As the use of eCommerce chatbots continues to rise, Shopify store owners are faced with a challenging question, “What Shopify bot is best for my store?”. The answer depends on what Shopify problems you are looking to solve: Need more high-touch, personalized engagement? Overwhelmed by repetitive questions? Shoppers can’t find exactly what they are looking for? Need 24/7 customer support? Some chatbots are built to handle a combination of all these problems while others are designed to address a specific task or function. Let’s take a look at all the types of Shopify bots on the market to find the best one for your Shopify store.
Conversational AI Chatbot – Built for eCommerce, Always Live Sales Assistant
Conversational AI chatbots are designed to mimic a human conversation creating a more engaging experience for shoppers. These Shopify bots offer shoppers a button click journey to help guide them to the right product or information. They also possess the ability to switch topics in the middle of conversations allowing shoppers to ask questions about a wide range of subjects no matter where they are in a conversation. Shoppers can also type in the name or description of a product and the conversational AI chatbot searches through the product database to retrieve the product and provide a recommendation. Customer support teams see a reduction in workload due to the AI chatbot answering most commonly asked questions leaving the more complex issues for a real agent.
These types of Shopify bots have several features designed for eCommerce that help boost revenue and reduce customer support tickets. The Abandoned Cart feature recovers abandoned carts by remembering shoppers from a previous session and presenting the items they had in their cart when they return to the site then prompting the shopper to complete the checkout. Conversational AI chatbots also help increase Average Order Value (AOV) by prompting shoppers with Upsells and Cross-sells when shoppers add items to their cart. Customer support teams are also assisted by the Order Status feature which helps customers find and track their order by simply entering the order number into the chatbot.
Conversational AI chatbots are very versatile so they can be applied to almost any Shopify store no matter the products sold. These Shopify bots work best for stores that have a large number of SKUs bc shoppers can ask the chatbot for recommendations or search for the product they are looking for and the chatbot can present the correct product. They also are perfect for Shopify stores that sell a product that is more complex or higher-priced products due to the high number of questions about the product. Conversational AI chatbots answer shoppers’ questions instantly helping to overcome sales obstacles leading to increased conversions.
Customer Support Chatbots – Knowledgeable, Available 24/7
Customer support Shopify bots have one goal and focus: supporting customers! They are jam-packed with all of the knowledge surrounding the Shopify store including all of the products available plus the store’s processes and policies. Instead of scrolling through a static FAQ page hoping to find the answer to their questions, shoppers can open the support chatbot window, type in their question, and immediately receive an answer. Utilizing AI, these Shopify bots listen for certain keywords or phrases and respond with the correct reply from inside their knowledge base.
These types of Shopify bots are fantastic for supporting customers after a sale but they lack the functionality required to be an extension of a Shopify store’s sales force. Customer support chatbots are unable to allow shoppers to search for products then add to their cart right from the chatbot window. They also lack revenue-boosting features such as recovering abandoned online carts, upselling or cross-selling, and others.
Shopify stores should use customer support chatbots when they are flooded at all times of the day with repetitive or mundane questions. The chatbot answers these low-level questions immediately but when faced with more challenging questions the chatbot can hand the customer over to a live representative via live chat or by sending a message. These types of Shopify bots can also help guide customers through setup processes or registration processes by walking them through step-by-step either inside the chatbot window or follow the customer from page to page.
Live Chat – Personalized, Real-Time Connection
Live Chat directly connects a shopper or customer with a sales and/or customer support representative enabling both parties to send messages, images, and even files all in real-time. When shoppers visit the Shopify store they can click on the Live Chat window and get connected to a company representative within a few moments. From there, shoppers typically lead the conversation by asking their questions or a series of questions from which the representative can respond with help or make suggestions.
Live chat Shopify bots are great for more personalized experiences but they do have requirements that some Shopify stores can’t meet. Firstly, live chat requires enough workforce to meet all the incoming live chat connection requests. If there are 5, 10, or even 50 incoming live chat requests a day a single live chat operator will suffice. If that number ticks higher, Shopify stores need to hire more support or sales reps to meet the demand which can get costly; not only are Shopify stores paying for the live chat service (which typically increases in price the more seats or agents that are added) but they are paying the salaries of more and more representatives. Secondly, shoppers are becoming more impatient so if connecting to a live person takes longer than a few minutes they could decide to leave and go to a competitor’s Shopify store instead. Lastly, repetitive questions can be quickly answered with canned responses but these responses can sometimes come off as detached or impersonal so company representatives must have the time to craft the canned responses to the unique customer to keep the brand’s personalized feeling intact.
These live chat Shopify bots are best used when brands and Shopify stores want their customers to feel connected with the brand in a more personalized way to help boost sales and customer retention. Shoppers can ask questions about products, pricing, return or shipping policies, and many other topics to help them decide on their purchase or receive support for their purchased product. Company representatives can utilize this live chat opportunity to better engage with their customers, overcome sales obstacles, and even upsell or cross-sell products all with a highly personalized touch. Live chat also helps with post-purchase support issues such as order status and tracking, missing items, or warranty inquiries leaving the customer with a better overall impression of the brand which encourages repeat business and recommending the product or brand to their social circles.
Flow Bots – Easy to Build, Simple Customer Journey
Flow bots are Shopify bots that are categorized by their decision tree branching ability. Shoppers are presented with a few button click options that lead them down a branch of the decision tree. Simple “Yes / No” questions can be asked or questions with multiple selections all leading down different branches of the tree. This allows Shopify stores to guide their shoppers through a controlled journey to help them find the right product or get connected to the right company representative. Shopify stores control what products are recommended (such as higher-priced products, high/low inventory products, best sellers, or on sale items) plus control the messaging surrounding the customer journey and even mix in a little humor to connect with the customer in a unique and engaging way.
While flow bots are an easy solution to control the shopper’s journey they do have their limitations. Most flow bots have limited to no AI so they are confined in their functionality. Shoppers are unable to type in their questions and get a response from the flow bot Shopify bot. Shoppers are also unable to search for products by typing in the product name or description; they can only find products by clicking through the branching tree to finally reach an endpoint that has a product recommendation. This can take several minutes, leaving impatient shoppers frustrated and possibly taking their business elsewhere.
Shopify stores should implement a flow bot when they are on a smaller budget and want a simple Shopify bot to be launched live quickly. The shopper journey should not be complicated and should have a smaller number of branches in the decision tree. Also, Shopify stores with a lower number of SKUs are good fits for flow bots due to the limitations of providing product recommendations. Flow bots are also great for Shopify stores that have not very complex products allowing the Shopify bot to answer a smaller set of FAQs instead of facing a large number of questions around a large number of topics.
LeadBots – Quick to Set Up, Capture Leads
LeadBots are simplified Shopify chatbots that are geared towards lead generation and appointment setting. They ask several different qualifying questions, capture the customer’s contact information, then prompt them to set an appointment via a scheduling link or specifying a certain day and time. Lead bots can take less than 10 minutes to configure and launch live using pre-built templates fairly cheaply. There are options for building custom LeadBots where you have complete control over what qualifying questions are asked, what order they are in, and what selections are included for each question. Custom LeadBots are slightly more expensive than their template counterparts.
While LeadBots are quick and cheap, they do have their drawbacks due to not having any Artificial Intelligence (AI) so they are limited in what they can do. They cannot answer any Shopify shopper questions, recommend products, or point shoppers to particular pages or Shopify categories. Their focus is to capture leads on your website and send the lead into your email inbox.
LeadBots are best used as a Shopify bot when your product needs some sort of consultation or sales call to determine which service or product is best for the customer. LeadBots gain valuable insight into a customer’s situation or needs by asking the right qualifying questions. Armed with this knowledge, sales representatives conduct more effective and efficient sales consultations leading to higher close rates and increased AOV.
Owners of Shopify stores should examine their sales process to determine which form of a Shopify bot is best for them. For practically any Shopify store, conversational AI chatbots are usually the best solution. Furthermore, when these conversational Shopify AI chatbots are combined with Live Chat, they create one of the most effective engagement solutions for overcoming sales challenges and increasing client retention and profitability.