Conversational Commerce 101: A Comprehensive Guide for eCommerce Sellers on Definition, Types, Benefits, Use Cases and How to Provide a Positive Chat Commerce Experience

In the current day and age, social media has become part of our everyday lives. eCommerce companies have observed this and are increasingly using social media as a tool for marketing. The main reason for its popularity is that everything is updated in real-time and opens up communication capabilities with multiple people. Customers increasingly rely on messaging apps for many types of communication including personal, professional and commercial interactions. Consumers are progressively using social media apps to research, choose and finalize payments for goods and services without having to contact, email or even go to a company’s website because the app is where all the required processes take place. 

Chris highlighted the growing practice of offering goods and services through chat applications in an essay for Medium and referred to it as conversational commerce, a term that is now used globally to describe this phenomenon. Let us take a broader look at what conversational commerce is and why it is important in 2022.

What is Conversational Commerce?

Conversational commerce, also called conversational marketing or chat commerce, is a way that eCommerce sellers use conversations between their customers and themselves to market their goods and services. Customer communication is effective as long as it is tailored to each individual and helps customers advance through the sales funnel more quickly.

Conversational commerce can take place in a variety of ways including through messaging platforms, chatbots and voice assistants.  This shift in favour of chat apps was sparked and continues to be fueled by the rise in their user base as more people get access to the internet. With more than 2 billion active users, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging service followed by Facebook Messenger. WeChat, a Chinese-owned app, Snapchat, Telegram, and numerous other smaller companies are examples of the different modes of conversational commerce.

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WareIQ, an eCommerce fulfillment company, empowers online brands with a superior-tech platform to compete with Amazon like service levels by bringing their average delivery timelines from 5-10 days to 1-2 days.

"WareIQ came to Gynoveda with a full stack fulfillment platform & gave Gynoveda access to a nation wide network of fulfillment centers & last mile & hyperlocal courier partners closer to our customers based out of North East & North India. They made same-day delivery possible for us in metros."
- Vishal Gupta, Founder, Gynoveda

4 Types of Conversational Commerce

Messaging Apps

Messaging applications contribute to far more natural and individualized consumer connections, which result in improved conversion rates. Customers who are more emotionally connected with your business spend more time and money on purchasing products and recommending them to other customers.

You can communicate with customers using a messaging program, such as Messenger or WhatsApp and send and receive instant messages. Because they allow for instant private conversations and online purchases, consumers are keen to use them, hence positively affecting consumer behaviour. These apps have surpassed social media apps in downloads because they receive 20% more users.

Additionally, buyers can send emojis, GIFs, videos and memes on messaging platforms, which makes conversational commerce more relaxed and increases customer engagement.

Chatbots

A chatbot is a piece of software that assists people by texting them the answers to their questions in a separate popup or window. Multiple people can speak with chatbots simultaneously and they can answer questions quickly and continuously and they can be used on websites and messaging services. This makes it possible to provide an automated conversational commerce experience through channels that are appropriate for different stages of the customer journey. Because of all these features, chatbots are also a highly common type of chat commerce as it helps brands engage with consumers with little effort.

Additionally, chatbots don’t require a learning curve from users that conventional apps do. Within a few clicks, you can inquire about the progress of your most recent order, find out if a certain product is in stock, or find the location of the closest store. They are more well-liked by clients who are less tech-savvy as a result.

Live Chats

One of the most commonly used forms of conversational commerce is live chat. Through live chats, customers can instantly get responses from retailers regarding a variety of issues and it is simple to use. It has a significant edge over email and phone communication due to the convenience it offers. Additionally, an employee can converse with two or three consumers at once, which helps brands shorten wait times and increase customer satisfaction. 

Live chat applications are conversational commerce examples that have potential. You can use it to connect with bashful consumers who might not otherwise seek your assistance and to proactively engage website visitors. Once the ice has been broken, you can direct the buyer to your website and provide them with tailored recommendations to aid them in making a purchase.

Voice Assistants

A voice assistant is a sort of software that responds to user inquiries and is triggered by voice commands. Voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant are a function that is increasingly common in many modern gadgets. Customers adore them because they are practical, and entertaining and allow for hands-free multitasking.

They are becoming more and more popular, which motivates businesses to incorporate them into their conversational commerce and marketing plans. Voice assistants can provide quick answers or point users to your website, both of which will help you build more brand awareness.

Certain voice assistants can also identify a user’s voice. When a gadget is used by several people, such as a family, this function is extremely helpful. Natural language processing, artificial intelligence and machine learning enable voice assistants to learn about a specific user’s preferences and provide suggestions that fit those preferences. Marketers can take advantage of this feature to customise their advertising efforts and provide a personalised chat commerce experience to customers.

Advantages of Conversational Commerce for eCommerce sellers in 2022

Offers a Personalized Touch

eCommerce companies should try to make a strong first impression on potential customers. You can take advantage of the chance to lend a helping hand to a customer who is visiting your store for the first time, create significantly stronger customer relationships and increase customer trust by assisting clients through the remaining stages of their customer journey by providing them with a competent conversational commerce experience.

90% of customers are more inclined to make larger purchases from companies that have left them with a good first impression. Use a chatbot to provide discount vouchers. Customers enjoy receiving promotional coupons and interacting with brands that offer them better deals more frequently.

Utilize a voice assistant to enable your clients to order your products or search for important information. Give it a charming name and a persona that embodies the principles of your company. You can win clients’ hearts far more easily by creating memorable interactions that resonate with them.

Collects Customer Feedback

It is far more relevant to obtain customer feedback through chat commerce than it is to use standard web forms. Use the Facebook post reply feature. Every person who comments on your Facebook post can receive an automated chatbot message from you with contact details and more information. You may, for instance, write a post promoting your most recent offer and promise to give users who comment more information. Every commenter can receive a personalized message from the chatbot and it can even ask for feedback thereafter.

You can also use a post-live chat survey. Once a customer has finished speaking with a customer support executive, you can gather their comments and reviews. Customers are more likely to provide feedback if you ask them for it upfront and you can learn more about their needs by doing so.

Reduces Cart Abandonment

Every online store wants to avoid dealing with cart abandonment. To overcome this issue, you must first identify its root cause. High shipping costs are one of the most frequent reasons that consumers decide not to complete their transactions. Customers are frequently turned off by having to register for an account or a convoluted checkout procedure. Investigate the reasons why your clients abandon their shopping carts.

Additionally, buyers frequently use their shopping cart as a wish list. They fill their cart with several items to determine their prices, only to depart to compare similar lists on other websites. Customers who have gathered products in their carts but haven’t yet made a purchase should receive proactive greetings via a live chat or chatbot. Offer to assist the buyer in completing their order. 2 methods that can significantly help with reducing cart abandonment through chat commerce are as follows:

  • Use the Checkbox Plugin With Facebook Messenger: It recognizes ongoing Facebook sessions and enables you to communicate with users whose orders are still in progress. To encourage visitors to return to your website and make an order, you can give them a discount.
  • Use the Marketing App With Facebook Messenger: You can use Messenger to send messages to customers that have abandoned their carts. The program also allows you to use a popup to collect consumer phone numbers so you can contact them through SMS or Whatsapp.

Increases Upselling and Cross-selling Opportunities

Upselling and cross-selling can double your profits by encouraging customers to buy more items that can enhance the experience of their initial purchase. By selling more to consumers who are already considering purchasing from you, upselling and cross-selling can help quadruple your income if your efforts succeed. Make proactive connections with customers who have previously placed orders from you using a Messenger chatbot. In order to cross-sell your products, a chatbot can inform the consumer that you are currently selling an item that pairs well with their prior purchase. This entire procedure can be automated using chatbots and live chats in succession with messing apps.

4 Steps Involved in Providing a Positive Chat Commerce Experience

Conduct Research

Investigate other businesses in your sector to see how they make use of the possibilities of conversational commerce and list down all of the available options you have. To learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each option, request demos and register for free trials. If you already have a solution or a channel in mind, find out what the most well-known and exceptional instances are that you can use as inspiration. Don’t forget to consider the feedback from your clients. Find out what your consumers think of your services by reading their reviews. You can also conduct interviews with a few of them to learn more about their current requirements.

Analyze Your Objectives

Consider the issues your team and clients are encountering before implementing your chat commerce strategy. Set attainable objectives that you want to accomplish. Getting closer to it will be made easier by lowering cart abandonment. Perhaps you want to boost sales or provide quicker, more convenient client service to increase their loyalty to your brand. After you have created your dream list, organize and rank your objectives to determine which are the most important for your company. This is crucial because it’s possible that you can’t change all of your procedures at once. It’s sometimes preferable to make changes to certain elements and see how they function.

Choose a Conversational Commerce Type

Half the difficulty is choosing a trustworthy conversational commerce solution that works well with your ecosystem. Effective implementation and management make up the second half. Without expert personnel, this could be difficult to achieve. If you choose to use live chat, for instance, you will need to train your staff to provide excellent live help via text.

Remember that the typical live chat response time is slow and some clients become irritated if they are required to wait longer. Perhaps using a chatbot platform is preferable if you are unable to provide quick service. However, that would also call for some expertise in conversational design. Perhaps hiring a company to install your product and manage the dialogues would be simpler. Think about the resources you have and how you can use them accordingly. 

Calculate Your Success Rate

Even after you have neatly wrapped up everything, you still need to keep an eye on how you are doing. At every point of the client journey, tracking effective, real-time metrics can help you assess your performance and enhance your conversational commerce operations. You can figure out which methods have higher or lower success rates than others and choose to make changes accordingly.

10 Best Conversational Commerce Examples and Use Cases

Crew Clothing

A UK-based clothing company known as Crew Clothing wanted to run an ad campaign that targeted its ideal audience of customers below the age of 34 to highlight itself as the ideal option for Christmas gifts. It decided to use Facebook messenger since it is the most popular all for age groups between 25 to 34. Users that engaged with the ad were redirected to an automated conversation that asked them questions relating to their ideal gift ideas so that they could figure out which products they wanted to buy for themselves, friends or family. The campaign yielded exceptional results with almost 50% of customers who saw the ad purchasing something from the site, resulting in a 5x profit over what was spent. 

REN Clean Skincare

REN Clean Skincare sought to reduce their cart abandonment rate to increase their profit margins so the company sent an automated chat conversation to customers who had abandoned their cart on the site on previous occasions to figure what made them leave without completing their purchase. Their chat message included casual language and emojis to make customers feel like they were talking to a friend rather than a business.

Maggi

Maggi is a highly successful brand in the instant food, seasoning and cooking segment that originated in Switzerland. The company wanted to run a conversational commerce campaign in Germany, one of its most successful markets. The company primarily used Whatsapp and Facebook messenger to launch a virtual assistant called Kim that could help customers around the clock by answering queries, sending links to important information and videos on how to make certain items. The campaign was deemed a success owing to the 200,000 messages that were sent within the first 8 weeks of the campaign.

American Leather

American Leather is a company that specialises in leather products. In an effort to gain confidence from its customers, the company set up a chatbot on its website known as AskAI that users could chat with to find out details such as their order status, warranty, directions to the closest store and many other details that customers want an answer to. By having an assistant that is available at all times on the main website, customers know that they can simply get the information they need on the fly rather than going through the hassle of dealing with customer support which can take frustratingly long to come to a solution.

Alpha Lion

Alpha Lion is a fitness and supplement company. The company mainly uses conversational commerce to increase sales through up-selling and cross-selling strategies. When a customer purchases a product, they are instantly greeted with a message that suggests a complimentary product to make the most out of the existing product. The chatbot subtly suggests that the existing product cannot be used to its full potential without the use of an additional product. It also communicates with customers while they are fresh off a purchase which proves that they are capable and willing to buy an item again.

Maev

Maev is a company that sells canine food. Since it is a relatively niche product, the company cannot always use conversational commerce to promote their products and rather defaults to using it as a means to strike up a conversation with customers about simple, canine-related products to show their audience that they are genuinely passionate about dogs, which will encourage dog owners to think more highly about the brand.

Muddy Bites

Most brands use conventional email or social media marketing to create hype around a product. While it can yield positive results, it can also lead to a lot of one-way communication with sparse replies dispersed amongst a sea of ignored emails. This is where Muddy Bites, a food and baking company, used conversational commerce to drum up enthusiasm around its latest offerings. The company sends an automated chatbot message with an engaging question to customers which increases the hype and visibility of the brand and product.

Amazon Alexa

Moving over to mainstream brands and technology that has become mainstream, Alexa is a virtual assistant that is used by various Amazon Products and can give users access to a wide range of information on the device and the internet by mentioning a simple trigger phrase like “Hey, Alexa”. While this may not be used directly to sell more products or promote the brand, the ease of use that it brings along with the instant recognition that it inspires is all the marketing that Amazon needs.

You May be Interested in Amazon’s Great Indian Sale.

Starbucks

Starbucks has hopped on the technological train by introducing its own app that can be used to order items, check on the order status, browse menus, get directions to the closest shop and much more. This negates the need for customers who are craving a cup of coffee to stand in long lines or travel to a physical store. The company has also implemented a chatbot to make the process of ordering feel more personal.

H&M

H&M, a world-renowned clothing store, has implemented the use of a chatbot on the messaging app Kik, to do a whole range of tasks such as promoting new product releases, communicating with customers, suggesting personalised product options and more. The goal of the chatbot is to make customers feel like they have their own personal assistant to help them make certain decisions, provide answers to queries and suggest products in various colours and sizes.

Conclusion

Conversational commerce is a step closer to the attention customers could similarly receive from a sales representative in-store. Customers no longer need to switch between text conversations and websites to obtain information and make purchases.  In order to make it easier for people to purchase from brands, chat businesses are increasingly being collaborated with. The largest mode of conversational commerce is WhatsApp which also comes in a business version and has options for payment settlements through UPI. If you need help with fulfilling the increased amount of orders brought about by conversational commerce, you can partner with WareIQ, India’s leading 3PL fulfillment company.

conversational commerce_WareIQ services

With WareIQ, online businesses have a lot of room to grow since they have access to a solid fulfillment infrastructure, a team of logistics experts and committed customer support. Utilizing our services allows you to instantly send online orders to the closest fulfillment center where they are picked, packed, and delivered as soon as they are placed, saving you time, money, and additional delivery modifications.

Additionally, WareIQ’s high-end WMS integrates with various selling platforms and can help to monitor information in real-time. You can also provide details to your customers about their order placement, fulfillment status, ET, etc. We also offer many more services, such as order fulfillment, last-mile delivery, an app store, a nationwide network of fulfillment centers and a selection of various shipping partners, ultra-rapid delivery and much more.

Conversational Commerce: FAQs