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Conversational AI is Killing It. Here’s The Only 5-Minute Article You Need To Know Why.

Conversational AI is any machine that you can talk to. Most of the conversational AI people interact with today are chatbots and voice assistants. These technologies let brands automate and personalize interactions with consumers, but more than a few thought leaders have been saying that these are just emerging technologies. They say they lack the strong success stories in showing how brands can use them to acquire, sell more to and grow revenue with their consumers. 

In reality, the success of conversational AI is heavily underreported today. It lets brands talk with their consumers, find out what they want and offer it to them in ways that convert. It’s not just the ability to talk to consumers that allows brands to sell more – the experience it provides is far more useful to helping every consumer find the products they want online.

Deploying conversational AI for marketing and commerce functions can give you immediate ROI through chatbots, allow you to extend that success through voice experiences and offer consumers more interactive, personalized ways to connect far into the future.

Every marketer and brand manager knows that offering personalized experiences is increasingly a top priority, and decision-makers looking to deploy conversational AI see this as the new growth area for the technology. According to Accenture, 40% of leaders who had already implemented bots did so for sales and marketing, but when looking at planned bots, that number jumped to 53%. 

To show why this is happening and just how much conversational AI is really killing it today, we put together some of the best stats and use cases out there. If you’ve been on the fence or looking to make the case about how conversational AI can drive revenue growth, look no further – this article is for you!

Conversational AI Isn’t Just Getting Adopted By Consumers, It’s Seeing Explosive Growth

You don’t need Super Bowl commercials to tell you what most marketers already know – conversational AI is now mainstream. Two thirds of US adults now regularly use conversational AI. 15% of US consumers have already made a purchase through a chatbot and 81% of them would do it again. 80% of consumers who’ve interacted with a chatbot report a positive experience, and 58% say technologies like chatbots and voice assistants are transforming their expectations of companies. 

In fact, worldwide, the number of interactions between humans and conversational AI will increase from 2.6 billion next year to 22 billion by 2023 – a nearly 10x increase. Though impressive, that’s not even where you should really take notice: conversational AI will drive $7.3 billion in retail sales this year, but by 2023, that’ll be $112 billion. Yes, a 15x increase in 4 years. If brands want to earn their fair share of that growth and become more connected with their consumers than ever before, the time to act is now. 

More Brands Are Killing it With Conversational AI

Knowing where to start requires, in part, knowing where others have been so far. Conversational AI is producing outrageous benefits in helping engage and educate consumers, teach them about specific products, drive purchase intent and complete purchases in ways traditional ecommerce never could. 

For example, Sally Hansen deployed a chatbot on Facebook Messenger and collected 11,000 emails over 5 days with a holiday-themed campaign – all while getting nearly zero exits from the experience. In fact, the opt-in rate for emails here was 17x better than their website – revitalizing their e-commerce efforts just in time for Christmas. 

And what about Coty, the company that owns Sally Hansen? Well, by taking a multi-brand approach and building a “Let’s Get Ready” skill for Amazon Alexa, the brand was able to inform users on make-up trends and add products to their amazon basket. The results spoke for themselves: the brand saw 7.5x higher clickthrough than the average Amazon media campaign, with 80% of those using the skill being new customers to Coty’s brands. 

These aren’t isolated cases – Clarins Taiwan used a chatbot to promote their Double Serum anti-aging treatment over Facebook. The experience generated an 86% download rate for sampling coupons and a 4% lift in sample redemption rate at store counters, but a 92% increase in Double Serum’s offline sales.

People aren’t just punching their tickets with conversational AI – they’re basically rediscovering what they love about ecommerce. Mark & Spencer’s incorporated a virtual assistant for online orders and its loyalty program, saw 250,000 users per year, £2 million in incremental sales and 70% customer satisfaction. 

It’s not that crazy to think that, eventually, most transactions will have some conversational touchpoint, with those conversations influencing consumers to buy more. For instance,Target has rolled out their own voice skill with more substantial transactional benefits: 20% higher average basket size compared to the other ways their consumers shop online, while emerging brands like Dirty Lemon continue to grow by conducting all transactions through messaging

There are dozens of case studies across every industry that show conversational AI is, in one way or another, helping encourage consumers to buy. Brands like Lego, Vichy, Kia, KLM, Lemonade and more seeing significant impact from conversational AI. 

Get Started with Media, Ecommerce or All of the Above

At this point, you know conversational AI is killing it, but you may be wondering why this is happening?

Well, many brands offer a lot of product choices. Many more brands know that they need data-driven insights to run efficient campaigns and sell better to the consumers. And, all brands know that today, offering a great, personalized experience is the best way to acquire and retain customers for life. 

That’s where conversational AI and its increasing traction with consumers begins to make a difference. You can ask consumers what they think about the experiences they have in today’s landscape, but the explanation is likely to come across as this: they’re overwhelmed for choice, and they need help making decisions faster in ways that make them happier. 

Consumers are subject to an estimated 10,000 marketing messages every day. They can interact with any amount of content: branded content, influencer content, sponsored content, newsmedia, third-party reviews and e-tailer sites. They’re faced with a variety of claims and their own personal wants and needs, and through all of this (on-top of their day jobs and life responsibilities) they’re expected to take the time to find out which products are truly right for them.

If you’re part of a brand, does this process sound like you’re making it easier for the consumer to buy from you? Most likely not. 

That’s where conversational AI flips this problem on its head. Instead of forcing the consumer to discover everything themselves, conversational AI learns about the consumer, what they want, what concerns them, what excites them, and then they make product recommendations, offer content or unique experiences, and generally consult with them on what they’d like to buy – just like a great salesperson would. 

Ultimately, this whole process leads people to buy more and more often because instead of having to wade through information themselves, the brand’s AI gives them the information that’s right for them. As you’ll see below, every major aspect of a consumer’s ecommerce experience can be tailored in a new way with conversational AI, without giving up on the shoppability classic web experiences have to offer. 

In a typical ecommerce website, menus and internal links are the only way consumer can consider products

For most consumers, starting a recommendation can make it easier to reveal and prioritize their concerns

While product pages have a lot of information, it can be hard to read through all of it and tell it apart

Instead of forcing the consumer to do all the work, brands can give them the right choices and help justify why they’re so good for them

And when conversational AI is combined with the look and feel of an existing ecommerce site, it can provide a seamless ecommerce experience that sells consumers more and makes them happier to shop

Why Conversational AI Now, And Not Just A Little Later?

The tech is here, the consumers are already using it – now is the time to take advantage of this opportunity, whether it’s greater conversion or just higher return on ad spend. Imagining the first step in your brand’s conversational AI journey is often the hardest part. 

If you need more help, however, don’t worry: we got your back! Contact us to get a demo, expert consultation, lunch and learn, webinar or any help you need to enable conversational AI within your organization. Just let us know what you need and we’ll be right there with you.

Still have questions?  We’re fired up to help as many brands as possible to raise the bar of user and customer experience in eCommerce.  If you need help implementing website engagement tools for your brand or want to talk further about any of the tactics in this article, we should talk ASAP!

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