Find out why the future of customer experiences is conversational.
The conversational era is upon us.
Products and prices no longer have the biggest impact on sales. Instead, it’s the customers’ experience with a brand that influences their decision-making the most. That’s where conversation comes in!
But what is meant by “conversational”? What does it have to do with messaging apps? Does conversational commerce really help businesses gain a competitive advantage?
Today we’re unpacking what conversational commerce is and how it works. By the end of this post, you’ll understand how it can help businesses thrive. So, let’s get talking!
What is conversational commerce?
Conversational commerce is the next evolution of online shopping. It's a way to add a personal touch to your business and it allows you to interact with customers using natural language.
It’s been around for years, but it's finally making its way into mainstream conversations—and with good reason: the technology and tools are improving, the demand for personalized interactions is increasing, and customers are starting to expect more than just basic self-serve offerings.
On top of that, customers today have high expectations and don’t have much attention to spare. They expect businesses to deliver meaningful and convenient experiences, while also receiving immediate decision support.
Enter conversational commerce—the space where conversations and shopping meet. It enables customers to discover, buy, and get post-purchase support from a company through various channels. Messaging apps, such as Whatsapp, can help companies provide such assistance in real-time.
At this point, you’ve surely recognized—conversational commerce is the new black.
Types of conversational commerce
As we’ve established, conversational commerce is conversational—which means it takes place on the channels where conversation can occur. Here are some of the most common types of channels used for c-commerce:
- Messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, Instagram DM, and Messenger. These are some of the most popular platforms for chatting with friends and family members on a daily basis. They also provide an avenue for businesses to interact directly with customers in real time.
- Chatbots— which have been around since the 1950s—have only recently become mainstream due to their integration into social media platforms like Facebook Messenger or Slack chatrooms.
- Text-based commerce (eCommerce), which includes everything from online shopping via text message to sending money via SMS or WhatsApp, to paying bills through virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa.
Advantages of conversational commerce for your business
C-commerce opens up new opportunites
Studies show that young customers are the most active online shoppers. They're between 25 and 54 years old and love using messaging apps. But what about older customers? Did you know that customers 55 and older are also enthusiastic online shoppers? And here's the kicker: this older target group doesn't use social media anymore; they're all on messaging apps.
So what does this mean for you? Well, it means you can win over completely new target groups from conversational shopping—a huge opportunity!
Customer experiences are improved—and so is loyalty
Have you ever been in a situation where you had to talk to a customer service representative on the phone?
If so, then you know how frustrating it can be when the person on the other end of the line is not really listening to you and just wants to get off the call as quickly as possible. But what if this could change? What if every customer interaction with your brand were positive—leaving the customer with more value than they expected?
A more personal way of communicating with customers in which they get quick and detailed answers will doubtlessly improve customer loyalty and satisfaction. Using c-commerce on messaging apps allows you to leverage this ability.
Reduce costs, increase sales!
The number of hours agents spend answering repetitive questions is drastically decreased. That’s because chatbots can answer 80% of standard questions on any conversational channel your customer may be using. That leaves more time for agents to spend time on complex questions, while at the same time reducing the amount of time it takes for the customer to get the support they need. That’s a win-win!
Messaging apps like Whatsapp make excellent sales channel. Customers can have all their questions answered in real-time—leading to fewer canceled orders and abandoned shopping carts. That is pivotal news considering that the current shopping cart abandonment rate is 70 percent.
All in all, customers are getting a more personal experience since the conversation is occurring on messaging apps. This leads to a higher level of loyalty—meaning you’d be saving costs by not having to place ads intended for customer acquisition. Behold! Your customer acquisition costs are lower.
Get more valuable customer information and receive better feedback
When you give your customers the power to talk to you, they'll tell you everything.
What is meant by "everything" here?
- Everything about what they want and need.
- Everything about how their experience with your brand could be improved.
- And everything about what they're not telling you right now—but would if they could share that too?
Conversational commerce makes it easy to have an actual conversation with people—on their preferred channel—who are willing to tell you ways to improve your business. That's why conversational commerce can be so valuable: it gives you access to real insights into customer preferences and behavior that will help guide future product development, marketing strategies, and customer service initiatives.
You’re also able to get better feedback from customers. It’s far easier to get immediate feedback from someone if you are talking directly with them. This can be done right at the end of a chat using a rating system to evaluate how the conversation went.
Conversational commerce is the next step in how customers shop. It opens up a whole new world of opportunity for businesses. C-commerce provides companies with a powerful tool for communicating in a personalized, immediate, and on-brand way. It allows you to support your customers at every stage of the shopping journey—all in real time and on their preferred channel.
With conversational commerce, you’ll be able to personalize customer service with direct communication—incorporating support assistants and tailored messages to chat with your customers. Whether customers are getting support through AI or from an actual agent, they'll never feel neglected again.
Messaging apps, such as Whatsapp, can help companies provide such assistance. Businesses can win over completely new target groups for conversational shopping, increase customer loyalty, and improve overall customer satisfaction.
Grow your business by going conversational!