The First Step To A Conversational Website

Conversational AI is hot, and it’s starting to seem like people are slapping that word – “conversational” – in front of everything. Marketing, commerce, support, advertising, and now websites.

Some marketers are actually looking for the best way to create a conversational website, but so far most websites have only been able to act conversationally as a UX trick or in limited, unintegrated ways. This is a huge problem because, in fact, a conversational website could be something way more intuitive than forcing users to go through infinite menus, on-page clickthroughs and product pages to find what they want.

It could be a great experience, but so far, no brand has led the way in creating an easy, intuitive, conversational website experience. To get past this blocker and actually deploy something like a conversational website as fast as possible, you need to consider how to add a conversational experience that complements the traditional ecommerce experience consumers expect.

This means that incorporating the same knowledge, information and understanding present in your ecommerce site is essential. The different comes in how you present it, and how conversations actually make that information more easily accessible to your visitors. Fortunately, this is achievable through solutions like Virtual Product Advisors which, when powered by the right AI technology, can enable your website to become an actively conversational experience that offers the best of both worlds. 

Building a Website You Can Talk To

“Talking to a website” can have a variety of meanings. Website personalization is an integral part of marketing automation solutions, but it’s not necessarily the most conversational interface that you could conceive of. Unfortunately, a truly conversational website has been experimented with here and there, but it hasn’t become something mainstream, nor something deployed by major brands. 

Unfortunately, there aren’t that many examples of truly conversational websites. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t adapt your website into a conversational experience. Source: UXPlanet and Adrian Zumbrunnen

In order to have a conversational website, you need something that responds to you explicitly – not just implicitly by personalizing content based on your interactions. This ultimately means that some kind of messaging interface or iconography will come into play. There are solutions that allow marketers to build conversational landing pages, but in terms of getting out-of-the-box results for ecommerce or services-based brands, how are you going to get the best result?

Using Conversations to Enhance Experience

That’s where Conversational AI, usually in the form of Virtual Product Advisors, allows you to add a conversational element to your website without being limited by a messaging-only overall interfaces. 

This isn’t to say that such interfaces are limiting, but today’s consumers need to be subtly nudged towards conversations in places where they aren’t used to having them. The growth of messaging is a trend that has been foundational to the growth of technology without conversational AI. However, without integrated knowledge that may (or may not) already be available in your ecommerce website, you won’t go far enough towards making the experience conversational. 

By deploying a virtual product advisor to your brand’s website, you can make your website conversational without abandoning the strengths of your existing properties.

This is where deploying conversational AI in order to achieve customer service automation alone is also misguided. If you want to enhance the experience consumers have on your website, you’re not going to do it by just taking away access from people when they have real, urgent problems.

The best benefit of conversation design comes  by amplifying the access you offer consumers to all the many products they can find on your site. By using a virtual product advisor, you can take your first step to creating a conversational website, accelerating the consumer decision journey and overcoming the limitations of traditional AI assistants

Virtual product advisors and solutions based on them are uniquely capable of achieving these goals because they rely on product expertise to learn about and communicate with your consumers. The kind of benefits they present can even be extended off your “conversational website”, out into solutions and channels like conversational advertising. Every one of your products is already positioned in one or another way to appeal to what your consumers want. In trying to achieve a conversational website, you can instead focus on using conversational experiences in ways that enable your consumers to buy more. 

How do you start making an ecommerce website “conversational”?

So, how exactly does this work?

Well, AI doesn’t just need to be applied in ways that identify, parse and understand the text inputs that your consumers provide. It also needs to be used to analyze and understand the underlying value of every one of your products. 

In this example, a brand’s existing ecommerce experience is parsed and understood based on domain-specific knowledge about its products. This can then be related back to known issues and categories that form the basis of a reliable conversational experience – for instance, the types of skin problems a skincare brand may address.

Once your product catalogue has been “ingested” by a virtual product advisor’s AI, design level adjustments can then allow that knowledge to be consolidated into personalized recommendation flows and other utilities that further empower the consumer to have a faster, happier, more satisfying customer journey. By allowing consumers to consult with these kinds of solutions and get personalized advice, you make it easier for them to add-to-cart and check out one or multiple products at a time. 

The underlying capability of conversational AI to identify domain-specific concerns, like those related to skincare, means that brands can quickly deploy conversational AI without large amounts of pre-existing data.

By leveraging domain-specific intelligence along with product knowledge, you end up enabling a totally new experience that is fundamentally better than simply trying to make an out-of-the-box conversational website. Now that you’ve concentrated and refined expertise about every one of your products, you can reliably sell to consumers in a way that converts more. 

Instead of relying on your traditional ecommerce interface to help consumers make product choices, a conversational website approach can let you learn about them and personalize a recommendation based on their needs – all if the right underlying technology is involved.

Generating real sales opportunities – and actually closing them – isn’t the only job of a virtual product advisor. Nor is making it possible to have an effective conversational website. The real goal here is to satisfy and delight consumers in a way that is also profitable and, as it happens, consumers are loving it

The Quickest Way to Build a Conversational Website

Making a conversational website requires an experience that is actually conversational. This means that using messaging with the right degree of automation and responsiveness – powered by the right conversational AI, of course – lets you make the most of every single product you offer and deliver a perfect recommendation to each and every consumer.

Building a conversational website is still hard work, but making it an effective experience is entirely within your grasp. Conversational AI is an essential tool to actually achieving effective ecommerce outcomes, and brands have seen higher sales from them as a result. For the experience to stand out, however, you always have to keep in mind that the personal concerns of your consumers need to be front and center, and that’s something that any ol’ preprogrammed chatbot or interfaces simply can’t provide (at least not the way true conversational AI can).

Book a demo with Automat to learn what a conversational website can do for you