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Using chatbots to increase conversion rates

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Last editedNov 20212 min read

If you’re in ecommerce, you’ll know just how hard it can be to get people to click through to your website and then convert that visit into a sale. Chatbot conversion rates can be significantly higher than conversion rates through other channels. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know about them.

Chatbot ecommerce conversion rate facts

So many factors influence conversion rates that it’s difficult to make like-for-like comparisons on the effectiveness of chatbots. However, studies on specific use cases routinely show that chatbot conversion rates are meaningfully higher than conversion rates through other channels.

There are numerous common-sense reasons why chatbot conversion rates can be high. Most of these hinge on the fact that chatbots can deliver exactly what users want exactly when users want it. Other communication channels invariably operate after a delay. For example, even if you have a click-to-call button on your website and you answer the call instantly, the process will still take longer than using a chatbot. 

In reality, very few phone calls are picked up instantly and written communications usually take even longer to be answered. You also have to face the harsh fact that your customer may never actually read a written response. It could end up being false-flagged as spam and never seen again, or be drowned out by other emails. Thirdly, the prospect could simply delete it unread because they lost interest.

The challenges of chatbots

Used properly, chatbots can be one of the best business tools currently available. What’s more, they're affordable enough to be used by small businesses. That said, badly deployed chatbots may create a lot more problems than they solve.

Chatbots are great for asking and/or responding to simple questions. But, while they are improving they are still nowhere near sophisticated enough to deal with complex issues. This means that you either need to keep your chatbots for areas where there are never going to be any complications or make sure you have human backup.

In fact, even if you only use your chatbot for simple tasks, it can be useful to have them offer the user the option to flag a human. Even if you can’t get a human online straight away, you’re still giving yourself a chance to make the conversion.

Ways to deploy chatbots

If you start with “the why”, you’ll probably find that your subsequent decisions will become significantly easier. Start by defining your chatbot’s role(s) within your business, then let all other decisions flow from that. Most chatbots are used in one or more of four main ways.

Out of hours

Chatbots give you a chance to convert a prospect even when your human team has gone home for the day. If a visitor just has a simple enquiry, a chatbot may be able to answer it on its own. If it is something more complex, it can take the details for a human to follow up when the business opens again.


If your support team routinely handles queries that would be too complex for a chatbot, you may be put off investing in one. It might, however, be worth considering a chatbot to help manage traffic in peak periods. Even if the chatbot can’t answer the query, it can update the user on the expected response time and/or take their details for a follow-up.


This is probably the most common use of chatbots. A chatbot will try and answer the query itself. If it can’t, it will pass the query on to a human. If no human is available, it will take the user’s details for a follow-up.


If a task is simple enough, a chatbot may be able to handle it all by itself. The most obvious example of this is asking for feedback. It is, however, still best to offer the option of speaking to a human agent.

We Can Help

If you’d like to learn more about using chatbots to increase your conversion rate, then get in touch with our financial experts. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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