Specialization is key in an exploding AI chatbot market

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According to Gartner analysts, amid the explosive market for AI chatbots, companies that target their virtual subsidiaries in specific enterprise sectors may find a stronger foothold than normal chatbots. That’s not news for Zowie, who claims to be the only AI-powered chatbot technology created specifically for ecommerce companies that use customer support to drive sales – no small feat in an industry where customer service teams ask thousands of repeat questions every day. Responds. Today, the company announced that it has raised $ 14 million in Category A funding led by Tiger Global Management, bringing its total to $ 20 million.

Chatbots – sometimes referred to as virtual assistants – are built on interactive AI platforms (CAIPs) that combine speech-based technology, natural language processing and machine learning tools to develop applications for use in many verticals.

The CAIP market is highly diverse, targeting vendors in both vendor strategies and the needs of the enterprise, says Magnus Rewang, vice president of Gartner Research covering AI, chatbots and virtual assistants.

The CAIP market includes about 2,000 vendors worldwide. As a result, companies seeking to implement AI chatbot technology often struggle with vendor selection, according to a 2020 Gartner report co-authored by Revang, “Making Sense of the Chatbot and Conversational AI Platform Market.”

The report shows that in a market where no CAIP vendor is far ahead in the pack, companies will need to choose the best provider for their current short- and medium-term needs.

Secret sauce in AI chatbot market

It’s Zovi’s secret sauce: specialty. In particular, the company focuses on the needs of ecommerce providers, Maya Schaefer, Zovi’s chief executive officer and co-founder, told VentureBeat. The platform enables brands to improve their customer relationships and start generating revenue from customer service.

Many other CAIPs provide services to companies that sell products. But their solutions are also targeted at other verticals such as banking, telecom and insurance. Examples include Boost AI, Solvvy and Ada. Other chatbots – Ada is an example – can also be designed for use in the financial technology and software-a-service industries, for example, to answer questions about a non-functioning system.

Zowie is built using the company’s automation technology, ‘Zowie X1’, to analyze meaning and emotion to find recurring questions and trends.

Zowie claims that ecommerce brands typically automate 70% of the inquiries they receive, such as “Where is my package?” Or “How do I change my shipping address?” She said. The solution also includes a set of tools that allow agents to provide personalized care and product recommendations, she says.

For example, if a customer says, “I need help choosing new shoes,” the system requests a Live Product Expert.

Prior to implementation, the platform analyzes the customer’s historical chats, frequently asked questions and knowledge base to automatically learn which questions should be automated. It uses AI capabilities to analyze new questions and conversations, delivering more automation.

By analyzing patterns, AI chatbots can tell when something new or unusual is happening and alert the customer service team, Schaefer said.

Live agents may also have difficulty appealing to customers, so Zowie gives agents a unique understanding of customers-what product they’re looking at, what they’ve ordered before, and if so, what they’ve ordered – and have direct access to it. Product catalog integration enables agents. Send product instructions in the form of carousels, she added.

Time of optimization

In 2019, Schaefer and co-founder Matt Siolek developed an all-in-one, modular CAIP designed to create highly customizable chatbots. Schaefer estimates that within six weeks of implementation, Zowie will ask “Where is my package?” Like 92% of customers respond to inquiries. And “What is store time?”

“Managers and agents don’t have to think about how to improve the customer experience – our system will discover new trends and propose how to optimize the system automatically,” she said. “In a way, we automate automation.”

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