'Conversational Commerce' is about being where your customers are, not where you'd like them to be. Being able to deliver the experience they want from their favourite channels means you become part of their day-to-day rather than disrupting it. Increasingly, consumers are using messaging apps to discover, research, select and purchase products without ever having to pick up a phone, send an email, or even visit a brand's website.
Conversational Commerce also offers the opportunity to automate these conversations on a large scale, all without losing that personal touch. But more about that later.
Let's look at what's happening in the market first
A couple of years ago, some of the larger OTT players in the market presented their vision of how companies would be able to communicate with the consumers via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Viber, Apple Business Chat, Line and Telegram. What followed was a rat race to find out which party would steal a march on the others to open their channel for business. The result? A tie. So now everything is combined in Business Messaging.
But what are the benefits of business messaging? How does it help us? Well, it gives companies the opportunity to have rich conversations with their customers. From video, buttons and smileys to carousels, menus and data pickers – all on your consumers’ favourite channels.
What’s the link with Conversational Commerce?
Business messaging is one of the three required building blocks to implement Conversational Commerce in your business processes. If Conversational Commerce is successfully implemented, it leads to more sales, higher customer satisfaction and improved loyalty. To get everything working together, you need additional technology and tooling on these channels. That’s where CM.com comes in.
In addition to business messaging, there are two other building blocks required for Conversational Commerce:
1) In-Channel Payments solutions: The step from conversation to conversion is made by adding payment solutions to the conversation. Examples include Google, Apple pay, or a well-integrated iDeal payment.
2) Data and personalisation: A bot and a Customer Data Platform (CDP) is required to enrich, personalise and automate conversations. All of your customer data can be stored in your CDP and can be used by your smart bot in conversations.
Change of communication
Implementing Conversational Commerce in your organisation requires some changes to the way you communicate with customers. The biggest difference, when compared to the current basic chat on a website or service desk, is that the customer can now choose how and when to start and continue a conversation; we also call this asynchronous communication. With a basic chat or call, the call stops when hanging up the phone or clicking away from your browser window. In a Conversational Commerce conversation within a business messaging app, a customer can easily send a message to the help desk to notify them of a problem with their product, then leave the chat to go about their day and continue the conversation whenever it's convenient for them.
Conversation commerce in action
Better Marketing and Sales:
Imagine you're the owner of a big fashion website and you have a well-implemented customer data platform. You can create a segment of people who bought new trainers six months ago and, if you assume that at this point they're almost worn out, you can send a message via a connected campaigning tool to the channel you last used to communicate with each customer to suggest new products to them.
Imagine that this time a customer has failed to pay. A payment reminder is sent, but the customer has no idea which invoice it concerns and seeks contact support via WhatsApp.
The question now is: how do you get people to use these new channels instead of the old familiar channels such as email and phone? You could, for example, add the option to handle the call via WhatsApp in your voice menu. Simply ask the caller to enter their number and send a text message with a link to your WhatsApp Business channel to continue the conversation from there.
What's the next step?
Before we reach the point where websites and apps are redundant and interaction with consumers moves to business messaging channels, there's a lot to be done.
First, a number of basic steps need to be taken to ensure your company is ready to fully integrate business messaging. That’s why we've built a platform that takes care of those integration tasks for you – tasks such as registration, capacity, connections with the channels, payment methods, bots and a data platform.
If you want to look into business messaging in more detail, let us help you put together an integration strategy. Our platform's been designed from the ground up to make integration simple.