In an age where the rampant rise of messaging apps and voice assistants such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant have accustomed customers to everything on-demand, eCommerce brands are exploring newer ways to connect with their audience.
A recent study revealed that 86% of customers value a brand that delivers a more convenient, proactive, and personalised experience when interacting with the business online. This has led to a shift in eCommerce marketing using conversational commerce—a technology that allows companies to interact with customers in real-time on social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger or through text or voice chat instead of traditional websites, apps, and email.
Conversational commerce is a new form of engagement that enables brands to anticipate the needs of their customers by having an ongoing conversation with them through messaging.
While companies have been using chatbots for years now, conversational commerce takes things one step further by adding artificial intelligence (AI) into the mix so that the chatbot becomes more personal and empathetic towards each customer.
In our previous blog, we discussed in-depth about conversational commerce and how it can positively impact a customer’s online shopping experience from the stage of discovery to conversion.
In this blog, we’ll look into the various types of conversational commerce tools employed by brands today and how you can include them as part of your marketing strategy:
Types of conversational marketing tools
1. Live Chat
Live chat is a great way to connect with your customers quickly and easily. It’s easy to use and has a better advantage over email or phone by letting customers get answers instantly through the website.
In fact, 42% of customers prefer live chat to connect with a company over any other mode of communication.
The biggest benefit of live chat is that it’s available 24/7, so you can converse with any customer anytime without waiting for an email response or scheduling a call.
Live chat allows you to answer questions in real-time, which means you can assess the needs of each customer and provide the most relevant information quickly. This helps your customer feel like they’re getting personal attention from your business, which builds trust and loyalty. This allows brands to reduce wait time and boost customers’ satisfaction.
Besides solving customer queries quickly, brands often employ live chat to proactively engage shy customers who don’t ask for help. This way, the brand can guide the customer on their website and provide personalised recommendations, increasing their likelihood of making a purchase.
Chatbots can be a powerful tool for your business and are an excellent way to bring conversational commerce into your business. A chatbot is a computer program that can converse with people via text or voice, and it’s typically designed for customer service purposes.
Chatbots are robots that use Artificial Intelligence to answer user queries. They learn how to answer each question based on historic patterns and pre-set rules. They are connected to various APIs, allowing agents to deal with a broader range of customers’ requests. Automating repetitive tasks such as emailing prospects and answering FAQs allows live agents to be more productive on other responsibilities and improves customer engagement and operational efficiency by reducing the cost of traditional customer service.
A study by Research and Markets suggests that the chatbot market share is predicted to surpass $100 billion by 2025. Chatbots are more than a simulation of a live chat. They offer something above and beyond that. Today, they’re offering a completely alternative way to navigate a website—allowing you to discover products quickly and get what you want in the easiest way possible.
Chatbots also provide an opportunity for companies to build relationships with their customers in a more natural way than before. People don’t always have time to sit on hold while waiting for an agent, or they may get frustrated when they can’t find the answer they need on their website or app. Customers can ask about the status of their last order or check the location of the nearest store in just a few clicks.
Take, for instance, Dulux, a paint brand that offers customers a quick and easy way to streamline their selection process and choose the best paint colour for their requirements.
But can chatbots really deliver a conversational experience? Learn more about LimeChat.
3. Messaging apps
It’s no secret that messaging apps are the new storefronts. They have become the place where people go to stay connected with friends, family, and brands they love.
Messaging apps like WhatsApp or Messenger have outpaced social networks by letting brands exchange instant messages with shoppers.
On the other hand, consumers prefer them due to their ability to conduct private communication, contact brands, or do online shopping. As a result, brands using messaging apps are getting 20% more users and witnessing a much higher conversion rate than social media platforms.
Messaging apps have changed the way brands communicate with their customers. Instead of sending one-way messages, brands can now engage in conversations with their audience, which consumers want.
Messaging provides a way for brands to have more meaningful interactions with their customers. It’s an opportunity for brands to build relationships that don’t feel like transactions but rather conversations, making them attractive.
The three most widely used messaging apps used by brands for conversational commerce are Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
1. Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is quickly becoming a go-to platform for conversational commerce. With a simple chatbot, you can get one-on-one conversations with your customers and provide personalised recommendations.
You can help them discover new products that match their tastes and preferences and offer suggestions for using your items or services. By using Facebook Messenger to connect with your customers, you can make the experience of buying from an eCommerce site more personal and engaging—and ultimately increase sales.
Here are three benefits of incorporating Facebook messenger in your conversational commerce strategy:
- It’s a familiar environment for consumers. People are already accustomed to communicating with friends and family via Facebook Messenger, so they will feel comfortable using the platform to ask questions about products or make purchases.
- It’s easy for retailers to set up a Facebook Messenger account and start connecting with their customers. They can even send automated messages that will help them stay in touch with their customers without spending time manually responding to their messages.
- Facebook Messenger allows retailers to have conversations with customers at different stages in the buying cycle—from discovery to purchase—making it easier for retailers to build relationships with customers and sell more products over time.
Instagram is a powerful tool for eCommerce brands to deliver conversational commerce. The platform’s visual nature makes it ideal for enticing users to click on links and engage with brands in a way that’s purely about the product.
In other words, Instagram helps eCommerce brands deliver the experience consumers want: an easy-to-navigate, visually engaging experience that doesn’t require a ton of effort but still gives them access to as much information about a product as they need.
Plus, Instagram offers numerous ways for eCommerce brands to interact with their customers—from stories and hashtags to direct messages and replies. This makes it easy for brands to provide customers with real-time feedback and support while browsing through products.
3. WhatsApp messenger
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, with 1.5 billion monthly active users. It’s also an incredibly effective way to reach your customers, especially if you’re a business that sells to a younger demographic. If you’re an eCommerce brand and you’re not using WhatsApp to deliver the best customer support experience possible, you’re missing out.
A WhatsApp Chatbot allows you to connect with customers on WhatsApp and engage them in real time. The bot can help with customer service and sales, including shopping cart abandonment and order status updates. Moreover, it’s easy to set up—you can even use the same Facebook Page or Business Manager account that you use for your other digital channels!
Here are 3 reasons why a WhatsApp eCommerce Chatbot is a must-have for your eCommerce business:
- Provide better customer support: With the WhatsApp ecommerce chatbot, you can provide your customers with the best customer service experience possible. Your customers can get their questions answered in a matter of seconds instead of waiting hours or days for an email response. You can quickly resolve issues through a chatbot instead of having to keep going back and forth with emails or phone calls.
- Keep customers updated with regular notifications: A WhatsApp eCommerce Chatbot can also provide an easy way for you to keep your customers informed about new products, sales, and promotions, so they never miss out on anything important from your brand. This keeps them coming back repeatedly because they know they’ll always get what they want at the right time!
- Deliver a Personalised Experience: Instead of just sending out generic notifications about new products or sales that might not interest everyone in your audience, you can create messages that are relevant to each individual person’s needs and preferences, which makes them much more likely to engage with them (and maybe even spread the word about how awesome your brand is).
4. Voice Assistants
Voice assistants are an incredibly powerful tool for e-commerce brands looking to engage with customers on a conversational level.
A voice assistant is a virtual assistant that you can use to interact with your device, including your phone and computer. Voice assistants are designed to be used in place of typing or searching for information, and they often provide a more efficient way to access information than other methods. Voice assistants, such as Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana, or Siri, are becoming popular with customers because they are convenient and fun and lets them multitask.
Artificial intelligence and natural language processing have made voice assistants a powerful tool for marketers. Owing to its growing popularity, brands are adopting voice assistants in their marketing and customer service strategies. Voice assistants can help you to answer customer questions quickly and direct searchers to your website. This can help you increase your brand awareness and increase your loyalty among customers, which can lead to increased sales.
The voice assistant can also learn about customers’ interests based on their purchase history and recommend solutions that match their previous choices. Marketers can also use this opportunity to display personalised voice ads and build a better rapport with customers.
Here are 4 reasons why Voice commerce is on its way to becoming a key retail channel:
- A boom in the adoption of smart speakers, with many smart speaker owners using them for e-commerce.
- Advances in voice-based AI technology significantly improve the voice commerce experience, speech recognition, mood detection, etc.
- The rise of an interactive and frictionless customer experience replicates the interaction with a helpful sales clerk.
- Increased demand for contactless shopping options due to COVID-19 led to increased use of voice assistants during the pandemic.
Conversational commerce is a powerful tool for brands to deliver personalised customer service.
By providing a seamless experience and engaging customers in a way that is most convenient for them, brands can create loyal users who come back time and time again.
The key to doing this successfully is to understand the different types of conversational commerce and how to adopt each one.
For example, if your brand is looking for ways to build relationships with customers, then you should start by integrating chatbots into your strategy across all key communications channels – especially social media; this ensures you can quickly turn interest into actual visits to the store, and hence sales.
With smart solutions like LimeChat, it’s now much easier to get started with conversational commerce.
Book a demo today, to learn more!
Want to learn more about the benefits of conversational commerce before getting started? Watch out for our next post!