What’s the big deal surrounding conversational commerce? eCommerce websites have often missed the shot when it comes to personalisation and instead delivers intrusive marketing in the form of pop-ups, email marketing and retargeting messages, which no longer hold any purpose. This means what should be a frictionless online shopping journey often results in frustrated customers experiencing poor navigation.
More businesses are seeking ways to implement native conversational experiences whilst personalising each customer journey. Conversational commerce aims to do just that. It enables customers to interact with a business and complete transactions via a single messaging channel.
AI chatbots or live agents are used to deliver personalised messages and recommendations based on customer preferences. In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of conversational commerce and whether live video makes it a mighty pair worth shipping.
What to expect:
- What is conversational commerce?
- The benefits of conversational commerce
- Where does live video fit in
What is conversational commerce?
Read an article on conversational commerce and it will certainty include that the term was coined by Chris Messina back in 2015:
Conversational commerce is about delivering convenience, personalisation, and decision support while people are on the go, with only partial attention to spare.
And in a follow piece in 2016, he added:
Conversational commerce is a medium to utilise chat, messaging or other natural language interfaces (i.e voice) to interact with people, brands, or services and bots.
Essentially, conversational commerce is when businesses interact with customers via messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and WeChat. The trend has been growing with big players like Uber forging a partnership with Facebook Messenger. Powered by Uber’s API, Messenger allows users to sign up to Uber and request a ride, all without having to leave Messenger or download the Uber app. Inside the private conversation, the recipient has access to Uber ride status updates and payment history too.
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The chatbot market that conversational commerce inhabits is huge. It is expected to reach 1.34 billion USD by 2024 according to Global Market Insights, Inc. The chatbot market boom pays thanks to the proliferation of messaging platforms and improved customer service. Furthermore, the growing usage of mobile messaging applications like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and WeChat has contributed to mass companies coming forward and utilising this trend.
Online customer habits are changing along with customer expectations. The digitised economy, improved payment systems and customer service accessibility have drawn a baseline in the type of service people want to receive. People no longer look toward price as a key brand differentiator but instead focus on the customer experience. They aim for convenience, personalisation and trust when engaging with online channels; something that is a given in physical situations. Therefore, conversational commerce adds that human element to online channels that’s long been absent.
The Benefits of Conversational Commerce
1) One channel transactions
- Conversational commerce means customers can interact with brands and complete service transactions without ever exiting the messaging channel. Brands always advocate for seamless interactions but this is truly the epitome of a frictionless sale. Inside the channel, customers can identify, research and consider products or services with a chatbot or live agent.
2) Personalised assistance
- Brands can combine live agents and AI chatbots to deliver a personalised experience inside a single channel. For example, a customer can suggest preferences on clothing and receive a tailored catalogue with the option to complete the transaction using secured payments. Understandably AI chatbots can deal with low-level queries and should work in conjunction with live agents to answer complex questions.
3) Mobile friendly
- Studies show that 51% of internet users use their mobile phones to purchase products online. A further 66% say they use shopping apps on their mobile devices. Combine that with the customer demand for brands to offer a more seamless online shopping experience and conversational commerce is the answer. Brands can tap into the single channel base and optimise the buying journey from point of awareness to closing the transaction all at once.
Where does live video fit in?
Up until now, emphasis has been placed on text-based marketing and rightly so. By the end of 2022, it is predicted that over 3 billion users will be communicating via messaging apps. Meanwhile, companies are tapping into these messaging channels to tailor marketing messages to individual customers and make the whole customer journey more simple and more human.
However, facilitating the use of AI Chatbots in conversational commerce presents an oxymoron – can the human element still be achieved when there isn’t a human at the other end?
Well, it depends. John Shirly, who is a current employee at Google joined the MessageBird’s webinar on conversational commerce. John Shirley spoke of the power behind business messaging and included the following key takeaways:
- 59% of consumers who experienced personalisation say it significantly influenced what they purchased.
- Chatbots can help handle customer service problems by answering up to 80% of routine questions.
- A customer is 500% more likely to recommend a company with a good customer experience and most likely to purchase in the future.
- Customers want a two-way dialogue with businesses: personalised, contextual and interactive.
What can we take from this? Firstly, chatbots are a cost-effective way of dealing with simple questions meaning businesses can deploy their customer service teams to handle complex queries. Secondly, the combination of personalisation and offering a good customer experience highly influence a customer’s purchase decision. Thirdly, customers strive for a conversational, two-way dialogue that is 1) personalised 2) contextual and 3) interactive.
Conversational commerce and live video unlocks native dialogue
Combine conversational commerce with live video and it opens a seamless two-way dialogue. The business can truly understand customer needs, ask questions based on real-time reactions and mimic the social interactions that would happen in-store.
One to one live video formats happens on a single channel and in the case of Confer With – offers a shared virtual basket meaning purchasing items across the product inventory can happen all inside the experience.
A query can escalate from a chatbot to video format if a consumer has addressed intent in purchasing an item. One-to-one can offer a personable service between the expert and the customer. Other reasons why it works so well are:
- Needs and wants are identified
- Upsell and cross-sell products
- Build a loyal and high-value customer
- Drive higher conversions
eCommerce delivers a self-service for those without assistance meaning conversions and AOV sits low. By introducing a virtual product advisor, brands can see a 30% higher revenue per user than a traditional eCommerce web session.
Open dialogue allows your brand to scale an enhanced service that involves product discovery and tailored recommendations based on individual customers needs.
It encourages natural conversation and offers the ultimate personalisation tool. Brands can expect to see eCommerce revenues increase and an opportunity to build deeper relationships with their customers.
Finally, is conversational commerce and live video a pair worth shipping?
We think so.
Come chat with us today
Figuring out what’s right for your business starts with a conversation. Schedule a time that suits you to find out how conversational commerce can help boost eCommerce revenues and identify what your customers really want. Book a date and time that suits you best today.