What is Conversational Commerce?

Messaging apps, such as What’s App and Facebook Messenger, now have more active daily users than social media networks. What does this mean for you as an ecommerce retailer?

It’s time to be ready for one-on-one conversations, not just social media shares.

Conversational Commerce
Communicating is part of the human experience. Conversational commerce is just the next step in making our everyday online interactions a bit more human.

There is a lot of lingo in the ecommerce space—so much so that it seems like keeping up with the language is almost as hard as keeping up with the shifting tech tools and trends. There’s SEO, SSL certificates, Responsiveness, MCommerce, AI, and now, there’s even Conversational Commerce to consider. And consideration is essential if you’re looking for ecommerce success.

Think of a brick-and-mortar shop. When a customer walks in, you want to be able to showcase what you’re selling. This is, of course, why images, text descriptions and specifications, and even video are valuable in an online store. But what happens when that customer has a question? In a physical shop, he or she could find a sales associate and have an answer in seconds. Contact forms are a good start on a website, but slow response times give ample room for online shoppers to move on to a different store and different product. Instantaneous answers, on the other hand, convert interest into sales.

There’s a divide occurring in ecommerce between stores that offer it all and stores that are “boutique,” giving individualized attention to every customer. It’s the divide between Amazon and StitchFix. Both directions can find great success, but as a growing ecommerce presence, you want to make sure you have all the right tools at your fingertips. With conversational commerce, your ecommerce shop can compete with the best.

What do ecommerce retailers need to know about Conversational Commerce?

When customers have questions and want to learn more, chances are they won’t be picking up the phone to call. Instead, think about the following conversation commerce ideas:

  • Social Media Messaging – Since Facebook Messenger launched the capability to directly accept multiple payment methods, more than 34,000 businesses and counting have launched chatbots on the platform. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat, among others give a retailer multiple options for individually connecting, responding, and closing sales on well established networks.
  • Website-based Chatbots – Powered by AI, chatbots on your website can answer product questions, share further videos or images, take direct orders, reference existing content, push promotions or ad campaigns, and so much more. If you don’t have the manpower to dedicate a person to this interactive sales role, applications such as ChatShopper, BotCommerce, or Letsclap can be valuable add-ons to your ecommerce website, enabling this level of one-on-one interaction. Even if you do have the manpower, there are advantages to utilizing AI tools that are continually learning to become smarter while allowing for a streamlined and individualized shopping experience in a brand voice that is consistent within every interaction.
  • Voice-based User Interfaces (UI) – Over half of American teenagers and 41% of American adults use voice search daily according to a recent Northstar Research study. Conversations with our devices already extend to our shopping experiences, and virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, Cortona, and Google Assistant as well as voice-based chatbots are answering the growing demand. In fact, Gartner expects digital assistant-driven sales to reach $2 billion in 2017.

When your potential customers are chatting with a “bot” rather than a human, let them know; however, research shows that people communicate with AI bots in the same language as they would with a human. It’s a different experience, but not one that seems to slow people down.

The retail landscape is changing by the minute, and if you’re in ecommerce, being aware of the latest trends gives you a huge advantage. As for conversational commerce, it’s all about the user experience (UX). Don’t you want to give your potential customers the best?

Questions about ecommerce strategies for your business? Midlothian Web Solutions prides ourselves in our personalized relationship with every client. “Global reach. Local touch” is more than a tagline. It’s how we do business. Contact us today!

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