Selling online is fast becoming the default commercial model for several companies. The increasing adoption of online commerce is driving evolutions and iterations developed in response to changing customer behavior.
For instance, the dominance of social media on the internet influenced the creation of social commerce. With social commerce, companies conduct most of their advertising and sales on social sites.
The latest brewing trend is conversational commerce, which entails businesses interacting directly with customers. Conversational commerce promises to make the selling experience more personalized. With this, companies can better lead their customers through the selling journey.
Conversational commerce refers to a practice where a significant part of a business's sales and customer experience involves conversations with the customer over the internet. This brand of commerce leverages conversational texting as an effective marketing tool.
The term “conversational commerce” emerged in 2015 due to the growing use of messaging apps and other interactive tools to facilitate shopping and sales.
This form of commerce manifests in various forms. The most crucial part entails enabling customers to use messaging apps for customer service, make inquiries, get more tailor-made recommendations, and close sales. Experts call this chat commerce.
Conversational commerce involves using voice tools, including smart speakers like Amazon Echo, to make orders, pay for them, and conduct banking transactions. Overall, conversational commerce channels work to facilitate direct communication between customers and brands.
Here outlined are some reasons why conversational commerce is a must-do for most businesses:
Conversational commerce boosts the frequency and quality of interaction between customers and businesses without stretching business resources.
One way it achieves this is by improving the availability of business services. Since more consumers now shop late at night, it can be difficult to respond to their requests because most brands are only active during “business hours.”
However, conversational commerce tools like chatbots solve this challenge by keeping the business “open” all day. Instead of waiting till 9 am to call customer care, a shopper can chat with the bot at 11 pm and get all the information needed to proceed to checkout.
This commerce brand provides customers with personalized recommendations, accessible customer service, and constant updates. Additionally, a business can do this at scale with limited human involvement. The software takes up the job and executes it according to your needs.
Most online businesses operate on a one-way communication model from the business to the customer, with limited room for feedback. But with conversational commerce, users can provide feedback in real-time, making it convenient for businesses to access and incorporate these opinions where necessary.
As a component of social selling, the end goal of conversational commerce is to drive better sales volumes.
Enhanced engagement during shopping provides a sufficient push that motivates the customer to proceed to the final purchase.
Personalized notifications provide reminders that boost customers' chances to proceed to checkout. Additionally, round-the-clock availability reduces the tendency for shoppers to pause at any point in the customer journey.
Conversational commerce has multiple use cases. Here are three highly-potent applications:
We can't discuss messaging apps paired with e-commerce (chat commerce) and not mention WhatsApp. The app processes over 100 billion text and multimedia messages daily, sent by over 2 billion monthly active users. Whatsapp is fast replacing SMS as a faster and costless tool for chatting, making it an indispensable tool for any company doing conversational commerce.
The emergence of WhatsApp in commerce motivated e-commerce software providers like Shopify to integrate their platform with the messaging app. You can now manage all interactions with your Shopify customers directly on WhatsApp.
However, engaging with your Shopify customers via WhatsApp can be daunting without the right software. The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is the tool for solving this.
With Zoko.io, businesses operating on Shopify can take customer orders, do marketing, close sales, issue receipts and provide top-notch customer service directly from their WhatsApp. They can also build unique customer profiles, personalize ads to each customer based on those profiles, and build sales funnels.
While there are several Shopify CRM providers, the WhatsApp CRM tool provided by Zoko.io is reliable, simple, and offers seamless integration.
Chatbots enable real-time communication between businesses and customers, driving customer engagement and promoting sales. Built with AI capabilities, chatbots can answer basic inquiries about products, orders, deliveries, refunds, and more.
Interestingly, customers like these bots. Research shows that nearly two-thirds of respondents noted that they prefer a business providing chatbots to not having any bots at all. Chatbots are highly customizable to fit your specific business sector and needs. Additionally, you can integrate them on any platform - website and sales page, and messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Conversational commerce only becomes a reality when customers can log into a platform. This can be Whatsapp or a website. But what happens when customers are logged off? Do they miss out on all updates?
Businesses can still reach their offline customers using personalized push notifications. Personalized notifications allow customers to get tailor-made alerts based on their data or activities while on the brand’s platforms.
For instance, the cart abandonment alert reminds customers about a product they “added to the cart” but didn’t proceed to checkout. The inventory alert informs an intending buyer/previous visitor that a product they checked is running out of stock. Other personalized notification use cases include price-drop updates, delivery schedule information, location-based alerts, and more.
Personalized push notifications help drive a critical component of the customer journey - reminder advertising.
Introducing conversational commerce into your operations allows you to enjoy some advanced use cases in online shopping. The benefits for your brand include improved service delivery, seamless feedback gathering, and higher sales volumes.