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Guide to Conversational Commerce

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Last editedFeb 20232 min read

To maintain a competitive edge, it’s important to constantly update the way you engage with customers. Conversational commerce offers a tech-driven strategy for maintaining open lines of communication via chat, text, and other tools, the goal being improved customer satisfaction. We’ll cover the multiple benefits of conversational commerce below, as well as a few tips to help you get started.

What is conversational commerce?

The conversational commerce definition refers to a form of ecommerce enabling brands to communicate directly with their customers in real time. Businesses use smart technology and mobile commerce strategies including push notifications, messaging apps, and chatbots to improve the customer experience. With these tools, you can answer questions and resolve issues immediately. Today’s customers expect 24/7 accessibility at each step of their buyer journey, and conversational ecommerce provides it via automated technology. 

This omnichannel approach to commerce satisfies goals like the following:

  • It guides the customer with a personal touch through the purchasing process

  • It gives the customer a more positive feeling about their shopping experience

  • It answers questions about products and services using AI assistants or chatbots

  • It makes product recommendations to improve revenue

While it may be difficult for small businesses to maintain the staffing levels needed for always-on customer service, automated tools fill in the gaps.

Conversational commerce examples

What are the various types of tools offered by conversational commerce solutions? Here are a few prime conversational commerce examples.

  • Voice assistants like Alexa and Siri that help customers schedule appointments

  • Automated text messages that give reminders about upcoming appointments

  • Online chatbots that answer questions about orders, products, and delivery times

  • Website pop-ups that offer one-time promo codes to encourage a purchase

One of the advantages of mobile commerce is that it opens the doors to using these various conversational tools, through messenger services, texts, and more. It meets customers where they are for improved engagement.

What are the benefits of conversational commerce?

Key benefits of conversational commerce include:

  • Personalised virtual shopping experience

  • Increased engagement and brand loyalty

  • Opportunity for upselling and cross-selling

  • Reduced workload for employees

  • Reduced customer churn at checkout

  • Improvement in sales and revenue

  • Opportunity to collect real-time feedback

What is the future of conversational commerce?     

Gartner research at the start of the decade predicted that 70% of customer interactions would involve these emerging technologies by 2022. Their examples include machine learning, chatbots, and virtual assistants. The future of conversational commerce looks to increase this percentage even higher as a wider demographic embraces shopping in digital spaces.

Chatbot research by HubSpot shows that messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have over 5 billion monthly active users, putting them above social networks. Over two-thirds, or 71%, of people are willing to use these apps to ask for customer assistance. It’s a proven way for brands to access customers, who can use these mobile apps to ask questions and shop around for the best deals.

Should your business use conversational commerce?

It’s clear that customers prefer real-time access to brands when shopping online. They don’t want to wait on hold or sit in a lengthy queue when they have a quick question about a colourway or size. Waiting to speak to an agent causes customers to leave your app or website, so it’s important to engage with them quickly and efficiently via conversational commerce.

If your business wants to reduce customer churn, improve loyalty, and increase conversions at checkout, these are all good reasons to implement conversational commerce solutions. Look carefully at your customers’ needs and the solutions that will best solve them, from live chat to machine learning.

Don’t forget the importance of a smooth, seamless payments experience when looking at your ecommerce strategy. Businesses can take payments anywhere using secure GoCardless paylinks via Instant Bank Pay. Customers can follow the easy flow to confirm payments in real time, providing instant confirmation for you both. It improves satisfaction at the final stage of the purchasing journey.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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