Why chatbots will play a critical role in marketing in 2020
Read any set of predictions for marketing in 2020 and chatbots will be in there. They are the solution for quick answers and can help customers to act efficiently and decisively. Ultimately, they aid sales – when used well. Chatbots are direct, straightforward and fast. Gartner states that 47% of organisations will be using chatbots for customer care over the next few years. Indeed, some predictions estimate that in 2020, 85% of customer interactions will rely on bots.
From the marketer’s point of view, chatbots make sense. They are relatively effortless and the speed and efficiency holds immense allure. They allow for the magic ingredient of conversation in personalised marketing efforts. Now that the AI technology to make them reliable is up to scratch, it’s no surprise that marketers are pushing their use.
How do chatbots increase sales
The fundamental aim of marketing is to increase sales. The modern marketer aims to do this, as much as possible, through automation and streamlining. At the same time, the modern consumer expects a more personalised approach. Chatbots marry these two sides together in to one solution.
There are a few different ways in which chatbots do this:
· Automation of personalisation
Behind each chatbot is powerful artificial intelligence. This enables analysis of a consumer’s behaviour and preferences in conjunction with other factors such as seasonality and market data. The chatbot can then recommend more relevant content. The result is to engage the consumer and lead them more individually to a sale.
· Engaging with website users
By using a chatbot, a website user isn’t at risk of getting lost or becoming disengaged. The chatbot can direct them to the information and answers they need. Given the fickle nature of website users, this is gold dust.
· Conducting research
Research informs and directs sales. Yet sparing the time to do accurate and comprehensive research can be near impossible for many businesses. Chatbots enable you to gather and analyse the data you need. You can quickly and easily learn more about your customers.
· Acting as the sales funnel
A chatbot can prompt and direct the consumer through the sales funnel itself. An excellent diagrammatic explanation of a chatbot as a sales funnel can be found here.
· Using chatbots for payment
Interestingly, some research has found that 67% of American millennials are likely to buy products or services from brands which use a chatbot. Chatbots can be used to securely and simply automate simple payments through live chat and apps. This is ideal because the customer doesn’t need to leave their current location to make a purchase and also they will benefit from the conversational nature of the bot. For the business, payments in this way can be easily scaled and it’s considerably more cost-effective than using operatives on live chat or through call centres.
Other ways that chatbots support marketing
There are multiple other ways in which chatbots will become increasingly important in marketing in 2020 and beyond.
Notably, chatbots are vital within the arena of social media. There are over 300,000 chatbots working through Facebook Messenger. With 80% average open rates, it’s easy to see their power. Your customers are on social media. And now, they expect interaction. What’s more, they expect personalised interaction. A chatbot is the only way that you can feasibly meet their expectations.
This leads on to the importance of chatbots in terms of customer experience (CX). CX is central to everything that a marketer does. It needs to be considered and thoughtful. Chatbots make it easier for businesses to interact with their customers, in turn improving the CX. Chatbots allow for an instant response and are available 24/7. Unlike call centres or live chat, if there is a high volume of contact, the response can be scaled up.
This also connects with the concept that everyone is now far more familiar with chatbots being part of their daily life. Through Siri and Alexa, it’s considered ‘normal’ and ‘safe’. We are increasingly using chatbots to streamline all sorts of aspects of our daily life from fitness to household management.
Get ready for chatbots in 2020
Given all of the above, it’s no surprise that chatbots will play a critical role in marketing in 2020. They make automation personal, and that works to fuel sales.