The 16 Best AI Chatbots for Business in 2023 and Beyond [Review and Key Features]

Written by Dylan Max  on   Aug 17, 2022

Chatbots are used by 1.4 billion people today. Companies are launching their best AI chatbots to carry on 1:1 conversations with customers and employees. AI powered chatbots are also capable of automating various tasks, including sales and marketing, customer service, and administrative and operational tasks.

As the demand for chatbot software has skyrocketed, the marketplace of companies that provide chatbot technology has become harder to navigate as competition increases with many companies promising to do the same thing. However, not all AI chatbots are the same. To help companies of all sizes find the best of the best, we’ve rounded up the best 16 AI chatbots for specific business use cases. We’ll also cover the 5 best chatbot examples in the real world, but more on that later.

In this post, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about AI chatbot solutions, including:

Before we jump into the 16 best AI chatbots, it’s important to differentiate between AI chatbots and rules-based bots. The first-generation bots that many companies adopted were very rigid and provided poor user experiences. Rules-based chatbots are limited to very basic scenarios.

What is an AI chatbot?

AI-powered chatbots provide a more human-like experience, are capable of carrying on natural conversation, and continuously improve over time. While basic chatbot technology moves the conversation forward via bot-prompted keywords or UX features like Facebook Messenger’s suggested responses, AI-powered chatbots use natural language processing and leverage semantics to understand the context of what a person is saying.

The most powerful AI chatbots have the most sophisticated artificial intelligence software built. So what does a powerful customer service chatbot look like? Here’s an example of what a powerful AI chatbot might look like if you could see it.

Though you won’t see a purple glowing orb literally tracking and shooting down tickets, smart backend software can solve hundreds of tickets or tasks per second. On the other hand, agents who work with low-quality AI chatbots (or none at all) might be stuck doing the manual work like this:

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best AI chatbots for 2023 and beyond.

Best AI Chatbots for 2023

RankAI ChatbotRating (Out of 5 Stars)
1.Netomi5
2.atSpoke4.8
3.WP-Chatbot4.7
4.Microsoft Bot Framework4.6
5.Zendesk Answer Bot4.6
6.x.ai4.5
7.CSML.dev4.5
8.Alexa for Business4.4
9.Drift4.4
10.Salesforce Einstein4.4
11.Dasha AI4.3
12.SurveySparrow4.25
13.LivePerson4.2
14.ManyChat4.15
15.Intercom4.1
16.Replika4.1

  1. Best AI Chatbot for Customer Service: Netomi
  2. What makes Netomi one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    Netomi’s AI platform helps companies automatically resolve customer service tickets on email, chat, messaging and voice. It has the highest accuracy of any customer service chatbot due to its advanced Natural Language Understanding (NLU) engine. It can automatically resolve over 70% of customer queries without human intervention and focuses holistically on AI customer experience. Netomi is incredibly easy to adopt and has out-of-the-box integrations with all of the leading agent desk platforms. The company works with companies providing diverse products and services across a variety of industries, including WestJet, Brex, Zinus, Singtel, Circles Life, WB Games and HP.

    Key features

    • Natural Language Understanding for human-like conversation
    • Reinforcement learning and ongoing optimization
    • Sentiment analysis for contextual next best action
    • Back-end systems integrations (CRM, OMS, etc.) for meaningful and personalized resolutions
    • Human escalation via agent desk integration (Zendesk, Freshworks, Salesforce, Khoros, Zoho, Sprinklr, Shopify)
    • Knowledge-base integration
    • Omni-channel (email, chat, voice, social)
    • Analytics and real-time reporting
    • Multi-lingual
    • Dedicated customer success team

  3. Best AI Chatbot for IT, HR and Business Ops: atSpoke
  4. What makes atSpoke one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    atSpoke makes it easy for employees to get the knowledge they need. It’s an internal ticketing system that has built-in helpdesk AI. It allows internal teams (IT help desk, HR and other business operations teams) to enjoy 5x faster resolutions by immediately answering 40% of requests automatically. The AI responds to a range of employee questions by surfacing knowledge base content.  Employees can get updates directly within the channels they are using every day, including Slack, Google Drive, Confluence and Microsoft Teams.

    Key features 

    • Multi-channel (chat, email, and SMS customer service)
    • Alerts / Escalation
    • Automated Routing
    • Knowledge Base Management
    • Reporting/Analytics
    • Workflow Configuration

  5. Best AI Chatbot for WordPress: WP-Chatbot
  6. What makes WP-Chatbot one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    WP-Chatbot is the most popular chatbot in the WordPress ecosystem, giving tens of thousands of websites live chat and Web chat capabilities. WP-Chatbot integrates with a Facebook Business page and powers live and automated interactions on a WordPress site via a native Messenger chat widget. There’s an easy one-click installation process. It is one of the fastest ways to add live chat to a WordPress site. Users have a single inbox for all messages – whether taking place on Messenger or on webchat – which provides a really efficient way to manage cross-platform customer interactions.

    Key features:

    • One-click-install for WordPress
    • Customization
    • Custom greeting
    • Facebook page branding
    • Single inbox for all incoming messages
    • Integration with your Facebook Business Page
    • Compatible with all versions of WordPress

  7. Best Open Source AI Chatbot: Microsoft Bot Framework
  8. What makes Microsoft Bot Framework one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    The Microsoft Bot Framework is a comprehensive framework for building conversational AI experiences. The Bot Framework Composer is an open-source, visual authoring canvas for developers and multi-disciplinary teams to design and build conversational experiences with Language Understanding, QnA Maker and bot replies. The Microsoft Bot Framework allows users to use a comprehensive open-source SDK and tools to easily connect a bot to popular channels and devices.

    Key features:

    • AI and natural language
    • Open source SDK and tools to build, test, and connect bots to popular channels and devices
    • integrate with existing IT ecosystem
    • Omnichannel experience (website or apps, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Slack, Cortana, and Facebook Messenger)
    • Speech capabilities

  9. Best Agent Desk AI Chatbot: Zendesk Answer Bot
  10. What makes Zendesk Answer Bot one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    Zendesk Answer Bot works alongside your support team within Zendesk to answer incoming customer questions right away. The Answer Bot pulls relevant articles from your Zendesk Knowledge Base to provide customers with the information they need without delay. You can deploy additional technology on top of your Zendesk chatbot or you can let the Zendesk Answer Bot fly solo on your website chat, within mobile apps, or for internal teams on Slack.

    Key features:

    • Multilingual
    • Multi-channel (email, Web forms, chat, in-app)
    • Integrates with Zendesk Guide knowledge base
    • Integrates within Zendesk agent desk platform for seamless human hand-off
    • Deep learning

    Interested in learning more about Zendesk for customer service? Check out any of these helpful blog posts from our team:


    Looking for an AI platform that works beautifully with Zendesk? Let us show you how it works.


  11. Best AI Chatbot To Be Your Personal Assistant: x.ai
  12. What makes x.ai one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    Are you looking for ways to increase productivity and reduce time doing administrative tasks? x.ai is the best personal assistant chatbot that can schedule meetings and follow up to confirm times with attendees. Once you have an account, it’s as simple as CC x.ai on an email. It connects to your calendar and will coordinate with guests to find a time that works.

    Key features: 

    • Meeting Scheduler
    • Meeting Tracker
    • Auto-Responder
    • Google Calendar Integration
    • Outlook.com Calendar Integration
    • Office 365 Calendar Integration
    • User Access Control
    • Analytics & Reporting

  13. Best AI Chatbot for Developers: CSML.dev
  14. What makes CSML one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    CSML is the first open-source programming language and chatbot engine dedicated to developing powerful and interoperable chatbots. CSML helps developers build and deploy chatbots easily with its expressive syntax and its capacity to connect to any third party API. Used by thousands of chatbot developers, CSML Studio is the simplest way to get started with CSML, with everything included to start building chatbots directly inside your browser. A free playground is also available to let developers experiment with the language without signing up.

    Key features: 

    • Super easy syntax and conversation-oriented components
    • Short and long-term memory slots
    • Integrates out of the box with over 70 other apps (CRM, ticketing, databases, livechat, and more)
    • Chatbot activity analytics
    • Ready-to-use chatbot templates library

  15. Best AI Chatbot for Voice: Alexa for Business
  16. What makes Alexa for Business one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    Do you want to interact with the 83.1 million people who own a smart speaker? Amazon, which has captured 70% of this market, has the best AI chatbot software for voice assistants. With Alexa for Business, IT teams can create custom skills that can answer customer questions. The creation of custom skills is a trend that has exploded: Amazon grew from 130 skills to over 100,000 skills as of September 2019 in just over three years. Creating custom skills on Alexa allows your customers to ask questions, order or re-order products or services, or engage with other content spontaneously by simply speaking out loud. With Alexa for Business, teams can integrate with Salesforce, ServiceNow, or any other custom apps and services.

    Key features: 

    • Self-service APIs to help you create, manage, test and publish custom skills
    • Request APIs receive intents and directives from Alexa in your application logic
    • Respond to customers using text-to-speech, images, and streamed audio and video
    • Transactions and closed-loop commerce
    • SDKs for Node.js, Python and Java

  17. Best AI Chatbot for Sales: Drift
  18. What makes Drift one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    Drift B2B chatbots are implemented on websites to qualify leads without forms. Drift chatbots ask qualification questions and create leads in your CRM (Salesforce, HubSpot and Marketo). Once a lead is qualified, the chatbot can automatically book meetings for sales teams by connecting to calendars to pull availability. Drift also allows companies to identify the highest-valued and intelligently send personalized welcome messages to VIPs. If other questions arise during the conversation, Drift can integrate with some of the best knowledge base tools like Zendesk, Help Scout, HelpDocs and others to surface relevant information.  

    Key features:

    • A chat widget for mobile and desktop
    • Routing that directs leads and conversations to the correct person, group or team
    • SDKs for JavaScript Web, Android mobile, and iOS mobile and web
    • an API for building apps, customizing the chat widget or integrating with your platform
    • Out-of-the-box integrations, including: Slack, Office 365 Calendar, Salesforce and Market

  19. Best AI Chatbot for Salesforce Fanatics: Salesforce Einstein
  20. What makes Salesforce Einstein one of the best chatbots of 2023?

    Salesforce Einstein is an AI chatbot designed by one of the most successful companies ever to come out of Silicon Valley. Salesforce is first and foremost a CRM company, in fact, its stock symbol is CRM.

    Much of Salesforce’s success comes from the abundant software integrations that are either made by Salesforce themselves or by third-party companies. For example, Netomi has created a really powerful Salesforce chatbot, which integrates seamlessly into Salesforce’s platform. To have Einstein Bot at your fingertips, you need to buy into the overall Salesforce system and then pay $50/month as an add-on to Salesforce Service Cloud (which we also recognized as one of the 11 best help desk software options of the year).

    Key features:

    • Powerful Conversational AI
    • Capable of triage and routing to human agents when necessary
    • Seamless integration with other SalesForce products
    • Requires Salesforce Service Cloud

  21. Best AI Chatbot for Call Centers: Dasha AI
  22. What makes Dasha AI one of the best chatbots of 2023?

    Dasha is a conversational AI as a service platform. It provides developers with tools to create human-like, deeply conversational AI applications. The apps can be used for call center agent replacement, text chat or to add conversational voice interfaces to mobile apps or IOT devices. Dasha was named a Gartner Cool Vendor in Conversational AI 2020.

    No knowledge of AI or ML is required to build with Dasha, any developer with basic JavaScript knowledge will feel right at home.

    Key features:

    • Human-indistinguishable speech synthesis
    • Unlimited conversational depth
    • You own the Intellectual Property to all Dasha apps you build
    • The SDK integrates into your existing infrastructure seamlessly
    • Voice over GRPC means that you can add live AI conversations to your websites or mobile apps
    • Robust digressions and intents, stacked named entities
    • Ultra-high conversational concurrency
    • The SDK integrates into your existing infrastructure seamlessly

  23. Best AI Chatbot for User or Market Research: SurveySparrow
  24. What makes SurveySparrow one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    SurveySparrow is a software platform for conversational surveys and forms. The platform bundles customer satisfaction surveys (i.e., Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) or Customer Effort Score (CES) and Employee Experience surveys  (i.e., Recruitment & Pre-hire, Employee 360 Assessment, Employee Check-in and Employee Exit Interviews) tools. The conversational UI deploys surveys in a chat-like experience. This approach increases survey completion rates by 40%. SurveySparrow comes with a range of out-of-the-box question types and templates. Surveys are embedded on websites or other software tools through integrations with Zapier, Slack, Intercom and Mailchimp.

    Key features: 

    • Customized conversational surveys
    • Subaccounts and multiple users
    • Multi-language surveys
    • Smart surveys using conditional logic branching
    • White label surveys
    • Visual workflows
    • Omni-channel (email, social media, web links, embedded options, scannable QR code and email)
    • Reports and analytics

  25. Best AI Chatbot for the Conversational Cloud: LivePerson
  26. What makes LivePerson one of the best chatbots of 2023?

    LivePerson offers AI-powered conversations which connect brands to consumers through multiple messaging channels. LivePerson works with companies providing diverse products and services across a variety of industries, including The Home Depot, IBM, and Vodafone. According to LivePerson’s website, its conversational AI software mostly addresses marketing and sales, followed by customer care to a lesser extent.

    Key features:

    • Integrates with most channels aside from email
    • Ability to pull time-based reports
    • Intuitive interface
    • Real-time analytics dashboard
    • Enterprise-focused pricing

  27. Best Build-Your-Own AI Chatbot for Messenger: ManyChat
  28. What makes ManyChat one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    Next year, 2.4B people will use Facebook Messenger. ManyChat is a great option if you’re looking for a quick way to launch a simple chatbot to sell products, book appointments, send order updates or share coupons on Facebook Messenger. It has industry-specific templates, or you can build your own with a drag-and-drop interface, which allows you to launch a bot within minutes without coding. You can easily connect to eCommerce tools, including Shopify, PayPal, Stripe, ActiveCampaign, Google Sheets, and 1,500+ additional apps through Zapier and Integromat. 

    Key features:

    • Basic reporting and analytics
    • Drag-and-drop interface to build bot
    • Integrations with Shopify, Google Sheets, MailChimp, HubSpot, ConvertKit, and Zapier
    • No coding required
    • Easy set up in minutes

    How are our customers building chatbots to rethink customer service?
    Learn how Nespresso, Tommy Hilfiger, and Westjet have turned support into a difference maker.


  29. Best AI Chatbot for Marketers: Intercom
  30. What makes Intercom one of the best chatbots of 2023?

    Intercom exploded onto the market in 2011, making it one of the first chatbots on the market. Intercom is traditionally known as an easy to use rules-based bot for business (with minimal AI). However, it has only been until recently that Intercom has released an AI chatbot. With that said, there are some strong cases to pick Intercom as a top performing software in the space including an extensive list of software integrations.

    Key features:

    • Intercom’s Business Messenger offers engaging customer support
    • Powerful integration set with over 250 out-of-the-box apps
    • Uses both business and customer data to personalize experiences
    • Seamless experience between desktop and mobile
    • Machine learning models can help answer up to 33% of inquiries automatically
    • No free tier with expensive higher tiers compared to other options

  31. Best AI Companion and Friend Chatbot: Replika
  32. What makes Replika one of the best AI chatbots of 2023?

    While this is not a business use case, it still warrants placement on this list for its coolness. Replika is an AI chatbot designed to become a “friend” who offers “no judgment, drama, or social anxiety.” It claims that users can “form an actual emotional connection, share a laugh or get real with an AI that’s so good it almost seems human.” Users can choose their 3D avatar and customize it, help it learn about the world, and develop its personality. You can decide if you want it to be a friend, virtual significant other or mentor.

    Key features:

    • Learns to imitate users
    • Messaging and voice recognition
    • iOS and Android apps
    • Customizable avatar

AI Chatbot Frequently Asked Questions

 

How Do AI Chatbots Work?

AI chatbots use Natural Language Processing (NLP) engines and machine learning to interpret user inputs. This involves extracting user entities and determining user intents. These NLP methods are used widely in the technology industry, including for machine translation, sentiment analysis, and user behavior analytics (UBA) in cybersecurity.

What is a Chatbot Platform?

A chatbot platform allows businesses to host multiple AI chatbots all in one place. Chatbot platforms are crucial when companies want to deploy chatbots across multiple communication channels like messenger, SMS, email, and directly on the website. Having all your chatbots organized in one place ensures maximum efficiency and learning opportunities as the AI inevitably gets more sophisticated.

Is Siri a Chatbot?

Siri is considered a basic chatbot. Even though Siri sounds smart at times, Sirilacks the natural language processing and human-like conversational ability of more advanced AI chatbots.

How Can Chatbots Help Save Me Money?

Chatbots can help save you money by automating routine tasks that humans would otherwise complete. Imagine that you owned a business where five different types of questions made up for over 50% of the total questions by volume. Without a chatbot, a customer service agent would have to answer each question one by one. On the other hand, a chatbot could answer an unlimited amount of the same customer service question type in an instant. This allows businesses to save their support agents’ time while maintaining a quality customer experience.

What Makes an AI Chatbot Powerful?

What separates a bad chatbot from the best chatbots is a bot’s ability to leverage four different categories of artificial intelligence. The best AI chatbots are extremely sophisticated in these 4 AI attributes:

  • Intent recognition—intent recognition involves a semantic understanding of text-based and AI chatbots that leverage general syntactical and semantic knowledge which they learn from a large corpus of language data and business-specific training samples. Knowledge learned by AI chatbots from large data sources helps for the expansion and transfer of vocabulary which helps to improve interpretations with fewer business-specific training samples.
  • Extraction of entities—information that relates to a specific object or concept. For example, dates, places, times, descriptions, names, items, or numbers. These bits of data are the building blocks from which inputs are interpreted and defined.
  • Dialogue management—Based on intent and entities, AI Chatbots use the next best action to trigger various actions required to capture appropriate details from users and business systems for meaningful resolution. AI chatbots learn user preferences in their long and short-term memory to take contextually relevant smart actions.
  • Expansion and transfer of vocabulary—algorithms can capture and refine vocabulary, including synonyms to improve interpretations. These refinements are tied to subsets of users to generate more natural responses and be passed to new bots.

The strongest chatbot platforms (listed earlier) allow for easy scalability and low manual effort. Now you know what makes the best AI chatbots so powerful.

The 5 Best AI Chatbot Examples in Real Life

As chatbots get smarter, the adoption rate by big brands and industry leaders grows exponentially. Now that we’ve taken a look at which companies make the best AI chatbot technology and how to define what makes one chatbot better than another, let’s explore real-life examples of companies that put those chatbots to work. Below are five of the most successful chatbot implementations and their results:

1. Best AI Chatbot Overall: WestJet’s Chatbot

Company Background

WestJet, the only 3-peat winner of TripAdvisor’s Best Airline in Canada, has incorporated a chatbot to help serve its millions of monthly website visitors. With its chatbot “Juliet,” users can book travel plans, ask questions and get resolutions to common customer service questions.

Chatbot Results

When WestJet’s bot first got started, it could automatically resolve about 30% of all customer service tickets. In less than two years, that number has jumped to over 87%. Not only is this the highest rate of automated ticket resolution ever recorded – making WestJet’s Juliet the most powerful chatbot in the world –  it also speaks to the sophistication of how true artificial intelligence can learn and get better over time. As a result, the WestJet customer service agents are able to work side-by-side with the AI bot and handle over 5X the normal load of customer support.

Interested in learning more about WestJet’s chatbot, Juliet, check out one of these resources below.

2. Best AI Chatbot for Telecom: Charter Spectrum’s Chatbot

Company Background

Charter Spectrum, a top cable and phone service provider in the U.S. has incorporated a chatbot into its customer service operations. Before launching its bot, Charter’s customer support agents were answering around 200k live chats per month, a large portion of these for common use cases including forgotten passwords or usernames.

Chatbot Results

After bringing the “Ask Spectrum” chatbot into its customer support team, Charter Spectrum was able to handle 83% of chat tickets without human intervention. This significantly lightened their customer service load and resulted in a 300% increase in ROI.


To download a copy of our Telecom Customer Service Benchmark report, visit here.


3. Best AI Chatbot for Ecommerce: Covergirl’s Chatbot

Company Background

Covergirl, a popular makeup brand, has taken a different approach. They are leveraging chatbots to engage with teens by providing product information and disseminating coupons. The Covergirl bot was designed to help the brand address the role that social media influencers play in young customer’s lives. Customers can interact with the bot to get product information and coupons for items.

Chatbot Results

As a result of their ecommerce chabot, Covergirl has seen social media engagement increase by a factor of 14. They have also experienced 91% positive sentiment ratings and a 51% click-through on coupons.


To download a copy of our retail Customer Service Benchmark report, visit here.


4. Best AI Chatbot for Travel: Amtrak’s Chatbot

Company Background

Amtrak, a nationwide rail provider in the United States, launched a travel chatbot to provide support to its 375k daily website visitors. With the Amtrak chatbot, users can book travel, ask common questions, and seek assistance modeled on the company’s best customer service representatives.

Chatbot Results

Currently, Amtrak’s bot is responding to around 5 million requests per year. This has led to a 25% increase in bookings and a 30% increase in revenue. Overall this has meant an 800% increase in ROI.


To learn how AI is completely transforming the travel experience, download this eBook.


5. Best AI Chatbot for Customer Experience: Johnson and Johnson’s Chatbot

Company Background

Johnson and Johnson owns a pregnancy and childcare resource called The BabyCentre UK. The company introduced a bot on Facebook Messenger to provide information and content to new or expecting moms. The bot uses targeting and personalization to deliver relevant information and to answer popular queries from users.

Chatbot Results

As a result of the bot, BabyCentre saw an 84% engagement rate and a 53% click-through rate. This represented a 1,428% increase over email communications despite using the same personalization methods.

Conclusion

The Best AI Chatbots can unlock incredible efficiency, but you need to select the right AI partner. The breadth of AI chatbots available today is incredible. The best business-specific AI chatbots are focused on a core use case – whether it’s customer service, surveys, administrative tasks or sales. With 53% of organizations expecting to use chatbots within 18 months, it’s crucial that teams adopt the right technology that prioritizes the end-user experience, exceeds goals, is easy to adopt and works seamlessly with other business systems. Therefore, as an increasing number of companies claim to have sophisticated AI platforms, not all AI chatbots are created equal.

Find out what your ROI will be if you build an AI chatbot. Try our free chatbot ROI calculator today.

Want your AI chatbot solution to be considered for this list? Email info@netomi.com and tell us why! 

The 7 Best Ecommerce Chatbot Solutions and What Makes Ecommerce Bots Succeed

Written by Dylan Max  on   May 28, 2021

From product recommendations to one-on-one personal shopping and customer support to order management, the use cases for ecommerce chatbot solutions are endless. This is why the eCommerce industry was one of the first industries to embrace chatbots and conversational AI virtual assistants. 

And the need for eCommerce chatbots has never been higher than it is today. Online shopping is one of the most popular activities in the world, and the industry is more competitive than ever. There’s a healthy new pipeline of digital-first retailers built on the idea of customer-obsession and seamless end-to-end experiences. At the same time, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have accelerated digital innovation in the wake of COVID-19 looking to remove friction while also replicating highly-personalized, one-on-one interactions with customers at scale. In fact, McKinsey reported that in just eight weeks, five years of consumer and business digital adoption occurred during COVID-19. 

All of this comes at a time when people are less loyal. Shockingly only 9% of consumers are brand loyal today. eCommerce companies are competing as much on customer experience as price: 61% have switched brands due to poor customer service and more than half of Americans have scrapped a planned purchase or transaction because of bad service.  Prioritizing customer service, though, can pay off: 78% of customers say the quality of service is fundamental to earning their repeat business and US consumers say they’re willing to spend 17% more to do business with companies that deliver excellent service. 

In this post, we’re diving into the best use cases for an eCommerce chatbot, our favorite eCommerce chatbots of all time and strategies for a successful eCommerce CX automation strategy. 

What are the top use cases for eCommerce chatbots? 

eCommerce companies using chatbots for customer service can streamline the entire customer journey. Here are our favorite use cases: 

1. Immediate responses to common customer service FAQs

Customer service chatbots are one of the most common use cases for AI across industries, but they are especially prevalent in the eCommerce space:  From product care and return policies to warranty information and troubleshooting, eCommerce chatbots can provide immediate answers to common questions. This can save a person from scrolling through pages of an online knowledge base or reaching out on a channel that requires more heavy lifting. 

2. Personal shopping and product discovery

AI-powered chatbots can understand shopper preferences to curate highly personal product recommendations. Chatbots are also used frequently during the holiday shopping season, helping shoppers find the perfect gift for everyone on their list based on price range, interests and other attributes. 

3. Conversational commerce

eCommerce chatbots can provide a seamless add to cart and checkout experience, all within a natural conversational interface across live chat, Facebook and social media pages, messaging apps and SMS. 

4. Return prevention

It’s estimated that over 30% of all online purchases are returned. If a shopper is conducting behavior that indicates a return is likely, eCommerce chatbots can preemptively intervene to prevent a return from ever happening. For example, if a person has checked the size guide and added two of the same item in the cart in different sizes, a chatbot can intervene to help the person find the right size. This not only eliminates a customer from having to go through the hassle of returning an item, but also saves the retailer significant costs related to returns. 

5. Order management

Making small changes to an order or tracking the status of a delivery are mundane tasks that should not require a human agent. Not only is it costly to have humans perform these simple tasks, but often results in wait times and longer resolution times, and increased customer frustration. 


Discover the key questions to ask when scheduling a chatbot demo.


The 7 Best eCommerce Chatbot Solutions of All Time 

From upstarts to some of the most established brands,eCommerce companies have launched chatbots to alleviate friction at various parts of the customer experience. Here are our favorite eCommerce chatbots of all time. 

1. Hewlett-Packard

Why does Hewlett-Packard have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

The Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) leverages Netomi’s AI chatbots to eliminate a major pain point in the customer experience: running low on ink. Real-time signals from HP printers alert Netomi’s AI when a person is at risk of running dry and preemptively intervenes, sending a customer a personalized cart with compatible cartridges and providing a seamless reorder experience.  Previously, helping a customer find the right ink cartridge was one of the most costly and time consuming tickets for HP, taking on average, between 7-8 minutes. Leveraging chatbots, HP now does this proactively and instantly. 

2. Sephora

Why does Sephora have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

Well regarded for its innovation, Sephora is often recognized for new and innovative CX programs and was one of the first retailers to adopt AI-powered ecommerce chatbot solutions. One of the beauty company’s chatbots enabled customers to book a makeover with a Sephora Beauty Specialist, which had an 11% bump in conversions compared to other channels.  Another conversational AI experience from Sephora was Color Match, which allowed customers to find the best makeup shade for their skin tone and even recommend shades based on other objects like flowers or clothes. One of Sephora’s bots on kik had incredible engagement: an average 10 messages per user per day.   

3. Tommy Hilfiger

Why does Tommy Hilfiger have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

The TMY.GRL ecommerce chatbot, from the iconic Tommy Hilfger fashion house, was one of the first conversational AI experiences on Facebook Messenger. During New York Fashion Week, fans could instantly shop the same styles seen by models walking the runway, which used to not be available for weeks or months. The Messenger bot also provided a look at the behind the scenes at the fashion show getting shoppers up close and personal with models like Gigi Hadid. 

4. Harry Rosen

Why does Harry Rosen have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

Meet Haily, the innovative chatbot from Harry Rosen, a Canadian retail chain of 17 luxury men’s clothing stores. Haily scales the same high-touch, in-store experience that its customers love online. Haily helps shoppers find the status of their order, request and track returns, and track and redeem loyalty points. Haily is also a personal shopper, offering personalized product advice and answering questions related to fit, style or suitability. 

5. Zinus

Why does Zinus have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

Zinus, one of the fastest-growing mattress brands, introduced its chatbot Zuri to remove friction from the customer journey. Zuri provides instant support for the most common customer questions like: Where is my order? Can i modify my recent order? How do I apply for a warranty? Chats are seamlessly handed off to an agent within the same window if needed, providing an experience as satisfying as a Zinus mattress itself.  

6. ebay

Why does ebay have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

There are currently over 1.6 billion live listings on eBay, making it one of the biggest global marketplaces. You can literally find almost anything you’re searching for, but sometimes scrolling through pages of listings can seem daunting. That’s why eBay launched ShopBot. The virtual agent messenger bot helps shoppers find the best deals and products. Users text or snap pictures of items they are looking for (i.e. I want red Nike shoes) and the bot will ask questions to better understand what a person is looking for (sizing, budget, etc.)  in order to narrow down the options. 

7. Casper

Why does Casper have one of the best eCommerce chatbots of 2021?

A few years ago, the mattress company launched a bot to engage with customers and keep them entertained when they couldn’t sleep. Named insomnobot3000, the bot is “extra chatty between 11 PM and 5 AM” and is a companion for night owls. According to Casper VP Lindsay Kaplan, “It’s kind of obsessed with pizza and is really on the fence about if it’s too late to eat or it should just wait to eat waffles in the morning.” While insomnobot3000 is not addressing a key part of the customer journey, it’s a creative example of an ecommerce chatbot. 

What are the pillars for a successful eCommerce CX automation strategy?

While there have been many successful eCommerce chatbots, some have failed to deliver. In order to implement a successful AI chatbot, eCommerce companies need to follow a few key strategies: 

  • Leverage Natural Language Understanding (NLU)
    NLU is a key component of any conversational AI. In the eCommerce context, it is used to allow customers to engage in natural and unnatural language. Chatbots that rely simply on keyword matching lead to frustrating user experiences as the bot gets confused easily. 
  • Identify common pain point
    The customer journey is filled with pain points that can be fixed withinwith in the customer journey (i.e. a person running out of ink) and repetitive tasks that can be easily automated. Start with a few key use cases and expand over time. 
  • Deploy deep reinforcement learning
    The accuracy of your chatbot on day 1, 30 and 60 should not be the same. The smartest chatbots learn and improve over time with every interaction. You’ll tweak the algorithms to ensure the bot is classifying a person’s intent correctly and also uncover new use case opportunities to automate. 
  • Give the chatbot an on-brand personality
    Keep the experience fun and engaging, but don’t clutter the interaction with unnecessary back-and-forth chatter. Get to the point quickly. Ask the necessary questions only. And keep everything on-brand. [Learn more about conversational UX design]. 
  • Launch on the channels where your customers are
    Chatbots don’t just have to live on live chat widgets on a website. Interact with your customers at scale on social media pages, messaging apps, SMS, voice platforms and even email. 

Leveraging a live chat software on a website and on social media helps eCommerce companies scale 1:1 interactions with customers, 24/7. Customers today expect effortless, convenient and highly personal shopping experiences and when they reach out for customer support, they demand instant resolutions. As the competition within the eCommerce industry continues to heat up, the companies that prioritize the customer experience will be the ones that drive sales and capture long-term customer loyalty. 

Learn more about the opportunities for eCommerce and retail chatbots with netomi’s chatbot platform.

Find out what your ROI will be if you build an AI chatbot. Try our free chatbot ROI calculator today.

7 Ways eCommerce is Using AI on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Written by Emily Cummins  on   Nov 17, 2020

The holiday shopping season has officially begun. Even with the headwinds of economic uncertainty from COVID-19, analysts expect a 35% increase in seasonal online sales this holiday season1. With gift-buying expected to be healthy, analysts also predict a shift back towards traditional gifts from past years’ experience-gifting. This will create a ripe opportunity for eCommerce companies. 

Contrary to popular belief, an eCommerce chatbot is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how AI can propel companies to a new level of service. This holiday season, retailers are adopting AI to enjoy greater operational efficiency, provide a better customer experience (CX), reduce costs, and unlock new revenue. Here are some of the most exciting and new ways that eCommerce companies are using AI during this prime holiday shopping season and beyond to beat top-notch eCommerce benchmarks

7 AI Use Cases for eCommerce Companies 

1. Virtual Try-Ons and Fitting Rooms: While virtual try-ons have been popular for beauty and cosmetics brands over the years, many traditional retailers and eCommerce companies are rolling out virtual fitting rooms. Whether it’s due to retailers never reopening their physical dressing rooms even as in-person shopping came back during COVID-19, or consumer thirst for new experiences, companies like Macy’s, Adidas and Modcloth are now leveraging AI to power these new virtual experiences. With virtual fitting rooms, shoppers either upload their picture to an app or website, or simply add in their dimensions to create a custom avatar. They can then select products to “try-on” from the safety and comfort of their home. This caters to the 21% of Americans who plan to shop for themselves on Black Friday and 18% on Cyber Monday2.

2. Visual Product Search: A preference for visuals is hard-wired into us: the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual3. Visual search is a fast-growing area with billions of searches per month across social, search and shopping platforms. There are over 600 million visual searches on Pinterest every month4.

To help shoppers find gifts similar to what they’ve seen, numerous retailers like ASOS5, Walmart’s Hayneedle brand6, Uniqlo7 and IKEA8 are rolling out visual product search. Visual product search uses AI to help customers find stylistically similar products to those in an image that they show the AI. Consumers are rapidly adopting visual product discovery: in one study, 62% of Millennials reported a desire to visually search over any other new technology9. The results for eCommerce companies are significant: visual search results in 50% faster checkouts10, compared to keyword search. Visual search also results in a 20 – 30% increase in conversion. Gartner predicts that by 2021, early adopter brands that redesign their websites to support visual and voice search will increase digital commerce revenue by 30%11

Visual search built in collaboration between Hayneedle and Walmart Labs

3. Targeted, Contextual and Personalized Search: Retailers like Wayfair, Etsy Inc. and Pinterest are harnessing their sea of customer data to build predictive, AI-powered recommendation engines and provide unique product discovery search results12. By feeding historical data into these algorithms, retailers can anticipate which products will resonate best with a particular customer based on search and browse history, web behavior (time spent on specific product page) and purchase history. By using AI to recommend products from gigantic online catalogs —  Wayfair, for instance, has 37,173 coffee mugs — retailers see a 50% jump in the success rate of in shopping cart additions. For example, when a customer finds an item is out-of-stock.  AI can now analyze product color, size, pattern, price, style and other attributes to suggest similar items. AI-powered personalized product recommendations are increasing conversion rates by 915% and average order values by 3%13. This AI-driven personalization will boost profitability by 59% by 203514

4. Conversational Shopping and Gift Finding: A weariness of shopping in store as a result of COVID-19, has led to 63% of consumers say they are avoiding stores and buying more online this year. In an effort to replicate the knowledgeable store associate, retailers are deploying conversational AI chatbots to act as personal shoppers. Chatbots help people find products and gifts based on who a customer is shopping for, as well as customers’ interests and preferences. These virtual shopping assistants are guiding people to discover products based on a variety of factors – replicating the in-store associate experience of asking a helpful store worker. Consumers are receptive to these conversational AI chatbots: one in every five consumers are willing to purchase goods or services from a chatbot15.


Discover the key questions to ask when scheduling a chatbot demo.


5. Automatically Resolve Customer Service Tickets: With ticket volume increasing 42% on average for retailers during the holiday shopping season, AI-powered customer support chatbots are helping retailers scale up support operations. AI chatbots automatically resolve common, everyday customer service queries. Mattress retailer Zinus, for instance, is using a Netomi-powered AI chatbot to instantly respond to product questions, order management, cancellations, warranties and more. This gives customers faster responses and eliminates the need to talk to a human agent for most questions (they can still do so if the retail bot doesn’t have the answer to a complex question). Leveraging AI chatbots to resolve customer service issues increases customer satisfaction (CSAT), reduces costs and boosts live agent productivity. 

6. Preventing and seamlessly managing returns: Following the lucrative holiday shopping season, comes the sobering season of returns. Typically, returns spikes right after Christmas until late January. This year’s “return season” is expected to have more volume and last longer. This is because companies are having longer “Black Friday” season sales and seeing record volumes of online shopping due to COVID-19 as people shun indoor shopping. 

According to reports, online shoppers return 15% to 30% of online purchases, compared to 13% for bricks-and-mortar purchases16. Last year, customers returned $41.6 billion worth of merchandise bought online during November and December alone17. Retailers are using AI to help mitigate returns and maintain customer satisfaction during the process in two key ways:

  • Mitigating Returns Pre-Sale: Predictive analytics can help identify when a return is likely based on online behavior (i.e., checking size guide) or shopping cart (similar items; same item in multiple sizes). When there’s a signal that a return is likely based, a conversational AI agent can help the person make the best decision from the onset. If concluded from the conversation that an eventual return is intended, and the size of the purchase or the potential lost value of returned items in the cart make it worthwhile, retailers can leverage an AI chatbot to provide an incentive to limit the purchase to one selection. 
  • Increase Customer Satisfaction During the Return Process: Even if predictive analytics is deployed during the pre-sale process, returns are inevitable. Retailers are leveraging AI to keep customers satisfied throughout the process through automated updates of when a returned item is received and when a refund is issued. This matches customer expectations; 56% of people say they want notifications about a refund status and 50% want to know the status of their return package18. Beyond automated messages, AI agents can cross-sell alternatives to returned items to recover lost profits. 

7. Optimized Inventory Management: Currently, retailers are losing nearly $1 trillion in sales because they don’t have on hand what customers want to buy19. To address this, eCommerce companies are tapping into AI to anticipate inventory needs and make smarter product purchase decisions. historic sales, anticipated changes in demand, supply-related issues ,and trend forecasting data are being fed into algorithms to help retailers know which products are likely to sell and how to adjust inventory to ensure the most in-demand products are in stock. For instance, to “…better stock individual stores with merchandise local clientele desires, H&M is using big data and AI to analyze returns, receipts and loyalty card data to tailor the merchandise for each store20.” 

Retail and eCommerce Adoption of AI is Booming Across Many Use Cases this Black Friday and Cyber Monday

In this post, we’ve outlined seven of the top ways retailers and eCommerce companies are using AI this holiday season and beyond.  As competition increases from traditional and nimble online-only players, eCommerce companies must leverage AI to provide an exceptional customer experience, drive efficiency with operations and planning, and reduce costs. 

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday only two weeks away, retailers need to ensure their operations and customer experience won’t be impacted negatively by an increase in demand.  It’s not too late for eCommerce companies to adopt AI to get out ahead of seasonal strain.

Continue Reading: Find out about the current state of retail email support in our Customer Service Benchmark Report. Download a copy today

References 

  1. CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/15/deloitte-estimates-2020-holiday-retail-sales-will-rise-1-to-1point5percent-.html 
  2. Today.You.Gov: https://today.yougov.com/topics/consumer/articles-reports/2019/11/12/them-or-me-why-black-friday-sometimes-about-gifts 
  3. T-Sciences: http://www.t-sciences.com/news/humans-process-visual-data-better 
  4. Pinterest: https://newsroom.pinterest.com/en/post/celebrating-one-year-of-pinterest-lens 
  5. enGadget: https://www.engadget.com/2018/03/09/asos-visual-search-tool-available-all-shoppers/ 
  6. TechCrunch: https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/18/walmart-is-testing-its-own-in-house-visual-search-technology-on-hayneedle/ 
  7. PSFK: https://www.psfk.com/2020/05/uniqlo-stylehint-personalized-social-commerce.html 
  8. Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ikea-ab-apps-exclusive-idUSKCN1SX1DV 
  9. Businesswire – ViSenze: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180829005092/en/New-Research-from-ViSenze-Finds-62-Percent-of-Generation-Z-and-Millennial-Consumers-Want-Visual-Search-Capabilities-More-Than-Any-Other-New-Technology
  10. Shopify: https://www.shopify.com/retail/what-is-visual-search 
  11.  Gartner: https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/gartner-top-strategic-predictions-for-2018-and-beyond/ 
  12.  WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/retailers-use-ai-to-improve-online-recommendations-for-shoppers-11604330308 
  13.  Personalization.com: https://www.perzonalization.com/blog/personalized-product-recommendations-in-eCommerce/ 
  14.  Big Commerce: https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/eCommerce-ai/#the-future-of-ai-retail-and-roi 
  15.  Medium: https://medium.com/@Countants/how-artificial-intelligence-is-transforming-the-e-commerce-industry-countants-scalable-custom-73ae06836d35 
  16. CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/19/online-returns-this-holiday-season-to-hit-record-41point6-billion.html 
  17.  CBRE: https://www.cbre.us/about/media-center/cbre-reverse-logistics-2019
  18.  Navar: https://see.narvar.com/rs/249-TEC-877/images/Consumer-Report-Returns-2018-4.3.pdf  
  19.  Retail Dive: https://www.retaildive.com/news/out-of-stocks-could-be-costing-retailers-1t/526327/  
  20.  Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2018/08/10/how-fashion-retailer-hm-is-betting-on-artificial-intelligence-and-big-data-to-regain-profitability/?sh=9fe938e5b00a