Conversational Commerce In Customer Experience

Conversational Commerce – The Next Big Thing in Customer Experience

Modern-day online brand experience is all about having meaningful conversations to help customers cut through the clutter. Reports suggest that 86% of shoppers expect a quick, personalized experience when interacting with any business online. Therefore, across the globe, organizations have been swiftly changing gears and deploying conversational AI to increase engagement on their online platforms. Conversational commerce, thus, has taken the spotlight and has emerged as a driving force for businesses. A new-age technique, conversational commerce, refers using of AI-powered conversational tools, enabling them to initiate and sustain online dialogue with their customers. This dialogue essentially aims to assist customers throughout their purchase journey, leading to higher sales volumes. Some of the conversation tools actively deployed by organizations worldwide are live chat, chatbots, voice bots, voice assistants, or digital messaging. Their use facilitates seamless two-way communication between the brand and the customer.

Interestingly, conversational commerce has made its way into multiple customer-facing industries, including e-commerce, food delivery, travel, healthcare, and banking, among others. For example, a growing number of restaurants now use voice command functionality to receive orders. Also, food delivery apps such as Zomato and Swiggy offer in-app chat services to help customers place orders, check delivery status and resolve complaints. In healthcare, voice bots are being deployed to efficiently manage patient records, schedule appointments, and much more.

Clearly, conversational commerce can make a great deal of difference to an online store or business. A recent report suggests that businesses making the correct use of conversational commerce are witnessing an increased annual revenue by 7-25%.

How Brands Are Leveraging Conversational Commerce – The Key Use Cases

Brands have been using conversational commerce in unique ways throughout the user journey. Here are some of the essential use cases.

Product Discovery

Any brand or e-commerce website typically has plenty of items listed. Often, this confuses the customer, making it difficult for them to make a choice.  However, with conversational commerce in place, customers are served with accurate information on products, making it easy to arrive at a decision. Well, it goes like this – the customer explains the product requirements to a chatbot or a virtual assistant, who then instantly gathers and furnishes the required information based on the customer’s individual preferences. This increases the likelihood of a purchase being made.

Product Recommendations

Consumers often seek recommendations from a business, which is clear from a study that reveals 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that offer product recommendations. As a chatbot efficiently processes the customer requirements, it provides them with personalized recommendations, which helps consumers in leading their way forward in their purchase journey. For businesses, it is also a great way to up-sell or cross-sell products. According to a report, 49% of consumers are willing to buy additional products if their online shopping experience is personalized.

Omnichannel Experiences and Cross-Channel Re-engagement

An online store typically has a presence on multiple online platforms. The strength of conversational commerce is that a consumer can initiate an interaction with the brand on any one platform and continue the same on some other channel. Yes, the chatbot picks up the conversation precisely from where it is left, thus assuring constant and seamless support in an omnichannel environment.

Seamless Transactions

Conversational commerce allows businesses to focus on the transaction and make it more effective. Push notifications, updates on sales, and order status can be sent via messaging apps. This frees the customer service agents, who could now easily take up other urgent, high-value tasks/ issues.

Customer Support

Globally, 86% of online shoppers seek proactive customer support, either before or after-sales. Since chatbots function round the clock, consumers can connect with a brand whenever needed and receive timely, seamless support.

Customer Retention and Loyalty

Unparalleled customer assistance and support can pave the way for incredible, long-lasting customer relationships. As a chatbot engages with the customer and even offers extended offers and discounts, it delivers customer delight. A happy and satisfied customer would eventually start trusting a brand and stick to it for long. According to HubSpot, 90% of customers are willing to make repeat purchases from the businesses they love.

Conversational Commerce – The Top Three Benefits

The rapid growth of conversational commerce means that brands and customers are equally benefitting from its capabilities. Here we highlight some of these benefits.

Excellent Real-Time Customer Support

With conversational AI becoming a part of our daily lives, customers have come to expect a similar experience from the brands they interact with online. A customer could require support from a business during multiple stages of their purchase journey. From choosing a product to making the final payment, and anything in between, the benefits for real-time support cannot be overstated. With a conversational AI-enabled virtual assistant, customers are assured of seamless, real-time support and assistance.

High Conversion Rates and ROI

As virtual assistants actively engage with customers, the customer is never lost in your online store. Conversations with chatbots help them move closer to their final purchase. Information on discounts and offers provided through a live chat platform also plays a vital role in influencing their purchase decisions. More importantly, conversational commerce can help you achieve higher average order value on your store with techniques like product recommendations, upselling, and cross-selling. Conversions and ticket values get a boost, creating a win-win proposition for your brand store.

Lower Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment is reasonably common in the world of e-commerce. A staggering average of 70% of customers engage in cart abandonment, which means almost 7 out of 10 customers do not complete their purchases; they tend to drop off after filling carts with desired items. Though the reasons for this behavior could be plenty, one thing is certainly clear – assistance can make a lot of difference, as in the case of physical retail stores. Conversational commerce helps customers complete their purchases by providing incentives and triggers at the right moments. AI-powered chatbots initiate human-like conversations to understand preferences, answer product queries, inform stock availability, check-out, payment, shipping details, and more. If a customer’s cart is lying unattended, a virtual assistant sends a reminder message or shares a promo coupon, which prompts them to finish their purchase. Reports suggest that using a virtual assistant reduces cart abandonment rates by 20-30%.

Looking Ahead

Conversational commerce is poised to become a force to reckon with in any and every customer-facing industry sector. The global conversational commerce market is set to grow from USD 6.8 billion in 2021 to a staggering USD 18.4 billion by 2026 – 3X growth in half a decade! Let that sink in.

Today’s customer is even willing to pay extra for a great experience. So, brands and businesses looking to deliver great experiences cannot afford to miss out on the phenomenon that is conversational commerce.

Let’s keep the conversations going! Talk to our chatbot experts to know more about Conversational AI and how it can help your business.