“When responsiveness meets discoverability, users get the best of conversation!”
In two words, conversational commerce quite literally means conversational service. Coined by Uber’s Chris Messina, conversational commerce is all about using chat and messaging services to interact with brands and users. So in essence, you can speak to a brand directly while, let’s say, shopping or on Facebook. And it’ll hardly matter whether you’re talking to a bot or a human being, since there’ll be no detectable difference.
How does this affect businesses?
One word for you: personalization. Extreme personalization. Think about it. The latest trend of interacting with different e-Commerce businesses one on one through a whole array of apps like Facebook messenger, WeChat, SnapChat, Talk, Whatsapp has changed the way brands interact with their audiences.
You speak to one person at a time, make suggestions fit him/her specifically taking his/her needs into consideration while doing so. I don’t know about you, but I’m yet to meet someone who wasn’t flattered by undivided attention and thoughtful recommendations. No longer do you have to wory about being bombarded with spammy messages promoting products you’re not really interested in. But give me a personal recommendation based on my interests, purchase history, needs and requirements and you’ve instantly got my attention. Instead of machine-like or impersonal transactions, customers are now able to complete their purchase using natural communication, like the way that they would normally use with a friend or an acquaintance. We all like our shopping experiences to have a personal touch and conversational commerce gives both businesses and consumers exactly that.
How does conversational commerce work?
At the heart of the online customer journey is communication between different brands and their customers. And through conversational commerce, A successful conversational commerce strategy will require strategic social listening and a deep understanding of culture and context. You can put an end to your search, just by leveraging a message or voice note to interact with your loved brands via bots, services, or other messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Kik, Talk and others. Amazon’s Echo is a great example of companies interacting with their users through voice commands.
Let me illustrate the different things conversational commerce can do for you:
- Users can have personalized conversations with your favorite brands.
- Businesses can track conversations, making them privy to specific user needs.
- Brands can build more personalized customer journeys and shopping experiences based on past history.
- Brands can provide lightning-fast customer service, literally in a matter of seconds
- Businesses will be able to provide a unique, differentiated service to each individual customer. Which means no 2 approaches will ever be the same when communicating with a potential buyer.
So, I’m going to let this sink in for a moment. As a whole, you get to chat with the company’s representatives, get support from them, get help relating all your questions, find out about the latest trends, read reviews and make all your purchases through these messaging applications! And you can do all of that in literally seconds from start to finish!
- It can open up channels to communicate with customers
A private line of communication is created between a business and its customers, which is in fact a better way of spreading information about your brand and giving your product more publicity.
- A convenient way to make and receive payments
No matter what type of business you deal in, making payments is the most important part of any commerce. Keeping this in mind, conversational commerce has evolved in the world of online shopping. Both, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger have been successfully experimenting with processing payments through chat.
- It can act as your personal assistant
Conversational commerce behaves like a virtual assistant of you, in the sense that it can guide you along your journey to complete your purchase; right from pre-purchase research to placing the final order and making your payment, tracking your shipment and even following up with you once they shipment is delivered.
- It can act as a medium for content sharing
With the help of Messaging apps, you can discover new ways of complementing the photo sharing experience along with branded content. This virtual environment helps you in sharing your content with the customers worldwide.
Gone are the days when chat apps were just that; chat apps. Now you can get all the information you need about a product you want to buy, have all your burning questions answered on the fly and even make transcations through apps you’ve always loved using. The future looks promising, wouldn’t you say?