Content Marketing Manager
21 Apr 2021
Conversational commerce is one of the hottest topics in customer-facing industries. As the technology advanced, so have the nuances in customer care and engagement.
Providing a positive customer experience has never been more critical. The offer is saturated, product merchandise borderless, and the technology available to most of us enables us to receive our preferred products from anywhere around the globe in just a few days.
However, winning the market race seems near-impossible when we have huge players in the game, such as Amazon, which holds nearly half of the US e-commerce share.
Smaller players count on their agility, customer intimacy, and differentiating customer experience for competing with the big fish. It's a matter of how quickly they fine-tune the methods to acquire and retain customers.
So, what do customers want?
The price has lost its prime as a driving force behind sales a long time ago. Statistics show that more than 90 per cent of people check for online reviews before purchasing the product or booking the service. The truth is - a happy customer is likely to become a loyal customer and the one who will bring new ones to you, and brands are looking for ways to keep their customers happy and engaged.
Conversational commerce's role in the consumer decision-making process
Conversational commerce allows brands to initiate an online conversation with their customers.
It creates more value than selling their products and services; it enables brands to engage their customers and provide a purchasing experience like on-site.
Brands can initiate a conversation via chats, chat apps, shopping bots, or voice assistants. It should provide a personalised and helpful experience with the sole task of delivering a smoother customer experience, ultimately moving consumer faster through the sales funnel.
Conversational commerce gained popularity due to the development of messaging apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat and Messenger. However, it's no stranger to GG, Snapchat, Telegram, Kik, and many other smaller players. What made it so well-received is that it allows brands to be where their customers are, eliminating the necessity to visit their website.
In 2020, the average cart abandon rate across industries was 88.05 per cent, and conversational commerce can deliver a subtle push for the consumers to finish the purchase by reminding, offering a discount, and finally, provide the commodity of making the payment within the chat channel.
Furthermore, conversational commerce allows e-commerce stores to follow the customer through every step of their journey. They can do it in an easy, non-aggressive way that opens up a dialogue and establishes a connection between a customer and a seller.
Benefits of conversational commerce
Now, when we explained what conversational commerce is, let's see its benefits. Among others, it can:
Improve sales. Research tells us that just over 20 per cent of consumers are happy with the level of personalisation they get from brands. Conversational AI offers a chance to highly personalise the approach to fit the needs of each customer. It also provides help through the purchasing process, resolving any obstacle customers might find along the way, and decreasing customer service waiting time.
Reduce cart abandonment. Some statistics show that consumers tend to abandon their carts anywhere between 70% and 90% of cases. There are various reasons why cart abandonment happens: high prices, complicated sign-up processes, or unclear UX design or copy.
Conversational commerce offers a solution to this problem by sending proactive greetings and discreetly nudging the consumers to make a purchase. Also, brands can provide customers with a discount to incentivise them to return to the site and place an order.
Increase conversion. Conversational commerce can be of great use when it comes to closing potential leads. By some statistics, more than 70 per cent of consumers prefer brands that give them a message option rather than call - which is precisely what conversational commerce does. Furthermore, brands deploying conversational marketing can provide customers with information about upcoming promotional offers that can increase their conversion.
On top of that, chatbots have proven helpful on the checkout page, where 47% of survey respondents being open to buying items using a chatbot. Using chatbots allows customers to understand the terms of delivery or refund, increasing customer satisfaction and reducing churn.
Three top industries that will benefit from conversational commerce
We've seen that conversational commerce comes with a wide variety of benefits. Now, let's look at how it benefits three specific industries: gaming, beauty, and food delivery services.
Conversational commerce is the "next big thing" in the mobile gaming industry. It helps gaming brands re-engage players and decrease their churn. By using conversational AI, gaming companies can now strike a conversation with players through a messaging app. They can resubscribe players or prolong their subscription more efficiently.
Through the chat app, gaming companies can offer in-game currency vouchers as a reward. Consequently, they can also condition players to prolong their subscription to claim them.
Conversational commerce is easy to implement using the services Centili provides. When players click to claim the reward, they're introduced to several payment options to complete the payment process without leaving the chat app. Once they do that, they can re-launch the game and claim the reward.
Furthermore, gaming companies can use conversational commerce to send highly personalised and targeted push notifications to their customers and increase their engagement.
For instance, GameStop users can choose the preferred type of notifications, like promotions and loyalty-related alerts. Only by deploying this technology, this app had a 90 per cent retention rate month over month. Impressive, isn't it?
The beauty industry is famous for its competitiveness, especially now, when online sales grow more and more each year.
However, the most significant "problem" with this industry hides in the fact that consumers have too many choices. The abundance of products and niches leaves them feeling overwhelmed and often makes the decision-making process much harder.
On the other side of the coin, beauty industry consumers are some of the most passionate and engaged consumer groups. Compared to others, they are more open to trying new things. However, brands now have almost every product for different skin concerns, which adds to consumers' frustration with purchasing decisions.
What's more, some statistics say that almost 70 per cent of beauty consumers feel overwhelmed by the number of products they have to choose from, with more than 60 per cent of them being confused by the product claims.
Conversational commerce proves as a good solution for beauty brands who want to convert their customers faster. By deploying methods of conversational commerce, brands can give their customers all the know-how on the product. They can explain why they're suitable for them and help them discover new products right on the spot.
This kind of experience leaves consumers more satisfied while leading to higher conversion.
Much of the beauty brands' relevance relies on being right where their consumers are—social media. Customers want to engage with brands they love, and an increasing number of them is ready to buy right off from chatbots. To be more precise, 81% of those have reported a positive experience and say they'd be glad to do it again.
Conversational commerce found its spot in the food delivery industry as well. Food delivery services now use chatbots and voice messages to reach customers and improve their experience.
Recognising the potential in providing chat support to customers, more and more restaurants and cafes are now choosing to register on food delivery apps such as Zomato. These apps offer in-app chat services for order placements, delivery status, or support chat for complaints.
Chat apps like WeChat offer their users to purchase clothes, book a taxi or order takeout - straight from the app. Restaurant owners can use this feature to their advantage. They can combine a chat-based platform with app functionalities such as mobile payment wallets or interactive widgets and save money since it's a less costly solution than building their website or app with integrated payment platforms, reducing the spend.
In the end, conversational commerce is the ultimate solution for enhanced customer experience. Restaurants and food delivery services can help their customer make healthier choices. They can inform them about their calorie consumption or nutrition facts via the app.
A great example of conversational commerce use is the Starbucks Barista. Starbucks Barista allows iPhone users to place their orders either by messaging or by voice command. Restaurants and cafes can utilise voice command functionality to receive orders, enabling users to easily customise their orders without manually tickling on every item they want to order.
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