by Pawel Ruszlewski
Key 5 e-commerce challenges you can overcome with Virtual Beings
When we were thinking about the most natural workspaces for virtual beings, the first thing that comes to mind is e-commerce. Why? Because it’s a place where customer’s desires and expectations meet technology and confront communicational challenges.
Ironically, we all thought we are really tired of this real-life fuss of shopping malls, the hustle and bustle of the bazaars, and the dull elevator music filling fancy boutiques. All those “May I help you?” we were trying to escape while deciding to buy on the internet. 2020 verified what we really need and what we are missing.
Recently, in one of the reports, I came across a great sentence that perfectly sums up our current situation:
“The current environment has only intensified the divergence between shopping and buying.”
Especially in the context of smaller brands and more local e-commerce.
The hidden challenge of running an online store
What we all started to miss is the whole storytelling behind the process of spending money on things. When we look at all the online shops, they all more or less look the same - brand’s logo, some nice photographs of promoted products, and lots of tiles with pictures of products. Sure, when I want to buy a painkiller I do not want to hear the great story behind it, I want to have the solution to my problem. However, when it comes to the details there are always questions - what dose, how often, can it be: cheaper, less harmful, faster-acting…
In-store representatives would give those pieces of information offhand. Online, you just need to do your research, decide to read an article, watch some videos, or, for example, write to a chatbot.
Chatbots took the first step and turned the online monologue into communication. They weren’t perfect, but they had more to offer than a simple “search” button or “FAQ” section. I must say that the current situation shows that sometimes chatbots are just not enough.
Why? Because we are predators and we prefer visual communication than just plain text.
Isn't it ironic that I tell you about it by writing a long blog post (wink if you are still reading :) ). This is the moment when I realised that you would probably prefer to watch Rikka talking about this topic. She’s a virtual being and our teammate at Virbe.ai, so if you prefer the real experience than reading soulless letters.
Key challenges Virbe is overcoming out-of-the-box
1. Online up-sell & cross-sell
One of the biggest challenges of running e-commerce is how to upsell and cross-sell smartly. You can bring an armada of sponsored ads, paid links, viral videos, hire influencers, add banners, prepare special offers, organize sales and add as much “related” or “people who bought this are also buying that'' as possible, but still one talk can fix more than that. We created virtual beings to react fast, grab attention, analyze all the moves and choices users make on the web - they are doing all those things and at the same time they talk to your clients, present your offer, and if needed they reload your page adjusting displayed goods. Virbes are trained to advise and suggest the right choices. They can find, show and tell more about products that fit the user’s choices. And they keep eye contact, smile, worry, wonder, and think. Like real people.
2. Improving customer's journey
Keep online customers delighted and deliver them what they expect, or even what they don’t know that they need - that’s another challenge. It is a hard road to predict what kind of questions users would ask to find products in an online shop, and even harder to learn how to get them back on track once they get lost in 404-wasteland.
Working with virtual beings may prove to be a cleansing experience in this case. Their role is to be your online ambassador, and the acquisitor you deserve. They are not only present all the time on your store’s website to answer all the questions. As machine learning beings are driven by a conversational AI, they are learning all the time and they can engage your customers, personalize their experience while visiting your online venue and support them with finding the right paths to successful shopping.
3. Virtual beings are the best attention grabbers
As I already mentioned, we - humans - prefer dynamic visual communication. Simple scrolling down the offer sometimes makes us bored, even irritated. Also, our customer habits are changing due to isolation and remote work. Simply - our ability to find joy while doing all the things online definitely decreased. The attention span is lower and what comes with that - the bounce rate might be much higher. Our Virbes are existing to change that - they are bringing the human touch to the digitalised world and in really easy ways grab user’s attention. They can not only talk, but we want them to interact with users to give them the experience of meeting a living person, a professionalist who represents your brand. Virbes can express real emotions, so you won’t just see the avatars mechanically opening their digital mouths.
4. FAQ? Virtual Beings are always happy to give the right answers
Every brand which works in B2C challenges with so called Frequently Asked Questions. From a boring list of questions listed on some dusty subpage where no one ever goes - because we, as a people, prefer to ask those questions personally - to chatbots which are able to find answers and paste them into a chat-window. This is what we can usually find online. Sometimes users have an opportunity to talk with customer support representatives, but this option is usually quite expensive and available only on certain hours. Virbes are here to answer the questions 24/7, they do it personally and make this experience unique. Virtual beings are much more elastic in their way of talking with users. I find this feature great especially for small e-commerce brands that do not have their own customer support team.
5. Keeping consistency in the omnichannel experience
Staying effective and consistent with omnichannel communication is essential for many e-commerce brands- no matter how big they are. I can even assume that for small and medium shops is even more crucial to find their path. The whole idea behind our Virtual Beings stands for supporting business and enhancing the experience. With their own voice, mimic, and - what is even more important - personality and AI - Virbes are ready to communicate just like humans. This is something much better than text-based communication. They can talk with your customers online - on the website, in the app installed on smartphones - to present details about products in your brick-and-mortar store, they can appear on billboards, on TV screens but- what is more - they might be able to communicate in a customised way via text messages.
The future of virtual beings starts now
The power of virtual being working for your business is defined with the abilities of integration with your tools, it means that our solutions might be crafted to e-commerce needs. There are lots of possible solutions - our Virbes might be able to help with updating customers with their order status and shipping details.
To find out more about Virtual Beings please contact us and one of our specialists will schedule a short demo call with you.
If you ever have some questions about the above article, feel free to drop me an email at [email protected]. Stay safe!