One of the biggest challenges of having an online store rather than a brick-and-mortar location is the lack of shop assistants. In a physical store, customers can come in and ask questions, get recommendations, and build a personal relationship with a store through conversation. This helps them make better decisions and can convince reluctant shoppers to try out new products.
Luckily, conversational commerce is here to help bridge that gap. It enables you to initiate a two-way conversation between you and your customers. Conversational commerce uses the digital platforms customers are already comfortable with to help them find what they are looking for and answer any questions they might have when online shopping.
What is conversational commerce?
Conversational commerce uses a digital conversational platform to communicate with customers and potential customers throughout the customer journey. This includes conversational advertisements, chats on social media, conversational shopping bots, text message marketing, and more.
Conversational marketing is about engaging customers directly in the purchase process through a conversational interface rather than relying solely on traditional methods like web forms. By conversing with your customers, you can provide a more personalized shopping experience which can help increase customer engagement and sales.
The benefits of conversational commerce
Conversational commerce helps online stores increase engagement by providing customers with a personalized service for accessing information or asking questions. A US-based survey showed that 72% of customers found chatbot commerce to be helpful and informative.
Your conversational commerce platform serves the role of a shop assistant, guiding a potential customer in their choices and addressing any hesitations they might have. This builds trust and encourages customers to make purchases.
Reduce Abandoned Carts
Conversational tools allow you to answer any questions or concerns before checkout, helping to turn abandoned carts into sales. In surveys, customers frequently cite concerns with shipping and payment as a reason for cart abandonment. If a conversational tool like a chatbot is right there, they are more likely to get a satisfactory answer to their question and complete the transaction.
Conversational commerce can also remind customers of why they added the product to their cart in the first place, encouraging them to follow through with their purchase.
Move customers down the sales funnel
With conversational commerce, you can move customers down the sales funnel with ease. You can provide personalized product recommendations that your customers are likely to be interested in and offer exclusive discounts or deals to entice them to make a purchase, increasing your conversion rate.
There are four points in the buyer's journey a conversational commerce approach can help move customers towards purchase:
Greetings - A chatbot can welcome customers in a customized way and offer information about discounts, sales, and new product advice.
Checkout Page - You can offer customers information about shipping options, and return policies, or even suggest related products.
Price Reductions - Inform customers about price reductions on products they've demonstrated interest in, or offer to answer questions about those items if they have hesitations.
Post-Purchase - Follow up with a customer after purchase to ensure satisfaction and offer further discounts or services.
Upsell and cross-sell products
One of the most popular conversational commerce use cases is upselling and cross-selling. You can suggest products related to a customer’s purchase or offer additional services that might be helpful. This helps customers find items they didn’t know they wanted, while also boosting your sales.
Provide personalized help with support cases
Conversational commerce can be used to provide personalized customer support. Through conversational channels, customers can get help with any issues they have more quickly than through traditional channels like phone calls or email. It provides a more efficient and immediate customer service experience.
Build customer relationships and brand loyalty
Conversational commerce offers a unique opportunity to build relationships with customers and foster customer loyalty. You can chat directly with customers, offering helpful advice or conversing about their interests. This allows you to provide an enjoyable shopping experience that encourages customers to come back for more.
Solicit feedback from customers
Finally, conversational commerce can be used to get feedback from customers. By conversing with customers about their experience with your business, you can learn more about what they liked and disliked and make changes accordingly. This helps you provide a better shopping experience and build relationships that last.
Types of conversational commerce
A conversational commerce tool allows customers to ask questions and receive answers in real time. These conversations can take multiple forms in different places throughout your business. You can talk to customers through your website or their phone apps, and they can speak with bots or connect to a human assistant.
Chat apps allow businesses to communicate with customers in real-time. This allows customers to ask questions and get answers to basic queries quickly, which can help increase engagement and sales. Live chat is usually initiated by the customer when they have a specific question.
Chatbots are conversational programs that use natural language processing to respond to customer inquiries. Chatbots can pop up anywhere on the website, but are especially useful on landing pages, product pages, and at checkout. Chatbots can provide quick and accurate answers or recommendations to customer queries, which can help increase customer satisfaction and sales.
Text message marketing
With SMS marketing brands reach out directly to customers via text message. If they’re using an SMS marketing platform like Emotive, you can have two-way communication. Customers can reach back out with questions just by responding to text messages. This makes them easier to engage with if a customer is on the go rather than at their computer.
Messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger are great conversational commerce tools. They allow customers to ask questions or leave feedback directly through the app they are already using.
Voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Siri allow customers to interact with businesses through voice commands. This conversational technology is becoming increasingly popular due to its ease of use.
How to build a conversational commerce strategy
When building a conversational commerce strategy, it’s important to take the time to think through how conversational technology can help meet your customers’ needs. Start off by understanding customers' goals and objectives when they interact with your products or services. Then use conversational techniques to give them a personalized experience that caters to their needs.
1. Create conversational content to engage customers
To make the most of conversational commerce, create content that helps give customers a better understanding of your products and services. This can include FAQs, demonstrations, customer stories or reviews, product videos, etc.
2. Promote offers and discounts with conversational ads
Conversational ads provide a great way to showcase special offers and discounts. You can use conversational ads to reach new customers, as well as existing ones.
3. Use conversational bots
Conversational bots are the perfect tool for providing quick answers or recommendations to customer queries. This helps create an interactive experience and reduces customer wait times.
4. Analyze conversational data
Analyzing conversational data allows you to gain valuable insights about your customers and their preferences for certain products or services. You can use this information to tailor your conversations and offer more relevant content, which will increase engagement and sales.
5. Monitor customer feedback
It’s important to take customer feedback seriously. Regularly monitoring and responding to customer feedback can help you understand what customers are looking for, as well as any areas of improvement that need to be addressed.
Conversational commerce platforms can provide valuable insights into customer behavior. By tracking conversations and analyzing customer data, you can get a better understanding of the type of content that resonates with your customers and use it to craft more effective campaigns.
Offer more value to customers by connecting with them directly
More touchpoints for connecting directly with customers means more opportunities for you to build relationships and customer loyalty. Connecting with customers makes ecommerce and online stores feel more human and more welcoming.
Begin that conversation with your customers today.