Can physical stores benefit from chatbots?

May 13, 2020

In this article, we look at how chatbots can help physical stores regain the attention and loyalty of their shoppers.



Recent studies are showing a consistent trend towards the adoption of chatbots across all industries and a growing acceptance amongst consumers. As a consequence, many businesses are wondering whether they should adopt them and in what ways they can be useful to them.

In particular, many retail businesses are starting to consider if the idea of using a chatbot can translate well to physical stores. To help you understand whether a chatbot could indeed be a useful solution, today we’ll take a look at what is possible and how it can be implemented.

The vanishing gap between online and physical spaces

The gap between the internet and the “real” world is shrinking constantly. Smartphones and fast mobile internet connections have allowed people to access the internet from anywhere, and retailers have started to notice more and more customers using the internet while in the store.

Customers are becoming less inclined to ask shop assistants for information and prefer to look up product information online instead. This creates a serious problem for retailers as it not only decreases the level of attention to the products that are in-store but also increases the likelihood that they will find other products and offers put online by competitors.

Completely eliminating the problem is unfortunately not possible, but retailers can leverage their customer’s preference for online interaction to create their own, store-relevant alternatives.

A conversational solution

The best way to recover customers’ attention is to create a solution that is simple to use and, ideally, does not require the installation of a new app or the use of unfamiliar sites. Something where users can simply ask questions and receive answers just like they would with a human being. Something that, in other words, can be described as a chatbot.

Chatbots are very versatile tools that can understand human language and interact with users on messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, or Facebook Messenger. Retailers can use them in many ways both inside and outside the store. Inside, they can act as shopping assistants, providing additional information and suggestions about the product; Outside the store, they can play a different role by becoming useful tools for clients to keep the retailer’s brand at the top of mind. A supermarket, for example, could use them to help clients find recipes, choose the right wine for a meal or even create a shopping list to be used later in the store.

The possibilities are almost endless and each retailer can create its own unique solutions based on the behavior of its customers and local trends. To learn how to get started do not hesitate to reach out to us using the contact link below.