Have you ever wondered about conversational commerce? There are many different ways that brands can get the message about their product out to new consumers and present customers.
Conversational Commerce is the intersection of messaging apps and shopping in the e-commerce environment. With the rise of e-commerce, there is a need to create an opportunity for companies to offer customer service in order to prevent or resolve any issues that may arise during the shopping experience. Without the opportunity for a company to interact quickly with a customer, a customer is likely to simply move on to the next website to complete the purchase. Conversational Commerce provides this opportunity through messaging apps which allow a direct and quick two-way conversation between the customer and the company.
In brick and mortar locations, a sales associate is available to answer any questions you as a customer may have prior to making a purchase. The sales associate can help guide you to find the right product for you by getting to know your needs and can also help you through the purchase process by explaining pricing and delivery options for example. Prior to conversational commerce, this natural way to communicate did not exist in e-commerce. Today, this process is replicated through messaging apps that link a sales associate with the potential customer to serve the same purpose.
Human-to-human interaction is still preferred by most customers and is still the most effective way to communicate. However, employing humans can be expensive and ultimately inefficient depending on the amount of traffic received. Artificial Intelligence can step in at this point with a solution ranging from automated responses to chatbots. Chatbots act as sales associates by mimicking human interaction by using pre-determined responses to common questions. Of course, the extent to which a chatbot can truly solve an issue will depend on the complexity of the system. Automated responses are another popular form of AI integration in which customers will receive a pre-determined response to a message but it serves only to hold off the customer until a human gets the opportunity to follow-up on the issue.
Whether you are using chatbots or human sales associates, the goal of conversational commerce is to provide personalized service to your customers. Conversational commerce offers one-on-one interactions with your customers. A “Frequently Asked Questions” page, for example, was the most popular way to provide customer service in e-commerce prior to conversational commerce. However, FAQ pages are designed to address the masses and require effort from the customer to locate his or her question and answer. Conversational commerce allows the customer to receive possibly the same answers through a chatbot but with a much more personalized experience.
An important advantage to conversational commerce over other types of customer service available in e-commerce is the ability to provide an instant response. We live in a fast-moving world in which customers have less and less patience to wait for a response to a concern before moving on to the next vendor. Conversational Commerce offers the opportunity to respond immediately whether it’s through an automated system or through a more customized response system. This allows you to address any concern or issue before allowing a potential customer to move on.