When was the last time you called a food joint to place an order? Or when was the last time you called a Taxi service when you needed to travel?
When we have the choice between texting and calling, what do we usually pick?
Technology has transformed the way we communicate and keep in touch with our friends and family and similarly, it has changed the way we communicate with many brands that have a digital presence.
This has led to a change in our expectations from brands and how we want to interact and be interacted with. This shift in how we communicate has led to the rise of conversational commerce.
Brands these days consider conversations more than just chats with the user that may or may not lead to sales. E-commerce brands are deploying strategies to fast-forward the communication process with their customers in order to move up the conversion ladder. This is called conversational commerce.
Brands are capitalizing on the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence to create a system of direct communication with their customers in the digital and physical world. For instance, the in-app chat feature of Uber intends to create a seamless communication experience with customers for frictionless pickup. This helps riders and drivers to connect through real-time messaging within the app. In a similar case, Zomato’schatbot integration allows users to initiate the chat with its customer support for any queries or feedback at any step of their ordering process.
Additionally, the integration of virtual assistants or chatbots into digital messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, Instagram, or more enhances the online shopping experience. For example – Customers can simply click on the WhatsApp icon displayed on associated Facebook pages & land them in their chatbox.
The objective is to make conversations as natural and accessible as possible. Brands have understood that they need to be as available as possible in order to gain a spot in the hearts and pockets of the consumers.
What is Conversation Commerce?
Conversational commerce in recent times is a new form of commerce where brands make it easy for consumers via live representatives and AI assistants. It helps the consumers to explore company offerings, making transactions, and receiving services for their purchases.
When you tend to opt for conversational commerce, you start realizing that it is more convenient to get information about certain products and influence your decision for the same.
With apps and AI’s doing their job at best, it has given rise to certain kinds of behavioral changes in the way customers are making their decisions. Popular messaging apps like Facebook, Whatsapp, or Twitter have expanded their functionality by being more conversation-inclusive.
Right from product discovery to payments tracking, everything seems sorted with conversational commerce doing its job.
How Does Conversational Commerce Help Marketers In Pre And Post Sales?
The best thing about conversational commerce is that it can define future prospects in terms of sales and management. In terms of the presale regime, through effective communication via messaging apps, chatbots, and AI assistants, people find it convenient to inquire about the products through a one-to-one approach. Gone are the days of trying to figure the website on your own on how to and what to order. You get your very own 24*7 salesperson, ready to help whenever needed. Similarly, gone are the days of waiting for a day to get a call back from a lead form, simply click and chat with the person on the other side.
With the fight for attention growing, instant interaction and closure of the cycle becomes key.
It tends to render exceptional support in terms of customer assistance. When was the last time, you remember calling up customer care for resolving your issue, it was all about chatting at your convenience and posting your queries.
In terms of post-sales, it helps brands in making a positive impression and online presence strong through an effective mode of communication. As communication takes place via digital platforms, customers find it easy to coordinate rather than telephoning numbers which may seem tedious. People find it more reliable and are constantly looking for instant replies. This makes conversational commerce more powerful than ever which in the long run can initiate revenue growth for a particular brand.
While conversational commerce serves as an efficient way to offer a personalized shopping experience to online users, its future depends on how brands utilize chatbots, voice interaction, data utilization, and virtual assistance in their business models. Many brands are developing their chatbots through APIs available in messaging services. This enables them to create a personalized system and bet big on new digital communication channels. Further, it can be projected that the seamless integration of conversational commerce to meet its real potential can disrupt the online shopping segment for years.
Authored article by Raghav Bagai, Co-Founder, Sociowash.