Product recommendation isn’t something new. Offline retailers have been practising this smart method for many years to sell and earn more. However, with buyers shifting towards online commerce, it has become inevitable to implement such techniques on your e-commerce platform. So, you can pitch relevant products to buyers as per their search history and product preferences. Hence, you get better sales and a higher ROI.
To enable product recommendation on your e-commerce channel, you can implement A.I. chatbots or specific product recommendation engines.
This brings us to discuss how these technologies work and why you should implement them with your online marketplace.
E-commerce Chatbot: What is it and What can it Do?
When you assist customers in making the right decision about products, they are more likely to return and shop again.
The rise of e-commerce platforms can be dedicated to the next-gen technologies that have helped them reach millions of buyers and gain their trust as well. For instance, as an early adopter of eCommerce chatbots, online stores have simplified the process of answering repeated queries of buyers in real-time. Hence, promoting them to buy products.
But, what exactly is an eCommerce chatbot?
In layman terms, an eCommerce chatbot is a virtual assistant that can interpret buyers' requirements and assist them accordingly. It can help users with their queries, and recommend relevant products, take their feedback, raise a return/refund ticket, etc.
Above all, a chatbot can collect enormous user data from thousands of customers and present it to your marketing and sales team. The ability of chatbots to save user preferences can also be employed to personalize the buyer’s experience. A chatbot can recommend products to shoppers based on recent shopping activity, search history, product preferences, demographics, etc.
Product recommendation via AI chatbots can prove to be the easiest way to uplift the tardy sales. That’s why e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Grofers, have already applied this strategy in their online portals.
How can A Chatbot Recommend Products to Buyers?
With their conversational user interface and ability to work around the clock, chatbots make it easier for businesses to up-sell and cross-sell products.
Chatbots are famously known for their ability to answer the repeated queries of buyers. But, they can do more than this. For instance, while assisting the users with their product related queries, it can also ask predefined questions and save their preferences.
The same user data can be applied to sort available products and display the most relevant ones.
Types of Product Recommendations A Chatbot can Offer
Product recommendation happens in real-time; therefore, it’s essential to understand "In how many ways can you promote products via a chatbot?"
Based on your business requirements, you can route product recommendations, respectively. A product can be referred to buyers on many factors and scenarios, such as:
1. Previously searched products recommendations
Less than 20% of users visit online stores with the intention of buying. It implies that on their first visit, most buyers Reece products and offers. So they can find the best one from an online store. However, when finding the most suitable item, buyers forget about the previously searched products.
A chatbot can remember the recent searches of buyers, and when it senses that buyers have moved past to what they have earlier searched, it displays the same products within the chat window.
P.S.: This strategy is most suitable when buyers don’t add any product in the cart
2. Similar products recommendations
Displaying similar products to buyers is one of the most common product recommendation practices. But, it should be done delicately as buyers might get confused about which product to buy! Eventually, this might lead to the abandonment of the cart. Therefore, before you display similar products to buyers, make sure that they are willing to find related items.
A chatbot can do this more interactively with its conversational U.I. It can ask shoppers if they are interested in similar products and provide them “Yes,” “No,” as options. Now, based on the user intent, a chatbot can recommend relevant products.
P.S.: This strategy is most suitable when items added in the customer’s cart get out of stock
3. Add-on products recommendations
It is a particular type of product recommendation, as you can only push products that go with the ones that buyers have already added into their cart. Having said that, when you smartly craft add-on product recommendations, it can also remarkably uplift customer experience. For instance, when a buyer adds shoes in their cart, it will be right to recommend a pair of socks.
A chatbot can do this better than non-communicative product recommendation channels. At first, it can complement buyers for adding shoes in their cart, then pitch them with an offer and a pair of socks. By communicating the proposal, a chatbot boosts not only sales but also customer experience.
P.S.: Recommend products that add value to the ones that customers are already buying
4. High margin products recommendations
By recommending high margin products over the ones that a buyer has selected, you can increase sales tenfold. Also, as buyers aren’t aware of how much margin you make on each product, you can easily sell products that return higher ROI.
When this is done via chatbot, you can also answer the buyers' queries regarding the promoted products. Hence, it increases the chances of closing the deal.
P.S.: While going for higher-margin, don’t refer low-quality products to buyers. Otherwise, it might result in poor customer experience.
5. Bestsellers recommendations
Other than the product recommendation strategy, it’s always a great idea to tell the world about what your customer love the most to buy. On the other hand, it’s always a good beginning for new customers to scroll through bestsellers that they are likely to add in cart.
With the help of conversational chatbots, bestseller recommendations can be empowered in a personalized way.
P.S.: Before you begin displaying bestseller recommendation, consider asking buyers about the category that they want to explore.
6. Trending products recommendations
Employ real-time user data to attract more buyers in the sales funnel. You can make use of website search data to build a list of such items. Moreover, this product recommendation strategy can further help get an in-depth understanding of buyers’ preferences when pushed via chatbots.
P.S.: Always segment buyers before displaying trending items so that you can hit the right audience.
7. New arrivals recommendations
People are always interested in learning about new products and launches. This human behaviour can be leveraged to boost your sales in the right direction. With the help of conversational chatbots, you can also answer buyers' queries regarding products in real-time.
P.S.: Promote new arrivals from the same category from which a buyer is searching for products.
8. Geographic and demographic-based recommendations
eCommerce chatbot can save user name, age, gender, location, and product preferences of buyers. The same data can be employed to target buyers and pitch products that people from the same region are buying.
P.S.: Before suggesting products, always ask the buyer’s preferences. So you can personalize the user experience while promoting products.
9. Seasonal product recommendations
To provide buyers with seasonal product recommendations, you need first to train your chatbot with the same information. For doing so, you’ll need to sort products as per their seasonal usages. For instance, it will be right to recommend buyers with products like umbrellas and raincoats during monsoon.
Benefits of Product Recommendation Chatbot
1. Upsell Products
By promoting products that are priced higher than the ones that a buyer has already picked, you can increase your revenue per customer. However, doing the same isn’t an easy task.
It's where a chatbot can assist online businesses. It can brief buyers about the differences between the two products and why one is better than other. Hence, it saves time of the buyers and promotes them to make a decision quickly.
2. Cross-sell Products
Cross-selling of products is considered a daunting task. Because not every buyer is interested in buying an additional product. This can be changed, as buyers don’t add a product in their cart until they know what it’s for. As, when you recommend cross-sell products via chatbot, and educate buyers about the additional products. It gets more natural for them to grab the information and make the purchase.
3. Improve Customer Experience
Browsing through online stores can be challenging for buyers. This scenario can be changed with virtual assistants. By deploying a chatbot on your eCommerce website, you can assist buyers as they land on it. A bot can answer their queries and also ask specific questions to aid them accordingly.
Indeed, this means with Product Recommendation Chatbot; you can kill two birds with one stone.
4. Boost average order value
By prompting additional products to the buyers, Product Recommendation Chatbot can help increase the average order value. This metric plays a vital role in boosting the profitability of online businesses. To put it in simple words, an increase in average order value can help retailers cover customer acquisition costs.
5. Learn about individual customer preferences
Product Recommendation Chatbot, while assisting buyers with their queries, saves their inputs. This information can be leveraged to build effective marketing and product promotion campaigns.
How to Know if Product Recommendation is Going Right?
When done correctly via chatbot, product recommendations can lead to the manifold growth of your eCommerce platform. Therefore, you should keep an eye on whether it’s moving in the right direction or not!
Here are some ways, you can make sure that your products recommendations are practical and relevant:
1. Track metrics
Check for vital metrics, such as average session time, number of product visits, user actions (Add to cart, wishlist, etc.) to determine the effectiveness of Product Recommendation Chatbot.
2. Compare sales data
Whenever you revise your product recommendation strategy, you should compare the new sales data with the old one. This will give you a more comprehensive understanding of how to recommend products effectively and offers to get the maximum profit.
3. Check conversational flow
It would help if you kept optimizing the chatbot’s conversational flow over time. But most importantly, you need to check for conversational turns where most of the buyers are leaving the chat. By working on such points, you can limit the drop-offs. And, ultimately boost sales.
Things to Keep in Mind While Recommending Products via Chatbot
Although you can wholly automate the product recommendation via chatbots, you should keep in mind some important factors to save yourself from delivering bad customer experience.
1. Product recommendation should be contextual:
While promoting products to individual buyers, stay relevant as much as possible. So, buyers get a sense of reasonable customer support assistance from your brand.
2. Don’t overstuff product recommendations:
Always keep item recommendations limited. Otherwise, buyers might get confused in deciding which product is best for them.
3. Display available items:
Last but not least, you should connect product recommendation chatbot with inventory, so before promoting it, bot can check if it’s is available or not.
Web/app-based Product Recommendation vs Chatbot-based Product Recommendation
In general, Product recommendation engines analyze tons of user data, such as behavioural data, collaborative data, demographics data, search data, etc. to create and display a list of products that are relevant to buyers.
Undoubtedly, by implementing a product recommendation engine, you can magnify sales, revenue, and customer experience. However, to get the most out of your product recommendation strategy, you’ll need a virtual assistant that can help buyers with their queries regarding promoted products. Besides this, a chatbot can voice your product recommendations and boost their reach by manifolds. Hence, higher chances of closing deals.
3 Ways to Begin with Product Recommendations
Undoubtedly by connecting your eCommerce with a product recommendation engine, you can effectively boost product sales. There are three ways you can do this:
1. Integrate Product Recommendation Engine with your eCommerce website
You can buy a Reco tool from the vendor and directly integrate it with your online marketplace. It is the easiest way to get started with product recommendations.
2. Integrate Product Recommendation Engine with eCommerce Chatbot
Implementing a conversational strategy along with your product recommendations can do wonders. So, if you have already connected a Reco engine with your website, you can integrate it with the chatbot via APIs.
3. Build a Product Recommendation Chatbot for your eCommerce website
Besides the two points mentioned above, building a chatbot for your eCommerce is the most feasible way to get started with product recommendations. However, you’ll need to create chatbot’s conversational flow for the same. Also, the bot will need necessary training upfront, such as when to display a product, what actions to take when a buyer visits a particular page, etc.
Traditional Product Recommendation Engines V/s Conversational Product Recommendation Chatbots
A chatbot can provide the same product recommendations as of Reco engines. It can employ the same strategies to filter and display relevant items to buyers. Overall, in terms of their ability to provide product recommendations, standalone tools and chatbots are indistinguishable.
However, chatbots are made to take it further with their conversational interface. Apart from showing suggestions, chatbots can also assist buyers with their queries as they ask.
Now, what differentiates the two is the ability of chatbots to not only display products but also assist buyers with the same as they ask a query. In addition, with eCommerce chatbot, you can:
- Converse with buyers regarding recommended items
- Take buyers feedback wrt to recommendations
- Ask specific questions to understand the relevancy of products
- Get better insights about your product recommendation strategy
- Get a detailed overview of the performance of product recommendation campaign
Taking into account the benefits of Product Recommendation Chatbot for your online businesses, it can prove to be beneficial in the effective growth of your platform. However, as there are multiple recommendation strategies, it’ll be good to keep experimenting with them on your audience base. Also, you can segment buyers to test different product recommendation approaches.
Book a free demo with our chatbot experts and learn how Product Recommendation Chatbot can do wonders for your eCommerce business.
Lastly, remember, the best chatbot is simply the one that is useful for your users and allows you to automate repetitive tasks, so that you can focus on scaling your business faster!
So, what are you waiting for? Build something awesome today!