What is Conversational Commerce?

A term popularized byan Uber executive, conversational commerce is now seen as the next big thing.

A term popularized byan Uber executive, conversational commerce is now seen as the next big thing.

When you think about it, conversing has always been a partof commerce- an important part that is. In the old days, merchants relied ontheir conversational skills when dealing with important buyers, or trying to acquirenew customers, and the same goes for clerks waiting on customers in modernshops today. So yes, basically, conversing is in the nature of commerce.

Building on that, conversational commerce, a term coined by Uber executive Chris Messina, is used to define the practice of using messagingapps in commerce- e-commerce, to be precise. In other words, lots ofconversations in e-commerce world are automated today, and conversationalcommerce is the term to define those automated experiences.

Talk with Chatbot

The convenience of communicating with brands via messagingapps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Talk and WeChat cannot be overstated,especially in online shopping experiences, and this has its roots in ournatural need to communicate, to connect. Voice assistants, which do a similarjob based on voice-commands can be put into this category as well. With thesetechnologies, users can chat with customer representatives, get instantsupport, ask questions, get personalized recommendations, read comments and bedirected to pages where they can purchase products or services. Today, majorityof these operations are applied by chatbots.

We have covered Chatbots on our previous post. You can readit here.

Chatbots are very well received by the users. In fact, theywere embraced even faster than social networks. For example, 37% of world’spopulation are using messaging apps today. And 40 million people are usingvoice assistants.

What AreThe Benefits of Conversational Commerce?

·        It is powerful because in addition to making itpossible to reach to a greater number of users by automating interactionsbetween brands and their audience, it can also significantly reduce the numberof steps -and the amount of time- the user needs to complete a specific action.

·        It creates a two-way communication; it does notonly talk to customers and tell them what to do, but can listen and learn fromthem as well. It recognizes their questions and complaints, and is able tocreate a connection.

·        Brands who apply it correctly, are observed toincrease their annual income by 7% - 25%.

How DoesConversational Commerce Work?

When thinking about conversational commerce and how to applyit to your business, you need to focus on four different kinds of experiences.Here are they with examples:

1-     Proactive/Automatic:Customer makes his first purchase from the brand, and the next day, brand sendshim an automated message, thanking him for shopping from them.

2-     Reactive/Automatic:Customer buys a camera, and finds out it does not work well. She sends amessage to get help from the online shop. The automated system of the onlineshop recognizes the problem from the message, and redirects the customer to theplatform/person to solve her problem.

3-     Manuel/FromOne to Many: Let’s say a brand opened 10 new shops, and wants to inform thepeople living nearby. A specially crafted messageis sent to the members of the target audience who live within 10 miles(16 km)of each shop.

4-     Manuel/Oneon One: A discount coupon or a simple thank you note can be sent to acustomer, who shared a positive review or a photo comment on a social mediaplatform.

In the upcoming posts, we will be focusing more deeply onhow chatbots have become a part of our lives. Stay in touch!

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