• May 11, 2023

Online Shoppers Like ChatGPT

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More than half of U.S. online shoppers have had negative experiences with retail chatbots, opening the door for ChatGPT and other conversational artificial intelligence technologies in the space, according to a new report from Capterra, a software review and marketplace provider.

The research found that traditional chatbots fail to meet customer expectations and lack sales prowess. Only 17 percent of retail chatbot users have searched for products with them and just 7 percent have used bots for product recommendations.

ChatGPT and similar offerings, on the other hand, are better able to handle customers’ nuanced and complex queries. In fact, 67 percent of ChatGPT users feel understood by the bot often or always, compared to just 25 percent of traditional chatbot users. And, only 19 percent of ChatGPT users have had to reword or simplify their queries to be understood, compared to 49 percent of traditional chatbot users.

“Most retail chatbots are rules-based and are best used for basic functions, like order shipping status or inventory checks,” says Molly Burke, senior retail analyst at Capterra. “With natural language processing, better handling of nuance, and a greater ability to personalize responses, conversational AI has the potential to improve chatbot experiences by simulating the personalization and creativity provided by human agents.”

Capterra, therefore, expects to see widespread adoption of chatbots with conversational AI as companies integrate ChatGPT or roll out their own bots to better address customer needs, from order tracking to personalized recommendations.

These AI-enhanced shopping experiences will greatly benefit businesses by tracking customer behavior and guiding decisions throughout the buying journey with greater personalization, the firm says.

The research also found that while ChatGPT wows consumers and business leaders alike, so far it is underutilized in e-commerce. Retailers are enthusiastic about what ChatGPT could do for their businesses, and many have already used it for email marketing and content. But, without an available integration, they can’t yet leverage the AI for day-to-day customer service needs. That, Capterra said, indicates untapped opportunity, particularly since 56 percent of consumers who have used ChatGPT say they’re more likely to shop from companies offering similar tools.

For e-commerce retailers, Capterra recommends that when making software purchasing decisions, it’s important to select chatbots from vendors that have or plan to integrate AI functionality.

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