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5 questions to ask before investing in a digital shopping assistant – AskSid

Interested in deploying a digital assistant? Read on!

Conversational AI is often regarded as one of the most attractive solutions for businesses seeking out automation.

While it may have been natural for you to adopt AI-driven solutions for your product or business peripherals, it is important to find the best digital assistant that leverages conversational AI for your business. To be able to do that, there are a few factors that you must take into account.

While, surely, the cost of a digital assistant impacts your decision-making, there are other not-so-subtle factors that you must address before you invest in a digital assistant. Asking the right questions will help you understand the kind of features your business prioritizes, the capabilities that ensure your system is future-proof, and so on. Only when you have answers to these questions can you understand the best solution for your business.

So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at 5 questions that you must ask before investing in a digital assistant.

1. Are you offering a low-code solution?

In 2020, when the entire world went into lockdown, digitization processes had to be accelerated. All major retailers quickly adapted to the new norm, getting more dependent on technology than ever before to get by their daily business. Among various technologies that saw a surge in mass acceptance were conversational AI solutions. Every digital assistant is not built the same, and this brings us to the importance of a low-code or a no-code approach.

A low-code conversational AI solution reduces a department’s dependency on developers, and it gives them the freedom to customize these programs as well as they can imagine. This means lower turnaround time along with lower costs. Even later during the course, when you want to make some changes, you can have it done quickly without any additional cost or coding knowledge. You simply have to check/uncheck the features you need at that moment or perhaps use a drag and drop interface to customize your platform.

Low-code platforms essentially put power in the hands of the users, allowing them to adapt in environments where policies change every few days and developers aren’t always available. Hence, when looking for an AI-enabled digital assistant for your business, remember to ask whether it’s a low-code solution.

2. What are the features offered by the platform?

We have now established how essential digital shopping assistants are for your business and how each solution is unique and based on an enterprise’s requirements. Although, the question remains —  what are your expectations from a digital assistant? What are the problems you want it to address?

Are you looking to automate your FAQs to assist customers on your website? Or do you simply want 24/7 live support for your prospects when you’re not available to address their issues? Do you want your assistant to generate leads from various platforms? 

Some of the other features you should look for:

  • Omnichannel functionality: You can interact with your customers on your website, WhatsApp, and social media platforms, among others.
  • Multi-language: Voice bots can interact with your international audience in their native language.
  • Intent-recognition: Conversational AI processes written and spoken queries and recognizes the user’s intention.
  • Insights engine: Retailers need to be able to identify demand signals from conversational data, intelligent digital shopping assistants like AskSid can support you with this.
  • Self-service: Your customers can find solutions without asking a live agent.
  • FAQ automation: The bot handles repeated queries, including inquiries regarding warranty and loyalty points.

AskSid offers retailers all these features through its verticalized solutions. Read more here.


And if the platform you like lacks a few features you need, ask if you have the option to embed more functionalities into it later or not. If yes, you’re getting an unfinished product but, at the same time, the freedom to enhance your product on top of native capabilities.

3. What happens in case the technology fails?

Almost all chatbots and other automated response systems are designed to identify the information entered by the user and reply with programmed responses. All’s well until a user’s intent is recognized as falling out of scope. If that ever comes to be, the system needs to fail elegantly. And hence, it’s paramount that you verify how the digital assistant you’re about to invest in handles this situation. Can it integrate with your support center’s live chat or voice platform? What does the flow of control look like when the system fails?

For the conversations to appear seamless, digital shopping assistants need to be transparent. The customer needs to know firsthand that they’re talking to a digital assistant and that there’s a scenario when it runs out of capacity where you can talk to a live agent. The platform should be smart enough to predict the right time to switch to a human agent and also bring the agent up to speed with the conversation the customer had with the bot until before they came into the picture. With that in mind, you must look for a domain-specific digital assistant that understands your product and your industry.

AskSid’s full-stack AI solutions cover all these requirements for retailers – read more!

4. What value can a digital assistant add to your business?

While looking for a digital shopping assistant, you must also always keep in mind the goals you want to achieve and whether the solution can add value to your business and the customer journey. To think about how digital shopping assistants contribute to your organization as a whole, let’s imagine a few types of tasks it may have to deal with on a normal day:

  • The first type of task is the one that is repeated the most and is, hence, high volume. This includes queries regarding order status, FAQs, and other repetitive queries. These are highly anticipated and should be automated first, even though it adds low value to both the organization and the customer experience.
  • The second category includes complaints or issues. These tasks add high value to the customer journey when automated properly, even though they are not of much value to the organization.
  • Lastly, with correct implementation, digital assistants should be able to automate more complex interactions, which would otherwise require human input and decision-making.

While investing, do verify how many of these tasks it can automate.

5. Can digital assistants build end-to-end customer journeys?

As marketers, you must understand how important the customer journey is for understanding their behavior and experiences against your efforts. Most customer queries are separate blocks of interaction with the organization, and most businesses treat it as such. However, it should be possible now to leverage more versatile AI that can piece together conversations across channels and develop entire customer journeys.

Fortunately, conversational AI is supposed to be omnipresent. Any good assistant will make use of this functionality to enhance customer experiences and facilitate personalized experiences.

Final thoughts

To create an exemplary customer experience, you have to start with your online platforms and analyze every aspect the customer interacts with. For every growing retail or e-commerce business, handling the large volume of customer support requests is a nightmare.

Digital assistants are our next best bet as apart from handling high volume requests, it comes with the promise of higher accuracy along with a human, conversational touch. 

All this makes digital assistants a tempting investment. However, online retailers must not rush and make blind decisions. With enough research and by asking the right questions, you can be sure that your investment in a digital assistant adds value to your business.

SID is a digital shopping assistant built for retail brands, helping them leverage the power of conversational AI to sell faster and better. Looking to deploy a conversational AI solution for your retail business? 

Get in touch with us today!

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  1. Pingback: E-commerce to education: Conversational AI is one size fits all - AskSid - Conversational AI Platform

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