How a Conversational AI assistant helps The Fragrance Shop with peak preparation

The Fragrance Shop is an independent fragrance retailer selling affordable fragrances and beauty products since 1994. Besides hundreds of physical shops, their online store is also flourishing. As the biggest fragrance retailer in the UK, they have a strong focus on their customer service both in their physical stores and online.  

 

Image credit: The Fragrance Shop 

The Fragrance Shop chose to start using a conversational AI assistant just three weeks before Black Friday, knowing that shopping will peak and result in tremendous pressure on the customer support organisation. They knew from experience that it was almost impossible to maintain their normal level of response time. They also knew they needed a chatbot helping them with deflecting support tickets for the high quantity of standard FAQs which would arise. 

The Fragrance Shop knew about the benefits of including conversational AI as early as possible in the customer journey – with an on-site assistant helping to reduce cart abandonment and increase Customer lifetime value.  

They wanted an assistant who could: 

- Actually take customers to their desired products without them having to make a click. 

-Provide customers personalised recommendations and tailored offers 

Upsell and cross-sell relevant items that match user intent at the time.  

-And provide personalised guidance and support through checkout to reduce costly returns and cart abandonment.  

 

Experimenting and innovating through conversational AI 

Three weeks after kicking off the project, Black Friday created a huge impact on both supply and demand. With the new chatbot, The Fragrance Shop was able to handle more than 10,000 customer-inquiries from simple and generic questions. These involved everything from opening hours and product availability to specific inquiries on order status, where the AI assistant looked up relevant purchases, order confirmation, delivery times, etc.  

Those questions that the chatbot could not answer automatically were forwarded to a customer support agent – enabling them to reach their lowest ever customer waiting time during Black Friday. 

Additionally, The Fragrance Shop experiences good results using their developed Fragrance Match – an application matching the customer with some of their many different scents based on only a few questions from the conversational chatbot. With the introduction of the AI chatbot as part of their journey toward a more conversational commerce site, the company’s developers integrated the Fragrance Match application into the chatbot. Consequently, the product recommendations were made more accurate and the journey from recommendation to checkout was shortened while costs for returns were minimised.   

Through utilising conversational AI technology in the build-up to peak seasons, The Fragrance Shop benefits from the flexible platform and the many widgets that can be customised and used for their online store.  

With the end of retailers’ reliance on purchase history and cookies; gathering zero-party data from real-time user conversations gives The Fragrance Shop a headstart over their competitors. With these insights garnered from their dialogue at key customer touchpoints, it is easy to experiment and optimize user flows – as they embark on creating a conversational commerce store.  

  

Results 

  • The Fragrance Shop’s AI assistant handled more than 10,000 orders and inquires within their first peak Black Friday rush. The quick implementation turned to value within just three weeks.  

  • The Fragrance Match application is more precise with Conversational AI and leads to more purchases and fewer costly returns.  

  • The Fragrance Shop keeps optimizing their conversations with insights from zero-party data, creating a more personalised and faster customer journey that generates direct value from the chatbot.  

Key takeaways 

  • A conversational AI chatbot can handle your most common inquiries across the customer journey by answering generic and product-specific questions.  

  • Planning ad hoc staff for customer support in peak seasons is both costly and difficult. Instead, a chatbot can handle the extra customer conversations across multiple markets.  

  • Through conversational AI technology, it is possible to integrate website applications into the chatbot. Using an AI chatbot, zero-party data collected in real-time will enhance the features and deliver a better customer experience.  

  • Recommendations and support before a purchase will create more happy customers and reduce the costs for returning mismatched purchases.  

  • With Certainly’s conversational AI platform, it is possible to use chat for traditional customer service as well as an advanced digital sales assistant which provides personalised guidance and support throughout the customer journey.  

 

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