I don’t like tossing the terms Artificial Intelligence (AI), neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) as they all sound like visions of the future. Or something reserved for the elite programmers and smartest engineers at companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google, but the reality is that chatbots are bringing these innovations to every business.

While these technologies are still young, they have tremendous potential to help you grow your business today – and they can be implemented with no prior knowledge of programming at all from chezakamawewe.com platform.

There are a lot of products nowadays that make life easy for e-commerce entrepreneurs. You've got companies like Shopify that make it easy to set up your store, and companies like Oberlo that make it easy to add products to your store.

Chatbots are another tool you can add to the mix to make it easier to get sales.

The Future of Shopping

We may not be too far from a time when customers no longer shop at superstores like Jumia, but within personal, real conversations privately.

Let’s take shopping for sneakers as an example. What’s the current buying experience like?

You go to a website you like – maybe you heard about it from a friend or found it through an intriguing Facebook promotion. Once you’re there, you find the shoe section, you filter by style, size, and color, and then you're presented with a list of options.

You compare a bunch of them and then you add a few to your cart so you can come back later. Maybe you will, maybe you won’t, although the research says that you probably won’t L.

Now maybe you’ll get hit with a retargeted ad or see an advertisement on the way to work the following week and return to your abandoned cart to follow through with the purchase.

But what if you received a friendly reminder right on your phone? What if this reminder was personal, human even? What if this message came through the same channel that you use to catch up with your friends and family throughout your hectic life of e-mails and meetings, not to mention those telemarketers ignoring the fact that you’re on the Do Not Call list?

Do you think that might make it more compelling? Do you think your subconscious might connect better with that feeling of familiarity and individualism?

Now imagine that two weeks after your order arrives you get a friendly check-in from the customer service team:

“Hey Dave, how are you diggin’ your new kicks?”

You know they’re ready to help you with any issues, so you shoot back:

“They’re awesome! Thanks so much!”

And then you get an immediate response:

“Cool! As always, let me know if you need anything! If you’d like to leave a review about the Jordans you just bought, here's the link: jumia.com/review”

Now six months down the road (the usual time when you’d be looking for another pair of shoes, based on your order history), that chat comes back to life with a friendly check-in:

“Hey Dave, how’s it going? I just wanted to let you know about our big summer sale coming up!”

They’ll send you tracking updates, process returns, and keep you up to date with the latest promotions, all customized to your taste.

If done properly, Facebook Chatbots provide enormous potential (a connection to 900 million people on FB Messenger) to drive sales and enhance the customer relationship. But these bots are new and foreign to most of us and aren’t superhuman (we’ll debate whether a computer can be superhuman later, okay?).

Back in 2015, messaging apps surpassed social apps in the number of monthly active users – and Facebook Messenger has 1.2 billion monthly users on it's own. People around the world use it to easily keep in touch with friends and family – even those who tend to avoid that “social media stuff.”

Messaging Apps Surpass Social

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Let's look at a few ways that e-commerce businesses are using chatbots to grow their business as well as some important tips for building the most effective bots you can.

How to Use Facebook Messenger Bots

The best thing about chatbots is that they give you an automated, cost-effective way to communicate with your customers in a way that is more direct and personal than ever before.

It's something you can easily add to your Facebook marketing strategy.

Here are some great ways to leverage the power of Facebook Messenger to connect with your customers:

1) Customer Service

Both social media and chat are becoming increasingly important for e-commerce customer service. One study found that you’ll lose as many as 47% of your customers if you ignore social media requests and that revenue per customer can grow 40-56% for businesses that do respond.

64% of customers believe live chat is the most important feature a site can offer during a purchase.

There are a few ways to use your chatbot to help with customer service. For starters, you can use it to field FAQs and provide simple answers. You can also use it to collect some basic information like e-mail, phone number, order number and description of the problem before passing it along to one of your support reps to take over.

It’s important to remember that this technology isn’t state of the art yet. You can’t expect your bot to handle any complicated or unique requests, so it’s essential that whenever you use bots you should have human support on standby to help answer any such questions.

2) Order Confirmation and Updates

You can also offer your customers an opportunity to use Messenger to handle order and shipping confirmations. Send out tracking numbers, order updates and solicit feedback all from a single message thread.

One way to really boost sales is to make it easy to reorder via Messenger. If the bot has a customer's order history, you can offer options to browse and reorder straight from their phone or browser.

3) Upsell and Cross-Sell

While improving the buying experience will certainly increase sales in the long run, you can also promote new products and offers directly to your customers via Messenger.

You already know their buying habits and their demographic information. You’ve established a line of communication. Now you can use this platform to remind customers of products they might want to check out or new promotions you have coming up which might interest them.

There is one caveat here.

Do not be too pushy or annoy customers. Unless they opt-in for it, you shouldn’t be blasting them with the latest promotions every weekend – just the promos and offers that are catered specifically to their interests and purchase history.

These messages can be very invasive to a customer as they're going directly to their personal phones and computers in a way that mimics the conversational experience they have when chatting up a friend or a cute girl they met last Friday. The occasional, useful promotion will be welcome by most– but salesy spam will not.

Your bot serves at the pleasure of the customer. If you annoy them, not only will the communication line be severed, but it’ll leave a bad taste in the customers' mouth, too.