The beauty of eCommerce is the speed, convenience, and customization it brings to the shopping experience. Until now, however, online stores have been missing some of that friendly, personal touch that a great in-store salesperson could offer.
No more! eCommerce storefronts are using technology to bridge the gap between convenience and personal flare with the new trend of Conversational Commerce.
What is Conversational Commerce?
First coined by former uber developer Chris Messina, the term conversational commerce refers to the myriad of ways that eCommerce can utilize chat to enhance their user experience and boost conversion.
Whether through social media chat apps like Facebook, directly through chat plugins on brand websites, or through other third-party platforms like Slack or or Kik, eCommerce is growing rapidly more personalized as brands reach out and connect 1:1 with potential shoppers via chat.
Not on board yet? Here are 6 reasons why you should develop your brand’s conversational commerce activity stat!
How Can Conversational Commerce Have an Impact on your Bottom Line?
1) Speeds customers to conversion
Conversational commerce hastens the product selection process to the speed of chat! Chat bots can offer specific items to meet customer needs, from dresses for a garden party to reflective running shoes. Once shoppers find an item they want, chat bots can speed their decision making process by addressing questions about the product, like “can I put it in the washing machine?” or “Is there a coupon code for this?” that might otherwise slow down or even stall out a transaction.
Ebay’s messenger bot helps customers find the perfect item by offering parameters to narrow the search.
2) Valuable customer insights
Chat histories are easily condensed and analyzed, providing as yet unseen detail into your customers’ thought patterns throughout the buying process. Are shoppers consistently asking your chat bots for a trending color or pattern? Do multiple customers ask questions about your shipping policy? The aggregate data can and should guide the way your customer journey is designed and honed.
The Sephora bot on Kik makes the shopping experience personal and fun by quizzing customers and suggesting tips and items based on their answers.
3) Easy to collect customer reviews and feedback
With conversational commerce, it’s a few steps quicker and easier for customers to provide feedback on a shopping experience or product. Now, rather than sending a separate follow-up e-mail asking for reviews or comments, your chat bots can follow up at the end of the conversation, raising chances of receiving feedback by not breaking the flow of the shopping conversation.
4) Lowers customer effort
Customers convert when their desire for a product outweighs whatever obstacles or inconveniences are holding them back. The more speed bumps you can remove along the customer journey, the higher your conversion rates will be. By integrating a brand chat bot in a software or social media environment your customer base already uses, like Slack or Facebook, you make it that much easier for customers to close the conversion gap.
Plenty of people would buy a burger if it were right in front of them, but might not summon the energy to leave work and go down the street to get one. Similarly, if your shoppers can order your product while already chatting on facebook, you’ll reach far more people than if they have to open an independent app or navigate onto another platform.
Pizza hut makes it easy to quickly order delivery while chatting with friends
5) Meet customer needs any time, any place
Well designed and trained chat bots mean that customers don’t have to wait until Monday at 9 am to call customer services with their questions. They also don’t have to wait in a call queue (or hang up in frustration!). Customer questions and needs are addressed instantly, whenever the shopping bug bites them, meaning you can capitalize on when customers are at the peak of their readiness to buy.
The H&M bot on kik demonstrates the way bots can suggest paired items the way an in-store salesperson would, increasing items per checkout.
Conversational Commerce offers several enhanced user experience elements for your customers:
Quick, attentive customer service
Uninterrupted shopping flow
Answers to questions any time, anywhere
A friendly, personal touch!
At the same time, Conversational Commerce offers key advantages to you as a business:
Seamless customer feedback collection
Mineable transcripts to spot shopping trends and popular requests
Live comparable item suggestion to boost basket size
Elimination of obstacles to raise conversion rates
With shiny new benefits for your customers and for you, all that’s left is for you to start teaching your bot some sassy one-liners!