot claim to be an actual human, they must be drilled in a rudimentary knowledge of human conversational patterns.

To inspire your foray into this burgeoning technology and help you implement chatbots in your marketing strategy, here are some key takeaways from the best brands that are using chatbots to create a difference and delight their customers.

Domino Pizza

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Eager on harnessing the prowess of chatbot technology, Domino’s redefined what customer service is all about when they launched their pizza ordering bot DOM, allowing users to order directly via their Facebook messenger. Be it repeat or one-off customers, DOM allows you the comfort of ordering without having to leave your favorite app and without the need to create an account.

Users can place an order by simply typing “PIZZA” and send it to Dom via Messenger. Domino Pizza is taking advantage of all devices such as Google Home, Amazon Echo, Twitter, text messaging, smartwatches and smart TVs to ease the lives of their customers.

Whole Foods

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The friendly foody bot of Whole Foods allows users to search for recipes, products and food inspiration without ever leaving messenger. The Facebook Messenger bot was launched in 2016 by Conversable. The brand is planning to widen its horizons by introducing coupons, direct shopping options and a saved recipe library for their users.

Shoppers can capitalize on the chatbot to ask for recipes and determine where all the products that they need are located in the store.  If you give the bot some details about your special dietary needs, flavor preferences, and food allergies, the bot will help you find foods and recipes that leave out a particular ingredient as well. You can even simply send an emoji of a food item to glean an instant dietary recommendation.  Send out a banana emoji into the Facebook Messenger chat, and watch the bot offer some popular recipes that include bananas and point you in the right direction. Isn’t it amazing?

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

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One of the oldest airlines in the world considered the safest and most punctual European air carrier launched a KLM BlueBot (BB) on Facebook Messenger to help passengers book a ticket. The bot can also deliver booking confirmation, flight status updates, and reply to passenger queries. With the help of BB, the airline company is now able to handle a whopping number of request from its customers and provide a personal, timely and accurate answer to every customer request.

Sephora

The French cosmetic brand that offers makeup, skin care and hair care products worked with the chat app company Kik and launched a personal assistant in 2016. The personal assistant provides all kinds of makeup tutorials, skincare tips, product reviews, video clips, and product ratings.

The cosmetic brand also launched the Sephora Reservation Assistant that helps customers seamlessly schedule appointments with beauty specialists by contacting the chatbot directly. The chatbot comprehends the natural speech pattern of customers through its smart learning capabilities, making the interactions even easier and more hassle-free.

Their second service Color Match leverages the power of augmented reality to aid customers in selecting colors. You can get any shade identified from Sephora’s vast line of products by holding up your camera to a face or image. The algorithm can also offer you suggestions for cosmetics matching an outfit.

Starbucks

Ordering your Pumpkin Spice Latte at the counter is so out the window! Starbucks has introduced Barista bot for Facebook Messenger that is created to help its users order coffee or snacks. Customers can interact with the bot via text message or by voice through Amazon Alexa . Customers can place their order right from the comforts of their homes and pick up their brew when they receive a message from the app. The Barista bot also allows for tipping and payment, and all that you have to do is show up. Based on the previous orders, the bot is enabled to gauge the habits and preferences of loyal customers and make recommendations.

Mastercard

Mastercard introduced a Facebook Messenger bot that allows its users to check the list of their recent transactions. It will not only give you all the account related details but also give you an opportunity to make purchases from a number of Mastercard partnered retailers directly, such as Subway, Cheesecake Factory, FreshDirect and more.

1-800-Flowers

1-800-Flowers is also making the most of chatbot technology while allowing its users to send flowers and gifts. It helps you choose florals according to the type of event, such as anniversary, birthday, family get-together, etc. and helps you select the right gift for the occasion. With their bot, you can easily purchase flowers and receive shipping updates right from the app.

eBay

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eBay launched a virtual shopping assistant ShopBot that helps consumers find items they want on their website. Users are required to provide some details about their preferences and price range and ShopBot will help them find the right product, style, and color. Users can simply upload the image of a product that they want and ShopBot will find it for them.

Taco Bell

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Taco Bell is capitalizing on chatbot technology and making the process of ordering food online a lot easier for customers. With TacoBot, you can order some Taco Bell directly on the Slack. The bot allows you to place an order, customize it, check out and receive order confirmation without leaving Slack.

Spring Bot

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Spring Bot is a digital shopping assistant used by many retail brands such as Lanvin, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Uniqlo, Balenciaga and more to connect with customers. It invites users to shop from more than 800 retailer brands and receive a personalized recommendation in the app. Customers are required to answer some questions about their personal preferences and price range and the Spring Bot will provide them with relevant suggestions. Users can make direct purchases by simply clicking on the product images right on the platform.

What Does It Mean for Marketers

AI-powered chatbots can provide a seamless customer experience that can improve customer engagement, retention and drive huge sales. These conversational agents serve as alternative solutions to customer service representatives. Marketers should use chatbots to fortify their marketing efforts, reach their target audience, help customers identify what they want, and deliver a higher ROI.

Macy Lambert

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