Consumer Bots Strategy for CPG Marketing Abhishek Shanbhag October 24, 2022

Consumer Bots Strategy for CPG Marketing

Consumer Bots Strategy for CPG Marketing

The Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry is characterized by products that are sold quickly, at high volumes, and at relatively low prices. Goods like packaged food items, beverages, and cosmetics, are mass-produced, quickly picked up from the shelves, and even more swiftly consumed. Similar to how these products are bought and consumed, their consumers have limited patience and want a fast and easy way to interact with the brands. Moreover, be it retail stores, e-commerce portals, or common messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram, consumers want CPG products to be marketed and sold everywhere, and not only expect speedy service but also want brands to understand their needs and preferences, market products accordingly, and remember them at every touchpoint.

Today, many companies have turned to conversational AI bots — chatbots, voice bots, and other voice channels, to deliver speedy customer interactions and service, develop consumer personas, comprehend end-to-end customer history, and market and recommend products that fit right in the consumers’ need basket.

The latest research by MarketsandMarkets has reported that the bot services market size is projected to grow from USD 1.6 billion in 2022 to USD 6.7 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 33.2% during the forecast period, driven by a need for 24X7 customer support at a low operational cost and increase in accuracy due to minimization of human errors. Moreover, by 2024, consumer retail spend via chatbots worldwide will reach $142 billion — up from just $2.8 billion in 2019.

Let us take a closer look at how consumer bots are helping CPG brands ease the process of millions of customers quickly, personalize interaction, and streamline product marketing to earn higher profits.

Developing a consumer bots strategy for CPG Marketing

In an increasingly digitized world, consumers live on the internet. A small query, doubt, or need, and they are already googling their way to the right information.

Subsequently, choosing to augment customer service and product marketing through chatbots integrated into social media and retail websites is the most intelligent move in today’s times. A chatbot will provide customers with a smart virtual assistant, who can communicate with them just like a human agent does, but at a much larger scale, with more accuracy, a higher level of personalization, and lower costs.

In fact, Juniper predicts that the total spend over conversational commerce channels will reach $290 billion by 2025.

Chatbot Maturity Levels

While consumer bots have become commonplace with many CPG brands, not all companies are at par when it comes to implementation. While some have reached the pinnacle of deriving value from chatbot implementation, others have just started dipping their toes into this world.

Chatbot maturity refers to the different stages of chatbot readiness and how they can advance a consumer bot strategy at each level and help transform customer engagement and service in the fast-moving consumer goods industry.

Level - 1 Chatbot: Customer Service

In an industry where everything is fast and swiftly moving, customer service can be no exception. At the very first level, consumer bots can be implemented to solve consumer difficulties, answer FAQs, and address L-1 queries. Owing to the ease of implementation, convenience, and 24X7 availability, chatbots are ideal for augmenting customer service, even eliminating human intervention in most cases.

Moreover, they can help companies save money otherwise spent on hiring and training customer service personnel. The benefits of bots for handling queries are limitless. Customers can now place an order, complain about quality, track delivery status, and request a refund — all at their fingertips.

Additionally, global CPG companies have customers spread over different geographies and cultural profiles. A single chatbot can handle queries in multiple languages and serve thousands of customers together at scale.

Consumer Bots in CPG Marketing

Level - 2 Chatbot: Product promotion, marketing, and advertising using customer data

A consumer bots strategy enables CPG brands to focus their marketing endeavors on channels where customers are present, active, and most likely to engage with the company.

Using bots on popular messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger, brands can push alerts and notifications about new products, services, and promotional schemes and ensure customers are always engaged with the company and its offerings.

Additionally, brands can use chatbots to tailor loyalty programs, send customized discounts, freebies, and coupons to customers through email and messaging channels, and help them redeem gift balances and reward points.

Level - 3 Chatbot: Creating a Contextual Customer Engagement Funnel

Retail brands may design bots to ask a few questions about the customer’s needs and preferences, integrate with the company’s legacy CRM or HubSpot portal, and then display a tailored collection of specific products that they may like. Depending on what the customer decides to do, the chatbot can embark on the next course of action and segment customers based on the subsequent steps needed to retain or convert them.

Here, it may lead the customers to the retailer’s online website, help them navigate the portal, suggest products, and guide them through the payment and checkout process.

Or brands may use chatbots to send personalized tips and diagnoses to customers or help them select the right products.

Retail bots can reduce cart abandonment rates by bringing back customers who left without buying anything. Research reveals that abandoned cart reminders from a chatbot have 80% open rates compared to email’s 25% and ten times higher click-through rates. Additionally, easy payment integrations let customers pay without leaving their screens, thus deterring them from leaving their carts without purchasing anything.

Consumer Bots in CPG Marketing

Level - 4 Chatbot: AI-driven consumer bot strategy

Customer delight is earned. Seamless experience and value-driven online interaction pave the path to loyalty and bridge the gap between intent and action.

In today’s highly digitized business landscape, it has become even more essential for brands to remain sensitive to customer sentiment and respond empathetically to improve overall CX.

At this stage of chatbot maturity and adoption, brands can build closer and more personalized connections with customers by getting insights into their behavior and interests. An analysis of customer data stored in back-end systems helps bots understand users’ needs and upsell/cross-sell additional products to fulfill those requirements.

While combining all that has been spoken about in the first three levels, AI chatbots can add a layer of human touch by using powerful technologies like AI and machine learning integrated with natural language processing (NLP) and natural language understanding (NLU).

Context management can help bots pick up conversations from where they were left off, just like how a human would do, comprehend intent change, and service multiple intents within the same chat.

By gauging the polarity and intensity of a customer’s emotions, bots can adjust responses to customers’ unique dispositions, including emotion, mood, and tone. Moreover, bots can understand the nitty-gritty of language, including grammar, slang, regional connotations, etc., and provide suitable answers or escalate the case if needed.

Powered with AI, machine learning, and robust NLP technologies, brands can build customer personas to comprehend and stay up to speed with the changing needs of their customers, offer both generalized and customer-specific information according to current and past interactions, and produce exceptional bottom-line results.

Level - 5 Chatbot: Omni channel Bot strategy:

Customers with robust omnichannel strategies retain 89% of their customers on average. Indeed today’s customers desire convenient customer support and service and want brands to reach them on their preferred channels.

The most mature bots have the ability to coordinate communication across different channels and devices, and provide consistent engagement across all of them. The best omnichannel strategy allows a customer to initiate a conversation on one channel and then continue it on another without the need to start the context over.

So for example, a customer may use Facebook to enquire about the features of a product, purchase it through the website bot, but ask about delivery status on Instagram, all done seamlessly without any hassle, and with a focus on personalizing customer interactions, no matter what channel.

Exploring some real-life success stories!

1. Building value-driven product experience for a global CPG giant

The client is a global CPG giant with a vast footprint across 190 countries across the beauty, homecare, healthcare, and personal care segments. The organization was looking to build interactive communication channels across each of its products and retain customer interest in its digital platforms. However, given the scale and complexity of their operations and the uniqueness required, standard unidimensional bots would not have sufficed.

We at Acuvate helped them to build multiple multi-lingual, multicultural, and multi-platform chatbots. Our expertise in Power Virtual Agents and the Power Platform enabled us to build chatbots with reusable components that are easier to replicate and Go to Market.

The client currently has 25 live chatbots with 1.02 million users and a few more bots in the pipeline, including a haircare chatbot, a skin advisor bot, and a personalized chef to assist customers and completely humanize engagement at scale.

The platform also aids data-driven decision-making, supported by dashboards that measure usage and performance against goals.

The company has experienced 4.3X sales uplift, a 65% reduction in live agent effort, and a 35% of total products were recommended by the bot.

2. Building community and driving brand recognition with Baby Dove’s chatbot for expectant and new mothers

Motherhood is a unique experience characterized by the joy of bringing new life and the anxiety and fear of handling new responsibilities. The Philippines brand team at Baby Dove emphasized this dilemma and came up with a unique mechanism for community and support for new mothers.

Leveraging Acuvate’s core bot-building technology, the brand deployed a Facebook Messenger chatbot that offers real-parenting representation and peer-supported learning for new mothers.

Segmenting new mothers into cohorts, including mothers with newborns, first-time moms, three, six, and nine months old, second-time moms, etc., the bot offers content, events, product recommendations, and rewards programs tailored to their needs. Moreover, it is designed to register moms to the Baby Dove Real Moms Village.

Additionally, the platform rewards new moms with U-COINs that can be redeemed to purchase the brand’s products.

By December 2021, almost a year after the bot’s release, the brand saw a 100k-strong community and an 85% drop in average acquisition cost per customer.

How can Acuvate help?

As a Microsoft Gold Partner with 15+ years of experience in the industry building digital solutions for different industries, Acuvate helps clients deploy AI chatbots using Microsoft’s low-code bot-building solution called Power Virtual Agents.

We leverage the Microsoft bot framework to build conversational AI solutions that boast the following features:

  • AI, ML, AR, and VR enabled
  • Integrates with popular messaging platforms like Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.
  • 90+ languages, language translation, and spell-check equipped
  • Analytics-enabled via Power BI and Facebook Analytics
  • Cognitively advanced with NLP, sentiment analysis, and QnA Maker
  • Analytics-enabled via Power BI and Facebook Analytics
  • Flexible third-party integrations

As a Microsoft Gold Partner with 15+ years of experience in the industry building digital solutions for different industries, Acuvate helps clients deploy AI chatbots using Microsoft’s low-code bot-building solution called Power Virtual Agents.

We leverage the Microsoft bot framework to build conversational AI solutions that boast the following features: