E-commerce has been on an uptrend. More and more businesses have realized the growth potential and have embarked on their digital journey. The future of e-commerce is personal, where a virtual salesman gives attention and guides a consumer as if the interaction was taking place in a physical store. ChatGPT technology gives the experience the spin of a natural conversation.
Indeed, e-commerce has grown to be much more than just an impersonal shopping experience, where consumers are left alone to figure out what best suits them. Also, long gone are the days where all that online businesses needed to succeed was a low price. In fact, today’s digital consumers are more interested in shopping experiences; thus, brands that manage to offer outstanding online shopping services will continuously grow.
Imagine an online store where your customer is greeted with a virtual sales assistant who ensures excellent service is provided. Imagine an online store where consumers are advised on what is suitable to them, eradicating all the wasted time spent browsing irrelevant options.
Did you know that browsing and complexity are among the top reasons why consumers abandon their online shopping carts? Having a virtual sales representative can ensure a smooth purchasing experience, reduce shopping cart abandonment, and increase your sales figures.
In this article, we would like to share how conversational commerce can come in handy for your business. At DiALOGiFY, we have been working with companies in various industries and have been helping them digitalize their commerce by providing innovative conversational commerce solutions.
What is conversational commerce, and why is it important?
In a nutshell, conversational commerce is a type of e-commerce where online retailers unleash the potential of dialogue to sell their products or services. Conversational experience can take place through multiple channels: a chat app, a chatbot, a voice assistant, or an instant messaging platform. As long as the communication is personalized, relevant, and helpful, it will move the customer faster through the sales funnel.
It goes without saying that conversational commerce gives an additional boost to personalization in consumer interactions, which are frequently lacking in online commerce. While traditional brick-and-mortar stores have well-trained sales representatives who can assist, online stores are often left unattended.
Did you know that most consumers are not happy with the level of personalization that they receive from brands? There still is plenty of room for improvement.
The reason why online stores frequently seem impersonal can be attributed to the fact that brands pay a lot of attention to the optimization of their online stores to ensure SEO-friendliness. It may result in the content being less appealing to the consumers. Therefore, this, combined with a lack of a physical absence of a helpful shop assistant, may have a negative impact on overall store performance.
As a result, conversational commerce allows brands to make up for that gap. It will enable brands to concentrate on SEO content while enabling a personalized shopping experience. On top of that, shoppers are given a chance to communicate with brands whenever needed, ensuring that the decision-making process is simplified and smoother.
Finally, conversational commerce gives online stores the opportunity to connect with customers at every step of their buying journey. Unlike distractive and aggressive pop-ups and banners, this form of selling fosters dialogue between your brand and your customers, which allows you to establish much more robust relationships.
How can online retailers benefit from conversational commerce?
Conversational commerce allows you to recreate the experience that your customers would have in a typical brick-and-mortar store. In the end, they need to feel comfortable and trust your brand to transact. It is easier said than done online, where building trust is an ongoing battle for many brands.
Below are some of the significant benefits that you can expect from conversational commerce.
Reduce shopping cart abandonment rates
Did you know that up to 70% of shopping carts are abandoned without a purchase? It translates into 7 out of 10 customers choosing not to complete the transaction at your online store.
Having conversational commerce in place can help to reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts. For example, you could send reminders about the unpurchased items via chatbot on your website. Being proactive in communication is vital – offer help and clear any doubts that the customers may be facing.
Upsell and cross-sell your products
The beauty of virtual shopping assistants is that they can be like your real human sales representatives. Once your customers add items to their shopping carts, your virtual assistant can share some additional relevant items with the shopper. In this way, your brand would show that they understand customers’ needs and personalize the whole shopping experience. Sometimes a customer needs validation, and a virtual shopping assistant can give that.
If sharing additional items is not feasible, you could share promo codes that are available once a certain amount is spent. By doing so, you will catch the attention of the shopper and entice them to browse more items, which may result in higher spending.
Collecting feedback from your customers through natural conversations is much easier and effective than using standard online survey forms. Nevertheless, by proactively interacting with your customers, you will have a better chance of finding ways to improve further.
You can program your virtual assistant to ask questions about the shopping experience and ask the right questions at a suitable time. This type of communication resembles natural conversation, which is less distracting.
What are some of the types of conversational commerce?
As it has been shown, conversational commerce can be highly beneficial for any online business. Let’s take a look at some of the ways how your brand can implement it this year.
Over the past years, chatbot software has become one of the most frequently used channels for conversational commerce. And the newly available LLM technology like ChatGPT brings it up to the next level. It helps users by answering questions via text messages within seconds and around the clock. It means that once programmed, your brand does not need to worry about the time zones or poor quality of answers provided by live sales agents. Brands have complete control over how they wish to answer specific questions.
Nevertheless, your brand can easily program a chatbot and integrate it into the website or messaging platforms, allowing cost efficiency.
Unlike traditional apps, chatbots do not require users to learn how they work as the communication takes place in short messages that most online consumers are used to. The ease of interacting with a chatbot makes it a perfect solution for less tech-savvy consumers as well.
Another option is to integrate your website with a messaging app, like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, in order to exchange instant messages with your users.
Consumers are eager to use the messaging apps to engage with brands because they use them for private communication and are very much familiar with the functionality. Data shows that messaging apps create a much more personal and natural customer communication, which translates into higher conversion rates.
How can you start with conversational commerce?
Conversational commerce should be treated like any business project. If you want great results, it will require time and thorough planning. Remember that even the most minor details can have an impact on the overall performance of your dialogue with the consumers.
We suggest engaging with industry professionals who will guide your brand at every step and ensure that all is set for success. At DiALOGiFY, we have worked with multiple businesses that successfully implemented their conversational commerce strategies and achieved outstanding results.
Here are the six essential steps that you need to make to start.
- Determine your business needs.
- Conduct thorough research and understand your data.
- Get in touch with the DiALOGiFY team to help you set up your dialogues.
- Launch your conversational commerce tool.
- Continuously monitor and measure success.
- Optimize where and when needed.
It may be daunting to start, but the long-term results will outweigh the time spent and investment made.
Conversational commerce is the future of e-commerce, and it has to be personal. The times when consumers were satisfied with generalization are long gone, and the future of e-commerce will require a more and more personalized approach.
We hope that this article has given you some insights into the importance of conversational commerce and how it can benefit your business. We hope that you are now ready to start your conversational commerce adventure together with us!
Creating a new strategy and implementing it may take some time, however, keep in mind that every relationship starts with a dialogue. All it takes to make an impact is to start a conversation. Is your brand ready for it?