|Source: SAP Hybris infographic. More than a third of Singapore consumers interact with chatbots, at least occasionally.|
- Top 3 motivations for Singaporean consumers to engage with chatbots:
- 47%: "Helps me compare prices and other products from other brands"
- 38%: "Assures me that my personal information will be kept private and not used for any other purposes"
- Concerns about chatbots:
- Could be unsafe: 35% fear that personal information divulged to chatbots might be leaked
Bot-powered commerce is on a tipping point in Singapore according to the new SAP Hybris* Singapore Christmas Shopper Survey 2017. This Christmas, more than half (53%) of Singaporean shoppers are enlisting the help of chatbots for holiday shopping, the company said. Additionally, the majority of shoppers who asked chatbots for gift recommendations actually acted on the recommendation (74%).
Despite the success of chatbots, SA Hybris recommends incorporating the human touch as Singaporeans expect assistance from chatbots to be rudimentary. More than 1,000 consumers in Singapore were surveyed on their use of and attitudes towards chatbots, with the results reflecting that while Singaporeans are open towards engaging with chatbots, they still have reservations.
Nearly six in 10 (58%) view chatbots as useful only for basic information search, anticipating that more complex enquiries will need to be handled by a human being. Others feel that talking to chatbots can be frustrating and they would rather speak to a human being (21%) while close to a fifth expressed an outright dislike for chatbots (17%).
|Source: SAP Hybris infographic. Singaporeans tend to ask chatbots about product or service information and about availability. Promotions and discounts and delivery details are also relatively popular topics.|
One of the top concerns that Singaporeans have towards chatbots is that their requests might not be understood (61%). A third (35%) are worried that their personal information might be leaked if they divulge too much to chatbots, and 13% say that chatbots are too creepy if they know too much about them.
Nicholas Kontopoulos, Global VP of Fast Growth Markets for SAP Hybris said, “The customer experience can make or break a brand. In view of this, businesses need to stay attuned to these concerns and optimise the use of chatbots as one component in a wider omnichannel strategy. While chatbots can proactively offer answers for initial queries on pricing, product features, or book and make reservations, they cannot fully replace the value of human interaction when it comes to building customer relationships. Any hint of customer dissatisfaction needs to be solved immediately, by a human services officer.”
To win Singaporeans over, chatbots need to become more understanding and intuitive – almost half of Singaporeans (48%) say that they will engage with chatbots more often if they are able to make more personalised recommendations on what to buy. Other motivating drivers that will encourage shoppers to use chatbots more often is to offer comparison of prices and products from other brands (47%), assure that personal information will be kept private (38%), provide recommendations on similar and complimentary products (34%) or simply becoming more human-like (18%).
“Singaporean shoppers have an appetite for deeper engagement with chatbots, but what the results really tell us is that they want a more personalised e-commerce experience. Today’s consumer have higher expectations and businesses need to keep a close pulse on the ever-evolving customer journey in order to react to not just changing consumer preferences but context at point of purchase or even consideration. To this end, businesses should view chatbots as more than just an answering machine – they are also a valuable mine of data that offer fresh perspectives into the underlying reasons for sales trends and help brands better understand what their customers are looking for. Armed with these insights, they can then take action to cultivate sales and entrench customer loyalty”, added Kontopoulos.
*SAP Hybris is a new brand name launched in January 2016 to represent the SAP solutions for customer engagement and commerce as well as the offerings, employees, and business of acquired company hybris AG, which continues to be the legal entity until integration with SAP is complete.