Having great products and prices isn’t enough to drive conversions. Quality customer experiences matter, too. That’s why some eCommerce brands now adopt strategies to leverage the power of conversation and engage customers. They can engage with customers through live chat software and messaging apps while offering personalized services. The result? Conversion rates increased by a whopping 82%.
Looking to inject conversational commerce into your brand? This article is a complete guide that tells you everything you need to know.
Conversational commerce is the use by online retailers of conversational technology to provide exceptional customer service. E-commerce sites, for instance, use live chats and artificial intelligence to convince or assist customers in making purchases.
The aim is to add value to each customer journey stage, engage customers, and boost conversions.
Conversational commerce allows eCommerce businesses to build customer relationships at every stage of their journey. Here’s conversational commerce in action at every stage:
Customers must first realize they have a problem, and while finding a solution, they discover you.
They may want to inquire about your products and services without any commitment. But it’s up to you to show them you understand and can fulfill their needs.
Customer conversations will allow you to understand them better and boost their confidence in you. This could lead to higher customer retention and conversions.
Here, customers have done some research, and they know a little about you. But they still want more information about the products or services they’re searching for.
Give them that information to increase the chances they’ll choose you over a competitor.
At this stage, customers are ready to buy. But you shouldn’t get overconfident if they choose you. Factors like price, quality, performance, and trust in your brand can still change their mind. Use social proof like online reviews and testimonials to assure customers they made the right choice.
By now, you’ve managed to convert them. But don’t get complacent. Continue your conversations with customers to maintain that relationship. Offer them special deals and coupons to build customer goodwill.
At this stage, customers are now brand ambassadors who recommend you to their family and friends.
Since you have a good relationship because you still communicate with them, you can ask for reviews and testimonials. This will boost your credibility among other potential customers.
eCommerce brands that leverage conversational commerce are more likely to succeed. Why? Check out what conversational commerce can do for you:
With conversational commerce, your customer service teams can use instant messaging and deliver 24/7 support. For instance, Truly Experiences, a gift company, helps users find what they’re looking for any time of the day:
The company answers as soon as the question is asked, too. With conversational commerce, you get to interact with customers at their own pace as well.
Since you ensure there’s always someone to respond immediately to customer queries, you increase your chances of generating sales. A whopping 82% expect an immediate response from brands when it comes to marketing and sales questions.
Pro tip: Although chatbots can respond to frequently asked questions quickly, there are instances when consumers want to speak to real humans who can address more complex issues. So, consider offering customers the option to connect with a live customer support team when available.
Many things can lead to people abandoning their carts. A long and complicated checkout process, for instance, can lead 17 percent of customers to dump their carts.
With conversational commerce, you can reduce your cart abandonment rate. You can use live chat apps, for example, to send prompts to users on your site who have items in their cart but have yet to check out. You can offer them assistance, discounts, or coupons so they can finish the process.
Conversational commerce allows you to provide personalized interactions. You can do this by leveraging the data you get from talking to your customers. How is that related to sales? Well, a whopping 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that offers tailored experiences.
But don’t just stop after their purchase. Make sure you give your converted leads your virtual business card so they can contact you if they have questions while using the product. Add a blog URL in your card that redirects users to your Frequently Asked Questions on your site, too. This helps increase customer satisfaction.
Your relationship doesn’t have to end after guiding customers through the buying process. You can leverage your now-existing relationship with your customers and ask them for feedback about your product or services. This is feedback you can use to improve your offerings.
See how Nordstrom, a luxury department store chain, uses Facebook Messenger to gather reviews.
The bottom line, conversational commerce should be part of your B2B, eCommerce, or SaaS marketing strategy. Conversational commerce allows for many business benefits, so don’t miss out.
There are various chat commerce platforms you can use if you opt for a conversational commerce strategy. But you must choose the best for your business.
Let’s look at four conversational commerce platforms you might want to consider:
Messaging apps help you track customer support and assess customer experience. Apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger allow you to exchange emojis, memes, and other light visual elements to boost engagement.
Because messaging apps allow for private communication, you can get real-time customer feedback. That makes these apps a great way to deepen customer-brand relationships.
Chatbots are AI-powered software solutions that ask and answer users’ questions via text. Their ability to support multiple users simultaneously makes them efficient and effective for conversational commerce.
Moreover, you can integrate chatbots on multiple channels to improve customer experience and chances of conversion at different touchpoints.
For example, Dynamite, a women’s clothing eCommerce store, integrated a chatbot messenger on their website to assist guests and returning customers.
By proactively offering guidance on issues like shipping, returns, and refunds, they connect with customers at different stages of their buyer journey. Hence, chatbot functionalities are vital add-ons to aid eCommerce conversion.
Voice assistants have become increasingly popular in eCommerce marketing and customer service strategies. They’re software programs that understand voice commands and provide answers to them. Examples include Amazon Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, etc.
Their ability to offer quick answers to customers reduces buying friction which can lead to on-site engagement, brand awareness, and improved user experience.
Live chat is one of the fastest ways customers can get answers from you without sending an email, form, or calling.
Customers may know the products to buy but get stuck because they need more information. With live chats, you can provide buying assistance so they complete their purchase.
See how Warby Parker, an eCommerce store, uses live chat to assist customers:
The live chat software can also help to collate information about customer's preferences, previous experiences with different product types, and other important buyer information. As we’ve seen earlier, these will help you offer more personalized product recommendations to customers.
Now that you know the various platforms you can use, let’s discuss some conversational commerce tips you should follow:
Before anything else, you’ll need to establish your conversational commerce goals. Your goals can guide you as you craft and implement your conversational commerce strategy.
So, ask yourself, what do you want to implement a conversational commerce strategy for? Apart from improving the customer experience, you might want to boost sales, generate customer feedback, or even improve your brand reputation.
You’ll also need to set measurable key performance indicators to track your progress.
Your KPIs will depend on the goals you set. So, if your goal is to boost sales or generate customer feedback, for instance, then your KPIs could be the number of purchases made or feedback generated given a specific period, respectively. If you want to improve your brand reputation, your KPI could be the number of positive mentions on social media.
Make sure you set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals.
Find out which marketing channels your target audience prefers when chatting with brands.
You can do this by emailing them a survey and asking them directly. Or look at your historical data. Ask customer support, for instance, the specific marketing channels your customers typically use to reach out to them. You can also ask your marketing team for the relevant information. Why not map out the customer journey, too? This way, you’ll know the specific touchpoints where you have to meet your customers in the first place.
Your conversational commerce platform will typically depend on the marketing channels you choose. So, if, based on your audience preferences, your chosen marketing channel is Facebook, you might want to use a chatbot or live chat for your social media account.
For Instagram, you’d use the Instagram Messenger API like the one above.
To further enhance customer interactions and personalization, consider integrating generative AI into your conversational commerce platform. This advanced technology allows for dynamic and tailored conversations, providing a more engaging experience for your customers.
To increase your conversational commerce platform’s reach, you’ll want to increase your chosen marketing platform’s reach, too. So, getting more Instagram followers, Facebook friends, and LinkedIn connections, among others, is also key.
Choosing the right marketing channels and conversational commerce platforms is vital to the success of your strategy implementation. Remember, with conversational commerce, you can enhance the customer experience. But you can’t do that if you’re in the wrong place.
Research your competition to discover how they interact with customers. After all, your competitors are targeting the same audience as you. What works for your competitors should work for you.
So, ask yourself, how do your competitors talk to their customers? Do they start a conversation with a chatbot and then end it with a human agent? Does someone from their team respond to customers via WhatsApp? Or are they just using a chatbot on the platform?
You can use social listening tools or check out online review sites to get a general feel for their customers’ responses to their conversational commerce strategy. If you find the reaction is generally positive, then you’ll want to come up with a similar strategy.
Let’s say you’re already implementing your conversational commerce strategy. Great! But your job doesn’t end there. You still need to see if your strategy is yielding the results you’re looking for.
Are you meeting the conversational commerce goals you set out to achieve in the first place? Maybe you don’t get as many interactions with your chosen conversational commerce platform. Do people find that your chatbot doesn’t help them at all?
These are only some of the questions you need to ask as you monitor the implementation of your conversational commerce strategy. Once you have an overview of the results, you can make the necessary tweaks to your tactics to keep your customers happy.
For instance, if customers don’t find your chatbot helpful, you might want to improve its backend and conversation flow. If your customers aren’t interacting as much with you on Facebook, then maybe you got their preferred marketing channel wrong. You might have to ask them straight about their channel preferences instead of just relying on your historical data. It’s possible there was a shift in audience preferences, after all.
Conversational commerce is an effective tool for your business. It’s the future of customer service. As customers go about their online shopping, you can enhance their customer experience by providing instant and 24/7 replies. You can also reduce your cart abandonment rates, generate sales, close qualified leads, and gather customer feedback to improve your offerings.
But to reap these benefits, you still need to do conversational commerce the right way.
Just follow the conversational commerce tips I shared with you in this article. Set your goals, and choose the right marketing channels and conversational commerce platforms. Conduct competitive research as well. As a final tip, make sure you monitor your strategy. This will help you generate insights you can use to improve your conversational commerce tactics.
Now go forth and leverage conversational commerce for business success. All the best!