Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Your customers are just a chatbot away! Learn how you can boost your sales and engagement rates with this marketing strategy. [Thursdays: FYO!]

August 26, 2021

Sephora is a French multinational retailer of personal care and beauty products.

Featuring nearly 3,000 brands along with its own private label, Sephora Collection, the company offers various personal care products such as skincare, haircare, cosmetics, nail color, beauty tools, and body lotions.

Another interesting thing about the brand? 

From 2018 to 2020, Sephora was recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers, with a 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index in 2019 and 2020! 

Due to this status, more people started to support the brand and the demand for its products rose, which is why Sephora came up with an idea on how to make its services better.

That idea is…

The use of Conversational Artificial Intelligence!

Conversational AI or Chatbot is a form of technology that offers the kind of communication or interaction similar to a human-to-human conversation. 

Through this software, consumers get the information they need at any given time and talk to a brand as if they were talking to a person.

Sephora started using Conversational AI through its Kik-based chatbot in 2016, making the brand one of the first retailers to use this kind of technology.

[Kik-Based Chatbot: A freeware instant messaging mobile app from the Canadian company, Kik Interactive.]

When consumers or possible buyers visit Sephora’s website, Kik, and Facebook accounts, they can send questions regarding the products they’re interested in and get immediate answers through the chatbot.

That’s really convenient for consumers and is an advantage to Sephora’s marketing strategy too!

According to Michele Goetz, Principal Analyst at Forrester company, 

Firms will address the pragmatic side of AI now that they have a better understanding of the challenges and embrace the idea that ‘no pain means no AI gain.’ The AI reality is here. Firms are starting to recognize what it is and isn’t… and they are seeing the real challenges of AI versus what they assumed the challenges would be. 

As a business owner or marketer, should you consider the use of Conversational AI or a chatbot?

YES!

Here’s why:

  1. Conversational AI lets you know more about your customers.

As a business owner or marketer, it is important that you gain the trust of your customers.

Communicating with them through Conversational AI can help you with that! 

By the time you develop your relationship with your target market, you will be able to learn their buying behavior, especially the kinds of products they prefer or are interested in.

This is an advantage to you because you’ll know how to appeal to customers through your brand’s offerings online.

… and when consumers find that you offer them good-quality service (which manifests in how you quickly respond to queries through the Conversational AI) and products, then they will more likely recommend your brand to their peers. 

That’s additional traffic and visibility to your brand’s website or e-commerce shop! 

  1. Conversational AI helps grow your brand’s sales. 

Once you’ve gathered sufficient information about your target market, you’ll be able to offer products or services that they’re more interested in and that addresses their needs or wants. 

This way, consumers will have an additional push to purchase what you’re offering. 

In case they have questions or concerns about the buying process, they can contact you through your brand’s Conversational AI, which they can also use to know more about the features, benefits, and prices of your products or services. 

Thanks to these chatbots, you can connect with consumers with just a message and guide them throughout the transaction in just a few clicks!

This technique also helps speed the sales process of your brand!

  1. Conversational AI enables your brand to gain more customers.

Sometimes, buyers hold back from transacting with your brand because of the forms that need to be filled up or the need to subscribe to your site. 

… that’s too much work for them.

With Conversational AI, you give customers an avenue to conveniently connect with your business. 

How? 

By not requiring them to fill up those forms anymore! 

All interested buyers have to do is send a message through the chatbot and inform you which of your products or services they’re interested in.

See? With the convenience Conversational AI provides, first-time buyers can become your brand’s loyal customers, who can also help you market your brand through word-of-mouth (WOM)! 

  1. Conversational AI helps your brand provide global service.

As a business owner or marketer, you must also consider serving customers from different parts of the world.

This means you need to overcome language barriers between you and your target market and make resources available.

With Conversational AI, you can set up various languages to make your business available to customers worldwide!

This will make knowing more about your brand easier and communicating with your customers worry-free.

The bottom line? 

Conversational AI helps in global engagement with customers by making your business open to people all over the world! 

Going back to Sephora’s strategy… 

Conversational AI has been a great help for the brand since 2016.

Why? 

Sephora’s engagement rates rose significantly, producing even more customers and interested buyers! 

Since 2016, the company’s sales from millennial consumers grew by 74%. The rate of customers who bought products online rose to 18% and loyal buyers increased to 61% in the same year.  

Sephora’s use of the chatbot also enabled it to collect reviews from valued customers, which were used to gather more attention and curiosity. 

… 

Customers appreciate quick responses from a brand. This lets them know that a brand values them and is committed to serving them. 

What’s one of the things you can do to achieve that? 

Using a chatbot! 

Just like Sephora, using Conversational AI will help you engage with your target market and influence their purchasing decisions through better and faster communication. 

Promote your brand and grow your sales even more with the use of Conversational AI!

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: FYO! Find You Optimization”

Why should you stop thinking SEO and start thinking FYO?

We’re not saying that you should abandon Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Don’t get us wrong, of course, we know this is something very important, especially in today’s digital marketing age.

The internet landscape is vast, and a world of its own. You really need to distinguish yourself and make your brand/company/website known and easily searchable.

Better yet, get to the top of page one for Top Results on Google or any other search engine.

However, what is the purpose of SEO? It’s that customers Find You!

That’s what matters. So, while SEO is one factor of FYO… it really is only one, and we ought not to abandon all the myriad of ways digitally and offline for improving your FYO.

How can we look at this from a different and better perspective?

Let’s say you have it in the bag! You and your team are experts in SEO. Awesome. But did you ever wonder what else you could do to push it further and give your SEO skills a boost?

FYO! Find You Optimization!

You need your target audience to FIND YOU—your brand, product, service, or offer. This is SEO plus other tools that increase visibility online (and offline).

Every Thursday, we publish content on how you can get your target market to find you, beyond the typical “type and search.” There are other things you can do along with your SEO to give your online advertising process a boost.

Try considering other tactics beyond it—WOMO (Word Of Mouth Optimization), RO (Referral Optimization), and “All-Other-Means-Of-Getting-Your-Target-Market-To-Find-You” Optimization (AOMOGYTMTFY, if you’d like a long acronym). 

Part of a great marketing strategy is knowing how to adapt new methods and make use of different types of marketing and promotion that best fit your business goals and which give you the results you want.

Hope you’ve found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Thursday’s FYO!

Cheers,

Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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