What is Conversational Commerce?

Conversational commerce is the idea of enabling consumers to shop and communicate with brands through messaging channels, voice, and chat. Brands can implement conversational commerce using technology like chatbots, social messaging or virtual assistants.

Conversational Commerce is the convergence between messaging apps and commerce. The term Conversational Commerce really isn’t all that new. Back in 2015, Uber’s Chris Messina already mentioned Conversational Commerce as the ‘intersection of messaging apps and shopping’. Uber’s interpretation of this was to enable their customers to find and order their Uber driver without leaving the conversation. This means integrations were made to enable conversion within the messaging channel Facebook Messenger.

How Does Conversational Commerce Work?

The basis of Conversational Commerce would be allowing customers to contact your business through their favorite messaging channel and finish the path-to-purchase within that same channel. Each customer has his own channel preference, which means you won’t get away with just disclosing Facebook Messenger.

You need a presence on all the important messaging channels. These include -amongst others- WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, RCS, WeChat, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger and of course the always reliable SMS for those internet-scarce moments.

Benefits of Conversational Commerce

Conversational commerce simplifies the online shopping experience and shortens customer service response times. Consumers benefit from fast, personalized interactions while brands increase conversion rates and revenue.

Here are a few more ways brands and consumers can benefit from conversational commerce:

  • Personalize Customer Interactions at Scale

By leveraging advanced AI chatbots, brands can offer one-to-one customer support without increasing headcount. For example, a customer might message your business to ask for gift ideas for someone who loves the outdoors and wants to get into camping.

Traditionally, sales associates would need to get involved to provide personalized suggestions. With conversational commerce, AI chatbots can be programmed to deliver personalized recommendations, guiding customers toward a relevant purchase faster.

  • 24/7 Customer Support and Reduced Response Times

Today’s consumers expect a quick and convenient customer service experience. In fact, 79% of consumers prefer chatting with customer support because they can get near-instant responses.

Chatbots give customers instant answers — no long hold times required. With conversational commerce, you can quickly answer questions, resolve issues, and build a reputation for stellar customer service.

  • Fast, Streamlined Checkout Experience

Nearly 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Conversational commerce moves customer interactions online so you can easily resolve problems that would have otherwise stopped them from purchasing.

One of the simplest conversational commerce integrations is the Send to Messenger option from Facebook Messenger. When you activate this feature on your website, customers have the option to connect with you via Facebook Messenger on product pages and the cart page.

Most eCommerce businesses only collect customer email addresses during the checkout process, so you can’t connect with shoppers who didn’t complete their purchase. Through conversational commerce, you can easily follow up with customers who abandoned their online carts and answer any questions they have.

  • More Convenient Shopping Experience

COVID-19 has pushed more brands and consumers toward online commerce. With this shift, consumer expectations for speed and convenience will continue to grow. Giving shoppers immediate answers to product-related questions makes for a more convenient and frictionless shopping experience.

How to get started with Conversational Commerce

Conversational Commerce allows you to have a natural conversation with your customer on mobile, without any technological hinder. Although conversational commerce might sound like the distant future, you can implement it for your business today (no coding required). CM.com can facilitate all the messaging and payment channels from one single platform.

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