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What is Conversational Commerce, and How is it Different from Traditional Selling?

Written by
Pallavi Juneja
Published on
December 27, 2022

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Understanding the basics of conversational commerce and how it works

We are in an economy where brands compete with one another to put forward their best deal to a consumer.

Thanks to real-time dynamic pricing, you have plenty of e-commerce sites selling the same product for a lower price.

However, is it the price factor that drives conversion?

Data suggests that more and more consumers value a positive customer experience more than pricing when they choose a brand, with over 80% willing to pay more for a better overall shopping experience.

The answer is conversational commerce!

Consumers are no longer interested in simply shopping for the lowest price. They want to buy products from companies that engage with them in a way that makes them feel valued as humans, not just as customers.

The result is that brands are realising that conversational commerce is not only good for their bottom line—it’s also good for the health of their customer relationships. 

This guide will give you everything you need to know about conversational commerce: from its definition and benefits, to how to implement it at your company, all the way through measuring success and getting started today!

What is Conversational Commerce?

Conversational commerce is an e-commerce marketing strategy that uses back-and-forth digital conversations between a brand and its customers to drive sales.

It is a new form of digital interaction between businesses and their customers. It allows users to communicate with companies using conversational interfaces, such as messaging apps, voice assistants, and chatbots. 

Conversational commerce gives eCommerce stores the chance to connect with customers at every step of their customer journey. It's a way to create personal, helpful customer communication that moves them through the sales funnel faster than ever before.

Today, more people are active on messaging apps than ever before, with Facebook Messenger alone recording over 7 billion conversations every day.  

People don’t use messaging apps to just communicate with friends and family, but also use it to chat with businesses. Data suggests that over 56% of messaging-app users say they’ve messaged brands to get more information in all stages of the buyer’s journey. 

As a result, online businesses now communicate with their customers through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and many other messaging channels through pre-programmed live chats and messenger bots. 

Conversational commerce can help eCommerce stores reach more people than ever before.  With this type of commerce, brands don't have to wait for customers to visit their site; they can reach them where they are most active and move them through the sales funnel quickly and painlessly. 

How is Conversational Commerce better than Traditional Selling?

To please Google's search engine rules, eCommerce websites have long been stockpiles of indexable information and have prioritised SEO rules over customer friendliness. Thus resulting in a lifeless and unyielding experience. 

On the other hand, Conversational Commerce is designed to cater to a shopper's most natural human tendencies: the longing to connect, converse, and invest in products and services after gaining complete confidence and context to do so.

Evidently, conversational commerce boasts of conversion rates that are four times more than that of traditional shopping sites. 

While traditional e-commerce operates on a static, one-size-fits-all, and rigid model, c-commerce is dynamic, personalised, and adaptable. Instead of a banal experience, shoppers get convenience, transparency, and a shopping experience with a dose of humanity, making them enthusiastic about the process. 

5 Benefits of using Conversational Commerce in your online store

Conversational commerce is a powerful tool that can help you reach more customers, increase sales and boost customer satisfaction. 

Let’s look at some of the benefits that conversational commerce offers to online retailers:

1. Reduce cart abandonment 

Conversational Commerce can help you reduce the number of people who abandon their carts by offering them something that makes them feel like they're being taken care of. You can do this by offering a discount or free shipping, or simply asking what else they need to make their purchase. 

By using chatbots, you can reduce the number of customers who abandon their carts by offering them personalised recommendations, upselling and cross-selling products, and answering any questions they may have about their purchase.

2. Close potential leads

By engaging with potential leads through chat, you can collect information that can be used to connect them with the right salesperson or product line, which will help close the deal. 

Even if they don't buy anything right away, chatbots can help you find a way to make it easy for them to sign up for your newsletter or enter their email address so they'll be more likely to come back later when they're ready to make a purchase.

3. Upsell and Cross-sell

Conversational commerce offers a great opportunity to upsell or cross-sell products by offering options based on past purchases, browsing history, or other factors that indicate what might be most relevant at that moment in time and which complements what a customer is already buying—or even just by asking them what they're looking for! 

This will create a better shopping experience overall because you'll be able to offer items that are actually relevant instead of just throwing everything at them all at once every time someone visits your site. 

4. Offer personalization 

Chatbots allow businesses to personalise their interactions with customers by using data that has been collected about them, such as past purchases or preferences that have been recorded during previous transactions with your business (e.g., favourite colour). 

This allows brands to build relationships with customers more quickly than if they were relying on human customer service reps alone and allows them to engage with customers on a deeper level than ever before, encouraging loyalty and trust between both parties (and ultimately boosting sales).

5. Helps brands stand out

One of the best ways to stand out from the competition is by using conversational commerce in your online store.

With conversational commerce, you can make your brand feel more personal and friendly, which is especially important when you're selling a product or service to consumers who are inundated with content and marketing messages from other brands daily. This not only sets your brand apart from the rest but also allows you to showcase your personality and create a connection with your customers that they won't find anywhere else.

How does Conversational Commerce really work?

Brands can employ conversational commerce at every stage of the customer journey. 

By using proper tools and strategies, they can connect with their customer, deliver a better shopping experience and build long-lasting relationships. 

To understand how brands can connect at each stage, let's map out the customer journey into 5 stages: 

  1. Awareness: In this stage, customers actively seek information about a specific product or service. They may be browsing online, reading reviews, or talking to friends about their needs. Use conversational tools to connect with customers who have just started looking for solutions and show them how you can solve their problems. 
  1. Consideration: In this stage, customers evaluate different products and services before deciding which one will best meet their needs. They might research different products or services online or in-person by visiting stores or talking to sales associates.

In the consideration stage, you can use conversational tools to give customers even more details about your solution to sway them in your direction. 

  1. Decision: In this stage, customers make their final decision about which product or service they want to purchase from among all of the options they've considered up until now. It's important here that retailers here keep the conversation going with the help of conversational tools to build conviction in the shopper’s mind. Provide solid social proof to increase the customer’s confidence in your brand and instantly resolve any issues if and when they arise. 
  1. Retention: Once consumers have made a purchase decision, it's important for retailers to retain them as long as possible so they keep coming back again and again - without having to worry about losing them to a competitor. 

To maintain a great post-purchase relationship with your customer, send automated messages from time to time and ensure prompt responses to their messages, negative or positive. 

  1. Advocacy: At this stage, customers have already decided that they like the product or service and are now looking for ways to share their experience with others. This is where word-of-mouth advertising comes into play, and companies should focus on making it easy for consumers to recommend their products or services.

Use conversational tools at this stage to ask them for testimonials or product reviews and make them feel a part of a community. This helps to strengthen the brand-customer relationship.

Getting started with Conversational Commerce

Thanks to the advent of no-code tools, building chatbots for conversational commerce has become easier for retailers with little to no technical background. 

Here is how you can get started with conversational commerce on your eCommerce store: 

  1. Analyse your support queries, so you know what your customers are asking about and how they're asking it.
  2. Use no-code software to build a free Messenger chatbot that can be used to answer customer questions and fulfill customer requests.
  3. Add a Facebook Messenger chatbot to your website so customers can access it directly from there as well as through Messenger.
  4. Monitor the performance of your chatbot by tracking its usage metrics—such as the number of messages received each day and the average response time—so you know whether or not it's meeting user needs. This is key—you need to know what's working and what isn't to keep improving it over time!

It's Time to get Conversational

The future of eCommerce is going to be a lot more personal—and a lot more fun.

Conversational commerce is the new frontier of eCommerce, and it will only get bigger.

As the world becomes increasingly digital, consumers expect more from their online interactions with businesses—and they expect them faster than ever before. A conversational commerce strategy is essential if you want to stay ahead of the curve. 

As a business owner or marketer, you need to be prepared for this shift. You need to know how conversational commerce works and what it means for your business.

And you don't have to be an expert to make it happen!

LimeChat helps you achieve conversational commerce with its powerful chatbot that is easy to set up and use, has customer service features, and is customizable to fit your brand. 

Book a demo today

Want to learn more about conversational commerce before getting started? Watch out for our next post on the different types of conversational commerce we are seeing brands succeed with!

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