In the world of ecommerce, savvy business leaders know the product itself is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. The overall ecommerce customer experience can make or break a business. In fact, 80% of customers identify customer experience as a key differentiator and think it is just as important as products or services.
Famously, when it comes to retail businesses, the customer is always right. And what the customer wants right now is ever-changing, so to succeed, businesses need to find a way to be agile to keep up with the shifting demands of consumers.
Enter: ChatGPT and the technology powering it — generative AI and large language models (LLMs).
Generative AI and LLMs are already rapidly changing the game for ecommerce and allowing businesses to become more efficient.
In the ecommerce industry, generative AI is being used to create personalized shopping experiences, power next generation chatbots, and more. Join us as we explore the many ways that generative AI is transforming the ecommerce customer experience, and show you how to harness its power to stay ahead of the curve.
What exactly is generative AI and how could it shape the future of customer service for ecommerce?
Generative AI (gen AI) is a type of AI that can create a wide variety of outputs including images, videos, audio, text, and more. Unlike traditional AI systems that only recognize patterns and make predictions, generative AI — as the name suggests — can actually generate new content.
Generative AI technology like ChatGPT and Google Bard demonstrating how AI is able to produce highly complex content that mimics human creativity. And business leaders are quickly realizing the potential it has to transform industries.
For ecommerce retailers in particular, gen AI has many applications in the realm of customer support. Here are 6 ways ecommerce brands can leverage generative AI to improve efficiency, automate processes, and provide more personalized support for their customers.
The top 6 use cases for generative AI for ecommerce customer support
Handling huge volumes of customer requests has never been easier. But generative AI doesn‘t just help scale your support, it can actually improve the quality of it too. Here are a few ways gen AI can help you deliver customized customer support at scale:
1. Have more natural-sounding conversations with your customers
Chatbots have been assisting customer service teams at ecomm companies for a while now, but with gen AI comes the next level of intelligent, human-like support. By adding in a large language model (LLM) layer to an existing chatbot, support teams can rest assured that their chatbot will sound like a member of the team.
An LLM is a type of model in generative AI which has been fed large amounts of text data so it can produce texts similar to the ones it was trained on. For example, ChatGPT is powered by an LLM called GPT-3 that was trained on vast amounts of data (pretty much the entirety of the internet prior to 2021), so it’s an expert on how humans write. By employing an LLM layer in combination with your underlying intent-based architecture, you get the best of both worlds: human-sounding conversations and a bot that understands what your customers actually want.
Watch a demo of how our LLM-powered bot, UltimateGPT can instantly answer questions.
2. Build a bot in minutes and instantly answer correctly
If you already have a good amount of documentation about your company — be that your Knowledge Base, CRM Help Center, FAQ page or any other company page — you can leverage gen AI and LLMs to build a chatbot in minutes. The LLM can instantly serve up the correct information by pulling it directly from your company’s knowledge base or website.
So if a customer is asking a question that is documented in your help center, the bot can find that information and serve it up. For instance, if someone asks about the average delivery time, your chatbot can instantly let your customer know that packages are usually delivered in 3-5 business days.
And unlike a simple FAQ bot, it won’t just link your customers to the correct article on your website, the AI model can actually read and summarize the most relevant information from your knowledge base and serve up the right information. The best part? It works right away with no training required.
3. Reduce agent effort and fast-track resolutions
One huge way generative AI is impacting ecommerce businesses is by automating repetitive or time-consuming tasks that used to fall to the customer support team, like structuring tickets.
An LLM can help structure tickets in many ways: it can summarize bot conversations, it can predict the category, and it can determine the sentiment of the message. Essentially, if you have a ticket field for it, you can ask an LLM to populate it. So by the time an agent takes over a ticket, they'll be able to see that Elizabeth, who ordered several pairs of shows online, is missing an item from order #465-998, sent a negative message about it, and requested escalation to an agent. This speeds up resolutions for your customers and increases efficiency for your team.
More on generative AI for support
4. Transform replies from factual to fun
Another way generative AI can assist agents is by changing the tone of voice of agent replies. So you can write a basic response and then ask the LLM to transform the reply to a more formal or exciting or humorous tone of voice. This is particularly useful if your brand has a unique tone of voice and ensures your customer experience is seamless and 100% on-brand throughout every interaction.
5. Augment existing conversational tools by generating training data
If you are already using an automation platform or a conversational AI chatbot, you know that it needs to be trained. At Ultimate, we have a free tool that analyzes your historical support conversations with AI and extracts the most common questions (or intents) that your customers have.
But, if you don’t have a wealth of historical data, instead of manually coming up with all of the ways that someone could ask, "Where is my order?", you can ask the LLM to generate this and use it as training data, speeding up the conversation design process.
6. Eliminate writer’s block
Speaking of speeding up conversation design… you can ask generative AI to act as an assistant conversation designer. Traditionally, each and every reply would have to be written by a human and input into your dialogue building tool. But now, the LLM can draft replies so you never have to write dialogues from scratch again.
Benefits and challenges of generative AI for ecommerce
Generative AI will likely have a huge positive impact on the way businesses operate. And early adopters will reap the benefits tenfold: from automating repetitive tasks to reducing agent effort, gen AI-powered technology will save businesses time and money while increasing personalization.
Not only will it save companies money, the future of gen AI-powered chatbots will actually make businesses money. By creating entirely digital and highly personalized customer experiences with little to no human effort, gen AI chatbots open up a new, highly lucrative revenue stream. In fact, Juniper Research estimates that retail sales from chatbot-based interactions are forecast to reach $112 billion by the end of 2023.
While there are some challenges to consider, the benefits of using generative AI for ecommerce far outweigh the drawbacks. One of the major hurdles, like the tendency for generative AI chatbots to make up facts, can be overcome by ensuring your AI model is trained on the right data with the correct facts about your company and its processes. This ensures the bot will always serve up the right information.
It's clear that generative AI is a game-changer in the ecommerce industry, especially when it comes to enhancing the customer experience. From personalized service to chatbots that provide instant support, generative AI is making shopping easier, more convenient, and more enjoyable than ever before.