With the leap of innovation in technology and its growing role in everyday life, the way customers interact with brands and businesses is changing so fast. Both customers and business doers desire for more accessible communication with each other. Then, enterprises are shifting to conversational commerce in a way more natural to approach customers and interact with them.

Here’s a look at what conversational commerce is, why brands should leverage it, and how to adapt conversational commerce to your business.

 

What is Conversational Commerce?

Definition

Conversational commerce was first mentioned in 2015 by Chris Messina in his short post on Medium about the breakthroughs adding the conversational element to customer experience. The term refers to the use of messaging services that coincide with or improve the sales process. This means of communication enables customers to interact with businesses via chatting conversations instead of direct calls. It means interacting with customers through messaging and chat apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or WeChat.

 

Examples of Conversational Commerce

You might have been participated or seen this concept already. It’s interacting with customers via live chat, chatbots on their website, adopting a social media platform as a public customer service channel (Facebook messenger, Twitter direct message), or even smart voice devices.

It’s like when you visit a website or log into your account in a site; you’re greeted with a friendly message via live chat like the image below.

Using chatbot is a typical form of adapting conversational commerce to business. Let’s take a look at how Domino Pizza uses a chatbot to create quick, creative, and convenient customer service. We tend to find website and Facebook page interactive bots to be extremely successful at lead generation by conversing with the vistor as they make decicions.

Dom, the interactive Pizza Bot, is one of the best chatbots for customer service. It changes the way we order food. Domino makes it accessible across platforms. Users can interact and buy via Domino Bot from multiple platforms and messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, Apple Watch, Mobile App, Twitter, and Smart Home.

When you first open Domino Messenger, you will see common questions that can be asked by first-time visitors. If you’re not interested in those questions, you can click on “Get Started” and start chatting with the bot to get more information you need.

Another example is Kia Motors America Facebook Messenger Bot. The AI-powered assistant guides you to get the information you need by asking you to choose from different options. Gradually, it gets you closer to what you need.

In addition, Amazon’s Echo – a voice-activated tool – has partnered with Capital One. Meaning, the bank’s customers can check their balance, credit cards, make a payment, or inquire about the recent transactions on their Capital One account, all through Echo with a single command voice.

 

How does Conversational Commerce work?

Messaging apps and voice assistants may be the most popular means of conversational commerce, but that’s not enough. Conversational commerce includes every other communication touchpoint like social media, email, feedback, and survey.

In fact, the advent of artificial intelligence and chatbots has taken conversational commerce to the new level. Although chatbots can’t completely replace humans, it can replicate certain aspects of human-to-human communication. The system also relies on the insights of customers, event triggers, knowing customers, and their spending habits to create a convenient and personalized customer service.

You can rule a chatbot to serve customers in the entire process, not just attending to customers’ inquiries. When a customer lands on an online store looking for a new book, the chatbot, then connect with this customer through Facebook messenger asking if there is anything it can help. After asking some follow-up questions to get details about the item, the chatbot shows the possible items to support the buyer buy quickly. After the item is already delivered, the chatbot will keep the customer updated on the shipping status.

Running Facebook Ads to a page that has a chat bot on it with very specific rules and tagging setup can increase conversion. There are a lot of rules, and predetermined conversiona maps that you can add to most chatbots. Creating customer journey conversation maps is a smart time investment and will pay off in teh long run.

Similarly, a voice assistant can help customers find the stores, products, or services quickly without directly asking for help from the real customer service staff or in-store supporters.

The Benefits of Using Conversational Commerce

Conversational commerce is the future of eCommerce. Rather than advancement to accelerate human work, and get things done quickly, conversational commerce should be a way to improve the user experience.

The advancement of artificial intelligence and the proliferation of messaging apps have fueled the development of chatbots and other conversational commerce tools. Businesses that foresee the immense potential are starting to invest heavily in this burgeoning conversational commerce. 80% of companies want to apply chatbots to their companies by 2020.

The following benefits may be persuasive enough for you to start getting into conversational commerce:

  • Cost and time effective: Customers often have the same questions when they hit your support box, especially the first comers. Customers can ask some common questions about size, price, or new products repetitively. It will become a mundane task when having to answer those questions again and again. Chatbots do a great job of automatically tackling this problem. Though chatbot can’t replace humans, it should be incorporated into your business, as it does help facilitate the human task, save time and effort for a human to do more critical tasks.
  • Maximize lead generation: Conversational commerce through chatbots is an active engaging marketing channel. Using chatbots for a lead generation seems to be a novelty, but it will become a popular way to monetize conversational commerce. In the consent of customers, through chatbots, you can collect customers’ data to use for marketing or sales campaigns.
  • Versatile in its approach: Conversational commerce simplifies your customer service, makes it accessible for customers via multiple channels. Businesses can accelerate conversational interactions through text messaging, in-app messaging, and platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, WeChat, and others to allow customers to engage with brands.

 

How to implement Conversational Commerce in your business?

1.   Using Chatbots

Chatbots or virtual assistants are artificial intelligence software that can stimulate a conversation with a user in natural language through messaging applications, mobile applications, websites, or telephone. Chatbots can streamline the interactions between people and services, and then enhance the customer experience.

Using chatbots has many benefits for businesses. It offers companies opportunities to increase customer engagement. At the same time, companies can improve operational efficiency by reducing the high costs of customer service.

A chatbot that can perform both tasks successfully needs support from humans. Chatbots can do specific tasks, even more quickly and efficiently than humans do, but they can’t be a replacement for humans. Companies need to take human intervention to the chatbot system, particularly in configure, train and optimize the performance of chatbots.

 

2.   Using Live Chat

Live chat enables you to have in-the-moment conversations with customers and help customers elicit responses from you quickly. In a live chat system, people play a crucial role in operating and controlling the conversation with customers.

In the digital world, you can’t afford to delay the response to your customers.  Like before, the average response time on a social media request is 10 hours, and email is 12 hours. Live chat can solve the problems in customer service through social media or email as it improves the response times. A recent report reveals that 33% of customers want to see the live chat on every website.

Businesses can get many benefits from using live chat. Though live chat, one customer service staff can communicate with multiple customers and offer a personalized experience for each of them. With one-one conversation, it’s easier to get insights into customers individually.

Measuring the Effectiveness

Last but not least, it’s crucial to measure what you’ve implemented to know whether you succeed or not. The metrics may vary between different companies and industries, but the common denominators for measuring the success of a messaging project are channel effectiveness, quality of conversations, and customer satisfaction.

Getting real-time data reporting on your projects is the most optimal way to track your conversational commerce implementation. You can use the data analytics available in the platforms you use or external voice analytics solutions such as Redbox, Dashbot, Voicebase, Chatbase, and Cogito. 

 

Best tips for Conversational Commerce

Lay the groundwork for conversational commerce

As consumers are more likely to search for relevant content so fast, they are increasingly moving straight to the marketplaces rather than using traditional search engines. It’s time for AI assistants to navigate them to the right places where they can find what they need on the fly.

Firstly, make your website, your products appear on the top of the search result by using elements like authentic reviews, competitive pricing, coherent product description, or consistent imagery. Once customers find your store, let make it easy for them to navigate between different pages and products. Unless your customers find products easily, they will leave out. It’s essential to train, configure, and optimize your chatbots’ so that they can lead your customers to more and more products on your website, especially to their target ones.

Make everything clear

When buying something, customers usually ask for the products’ information. For example, when purchasing an item of clothing, you may ask questions like, “which size fits my body the most?” or “which size is in stock?” It’s easy to answer customers if you are chatting with them. However, when shopping conversationally, the chatbots will replace you to do that at a specific time of the customer shopping journey. That’s your product description need to be detailed, comprehensive, and well-structured so that chatbots or voice assistants can understand and deliver accurate answers to customers.

 

Brand tone of voice

A clear, consistent tone of voice is an essential element of every business that leverage conversational commerce. A chatbot’s tone of voice is the chatbot’s personality.

Look at these:

  • “Hi, Jame. My name is Tom. How can I help you?”
  • “Hi, Jame. My name is Tom. May I be of your assistance?”

 

Both messages have the same goal, which is to greet customers and get the conversation started. However, the tone of the two messages is different. The first one is informal and peppy. The second one is formal and precise.

In the age of the customer, it’s worth paying attention to your chatbots’ tone of voice as it dictates the experience you create for your customers. If deliberately creating your chatbot tone of voice, you can ensure the consistency of all messages you deliver to customers. Besides, chatbot’s tone of voice can differentiate your chatbot with others. With a unique chatbot personality, you can create a memorable and satisfactory experience for your customers.

Conclusion

Conversational commerce will quickly become a problem-solving and well-established technique for driving more sales. Companies of all sizes can get into conversational commerce to scale up their business by using live chat or chatbots. Integrate a live chat app to your website, notify your availability, and support customers more efficiently. Or, use chatbots to engage audiences, sell and advertise your products to increase your revenue. Just remember to make sure everything you implement works for your business.

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