Over the past few months, about 25% of consumers have increased online purchases for products they used to get in stores. Compared to the first couple months in 2020, this number is increasing every day. But even as brands scramble to adjust their sales and marketing strategies, the pressure is still on to deliver memorable customer experiences.
The reason here is simple. Almost 50% of buyers will abandon their online purchases if they can’t get a quick answer to their concerns or questions. This is where conversational commerce comes in.
It offers a totally new way for companies to provide excellent customer service and commerce experiences on digital platforms and channels. As brands constantly look for new ways to interact with customers, they’re developing conversational experiences. Whether it’s a chatbot surfacing data on your website or an automated voice assistant.
Conversational commerce definitely shifts the power to the customer. So, how does your business benefit from taking this approach? Let’s take a closer look at what the concept entails and why 2020 will be the breakout year for conversational commerce.
What is Conversational Commerce?
First coined by Chris Messina back in 2016, conversational commerce is a system of direct communication between a business or brand and its customers. It provides new ways for shoppers to chat online with companies through popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger, SMS, and many more.
Research shows that over 40% of buyers are now spending more time on social media and messaging services. But thanks to conversational commerce they can do so much more. Consumers can chat with associates, make purchases, get recommendations and update orders. This opens up space and time in the conversation for empathy as well as additional insight using natural language.
The result is usually user experiences that are both enjoyable and efficient. Buyers aren’t just the only ones experiencing increased efficiency. Customer service teams also benefit when data connects across commerce and service experiences. Service teams leveraging these techniques are more successful in servicing open cases. Agents can answer questions, help place orders and recommend products on one screen.
This is one way digital native direct to consumer companies increase growth and customer satisfaction. The companies chat with consumers online to get them better experiences, incorrect charges and other queries. With the smoother buying experience, they earned 50% decrease in service tickets. Long story short; conversational commerce will make a huge difference. Especially for an all-digital brand.
Benefits of Conversational Commerce
Thanks to a severe obsession with SEO and Google rankings, marketers have made ecommerce websites very cold and mathematical. Therefore, users don’t encounter a language that’s suited to them. Instead, everything is engineered to adapt to search engines. Conversational commerce compensates for this lack of personalized and warmth in the buying experience. And thanks to AI, buyers now prefer this more direct and human-like contact. Below are a few reasons why your business needs conversational commerce.
a) Automated Service
Conversational commerce helps create automated services. Instead of keeping shoppers on hold waiting for an answer, try to use chatbots. These bots field common customer questions such as, “What’s the status of my order?” As such, automation helps cut down average wait times while routing complex cases efficiently to the right reps.
b) Transparent Access
If you have a unified order management system you’re in luck. Your customers will have the tools and transparency required to control their experience. Conversational commerce will allow customers to see their order status. What’s more, they can update their information, and initiate returns.
c) Turn Agents into Associates
Artificial intelligence helps stylists, agents and sales associates access personalized product recommendations for their customers. They can achieve all this through their user consoles. With personalized conversation, the agents can help assist shoppers, upsell, and cross sell.
Other Benefits of Conversational Commerce
I) For Customers
- A more human experience.
- Personalized recommendations and offers.
- Technical assistance.
- Safer payment methods.
- Advice on shopping.
- Speeds up the process.
- Real time response.
II) For Sellers
- Buyer loyalty is fostered.
- Promotion of online reviews.
- Improved customer service.
- More cross sell and upsell opportunities.
- User behavior analysis.
- More processes are automated.
- Feedback is collected immediately.
Conclusion on Conversational Commerce
As we wind up today’s segment on conversational commerce, one thing is clear as day. 2020 will definitely be the breakout year for this and other marketing strategies. More and more purchases are going online as people avoid exposing themselves to the risk of COVID 19. Therefore, it’s up to companies to build their own conversational commerce strategy.
Similarly, you’ll also need to consolidate a few areas. These are order management, commerce, and service to create a seamless thread throughout the entire customer journey. Give your agents quick insight into recent orders and usual shipping destinations. Let them act on any order, cancellations, updates, or any changes with the order. Not only will this inspire brand loyalty, it might even inspire a social shout out. Checkout Veloxy’s blog posts on why being empathetic in 2020 translates to organizational success and what to avoid when selling during difficult times.
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