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Retail, Sales, Conversational AI platforms, Customer Loyalty

How to Increase Retail Sales with Conversational AI for Better Customer Loyalty

Author: Marli Tucker

As a retailer, you're always thinking of ways to keep your customers coming back for more and how to provide them with a superior level of service - without increasing operational costs.

With retail disruptors like global supply chain shortages, inflation, and labor shortages, the retail industry has faced significant economic struggles in recent years, but these difficulties present an opportunity for much-needed revitalization. In order to come out on top in a highly competitive market, retailers must strive to provide frictionless customer experiences from the perspective of their consumers. Retailers should make sure they recognize and appreciate customers, enable them with options and resources, listen attentively to feedback, and actively engage them so as to create loyal relationships that will bring repeat business.

One way retailers can ensure their success and stability is by leveraging conversational AI technology as part of their customer service approach. Conversational AI offers a range of use cases that can help create more personalized consumer experiences, boost sales, and even reduce costs associated with providing support to customers. According to Juniper, some of the benefits driving retailers to use chatbots are cost savings, up-selling, marketing campaign effectiveness and abandoned cart prevention. With these advantages in mind, it's no wonder that they predict chatbot implementation will cause eCommerce transactions made via chatbots to reach $112 billion by 2023.

Here's how retailers can leverage conversational AI:
  • Offering 24/7 omnichannel connectivity online and in-store
  • Personalizing consumer interactions for better customer satisfaction
  • Creating order fulfillment automation 
  • Take your sales associates from zero to hero on day one 

Offering 24/7 Omnichannel Connectivity 

Today, one of the most important aspects of creating and delivering a seamless customer experience is leveraging omnichannel experiences. Omnichannel experiences involve connecting consumers across multiple channels (e.g., web, mobile, in-store) to create a unified shopping experience that meets their needs and expectations. Having an omnichannel virtual experience allows customers to feel like they are getting a singular, personalized experience. 

With an omnichannel experience, you have the opportunity to reach out to customers on the platform of their choice, even before any issues arise. This is beneficial in avoiding making customers unhappy if you force them to use an organization-chosen channel when they have issues. By offering the flexibility for customers to provide feedback through their preferred channel, you are making the experience more convenient and comfortable for them. By being proactive and attentive to customer needs, you can create a deeper level of understanding and trust. This may not always lead to a quicker resolution, but it will foster increased satisfaction and stronger brand loyalty.

Omni-channel solutions are able to help retailers:

  • Reduce customer frustration 
  • Extend existing channel capabilities
  • Offer better self-service to reduce store and contact center associate use
  • Better customer service experiences through better relationships

Personalizing Consumer Interactions for Better Customer Satisfaction

Delivering a truly personalized experience means that every single interaction that your consumers have with your brand will make them feel connected, understood and ultimately leads to more sales conversions and higher consumer satisfaction. Even offering a simple personalized message with every step of the order fulfillment and delivery process can make a world of difference for a customer's last-mile experience.

Conversational AI helps retailers personalize their interactions with customers, leading to improved sales. By using AI-powered virtual assistants, retailers can offer a personalized shopping experience, including natural language searches, order tracking, inventory checks, price comparisons, and tailored promotions. Customers are often willing to share their shopping data for a more personalized experience. This results in reduced customer churn, improved customer retention, and increased customer lifetime value, building a loyal customer base for the brand.

Creating Order Fulfillment Automation 

When a company doesn't live up to its promises and fails to deliver on order fulfillment, the consequences can be irreversible. It can seem like a small aspect of a larger whole to a company but this misstep breaks the trust between you and your customers while simultaneously driving down repeat business opportunities - leading to decreased profitability. When you provide customers with the self-service to monitor their order's progress in real time, they'll experience a heightened level of openness and involvement that reinforces how much they are valued.

Personalizing each step of the delivery process can have a tremendous impact on how customers view their experience with your company. A survey conducted by Statistica in 2020 revealed that 42% of respondents, including logistics providers, solution providers and retailers noted that their customer base desired real time updates regarding delivery status. Utilizing conversational AI offers the ability to offer fulfillment support for customer orders efficiently regardless of the time, location or method they use to communicate with you. By doing so, you will win their loyalty and create memorable positive experiences across all of your channels - both online and in-person.

Take Your Sales Associates from Zero to Hero on Day One  

Quickly and effectively responding to employee questions is an absolute necessity in the workplace, but searching in separate systems or access points can be overly time-consuming and cause high frustration. Conversational AI-based intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) offer employees the ability to submit inquiries via their preferred chat or voice channels with immediate responses - allowing for effortless efficiency.

Empowering employees with self-service automation from onboarding to hire and retire offers a better employee experience that sets them up for success. Using a unified approach, companies can offer swift omnichannel support for urgent tasks and enable associates to promptly address HR queries, service desk issues, ticket tracking, scheduling requests, product inquiries, and system reporting.

Conversational AI also assists associates with providing better customer service. Associates will be able to provide accurate product information, stay up-to-date on current pricing promotions and find the right merchandise for customers. This saves time for associates, provides a better consumer experience and allows new associates to be brought up to speed immediately.  


How Kore.ai RetailAssist Can Help

As an AI-native Conversational Commerce solution, RetailAssist unifies online and in-store shopping experiences with one intelligent virtual retail assistant. Retailers can create frictionless experiences by empowering consumers with everything they need to find the perfect product and purchase it easily – all while giving store associates a digital co-worker that can help them provide excellent customer service on day zero. 

RetailAssist enables retail and ecommerce companies to modernize, scale and transform their operations by building competencies around self-service automation, personalization, omnichannel fulfillment, and 24x7 pre-/post-sales service and support. It even acts as an employee intelligent virtual assistant to help retail companies with onboarding, day-to-day operations, and customer support.


Use Conversational AI for Personalized and Frictionless Retail Experiences

To stand out in an overly crowded retail industry, Retailers must deliver frictionless customer experiences from their consumers' perspectives. Retail consumers desire to be recognized and amazed with pleasant surprises that offer them independence and freedom of choice to shop. In other words,  listen carefully to what your consumers' have to say and cultivate meaningful interactions through engagement fostering a loyal customer base of return customers.

Conversational AI helps to create a frictionless experience for both shoppers and associates. Offer a personalized omnichannel shopping associate that empowers consumers with everything they need to find the perfect product and purchase it easily – all while giving your store associates a digital co-worker that can help them provide excellent customer service on day zero. 

How Conversational AI is helping Retailers

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