The marketing landscape is changing drastically. It’s no longer about pushing messages at people but being part of the conversation.
You might be wondering what that means for you and your brand. And if you’re not, you should be! Whether you’re an individual entrepreneur or a team leader at a large company, it’s critical to understand how to create your brand’s conversational commerce strategy to stay relevant and competitive in today’s marketing world.
Conversational commerce is one of the fastest-growing channels for retailers and brands to connect with customers. It’s also one of the most misunderstood channels, meaning you might miss out on opportunities to engage your customers more meaningfully.
But how do you create a conversational commerce strategy that works? Let’s find out.
Why are brands adopting conversational commerce in their marketing strategy?
In today’s digital world, consumers look for personalized experiences that let them interact with brands in meaningful ways. As a result, companies have begun to shift their focus from traditional customer service to more interactive methods of communication like messaging apps and voice assistants, allowing them to communicate with brands in new ways.
Conversational commerce is engaging with customers through conversational platforms like Messenger and WhatsApp. Brands are adopting this approach to reach more customers, increase brand loyalty, and deepen customer relationships.
The benefits are clear: when done right, conversational commerce can create a better customer experience, increase brand loyalty, and decrease the number of customer service tickets you have to deal with. But it’s not an easy feat—especially if you’re unsure how to get started or if your company doesn’t have a dedicated team to manage these conversations.
Before making the leap into conversational commerce, our previous blogs discussed everything you need to know.
This guide will walk you through a step-by-step approach to creating a conversational commerce strategy for your brand.
8 Steps to Build a Winning Conversational Commerce Strategy
1. Analyze your business needs & establish end goals
The first step in building a winning conversational commerce strategy is understanding your business needs and determining the end goal. Conversational commerce is not a one-size-fits-all solution, so it’s essential to identify your company’s specific challenges and determine how conversational commerce can help you overcome them.
If you implement a conversational commerce strategy, it should serve a purpose. Whether it’s to solve issues your team is facing or your customers.
From a business point of view, it could be increasing sales, reducing the cart abandonment rate, or more. It is advisable to set your goals first. Once you have done that, prioritize your business needs so that the vital issues get resolved sooner.
For example, if you’re a retailer, you may want to develop a strategy that helps customers find products they want to buy immediately.
However, if you’re an eCommerce brand, you may focus on helping people find information about your product or service without sifting through hundreds of pages of text. Or, for some brands, it may be essential to build relationships with their customers via live human interaction. You should ensure that your conversational commerce strategy aligns with your business requirements or goals.
Besides establishing goals, brands should also focus on other KPIs like tracking the benefits of serving customers on their preferred channels, whether it leads to repeat purchases, increases in sign-ups to loyalty programs, etc. Monitoring areas other than revenue will also help in understanding if the strategy is successful.
2. Conduct extensive research
You can’t build a winning conversational commerce strategy without first understanding the market you’re trying to serve. Conduct extensive research, and talk to your customers about how they shop.
You should also consider the competition—what do they offer? And how do people react to their messaging? Understand the ways other brands are using this strategy to their benefit. You can then find effective ways to plug it into your process.
Weigh the pros and cons of the different channels until you find the one that suits you best. Not every channel can bring the same level of success. Conduct extensive research on the different conversational commerce platforms and how they can help your business.
3. Evaluate your current customer experience
Conversational commerce is about creating a seamless and personalized experience for your customers, but it’s also about personalizing the customer journey. Before you can build a conversational commerce strategy that works for your business, you must understand how your customers currently find and use information about your products.
Before you can start thinking about how to build a conversational commerce strategy, you need to know where your company is currently. It’s critical to assess the experience you’re currently delivering to your customer base.
Are your customers buying online? What are the most popular channels? How do they prefer to interact with your brand? Do they prefer email, phone, chat, or messaging apps? What are the pain points in their current experience? Is it consistent across every interaction on every medium? Are there things that could be made more accessible for them?
Before you begin your conversational commerce journey, evaluate your customer satisfaction scores, frequency, length of contacts, and, if applicable, number of repeat purchases.
It’s also important to be present on channels your customers are present. Unfortunately, brands are active on comfortable channels and not where their customers are the most active. It’s important to know where your customers are to ensure you’re making the most of all the opportunities available to engage with them on those channels.
4. Leverage AI tools
To build a winning conversational commerce strategy, you need to know how to leverage AI tools. These tools can help you automate tasks, increase your team’s effectiveness, and make your customers happy.
AI-powered conversational commerce tools can help you make sense of your customer’s data and better understand what they want and how they want it. Using AI to understand customer behavior, you can create personalized experiences that keep your customers returning for more.
The best way to leverage AI is by getting creative with how you use it. Rather than having a single tool that does everything, we recommend breaking down your strategy into three areas: customer service, product recommendations, and lead generation.
For customer service, use chatbots as a way for customers to receive answers from brands when they need them most—when they’re looking at products or browsing your site—and then move on with their day without needing more in-depth support from human agents.
Product recommendations should be part of every experience your customers have with you. They can be simple suggestions based on what they’ve already purchased or more personalized offerings based on their unique interests and needs as determined by AI algorithms and machine learning techniques.
5. Choose a unified conversational commerce platform
One of the most important decisions you’ll make when implementing conversational commerce is the technology you use. You want to be sure that it’s easy to integrate into your existing systems and that it can serve as a single hub for all your customer service needs. You want a unified platform that can handle every aspect of your business, from customer service and back-end operations to advertising and marketing. Not all platforms are created equal, though.
Here are some key points to consider as you evaluate your options:
- Is it easy to use? You don’t want to spend time figuring out how to use new software.
- How is it going to integrate with other systems? Will it work with your existing CRM or POS system?
- How does it scale? Does it grow with your business, allowing for new features as needed?
LimeChat‘s Level 3 AI platform combines omnichannel coverage with advanced AI capabilities to help global brands automate customer interactions on Live Chat, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger.
6. Launch your conversational commerce tool
After you pick the type of conversational tool, the next step is launching it. But to determine its effectiveness, get your KPIs in place. It can include customer conversion rate and satisfaction score, to name a few. These KPIs let you know whether the tool is a hit or a miss. It will be up to you to either reconsider or improve its features.
7. Measure success
When you’re using conversational commerce, you need to be able to measure your success. Otherwise, how will you know if the investment is worth it?
Monitoring your performance is just as important. It can help you improve gaps in your process and see whether you’re achieving the desired level of customer satisfaction and ROI. The other metrics you can track are Sessions per user, average session duration, number of interactions per user, response time, conversion rate, retention rate, etc.
You should also be able to measure the effectiveness of your conversational commerce strategy by measuring conversion rates and customer satisfaction scores. These metrics will tell whether customers are satisfied with the service they receive through chatbots.
8. Scale the usage of your conversational commerce
Once you’ve figured out how to get people to use conversational commerce, the next step is to scale it as much as possible. This might mean getting more customers on board with your app or service or showing them how to use it to get more out of it.
To ensure that you’re scaling it effectively, here’s what you can do:
- Track the usage of your conversational commerce across all channels.
- Measure the success of each channel by analyzing key performance indicators (KPI).
- Identify where there are opportunities for improvement and adjust accordingly.
You can scale operations in various other messaging apps, from Messenger to WhatsApp. Establish metrics and KPIs for these channels to study user behavior in each channel. If you find any differences, it may indicate fixing a step in the process or tweaking your conversation tree.
It’s time to start planning your conversational commerce strategy
Conversational commerce has a lot to offer and, if done right, will prove advantageous for your brand value. Although creating or implementing this strategy will take a while, it’s not too late to hop on this bandwagon.
With technology growing ten-fold, here is what you can expect the future will hold: 80% of the global population in the next decade will likely own a mobile, computer, or more. Devices will support text and voice-based bots. AI integration in everyday life will be seamless. And being on platforms where your customer is present will be a necessity rather than a competitive advantage.
With the data available from AI and chatbots, brands can tailor services according to customers. It will also help reduce cart abandonment by engaging customers and trying to convert them into paying customers. Conversational commerce will help you create a delightful customer experience that builds loyalty and retains them.
If you’re looking for a conversational commerce solution that will help you grow your business and make it easier for your customers to interact with you, LimeChat is the tool for you.
It’s simple to set up and use and designed to ensure that every conversation is meaningful, productive, and profitable for everyone involved. It can help you with all the steps of setting up an AI-enabled chat tool—from ideation and strategy development to deployment and optimization—so you can focus on making an impact.
LimeChat is helping businesses become more efficient and effective worldwide, so why not give it a try today?