Artificial intelligence means survival in business today. AI, like other innovative phases before it, will strike hard faster than you think. Remember Nokia? Maybe you don’t and I rest my case, but if you do, nobody wants to be that leading enterprise beaten out of complacency. Chatbots, a subset of AI, are skyrocketing sales and cutting costs for businesses that jump on, but those that want to join need to do so ASAP. Time is ticking, so read on to find out the 5 reasons why you need to start now; and how you can start today.
1. Insanely high open rates
Messaging apps are personal and, compared to other platforms, there’s less noise. Noise is bad because it moves attention away from what you’re trying to sell. For instance, it’s not uncommon for people to have inboxes with up to 3,000 emails (insane) and don’t get me started on Twitter and Facebook feeds today. There’s simply less space for your message today on traditional platforms (thanks to memes and one sentence per line LinkedIn status updates). With cold email, in particular, open rates have suffered as anyone with half a brain can send one today. In 1997, open rates were at 90%, and today they’re around 20%. Compare that to mobile messaging today which is experiencing a near perfect 98%, and you’ll be wondering why you haven’t started a chatbot yet. The inevitable oversaturation of noise in new platforms is why businesses need to start now on chatbots to take advantage of this golden age.
2. Exploit a fresh digital channel
Chatbots make it easy to make purchases because responses are instantaneous and they’re on 24/7; people don’t have to wait to talk to pesky customer service reps anymore. 33% of younger customers are only willing to wait for 1 to 3 minutes to get a response to queries. Tommy Hilfiger is an example of a company that used bots to create an entirely new channel to generate sales. Its Facebook Messenger bot helped people buy fashion directly from the runway during Fashion Week in New York City. But here’s the good part: there was an 87% return rate for people coming back again to use the Messenger experience and over 60,000 messages were exchanged. This newly created channel generated 3.5 times more in sales per person than any of their other digital channels. The first chatbots are building sales that would not have happened without them through their own new channels.
3. Go to where customers are
Speaking of channels, people don’t spend as much time on social media as they used to. In fact, people now spend more time on messaging apps such as Messenger and Viber than they do on social networking apps. There’s a reason why Mark Zuckerberg bought WhatsApp for $19 billion: millions of customers are there today. Like companies that started Facebook pages early and won big or YouTubers who got in early and also won big (apps as well, the list goes on), companies need to start now on chatbots before customers move on to somewhere else and competition increases.
4. Data, lots of data
AI over time will be able to predict what products suit you best from your order history and from what you browse most frequently. Based on the individual user shopping habits, the bot is able to predict what the user would buy, so the cart will already be prefilled with products the bot will pick. Over the coming years, AI will know what you want before you even know you want it. And the more data a company has, the better its artificial intelligence will be. Amazon already has a leg up on most retailers, so businesses need to act sooner rather than later.
5. Built for the future
Future demographics are set favourably for chatbots, each newer generation tends to be spending more and more time on their phones. In fact, by 2020, Gartner predicts we will be having more conversations with bots than with our spouse! But rather than whine about this and how the younger generations don’t know how to have a “real” conversation in “real” life (whatever that means), businesses should be jumping at the chance to reach customers in a time that’s never been easier to do so. 70% of consumers actually prefer messaging over calling if given the choice. Conversational artificial intelligence allows businesses to reach these customers online without fearing this channel will become displaced anytime soon.
At Ambit, we’re helping enterprises get on board the AI train as fast as possible, thanks to the 5 reasons above. We provide a platform for developing enterprise-grade chatbots to do so. Request a demo if you’d like to learn more.
By Nicholas Walsh, Analyst at Ambit