Changing consumer behaviour
In recent years, consumer behaviour has changed a lot – the use of mobile devices has become more and more popular. Deloitte’s latest survey shows that 95% of all European and American consumers use their mobile phones daily in order to use online services.
Talkwalker’s 2020 research found that two thirds of the UK population are active on social media and that 96% of those users had been active within the last month. Self-reported WhatsApp user data tells us that around 58% of UK internet users are active on WhatApp, the fourth biggest user numbers of any social platform in the UK.
The Nielsen Report shows that a growing number of people prefer to use messaging as a communication channel when it comes to interaction with companies – 63% of consumers indicate that they make more use of messaging apps to contact companies than they did two years ago.
The Nielsen Report also shows that 53% of the respondents prefer shopping at a store that provides support through a chat app, citing an improvement in interaction. It’s predicted that messaging apps will be used more and more frequently by consumers in the coming years. Nielsen’s survey shows that 67% of people using messaging apps to communicate with companies are planning to do so more often in the next two years.
In the past, all brands had to do was send the right message. Nowadays there’s more and more interaction with consumers through channels such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
Part of conversational commerce is responding to customer needs regarding communication, so companies need to think carefully about refining their communication process. Conversational commerce enables companies to connect and automate those processes to meet customers’ needs. In the near future, the customer journey will be completely mobile and only one channel will be used, making other apps redundant.
Popular messaging channels will be used to complete the entire interaction between customer and company. That not only includes chats, but also payments (in-channel payments) and personalised messages. Users might interact with employees, chatbots or both.
Customer journeys at a higher level
Refining the communication process will result in a more structured conversation which will improve customer satisfaction. It will lift the entire customer journey to a higher level.
An online store for instance, can use conversational commerce to communicate about frequently asked questions and most common issues via one messaging channel. For example:
• A customer uses WhatsApp to indicate that he’s having a problem with his order.
• The customer will receive a reply explaining the procedure instantly in response to his complaint.
• The same channel will be used to immediately send a return or exchange request to the customer.
• The customer will be updated about the exchange through WhatsApp.
• If it turns out that the product has been damaged and the customer is not satisfied, he will receive a discount code through WhatsApp; not just to compensate, but also to encourage a new purchase.
• The same channel will be used to inquire about the customer’s experience and to ask him to leave a review.
You can follow the same process for ticketing services. You can use WhatsApp to order and pay for concert tickets and, on the day of the concert, the organisers can use WhatsApp to inform you about traffic jams, or help you find the best parking spot.
Convenience and personalisation
Conversational commerce is all about convenience, speed, and personalisation in customer contact. Thanks to new technologies, conversational commerce will play an even bigger role in the coming years. By anticipating and integrating new solutions in current company processes, the customer experience will be raised to a higher level.
Make sure that your company meets customer expectations. Be present on the channel that is preferred by the customer to make certain that they can comment, search, and interact with you. That’s the only way for a company to stay relevant and active in the online world.