Chatbots for Brick & Mortar Retailers: Chatbots in Retail

The first contact customers have with brick-and-mortar businesses is often their online presence. A good website is an obvious necessity, but a chatbot is a valuable addition. Many people use their smartphones while inside the store to get information. Using a chatbot is faster than flagging down a sales representative, and it’s always available.

Related: Live Chat for E-Commerce

Browsing

A chatbot can direct shoppers to the aisle where they’ll find the type of merchandise they’re looking for. Once they’re there, they might have a specific brand or make in mind. The bot can tell them if it’s available. If the exact item they want isn’t in the store, it can suggest alternatives.

Detailed item information

Once they see an item, customers want to know more about it. Sometimes the only way to do that is to pull the box out and flip it over on all its sides, looking for any scraps for information printed on it. This is inconvenient and makes for messy shelves. A chatbot can provide all the information which the store’s database has on that item: its weight, dimensions, features, warranty, and so forth.

Item pick-up and shipping

For an item too large to keep in stock on the shelves, the bot can confirm whether it’s available and take a request to bring it to pick-up. While some customers prefer to talk with a salesperson before committing to a purchase, others know what they want and like to get it quickly. They can have whichever they prefer.

If they want it shipped, the bot can tell them about shipping and installation costs and schedules. Complete information builds customers’ confidence that the item will suit them and leads to more sales.

Gathering customer information

A chatbot doesn’t just answer questions; it can record what customers are asking about. Running analytics on the questions provides information that can help to improve the business. Are the customers asking about items which the store doesn’t carry? Is there a particular point where shoppers terminate the discussion without buying anything? Discovering the barriers to closing a sale can point the way to profitable adjustments.

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