conversational commerce | 7 min read

Why Conversational Commerce is the Next Best Thing in eCommerce?

Published by Bhumish Sheth on 02-Apr-2021

‘Personalization’ is the new buzzword in eCommerce shopping experiences. 49% of consumers believe that they would buy additional products if their online shopping experience were personalized. However, despite the need, companies were hand-tied technologically. Replicating a physical buying experience was a challenge until the introduction of conversational commerce in eCommerce.

What is Conversational Commerce? 

The term is as literal as it can get. You sell through conversations. As a business, you constantly try to strike conversations with your customers, which ultimately close sales. Conversational commerce provides a mechanism to do so. According to Chris Messina, who first coined the term; Conversational Commerce is “utilizing chat, messaging, or other natural language interfaces” for brand-customer interaction. Since messaging has become a popular mode of communication for millennials, it was evident that this trend would penetrate brand communication.

Many people think technology has invaded the retail space. You try asking an e-commerce shopper today what they miss about in-store shopping; they’d say personalized interaction with store personnel. They want a convenient medium for communication to get more details about the product. How do you provide that when you have hundreds of other shoppers on your site? How do you attend to every visitor? 

Conversational commerce fills this gap. Brands are already using conversational commerce tools like automated chatbots to understand what their customers want, recommend products, and provide after-sales support through a two-way interaction; basically, everything that was missing in e-commerce purchases. Conversational commerce is a relatively new phenomenon in eCommerce. According to statistics, although only 15% of consumers have made purchases from chatbots, a whopping 81% of them are open to doing so again. The number is growing, and now is a great time to enter this market since consumers want responses, and they want them fast. Regardless of your industry, if you’re selling something online, you need online sales agents.

How Conversational Commerce can help you?

Today, 80% of businesses are open to using chatbots for their consumer-facing products. Why?- Because conversational commerce made it possible for them to take customers’ online shopping experience to new heights. There’s a reason it’s called ‘conversational commerce’ and not ‘conversational eCommerce.’ It doesn’t just aid with online buying activity but with each and every step in the online buying journey.

Personal touch to Digital Purchases

The ability to replicate the warmth of buying from a physical store may not be possible entirely. It’s similar to not being able to replicate classroom learning with online learning. You cannot create the same ecosystem online. But you can address online buying limitations using marketing innovation. With conversational commerce, you can at the least achieve one missing component from online purchase- two-way conversations with your buyers. It helps ease the process of communication and takes you one step closer to providing real-time solutions online.

Imagine if you can have your best sales personnel that can cater to individual customer needs online. Don’t you think that you’ll be able to provide a better buying experience for your customers? Conversational commerce helps you achieve this on all your digital platforms and to every single site visitor; using their name. With time, AI-enabled chatbots also pick up conversational patterns, the same way as humans. They can hence, address returning users and personalize future interactions. This can lay a foundation for building a robust buyer-seller relationship in the long run. 

Product Recommendations

Buyers need detailed information about their product options. Just like how they openly ask queries to sales personnel while going to the store, they need a similar source of information online. Chatbots can narrow down the funnel based on buyer’s choices by asking questions to buyers on their preferences, sizes, colors and then providing product recommendations that match their requirements. 

One of the many companies providing product recommendations using chatbots is H&M. H&M leverages the use is the platform Kik where the majority of US teens spent their time. They first ask the gender and their prospects’ style preferences like classy, preppy, boho, casual, etc. Once their custom style profile is created, H&M recommends the products that their prospects may like.

Source: Jumper.ai

Higher Conversions & Improved Sales

While conversational commerce focuses on the shopping experience as a whole, we cannot deny the fact that that you want to enhance your sales at the end of the day. We get it. And conversational commerce has you covered. With product recommendations and personalized experience, you do improve sales. Additionally, using chatbots, you can cross-sell and up-sell as well. Around 47% of the consumers today are open to making their purchase via a bot. Messaging is a channel millennials are most comfortable with, and you have to leverage this channel to the fullest.

Better Brand Availability & Customer Support

A very apparent benefit that eCommerce offers over in-store shopping is that customers can place their orders any time of the day, from anywhere. When you provide such a service, it is crucial that you also offer round-the-clock customer support. With conversational commerce, you don’t have to hire staff to provide 24/7 service. Your chatbots can do that for you. Based on your previous experience, you find patterns in your customer queries. 

A majority of them may be repetitive and basic, and your employees’ time is wasted addressing them. To solve this problem, you can train your chatbots to provide answers to basic questions so that your employees can focus on more complex queries where their intervention is needed. Your chatbots can do this for every single website visitor all day. It improves your brand image and helps you scale your sales by reducing time and resources. 

Improved Shopping Experience

It is evident that chatbots do more than just provide customer support in conversational commerce since brands are closing end sales using chatbots. 62% of the consumers are satisfied with the chat assists on websites, and 71% of consumers are satisfied with the voice assistants while they shop. This shows that conversational commerce tools are today’s busy buyer’s trusted companion. By reducing delays and improving responsiveness, chatbots are driving customer engagement online. 

The developments that have been made in conversational commerce have opened a new dimension in online shopping. Owing to our natural need to converse while buying, conversational commerce has allowed businesses to listen and learn from their customers, ultimately helping them provide a wholesome shopping experience.

How to get started with Conversational Commerce using WotNot?

With WotNot, you can build your no-code eCommerce chatbot to provide product information, narrow the sales funnel, and provide product recommendations to buyers using Airtable integration. Let’s check it out how:

  • Import data from Excel or Google Sheets and enter all your products into Airtable. 

  • Build a bot on WotNot’s no-code bot builder and initiate a conversation with a visitor who’s landed on your homepage

  • In your bot builder, add a block as “Airtable” and configure the API key. 

  • Lastly, display your products using Image Carousels, and you have your eCommerce bot ready! 

Book a demo to build a highly effective conversational commerce chatbot on WotNot!

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