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3 Reasons Why Chatbots Could Boost Your SME Conversions

chatbots

In the wake of a global e-commerce boom, online retailers and service providers have seen an influx of traffic to their sites as consumers switch to the high street for a digital future.

As SMEs battle it out to appear in high-ranking searches and grab the attention of a demanding demographic, user experience has become a key factor in a successful marketing strategy post-Covid.

In order to remain popular amongst a sea of competitors, marketers are striving to put the consumer first. From conversational marketing to accessible UX design, success in 2022 is all about personalisation and one-to-one connections with potential leads.

This is where chatbots come in. In 2021 alone, experts at Invesp reported that over half of all consumers globally used a chatbot when interacting with SMEs online.

In fact, by the end of 2022, 80% of all online business retailers plan to have integrated at least some form of chatbot system in the quest to connect with consumers efficiently, on a one-to-one level.

Read on as we discuss the benefits of conversational marketing for online SMEs and reveal why we think chatbots could be the key to conversion success as we step into 2023.

What is a Chatbot?

According to Global NewsWire, the chatbot market continues to grow exponentially. Estimated to reach a market value of $9.4 billion by just 2024, the industry is currently growing at a CAGR of 29%, tail-ending other popular technological evolution, such as AI and AR.

The question is, what exactly is a chatbot? And how can it transform a consumer’s site experience?

Defined by Investopedia, “a chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversation through voice commands or text chats or both.”

Using a form of natural language processing and machine learning, chatbots can be described as conversation connectors, aiming to provide the consumer with a level of communication that they would receive from physical human interaction.

Personalising the site experience, chatbots are used to answer consumer questions, provide expert opinions and, most importantly, improve the consumer journey from the landing page to the checkout. For e-commerce retailers, chatbots have become all but essential, in the race to keep leads engaged. Not only do they generate an average response rate of 35-40% in just the first interaction alone, but the average satisfaction rate of bot-only chat is 87%, according to Comm100.

As we move into a new digitally driven era, conversational marketing strategies remain popular with brands looking to boost consumer loyalty. Adding elements of personalisation such as chatbots to an SME targeting campaign is an easy way to hook the consumer, and speak directly to their values and gratifications during their buying journey.

Could Chatbots Be The Key To Boosting SME Conversions?

Converting sales leads in 2022 is not an easy task. With an abundance of search string competitors, and now rival platforms such as TikTok and Instagram dominating the e-commerce sector, struggling startups may see higher bounce rates and reduced consumer interaction.

Taking steps to improve your conversational strategy could be the key to keeping your conversion rate high. According to statistics from Thrive My Way, chatbots have increased sales by 67% since the onset of the pandemic.

A large number of business leaders in a recent survey by the statistics company ranked chatbots as a conversational marketing strategy, revolutionary in the fight to keep conversions high and costs low. In fact, more than half of SMEs claim that chatbots alone deliver a large ROI with minimal investment required.

Let’s have a closer look at the three key benefits SME leaders could see when introducing chatbots to their 2022 marketing strategy.

24/7 Customer Service 

While high street stores are used to serving customers in an allotted opening time day by day, the online version of your store is open 24/7. In a globally dominated e-commerce environment, consumers from a number of different timezones could be clicking on your site at any second of the day.

While sales teams are a valuable asset to an online retailer, they are not available at a 24/7 disposal to each and every consumer. This is where chatbots come in. As an AI-generated support system, consumers can find the solution to their questions at any time of the day.

71% of consumers want the ability to solve e-commerce-related issues on their own without the need for human intervention. This makes a chatbot feature the best addition to a UX strategy, as users can interact with a knowledgeable tool only when needing assistance.

This improves both consumer satisfaction and sales team success. With a chatbot taking care of basic queries, sales executives can spend more time nurturing larger leads, working on their SEO strategy, and outreaching out to new demographics for a shot at an engagement boost.

A Money Saving Method

According to a recent study by Retail Dive, chatbots will continue to save over $11 billion for the retail, healthcare, and banking sectors in 2023.

On the back of a global e-commerce dive, retail, however, is tipped to take the lead as the sector is expected to see the largest payoff from investing in AI-based communication.

Retail is the most promising sector for chatbots, according to the report. Automated agents have the potential to increase revenues, regulations are less stringent than other sectors, and they cost less to implement in retail,” Claims Retail Dive reporter, Dan Alaimo. “The technology first took hold via existing messaging applications, such as Facebook Messenger, which has a massive user base, but retailers will eventually integrate the technology into their proprietary apps.”

As a high ROI method of improving the consumer experience, it has been acclaimed by smart marketers as the low-cost key to high-cost success. Saving SME sales reps up to 2.5 billion hours by 2023, spare time and resources can be poured into other struggling sectors of the business.

Improving The Customer Journey

Last but certainly not least. One of the most significant benefits SME leaders will see when introducing chatbots to their strategy is a spike in customer satisfaction.

Known for improving the UX experience, chatbots are able to streamline the conversion process and reduce the chances of losing a prospect halfway through the buying journey. As an essential part of the sales funnel, chatbots are there to guide, advise and personalise the entire site experience.

Convenience is ranked as a key consumer benefit by over 50% of respondents in a recent MyClever survey.

As the battle to keep customers clicking evolves, 2023 is tipped to be more competitive than ever before. SMEs that prioritise personalisation and digitally engineered instant communication is more likely to keep their audience engaged and their prospects converting on their journey to industry success.

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