During the pandemic, online shopping has dominated the retail sector and that has meant businesses had to improve everything about the way they function remotely, including a closer look at virtual customer service for many. 
LivePerson is a conversational AI company that helps brands engage with customers over messaging channels. The company’s CEO, Rob LoCascio called today's upgraded chatbot experience the next evolution of the website.
“[Clients] want to create the same experience with their customers that they would have in a store. You can’t just do that with a website,” LoCascio told Cheddar. “People want to have conversations before they buy a diamond ring or do something of that level.”
In 2020 especially, LoCascio said the boom in e-commerce has driven their user volume three times higher than the last holiday season. It’s largely thanks to all of the shopping done in the days after Thanksgiving when holiday shopping traditionally kicks off. In a typical year, LivePerson would see a small boost on Black Friday and then a larger spike on Cyber Monday. This year the volume soared on Black Friday and stayed at those levels throughout the holiday shopping season. “We saw something we’ve never seen, and we’ve been around over 20 years.”
As with many aspects of the pandemic’s impact on technology, LoCascio noted that the widespread adoption of conversational AI was a long time coming. According to LoCascio, the company sees about a 20 percent conversion rate when people use conversational AI. He also said that this kind of shopping isn’t going away anytime soon.
“If you're younger, this is the way you want to shop," LoCascio said. "You don't want to pick up the phone and call someone or walk into a store. You want to have that in-store experience, but have it on your mobile device in your hand.”
LivePerson has nearly 18,000 clients, including brands like HSBC, GM Financial, and The Home Depot. The company recently helped launch a new kind of digital banking called Bella. The experience is entirely supported by LivePerson’s conversational AI that LoCascio said helped further the bank’s mission of bringing human empathy into finance.