Can Conversational Commerce Save Retail?
Around 85% of consumer interactions happen inside of a retail location, so why do most conversational commerce companies only focus on the 15% of transactions that happen online? Conversational commerce did start as a major driver for online sales, but brands don’t need to limit this technology to just e-commerce transactions.
What is Conversational Commerce?
Conversational commerce refers to the intersection of chatbots, artificial intelligence, and shopping to create personalized one-to-one transactional experiences with consumers.
It allows brands to engage customers in existing and preferred communication channels, like SMS and Facebook Messenger, as opposed to requiring them to download another app.
The Growth of Messaging
With 1.3 billion users on Facebook Messenger alone, the chatbot era is here to stay. Many brands began implementing chatbots as a way to communicate quickly with customers and troubleshoot customer service issues, but in 2019 and beyond we are going to see the role of chatbots continue to grow and develop. Not only will this platform continue to serve as a direct line of communication with customers, but brands will start tapping into messenger bots to provide personalized product recommendations, rebates and even share user-generated content.
Conversational commerce is proving to be one of the most effective methods of talking with consumers, outperforming more traditional communication methods like email. In-app messages are 1.5x more likely to be opened and consumers are 6.7x more likely to respond than through traditional email marketing.
Messaging has a lot of inherent benefits over native apps or mobile websites. It's frictionless (no need to download another app), and this technology offers the persistence that mobile web lacks. Because a user's messaging history is preserved in the apps thread, remarketing or re-engagement efforts have context. It's a first of its kind chance for CPGs to create one-to-one relationships, at scale, with their consumers to unlock and measure incremental revenue.
Using Conversational Commerce to Connect with Consumers
Your marketing strategy should be as fluid as your shoppers—consumers today are shopping both in-store and online, they care about saving money, and they want more personalization. Currently, only 22% of consumers are happy with the level of personalization they receive from brands. Conversational commerce can be used to connect with prospective customers at all stages of the customer journey—from engagement to product purchase—in increasingly personalized ways.
Conversational commerce can be used to create a seamless user experience from online to in-store. A targeted ad to a messenger conversation captures a shopper’s attention prior to planning a shopping trip and can educate that individual on your brand’s product offerings. While a scan code on an in-store display can influence a shopper’s purchase decisions through personalized product recommendations and offers. Providing multiple consumer touchpoints ensures your brand is reaching your target audience at the perfect moment in their consumer journey.
As the consumer purchase journey gets increasingly complicated and more intricate, it is paramount that brands rise to meet consumer needs. Successful brands have recognized the desire for increased personalization in marketing—from product recommendations to special offers—and have invested in technology to scale those one-to-one consumer conversations.