Conversational commerce is a trend gaining momentum in retail. Customers are communicating and making purchases through messaging and voice-activated interfaces.
As a result, opportunities are growing for businesses to learn more about their customers, offer relevant product suggestions and increase customer engagement — resulting in more sales.
In this article, we will go over the definition of conversational commerce, explain the potential of this new trend, review some benefits and different types of conversational commerce.
What Is Conversational Commerce?
Conversational commerce is a new way of interacting with customers, where artificial intelligence (AI) that powers chatbots and voice assistants can be used to provide a more personalized experience.
Instead of just answering questions or providing information, conversational commerce allows customers to interact with your brand on their terms—whether via audio or text messages.
This is not an entirely new idea—companies like Apple and Amazon have been offering this service for years. But it’s still relatively new to many companies that haven’t yet caught on to how powerful conversational commerce can be.
What Are The Primary Goals Of Conversational Commerce?
Conversational commerce is an exciting way to engage with customers, but it’s also incredibly complex. Understanding the primary goals of conversational commerce is essential to ensure your implementation is successful.
- The first goal is to increase engagement with customers through conversation. You want your customers to see you as an ally instead of just another business vying for their attention. You can build a strong relationship with them and help them solve problems naturally.
- The second goal is to provide excellent customer service. This means having answers ready for questions that come up during conversations and being able to solve problems quickly and easily, so users don’t have to wait long for results.
- The third goal is to increase sales conversions. Conversational commerce allows companies to provide real-time information about products or services. Hence, users are more likely to make purchases at the right time because they feel like they’re getting what they need from the brand when they need it most!
How Does Conversational Commerce Work?
Conversational Commerce typically involves the following stages:
- Awareness: Customers become aware of a product or service through advertising, social media, or other marketing channels.
- Consideration: Customers research and evaluate different options before purchasing in this stage.
- Decision: Customers make a purchase decision and complete the transaction.
- Retention: Companies can use customer service, loyalty programs, and other strategies to keep customers engaged and coming back for more.
- Advocacy: Your customers promote your products or services to others, which helps you to generate new sales and increase brand awareness.
4 Types Of Conversational Commerce
According to Statista, global spending on conversational commerce channels will increase from 41 billion dollars in 2021 to 290 billion dollars by 2025. The possibilities for what you can do are endless with conversational commerce, but here are some of the most common ways to use conversational commerce:
These automated programs allow users to interact with your brand without picking up the phone or sending an email. They can answer basic questions, take orders, or provide general information about your products or services.
Some companies have created chatbot versions of their customer service teams so that users can get help 24/7 without waiting for someone on staff to return from lunch!
2. Voice assistants
According to a survey conducted by Google, 27% of the global online population currently uses voice search. These devices allow users to interact with their devices by speaking out loud. There’s a lot of potentials here—for example if you want to set up a recipe on your phone but don’t want to type it out manually (or, even worse, read it off the screen), why not just tell Alexa what you want? It’ll remember! Moreover, 65% of 25-49-year-olds speak to their devices at least once.
3. Live chat
With live chat, you can get real-time assistance from your customers without making them wait on hold or pick up the phone. Live chat can increase the likelihood of converting visitors to customers by 82%. Whether through a mobile app or a website, live chat allows you to provide information quickly and efficiently so that your customer can get what they need without delay.
4. Messaging apps
A global internet user survey revealed that 95.2% of respondents admitted using chat or messaging platforms. Messaging apps like WhatsApp allow businesses to send messages directly to customers’ phones—no email address needed! These apps make it easy for businesses to keep in touch with their customers without worrying about going through multiple steps or platforms just to reach someone.
7 Benefits Of Conversational Commerce
It’s a trend sweeping the industry for years and will only continue growing. The benefits of conversational commerce are too many to count, but here are seven of the most important ones:
1. It’s more personal
The most obvious benefit of conversational commerce is that it is more personal than traditional eCommerce.
While you can still search for products and services on your phone, you can chat directly with a live agent or chatbot to get help with your purchase. This means you can get real-time answers to any questions about the product or service you want to buy.
It also means that the person you are chatting with will be able to give you advice based on what they know about your preferences and needs, which can make all the difference when making a purchase decision.
2. It’s accessible
Conversational commerce is accessible in more ways than one. You can use it on any device, and you don’t need specialized training to use conversational commerce—you just need to know how to talk!
It can be as simple as sending a message to a bot and getting an immediate response, or it can be as complex as having a conversation with an assistant that helps you make decisions. Regardless of your platform, conversational commerce is designed to make it easy for people to get the information they need easily and quickly.
It’s also accessible for businesses: it lets you interact with your customers how they want to engage with you, which means you can be more efficient and effective than ever.
3. It creates a better experience for customers
The beauty of conversational commerce is that it allows you to make your customers feel like they’re talking to a real person and not just another faceless brand. This means you can provide personalized service and recommendations based on their past purchases, interests, and even the time of day.
It helps you build a relationship with your customers, which makes them feel good about your business.
It also means that you can respond faster to their needs and ensure they get what they want. This can help you save money by avoiding returns, which means you’re not just making your customers happy—you’re saving money in the process!
4. It helps solve issues faster
Conversational commerce is the future of customer service, and it’s not just because it’s convenient for you, the customer. It can significantly help businesses that are feeling the pressure of increasing demands and shrinking budgets.
Experts predict that fewer call center agents will work in the coming years. With so much of your time and energy focused on differentiating yourself from competitors and providing value through personalized service, how do you find time to handle all those phone calls?
You can automate many tasks with conversational commerce and devote more time to solving customer problems.
5. It’s faster for businesses to implement than other options
If you’re looking for a way to make your website more customer-friendly, you can’t just do it overnight. You have to consider how much time it will take to get started, how much money you’ll need for equipment and software, and how long it will take for things to become operational.
But with conversational commerce? It’s an instant win! All you need is a chatbot—and those are easy enough to find on any app store or website—and you can start adding features as they come up in conversations with customers.
And because it’s so simple and low-cost, there’s no reason not to make your site feel more human by adding a chatbot today!
6. It saves money on customer service costs
Savvy merchants know that one of the best ways to save money on customer service costs is to offer conversational commerce.
Conversational commerce can help you reduce customer service costs because you can resolve their issues at the point of contact when they’re most likely to be receptive and helpful.
When customers reach out to chat with you, they’re already in a good mood—and you’ve already built trust with them. So it’s much easier for them to agree to your requests than if they were just getting an email notification or call from an unknown number.
7. It makes the customer feel valued
In a world where brands are trying to compete for our attention and time, it can be easy to feel like you’re being pitched to by every company you interact with.
But conversational commerce makes customers feel like they’re interacting with a real person, making them feel valuable—and even loved! After all, when you’re buying something, you want to know that the brand selling it cares about you as an individual.
And conversational commerce also helps build customer relationships by showing them you care about them as people, not just as wallet-carrying automatons. Your bot or chatbot can learn about what your customers like and dislike and make people feel more connected to each other!
As a retail business, there are many benefits to implementing a conversational commerce platform. Providing an avenue for customers to connect with your company on a more personal level is always beneficial.
Both text and voice offer consumers a channel in which they can voice concerns or ask questions that might not be covered in FAQs or product descriptions. This offers valuable insight into consumer interests, making product recommendations and sales more targeted and relevant.