Everything enterprises need to know about conversational commerce
What is conversational commerce?
The definition of Conversational Commerce is a new way of conducting business transactions through chatbots, messaging apps, and virtual assistants. It involves using natural language processing and artificial intelligence to create an interactive experience that mimics a conversation between a customer and a salesperson. Conversational commerce allows businesses to connect with customers and sell on chat on a more personal level, providing them with real-time assistance and personalized recommendations.
How does conversational commerce work?
Conversational commerce uses messaging apps, chatbots, and virtual assistants to facilitate transactions. When a customer initiates a conversation, the chatbot or virtual assistant responds with pre-programmed messages that simulate a real conversation. The conversational commerce chatbot may ask questions to determine the customers’ needs and preferences and then recommend products or services that best fit their requirements. The chatbot may also provide information about product features, pricing, and availability, and assist with completing the transaction. When required, human agents can also take over the conversation to assist customers with their purchases. Voice of customer tools is an integral part of collecting and analyzing customer information. With its help, companies will be able to understand the real needs of customers and thus increase customer loyalty.
4 types of conversational commerce
There are four main types of enterprise conversational commerce that businesses can leverage:
Chatbots are computer programs that simulate a conversation with human users, typically through text-based messaging. Conversational commerce chatbots can answer customer queries, provide product recommendations, and facilitate transactions. Other than the chatbot from live chat widgets found on websites, you can also set up chatbots on popular messaging channels, for example, WhatsApp Chatbot, Facebook Messenger Bot, Telegram Bot, and more.
Messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, WeChat etc. allow businesses to engage with customers on a personal level. They can become conversational commerce chat apps that provide real-time assistance, send promotional messages, and facilitate transactions while building customer relationships.
Voice assistants or AI
Voice assistants or AI such as Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple's Siri use natural language processing to help customers resolve queries. As AI conversational commerce gains popularity, more businesses are now using them to answer questions, provide personalized recommendations, and help complete purchases by allowing the customers to use voice commands.
Augmented reality (AR)
Augmented reality (AR) allows customers to visualize products in real-time through their smartphones or other devices. Brands have started to incorporate AR experiences especially for marketing events. It does not only leave a striking brand impression but also increases leads and sales. Depending on the way AR is used, customers can make more informed purchasing decisions and acquire a more immersive shopping experience.
Benefits of conversational commerce
Conversational commerce offers several benefits to businesses, including:
Conversational commerce allows businesses to engage with customers on a more personal level, providing them with personalized recommendations based on their preferences and purchase history.
Besides offering near-instant customer assistance, conversational commerce allows them to complete the whole shopping experience without switching apps, simplifying the process and reducing cart abandonment rates.
Improved customer engagement
Conversational commerce provides a more engaging shopping experience, allowing customers to interact with businesses in real-time and receive personalized recommendations. For instance, on WhatsApp Business API, you can use interactive chat buttons as call-to-actions to encourage customers to respond.
Conversational commerce can reduce customer service costs by automating routine tasks and allowing businesses to serve multiple customers simultaneously.
How to integrate conversational commerce into your business
To integrate enterprise conversational commerce into your business, follow these steps:
Identify your business goals
Before implementing conversational commerce solutions, identify your business goals and how it can help you achieve them. Determine the customer pain points you want to address and how conversational commerce can help solve them.
Choose the right conversational commerce platform
Choose a conversational commerce platform that fits your business needs and aligns with your goals. Consider the features, pricing, and integrations with other tools.
Develop a chatbot strategy
Develop a conversational commerce chatbot strategy that aligns with your business goals and customer needs. Determine the use cases, conversation flows, and content that the chatbot will provide. Train the chatbot to understand natural language and provide accurate responses.
Test and optimize
Test the conversational commerce solutions and the chatbots you’ve set up on the messaging platform to ensure that work smoothly. Get your team to test out the whole flow and see if they meet your customer expectations. Optimize the chatbot created using the conversational commerce apps you chose based on customer feedback and data insights.
Launch and promote
Launch the chatbot and messaging platform and promote it to your customers through your website, social media, and other marketing channels. Make sure that the conversational commerce apps you chose offer analytics for you to monitor the performance of the chatbot and make improvements as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Conversational commerce examples: successful brands to follow
Some big brands, such as Sephora and Domino's Pizza, have successfully implemented conversational commerce strategies using platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and their own chatbot solutions. They have utilized AI-powered chatbots as part of their AI conversational commerce strategy to provide personalized recommendations, streamline the purchasing process, and create interactive and engaging experiences for their customers. Here’s how they did it:
Sephora uses conversational commerce solutions to enhance customer experience
Sephora, a leading beauty retailer, has embraced conversational commerce through its innovative use of AI-powered chatbots on Facebook Messenger. By leveraging the Messenger platform, Sephora allows customers to interact with their chatbot, offering personalized beauty recommendations, tips, and product suggestions. Customers can easily browse and purchase products directly within the Messenger chat, creating a seamless and convenient shopping experience. Sephora's AI conversational commerce strategy revolves around leveraging technology to understand customer preferences, provide tailored recommendations, and offer a personalized approach to beauty shopping. This conversational commerce approach on Facebook Messenger has helped Sephora drive customer engagement, enhance brand loyalty, and increase sales.
Learn how to get your business on the journey of Facebook conversational commerce.
Domino's Pizza offers a seamless ordering experience with enterprise conversational commerce
Domino's Pizza is a prime example of how conversational commerce can be harnessed to revolutionize the food delivery industry. The brand has integrated its WhatsApp conversational commerce strategy using a chatbot and a messaging platform for their ordering system. Customers can place orders, track deliveries, and receive real-time updates through these messaging platforms. Domino's has leveraged AI-driven chatbots to streamline the ordering process, personalize customer interactions, and ensure seamless communication. By allowing customers to order pizza and engage in natural, conversational interactions via WhatsApp conversational commerce, Domino's has elevated the customer experience and redefined convenience in the food delivery space, driving customer loyalty and boosting sales.
Want to get your business in the F&B industry on WhatsApp? Explore our guide on WhatsApp Business features for restaurants.
Get started with the best conversational commerce platform: SleekFlow
SleekFlow is a conversational commerce platform that allows businesses to connect with customers through messaging apps, chatbots, and virtual assistants. It provides a unified platform for customer engagement, sales, and support. With SleekFlow, businesses can use conversational commerce solutions to automate routine tasks, provide personalized recommendations, and deliver a seamless shopping experience. Other than that, you can access a wide range of features that can help you on your journey of exploring conversational commerce:
integrates with popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Telegram, LINE, and more
easy-to-use chatbot builder for customized chatbots that can answer customer queries, provide product recommendations, and facilitate transactions
automated responses to routine customer queries, freeing up customer service staff to handle more complex issues
Order management for transactions from messaging channels, simplifying the purchasing process for customers
product catalog for businesses to showcase products and services and provide customers with real-time product information and recommendations
integrates with Stripe, a reliable and trusted payment gateway for businesses to facilitate transactions through messaging channels
real-time analytics and reporting on chatbot performance, customer engagement, and sales revenue
personalized settings to offer customers with recommendations and product information based on their preferences and purchase history