How Is Conversational Search Transforming The Digital Shopping Experience

How is Conversational Search transforming the digital shopping experience?

Research by Forrester says, “Search is a primary tool for customers throughout their life cycle. More than 90% of the consumers use one of the search channels offered (mostly general Internet searches, but also searches on retailer sites or social platforms) when discovering, exploring, or engaging.”

However, there hasn’t been a significant transformation in the way we search for products online. The process involves entering keywords, checking-unchecking filters, navigating through hundreds of search results, and going through technical product descriptions, and is undoubtedly tedious. Simply put, traditional search lacks personalization and takes the joy out of shopping.

If your organization is planning to reinvent the digital shopping experience for consumers, increase conversion and brand loyalty, you may want to consider adopting Conversational Search.

Let’s explore further.

What is Conversational Search?

Conversational search leverages AI to understand the customer’s needs and provide product suggestions accordingly.

Through chatbots, voice bots, or retail web portals, the customers are asked a series of questions that help narrow the search results to fewer product options. On the flip side, brands get valuable insights into customer preferences and product performance across channels and geographies.

Thus, conversational search overcomes the limitations and challenges of traditional product search, which are as follows – 

  • An overabundance of choice – The overload of product choice is certainly overwhelming. Think about the last time you searched for “concealer for freckles,” and the website presented hundreds of results. You then had to filter the product range by gender, skin type, price, and much more to get another long list of options to choose from and buy. Felt like abandoning the cart, right?
  • Technical product descriptions – Often, product descriptions are filled with jargon that consumers might not understand, and hence they fail to conclude if the product is the right fit for their requirements.

And, of course, the fear of losing out on a better product hinders the consumer’s decision-making capacity.

Conversational search engages customers in more interactive, intuitive, and personalized shopping experiences and helps convert “searchers to buyers.”

Conversational search and chatbots

AI-driven chatbots facilitate conversational search by understanding context and intelligently guiding the customers to the right products via text-based dialogue.

In this way, they shorten the sales cycle. Moreover, their machine learning abilities enable them to comprehend customer needs better, send suitable recommendations, and upsell complementary products.

Take the example of eBay.

Ebay Shopbot

eBay ShopBot for Facebook Messenger is a personalized shopping assistant that makes shopping with eBay a breeze.

The bot asks questions to understand the shopper’s intent, sends product recommendations, and helps customers find the best deals amongst the 1 billion listings on eBay.

ShopBot is especially useful for customers looking for specific products, which they may not easily find through a traditional keyword search.

Conversational search and voice bots

Voice bots, like Alexa, Cortona, Google Home, and Siri, are intelligent voice assistants that can be accessed through speakers, smartphones, and other devices.

The bot can understand the intent when the user utters a command and locate the desired products or services. Therefore, voice bots provide a hands-free, hassle-free, and comfortable search and shopping experience to customers.

Coming back to eBay’s example. Since the chatbot is built for Google Assistant, shoppers can use it through their phone or speaker to buy products at the lowest prices by saying, “Ok Google, let me talk with eBay.”

Conversational search and retail portals

To help customers sail through the myriad of products online to find the right one, many retail websites provide personalized conversational search experiences.

Let’s take a look.

1. KitchenAid

KitchenAid has built conversational search solutions across eight product categories, which guide customers to the products that best suit their needs.

The solution asks need-based questions, post which it suggests mixer grinders. Shoppers can customize their mixers according to their requirements. Additionally, KitchenAid can upsell additional products by recommending add-ons and also gain insight into customer preferences and behavior.

2. 3M

3M leverages conversational search across 5 product categories and 3 languages to help customers buy personal protective equipment based on usage and risk management.

For instance, 3M’s safety eyewear advisor asks users whether they need eye protection for “general use,” “flying solid particles, ”chemical hazards,” or “welding/blue light/improved contrast.”

Conversational search also helps 3M gather valuable insights into buyer personas.

How can Acuvate help?

At Acuvate, we help clients deliver conversational search experiences through AI-powered chatbots built with our enterprise bot-building platform called BotCore.

BotCore is a low-code platform, hence chatbots can be built within a few weeks, across different channels with channel-specific API. Our bots support multiple languages to help you reach a global consumer base.

Let’s take a quick look at an example. Shopping for skincare products is a complex process. Hence, Acuvate built SAL, POND’s Facebook Messenger bot that was launched across nine countries.

SAL customizes product recommendations across four major skincare areas – spots, pimples, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. Customers need to upload a selfie and fill in a quick survey. Post which, SAL delivers a personalized skin diagnosis and suggests products based on the customer’s skin type and needs.

Over time, SAL has generated 98% positive customer reviews and 15 times higher purchase intent among customers.

To know more about BotCore, please feel free to schedule a personalized consultation with our chatbot experts.


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