We’re in the middle of an AI revolution. 16% of Americans now own a smart speaker like Amazon Alexa, and automated services are gushing into our daily lives at an unprecedented rate.
Chatbots are a big part of this shift. In the context of conversational sales, chatbots represent a leap forward in what businesses are able to deliver to their digital customers, and often at a reduced cost.
Let’s take a look at some of the factors that are making chatbots impossible to ignore.
They’re Becoming More Popular with Users
Whisbi’s research found that 68% of customers choose live chat & chatbot over forms or phone.
And while, as mentioned above, many people still crave the human touch of a real sales assistant, some research indicates that 40% of users don’t care if they’re helped by a chatbot or a human.
Even those who shy away from robotic sales assistants still prefer a more digital approach. Research by Nielsen found that 56% of users would prefer to message customer support staff rather than call them, something a Hybrid chatbot can help with.
One of the great features of chatbots is that even those who don’t like them can be easily connected with real staff. This blend of assisted and unassisted selling, and the option to switch to a human sales assistant if needed, is one of the most important features of a sales chatbot.
Overall, chatbots are winning people over, especially younger people. 70% of millennials report positive experiences with chatbots, which suggests that as time goes on this technology will continue to grow in popularity.
This is something that businesses are keen to capitalize on.
Business Are Adopting Chatbots More
The growing demand for chatbots among customers is reason enough for businesses to consider them, but there are also plenty of other advantages.
Here’s what businesses think about chatbots:
- According to research by Accenture, 57% of businesses agree that bots can deliver a large return on investment for minimal effort
- Chatbots are expected to cut business costs by $8bn by 2022
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, 80% of organizations are looking to implement chatbots by the end of 2020
There’s an increasing awareness among organizations of the importance of chatbots when it comes to saving money, delivering more sales, and growing their business. As the industry develops and AI plays a more important role in everyday life, we’re likely to see even more businesses turning to chatbots.
Chatbots Match Wider Trends
People’s buying habits are changing. According to Whisbi’s own research:
- 88% of customers purchase most of their products online or do online research before buying in-store
- 87% of customers find it frustrating to switch between multiple communication channels to deal with one query
- 94% of customers expect live chat to have immediate response time
This paints a wider picture of what customers want, and it’s different from even a few years ago. People are now spoiled by the convenience and immediacy of the internet and expect their buying journeys to be as quick and straightforward as possible.
Another big change in the last decade has been the rise of smartphones. In 2019 there were a staggering 3.2 billion smartphone users in the world, up more than a billion since just 2016, and over half of web traffic now comes from mobile devices.
Modern approaches to sales have to take this into consideration, and chatbots are well-placed to work with both desktops and mobiles.
In fact, chatbots can even improve user experience on mobile devices. Whisbi’s chatbot, for example, has an app-like design, making it much easier to use than older software where users are required to skip through pages of forms to complete a purchase or book an appointment.
One of the defining features of the internet age is the rising need for instant gratification and immediate response times. This desire is fueled by the instant nature of the online world and creates an environment where even a small wait time is a source of frustration.
If companies are to optimize their sales and marketing strategy in this new world, they’ll need to provide around-the-clock attention to their customers, allowing them to make purchases quickly and easily whenever they feel like it. Sales chatbots are perfectly placed to do this.
It’s clear that chatbots have a central role to play in online sales and marketing. Let’s dive a little deeper into the benefits they can bring.