The importance of personalized customer experience in the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) industry cannot be overstated. However, this is easier said than done. The sheer scale of engaging personally with a humongous customer base, which may number to tens and hundreds of thousands, is not only next to impossible but also very expensive.
In the fast-moving world of CPG, it’s also critical to know the intent, preferences and behaviour of customers. It helps companies to make better recommendations, enhance product quality, provide superior support, personalize experiences – resulting in stronger customer loyalty, predictable market share and thus better financial results and an improved market position.
Several CPG companies today are adopting chatbots to address these challenges. Bots are becoming an essential part of CPG marketing and customer experience strategies. Some popular use cases include:
Let’s look at a few cases where CPG companies have utilized chatbots to enhance their customer experience.
In 2019, the Quaker Oats Company, one of the subsidiaries of PepsiCo., launched a Facebook chatbot named Otis, to improve customer engagement. It was built to automatically send recipes, and reminders for overnight oats, provide quick consultation for any concern, and assist in online shopping through the entire customer journey.
Quaker Oats has experienced considerable success in this initiative. The chatbot’s functionality and ability to assist customers one-on-one has enhanced the company’s marketing and customer Service efforts. As of mid 2019, the chatbot has had 6000+ customer interactions with a 13% YoY increase without any dedicated media or marketing support, drawing customers who don’t just want to purchase oats but also want to cook it differently. According to Elena Parlatore, Senior Director at Pepsico. who spearheaded this initiative, Otis has allowed them to successfully evolve their messaging, learn about the customer’s preferences, and test out automation.
Hair color brand Madison Reed created the color-recognition chatbot – Mady, to help users just like a human colorist in a salon. It starts off by asking the user for a selfie of their face and hair, after which Mady will analyze the photo, ask the user some questions, and, depending on the user’s preferences, will recommend the right color and product accordingly. Mady has a highly informal tone, and even uses x’s and o’s and witty, funny, and flattering comments to better connect with the customer.
According to Madison Reed, it has a success rate of a whopping 85%. In fact, it has been so successful that it has boosted engagement by 400% and raised the click-through rate of the company website by 21%.
We have recently helped one of our customers, a Fortune 100 CPG organization, deploy a Facebook Messenger chatbot for their hair care brand. The bot acts as a virtual hair and beauty consultant and provides recommendations on hair styling and the right products to use. Here’s how it works:
For Red Nose Day 2017, PG Tips, a UK based Unilever tea brand, entered the chatbot realm by transforming its mascot – Monkey, into a chatbot. It answered user questions with a very degree of accuracy, provided information on PG Tips’ products, and shared light-hearted GIFS, and jokes during the conversation, generating 1 million laughs. This innovative use of chatbots enabled PG Tips to bring its brand persona to life, bringing a smile on people’s faces and encouraging them to donate to charity.
In 2018, Perfect Fit, a pet care subsidiary of Mars, launched a Facebook Messenger chatbot to provide customized pet care advice. The chatbot uses natural, conversational language to gather information from the users to create tailored nutrition and exercise programs and provide lifestyle enhancement tips for the benefit of the pets. Moreover, it has been designed to conduct routine follow-ups and measure the progress. In fact, users may ask direct questions to the chatbot regarding the health, habits or happiness of their pet, and it will either provide an answer or send a link to an external web page with more information.
Sephora, a retail company that also manufactures beauty products, uses a chatbot to assist customers in shopping more effectively, booking appointments with a Sephora beauty specialist, handling questions, and locating brick-and-mortar stores quickly and on-the-go. Its goal is to drive sales and improve branding whilst providing a fun, social experience similar to that of shopping with a friend. It starts by asking questions to better understand the customer’s age and preferences and shares relevant content, tips, and tutorials, utilizing emojis, and providing relevant recommendations to enhance the buying experience.
The chatbot initiative has resulted in Sephora recording 600,000+ interactions, which have led to an 11% increase in bookings for the Sephora specialists and an average rise in purchasing worth $50 after reserving an in-store service.
CPG companies looking to improve their customer experience and marketing efforts are increasingly deploying chatbots on Facebook Messenger, websites, Virtual Assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, etc. Chatbots deliver personalization at scale and engage customers with a conversational interface. The customer data captured from chatbots is also invaluable to build better products and improve product quality. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, please feel free to get in touch with one of our CPG chatbot experts for a personalized consultation.
You may also be interested in exploring our chatbot builder platform (BotCore) which is currently being leveraged by numerous large CPG companies across the globe.