Conversational Commerce
AI and ML, Conversational AI / August, 09 2022

Conversational Commerce – How to make Shopping Experience Personal?  

Covid-19 fuelled the growth of e-commerce in many countries. The E-commerce industry has grown 2-5x than that before the pandemic. Online retailers must evolve their customer experience strategy as consumers enter the post-pandemic and inflated world. 80% of US consumers are still considering shopping online, and 60% visit brick-and-mortar stores less than before.  

Despite this, online commerce seems dominated by large organizations; 13 companies accounted for 61% market share in 2020, and small companies with the remaining 39% share. While there is stiff competition in retail, online retailers can differentiate themselves by leveraging Conversational Commerce to offer a unique customer experience.  

PwC says customers spend 16% more on products and services if they get a unique customer experience. Do you know the three essential elements of customer experience? A PwC survey says consumers value convenience, efficiency, and friendly and knowledgeable services to create a unique customer experience. 

Most of us agree that conversations rarely happen in online shopping. How do we create an impact similar to in-store shopping? If you encounter any issues or prefer to know about deals or know more info about the products and services – a customer service executive in the store can help you through that. Conversational Commerce can address all your online shopping communication and customer experience challenges. Let me walk you through different facets of Conversational Commerce with examples in this blog. 

Conversational Commerce – Overview 

Conversational Commerce is about assisting customers with human and AI-enabled conversations to address any issues through the purchase process in natural language. By leveraging live chat on websites, chatbots, messaging apps, and voice assistants, consumers can shop, experience, buy and seek help related to anything.  

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How does Conversational Commerce work? 

Chatbots – Most customers now prefer a support system available 24/7 to answer their queries. It can either be an AI-powered virtual assistant or a human. Chatbots can help you research new products, answer FAQs, and recommend products.  

For example, retailer H&M leverages a chatbot as a personal digital stylist. It gathers your personal preferences through a series of questions and analyzes them to recommend personalized products. Furthermore, it will inspire you with other options that other bots have created for customers. 

The chatbot can help you engage with customers while providing personalized customer experience and product recommendations. 

Sephora uses chatbots to try a lipstick shade sold by the store virtually. It leverages AI to identify the shade from your picture and helps you to try your best. 

Live Chat – Do you think a chatbot can address all the customer needs? At times, businesses may need human interaction to augment chatbot abilities. When a customer faces challenges with complex issues that need immediate resolution, Live Chat Agents become critical. For example, a Live Chat Agent can address the payment issues faced by the customer in real-time to reduce cart abandonment.  

Samsung and Dell leverage Live Chat to answer complex product queries and aid customers with informed decisions. Also, Live Chat reduces costs compared to a phone call. During the pandemic, 25% more customers used Live Chat to address their issues. 

Voice Assistants – You can search using your voice 3.7x quicker than typing. Amazon Alexa, Echo, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant became prominent voice assistants to enable Conversational Commerce. With voice technologies, customers feel more comfortable with their online shopping.  

eBay leverages Google Assistant to help customers find their favorite product while talking to the devices. When it finds products suited for customer needs, it shares the info to the mobile. 

Amazon Echo Look goes one step ahead by using the depth-sensing camera to bring the outfit to the foreground, blurring the background. You can also create a lookbook and share it with your friends. 

Messenger Apps – As Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram usage increased among all age groups, businesses can leverage the messenger apps to communicate with consumers. It gives complete visibility of the previous conversations and tracks the interactions through the purchase cycle. 

Many small businesses leverage these messenger apps to enhance their reach to consumers despite their location. In short, messenger apps helped small businesses sustain through the pandemic. 

Why do you need Conversational Commerce? 

Though it might seem that only large brands can benefit from Conversational Commerce, small businesses can benefit from chatbots, voice assistants, and messenger apps. 

  1. Support customer needs 24/7 everywhere – Chatbots on the website or messenger apps enable businesses to serve customers from simple FAQs and tasks to complex issues. 
  1. Cost-effective customer experience – Chatbots cost 8x lesser than phone support per customer interaction. It is not only about the cost, but they provide a unique customer experience with engagement and personalization strategies. 
  1. Improve conversion – When you enable your online business with a chatbot or ease the messaging options, 71% of consumers would spend more with you. 
  1. Reduction in cart abandonment rate – The biggest challenge for retailers is to tackle the cart abandonment rate. By offering simple solutions in real-time through conversations, they can reduce the cart abandonment rate while improving customer satisfaction. 

How can Conversational Commerce Improve Shopping Experience? 

  1. Personalization – As per research, 83% of consumers prefer to browse or buy products through messaging conversations. Around 79% of customers can most likely buy the product if they can get the necessary answers while browsing the commerce websites. As Conversational Commerce takes off, brands need to focus on personalization. They should understand customer behavior and needs to offer personalized communication. 79% of consumers prefer to purchase from a brand with which they feel a personal connection. Furthermore, 63% of consumers say that instant messaging can help them feel a personal connection while doing shopping. 
  1. Average Order Value – The new support for customers through their purchase decisions is supposed to increase the order value. Retailers can recommend products on the go and resolve customer queries related to the products. The chatbot can recommend complementary products or any other related products that can augment customer needs to increase the cart value 
  1. Customer Feedback – Organizations can leverage Conversational Commerce to gain insights into the customer experience and research their behavior with simple questionnaires/surveys. How is it made easy with chatbots? You can provide action buttons for the user to click and provide feedback. You can also provide human assistance if required to resolve any issue faced by the customers on the go. 

As e-commerce is increasing, businesses can’t ignore the power of Conversational Commerce to improve customer engagement and satisfaction. You can quickly build chatbots now in a week.  

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