21 Chatbot Statistics for 2021

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Looking to take your chatbot to the next level? Or perhaps looking for data to support the debut of a bot on your website? We’ve got you covered with the latest chatbot statistics for 2021.

Chances are that chatbots are here to stay. Thanks to the rise of the NOW Customer-what we call today’s customer who expects instant, around-the-clock responses and solutions-chatbots are the technology of choice for brands that want to ensure exceptional customer experiences. 

Once a polarizing technology, chatbots are increasingly gaining popularity among businesses and consumers alike.

When used correctly, chatbots can deliver delightful customer service by answering consumers’ queries at lightning-fast speeds. (Reread the first part of that sentence. It’s important!) 

Too many times, the reputation of chatbots is tarnished by brands who use them in all the wrong ways. (Think: Not having human backup for complicated inquiries or pretending to be a live human instead of a robot.)

With the increasing popularity of chatbots, it’s important to know this tool’s latest trends, capabilities, and best practices so that you’re using bots in the most effective way…. And using bots to boost your bottom line instead of squashing it!

Interested in stepping up your chatbot strategy? Read on as we share the latest stats and trends you need to know about chatbots in 2021. For ease of reading, the statistics in this article are categorized by frequently asked questions. Enjoy!

What is a chatbot? 

First things, first. Let’s take a step back and level-set with some definitions. A chatbot is a computer program that simulates human-like conversations using artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML) via communication channels such as websites, messaging platforms, mobile apps, or the telephone for customer engagement purposes.

Although a chatbot is programmed to work independently from a human operator, it’s best practice to have human agents in the loop in case escalation is needed. (Some customers flat out don’t want to converse with bots, after all!) This brings us to our first stat:

Stat #1: 34% of people use a chatbot as a means of getting connected with a human. (Source)

For this reason, it’s crucial to have a seamless bot-to-human handoff in place. Customers surfing your website expect the option to transfer over to human assistance for more complicated issues, concerns, and queries. 

With today’s advancements in bot technologies, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that chats can do it all. Don’t fall into this trap! A human touch is more helpful than an automated bot in certain usages, especially when it comes to nuanced or delicate interactions such as payment disputes.

Stat #2: 23% of consumers still prefer to have a face-to-face interaction when the complexity of the issue increases, such as with payment disputes or complaints. (Source)

Pre-sale support is yet another situation that is well-suited for human agent assistance. There is a lot at stake with pre-sale service inquiries, and they often require a personal touch to close the deal.

Stat #3: 95% of ecommerce shoppers interacting with chatbots said that their pre-sale experience would have been better with human help. (Source

When in doubt, assign human agents to potential buyers’ queries, as humans can deliver a low-effort experience when needed the most: When a customer is on the verge of converting. Assigning a chatbot during this pinnacle stage in the customer journey could lead to your brand leaving money on the table!

So when are some ideal times to hand over the customer support reins to a chatbot? Bots are best used when it comes to completing simple tasks or self-service after-sales interactions. (Think: FAQ hyperlinks, order status inquiries, return policies, pricing and more.) When it comes to straight-forward interactions such as these, a large majority of consumers actually prefer to engage in botversations.

Stat #4: 74% of users prefer chatbots while looking for answers to simple questions. (Source)

The bottom line? Like many things in life, there is a time and place for chatbot conversations, so make sure you understand the difference so you can keep customer satisfaction scores sky-high. 

Are chatbots gaining popularity? 

The verdict is in: Chatbots are indeed becoming more popular by the day. It’s one of the fastest-growing technologies in the world!

Stat #5: 1.4 billion people are using chatbots, and the top 5 chatbot-using countries are the United States, India, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. (Source)

And looking ahead to the future, chatbot usage is projected to soar even higher.

Stat #6: By 2022, 75-90% of queries are expected to be managed by chatbots. (Source)

Stat #7: By 2024, Insider Intelligence predicts that global consumer retail spend via chatbots will reach $142 billion-up from $2.8 billion in 2019. (Source)

What is the size of the chatbot market?

There is no denying that the chatbot market, while already large, is perfectly positioned to grow even larger.

Stat #8: The global chatbot market is projected to grow to over $994 million by 2024. (Source)

What’s fueling this astonishing rapid growth? Consumers are increasingly comfortable making purchases online through the course of a chatbot conversation. 

Stat #9: 47% of consumers are open to using a chatbot to make a purchase, and a study by Juniper estimates that chatbots will account for $112 billion in retail sales by 2023. (Source)

Younger generations, including millennials and Gen-Z, are especially accustomed to using bots to buy products and services.

Why do businesses decide to use chatbots?

For many B2B and B2C companies, implementing a chabot is a smart business decision that can help drive increased revenue and conversions.

Stat #10: 57% of businesses claim that chatbot delivers a big ROI on minimal investment. (Source)

Known for boosting bottom lines, chatbots have been widely adopted across several industries, including healthcare, finance, real estate, restaurants, ecommerce, and banking. Companies across a wide spectrum of industries enjoy a number of benefits from leveraging chabots. 

Perhaps the most obvious benefit that chatbots offer businesses is time savings.

Stat #11: Chatbots can decrease handling time by up to 77%. (Source

In addition to saving customers’ time by delivering rapid answers in real-time, bots also save customer service staff’s precious time through intelligent routing! And because they’re online 24/7, bots keep first response times (FRT) down while keeping customer satisfaction and brand loyalty high.

Another advantage that chatbots offer businesses is increased sales and lead generation. 

Stat #12: 36% of businesses use chatbots to generate more leads, and business leaders claim that on average, chatbots improve sales by 67%. (Source)

A chatbot can serve as a critical component of the sales funnel by delivering relevant info and answers at the most critical time of the buying journey: The decision-making stage. Strategically placed pop-up bots can encourage customers to make it to the next stage of the sales funnel or even drive higher average order values (AOV) through the upselling of similar or complementary products. 

Finally, chatbots allow companies to have meaningful engagements with their target audience: prospective buyers.

Stat #13: 39% of businesses use chatbots to make their websites more interactive. (Source)

Useful bot experiences that are visually appealing, reduce customer effort, and provide real value contribute to the creation of premium customer experiences (CX) that will inspire brand loyalty.

An added bonus? Interactive customer engagements through chatbots allow brands to collect helpful customer data and feedback that can later be leveraged to deliver customized communications and advertising campaigns. Through the course of a conversation, a bot can collect a customer’s location, demographics, contact information, interests, purchase history, personal preferences, and more. 

With benefits like these, it’s no wonder why the adoption of chatbots has caught on so quickly!

How are customer service teams using chatbots?

Simply put, customer service teams use chatbots to elevate the customer experience by delivering seamless solutions and accurate information at lightning speed. Customers love nothing more than getting answers at the click of a button!

Stat #14: 69% of consumers prefer chatbots for receiving instant responses, and they’re most likely to use chatbots for service-related inquiries. (Source

Customer service teams lean on programmed, automated bots to “sweat the small stuff” and handle basic intent inquiries, such as delivering FAQ page details like shipping policies. This in turn frees up human agents’ time to focus on more nuanced and complex issues, like handling customer complaints.

What do customers think about chatbots?

Even as chatbots become more popular and widely accepted by society, it’s important to remember that not everyone is a fan of the technology. More importantly, it’s crucial that companies remember that the tech can sometimes come with a bad rep.

Stat #15: A recent study from GOMoxie found only 22% of consumers have a positive impression of chatbots. (Source)

Yikes! This stat makes us cringe, because chatbots have the potential to deliver world-class customer service when used in the right way. Bots have a limited scope, and when companies ignore the limitations of automation, they can leave a bad taste in customers’ mouths… Not to mention cause a ton of frustration and friction! 

Poorly designed chatbots with shallow knowledge bases and incorrect programming cause exceptionally poor user experiences. Unintelligent chatbots are not a smart application of artificial intelligence. 

So what’s a smart use of AI chatbots? Assigning them straightforward and simple tasks like delivering FAQ details or automating returns and exchanges! Bots excel at completing simple requests such as these, and spoiler alert: This is exactly how consumers want to use bots! 

No matter the good or bad perceptions associated with chatbots, today’s NOW Customer has come to appreciate this technology for its ability to deliver always-on customer service.

Stat #16: One-third of customers prefer chatbots for customer service, according to CCW. (Source)

What customers really desire when it comes to customer support is a positive outcome: The answer to a question or a resolution to a problem.

Stat #17: 40% of consumers are indifferent when it comes to engaging with a chatbot or a human for help, as long as they receive the support they need. (Source)

Whether the solution is provided by a human or bot seemingly doesn’t matter to most customers, so long as their needs are met!

What makes a good chatbot experience?

Brands in search of a good chatbot experience must remember to think “outside the bot” and have in-the-loop human backup.

Stat #18: 77% of consumers in a recent survey said having the option to escalate to a human agent is one of the most important things companies can get right when using chatbots. (Source)

How well is your brand facilitating the incredibly important chatbot-to-human handoff? Brands that invest time and resources into building a customer service strategy that effectively combines chatbots and human agents will be the ones to deliver outstanding customer service.

Customers also place value on chatbots that are “on” around the clock.

Stat #19: According to 64% of internet users, 24-hour service is the best feature of chatbots. (Source)

Make sure your chatbot is available on your website 24/7/365 and ready to respond to retail customers! Resist the temptation to turn your chat function on or off depending on ticket volume and holiday surges.

What’s next for chatbots? 

The future of chatbots is looking brighter than ever. 

Stat #20: 96% of businesses believe chatbots are here to stay. (Source

Data suggests that investing in chatbots and other similar social media messaging applications, like Facebook Messenger, is a sound business move. 

Stat #21: 84% of businesses believe chat and instant messaging bots will become more important in five years. (Source)  

The writing is on the wall: Businesses that don’t invest in the technology risk being left behind in a wake of outdated CX and UX.

To sum it all up 

Chatbots are an amazing piece of technology… And these stats prove it! 

Like any piece of technology, however, chatbots can be a double-edged sword. They are incredibly powerful and effective when used correctly. If brands fail to utilize chatbots in the right way-or refuse to accept their inherent limitations-they can actually diminish a brand’s CX success.

It’s important for brands to keep this truism in mind when designing their chatbots and chatbot strategies. If your brand wants to generate more leads and revenue through world-class customer experience, there’s no doubt that a chatbot could help you achieve just that. 

No matter your industry or business model, chatbots are a powerful technology that can set your brand apart from the competition. 

Interested in exploring how your brand can leverage the power of chatbots? We’d love to chat with you about chatbots!