Gone are the days of physically visiting a store to make a purchase; now, we can buy from the comfort of our homes, thanks to eCommerce. However, even eCommerce-based shopping will change with the emergence of AI-powered conversational commerce.
Artificial intelligence is quickly becoming a popular tool for providing personalized and more effective customer service in retail. According to a recent study by Juniper Research, AI-powered chatbots are expected to play a significant role in customer interactions for years to come, handling 70% of customer conversations in 2023.
This demonstrates the increasing reliance on AI-powered solutions to improve customer interactions and create a more seamless shopping experience. Imagine conversing with AI-powered chatbots that can help you find exactly what you’re looking for, offer recommendations based on your past purchases, and then complete the transaction. AI-driven conversational commerce aims to transform shopping by offering personalized, efficient, and more convenient service.
Conversational Commerce – Transforming How We Do eCommerce
Part of what makes AI-powered conversational commerce so powerful is in the name itself: it’s a conversation!
Conversational commerce, the intersection of messaging apps and commerce, drives conversions and improves customer satisfaction. Consumers can chat with company representatives, get customer support, ask questions, get personalized recommendations, read reviews, and click to buy all from within messaging apps. The customer interacts with a human representative, a chatbot, or a combination of the two in conversational commerce.
In addition, AI-powered conversational commerce will also make shopping more efficient. Customers can ask the chatbot for product-specific information or recommendations during the product discovery stage. The chatbot’s deep learning algorithms can find out about a client’s needs and preferences and give significant product suggestions in view of past buys and perusing history. This helps customers discover new products they may be interested in and saves time by presenting them with the right options.
When the client has found the products they want, they can add them to their shopping cart utilizing the chatbot. It can also provide information about product availability, pricing, and shipping options and help the customer make the necessary selections.
The chatbot, which is powered by AI, can safely process and store the customer’s payment information at checkout. Your AI-driven chatbot can also handle any issues that may arise, such as an incorrect billing or shipping address, and provide customer support as needed.
The AI-Powered Conversation Commerce – Examples
Imagine that you run a restaurant that specializes in Mexican-Asian fusion. You sell tacos filled with pickled vegetables, tofu, and other Asian ingredients. You also have sushi options that include avocado, hot sauce, and common ingredients in Mexico. Overall, your brand is fun and energetic, with bright colors and a festive atmosphere awaiting diners at your restaurant.
When someone visits your website, the chatbot can ask questions like
- Do you want to book our restaurant for a fun event?
- Check out our happiest Happy Hour specials!
- Want to see our latest menu of hot specials on the grill?
The chatbot either provides the correct response or directs the user to the appropriate resource when they click on one of those options.
A chatbot’s questions would look very different to an investment firm known for its conservative approach to growing wealth. The voice your chatbot and agents would use would be simple and honest, using simple and direct language to inspire trust. Also, the content of your conversations with customers would be completely different.
With this business, conversation starters can sound more like this:
- Would you like to schedule a meeting with a consultant?
- Do you want to create an account?
- Talk to an expert about how to reduce your tax burden.
Conversational commerce is the future of customer engagement because it merges together the best of e-commerce and social channels to interact with customers and engage them with a brand or company in the ways the customer prefers, ultimately leading to increased sales and customer loyalty.
Now, it is crystal clear that conversational commerce is the future of retail businesses, so let’s proceed to know everything about conversational commerce in-depth.
AI-Driven Conversational Commerce – Futuristic Stats You Should Know
- Globally, 91% of customers want immediate assistance.
- According to a Bing report, The majority of uses for Voice Assistants are related to making a purchase or researching a service or product.
- By 2025, it is anticipated that chatbots and voice technology will generate $290 billion. Also, 1.4 billion people regularly use chatbots
- Voice search is used by a third of the US population on a regular basis.
- According to reports, by 2024, there will be over 8.4 billion devices with voice assistants, resulting in a 113% rise in interaction.
- Conversion rates can be increased by 82% using live chat.
- As per Statista, in 2021, approximately 41 US billion will be spent worldwide on conversational commerce channels, according to estimates. By 2025, it was anticipated that this figure would rise to approximately 290 billion US dollars, or almost seven times as much.
How Does Conversational Commerce Work?
Conversational commerce allows you to have personalized one-on-one interaction with customers at every step of their journey, resulting in faster purchases and shortening the sales cycle.
Conversational commerce can assist in all five stages of the customer journey and ensure customer satisfaction:
Most customers face various barriers at this stage of their journey and seek professional help, so they start a dialogue with the brand through live chat, chatbots, social media, etc. Brands need to understand their queries and provide the best available solution with a minimum delay.
Customers are aware of your brand at this stage but want to learn more and compare your products and services with those of your competitors. Through personalized conversations, you can convince those customers to choose your brand over your competitors.
Customers are ready to buy at this stage, but they may have concerns about the quality of your products and services, refund policies, support, and more. By sharing social proof and testimonials during 1:1 conversations, you can build trust and convince them to buy your product. You can also provide them with quick links to your refund and other policies, helping them navigate the purchase cycle through real-time responses.
Retention is crucial to ensure that customers continue to do business with you and establish their trust in your brand and product. Engaging customers, seeking feedback, and letting them know about your new and upcoming products and offers can help you improve your retention rate.
Continue the conversation with your customers by asking for testimonials and product reviews and surprise them with exceptional offers it shows that your brand cares about them, thus strengthening customer loyalty. Some of these customers can become brand advocates and generate income through word-of-mouth marketing.
|With Conversational Commerce
|Without Conversational Commerce
|Guided product discovery & personalized recommendations within messaging apps.
|Difficult to provide customers with personalized experiences.
|Expert guidance across all channels, 24/7
|Absence of expert guidance on a variety of topics available round-the-clock.
|Ability to continue shopping journeys through social media apps.
|Shopping experiences are limited to webshops.
|Within messaging and social media apps, checkout is simple.
|The involvement in multiple languages adds complexity.
|Engagement after the sale to promote offers, sales, & new products.
|Higher returns and a higher rate of cart abandonment.
It is quite evident that planning to invest in conversational commerce for your retail business has a good reach. But there are different types of conversational commerce that allow businesses to meet customers where they are in their buying journey. Let’s learn what all of them are so that you get better clarity.
Types of Conversational Commerce
The most common types of conversational commerce include AI-driven chatbots, live chat software, messaging apps, and voice assistance software. Live chat and chatbots can help answer customer questions, while tools like messaging apps and voice assistants can help connect and direct customers. Check out the different types of conversational commerce.
It is one of the most popular communication channels that allow customers to easily inform them of responses immediately from the retailer’s website.
One of the biggest advantages of this platform over the phone or email is that it helps to allow an agent to chat with one, two, or three customers at a time and because of this, brands can significantly reduce wait time by increasing customer satisfaction.
With a chatbot, companies can chat with multiple users at the same time providing information in a matter of seconds throughout the day.
Implementing them across websites and messaging platforms helps deliver a conversational experience at different stages of the customer journey across different channels at particular stages.
Messaging apps like Messenger or WhatsApp are fantastic as they can help you exchange instant messages, using them enthusiastically because of private communication.
It is possible to contact brands or for online purchases, the applications will also have different social networks with more than 20% more users on all social media platforms.
One type of software is activated through voice commands that can answer users’ questions and there are various voice assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana, and Siri which are becoming much more popular features, especially in various electronic devices.
Voice assistants have encouraged brands to use them, particularly in marketing and customer service strategies, as they can offer quick answers or direct searches to your website to help improve your brand awareness.
How Does Conversational Commerce Help e-retailers Sell More?
Benefits of Using Conversational Commerce in Retail Business
AI-driven conversational commerce is rapidly gaining popularity, which means that both consumers and brands can take advantage of their potential, such as
- Personalized Experiences and Improved Convenience
One of the greatest benefits of conversational commerce is that it allows consumers to receive a customer-centered purchase experience of a brand without having to visit a physical store. For example, virtual attendees can make personalized recommendations and help customers complete their purchases directly on their smartphones.
Conversational commerce chatbots can also virtually simulate an experience in the client store. Virtual chat bots can involve a client in a conversation, listen to whatever they want, and offer recommendations in the objective, completely transforming client participation from a boring and difficult process to a personalized and easy-to-use one. In a similar line, associates in the store can also change to video and provide direct advice to customers for a more personal human touch.
By using customer-preferred communications channels, such as voice assistants, and video messaging applications that provide personalized experiences and greater comfort, companies can greatly improve the general rates of customer satisfaction and retail sales.
- Real-time Assistance for a Shopping Journey
Customers now anticipate a comparable brand interaction experience as the conversation becomes more frequent in our daily lives. Customers may need a company at several points throughout their purchase process. The advantages of real-time aid cannot be underestimated, from selecting a product to making the final payment and everything else. Customers are guaranteed support and assistance without problems and in real-time through a virtual assistant enabled by the AI.
- Lower Cart Abandonment
In the world of eCommerce, the abandonment of the cart is relatively common. A surprising 70% of buyers leave their cart, which translates into almost 7 out of 10 buyers who leave their purchases completely after adding the required products to their cart. Although there may be many causes for this behavior, one thing is undeniably true: assistance can have a significant impact in the case of physical retail companies. By offering incentives and triggers at the appropriate times, conversational commerce helps customers to finish their transactions. Chatbots for human conversations to learn preferences, respond to product consultations, educate customers about the availability of actions, visit, pay, and delivery information, etc.
The abandonment of the cart can be approached effectively through conversational commerce, which reduces it by 20% to 30% by carefully placing incentives and triggers. For example, a virtual assistant can incite consumers to finish their purchase by sending them a reminder or discount coupon if they have left products in their cart. By giving customers a personalized experience, this strategy benefits both the customer and the company by improving the probability that sales will convert successfully.
- Conversational Commerce Builds Brand Loyalty
The conversation has great power in any relationship. Without conversation, you cannot build trust or exchange information. You cannot truly get to know another person without communicating with them.
According to Forrester, the value of human connection, emotions, empathy, and personalization are now more important than ever in a post-pandemic world. When people have a problem with a brand, they need to be able to trust them to help solve it. A simple acknowledgment gives them peace of mind when they place an order.
A higher level of empathy and interactive problem-solving are offered by conversational commerce. As empathy takes center stage, conversations will be a key driver of loyalty.
- Make Relevant & Authentic Information Easily Accessible
With the number of reviews available on various social media platforms for a single product, it’s easy for customers to form an opinion about any brand. The authenticity of such reviews and their sources are irrelevant to them. Instead, word-of-mouth advertising acts as an influencer for the brand. Today’s customers are more informed as they have a wealth of data at their disposal that influences their purchasing habits.
Virtual assistants work in multiple ways, not only to attract customers but also to retain them. They are the representatives of the brand and work to provide authentic feedback on the products. They can suggest which product would be a perfect fit for the requirements, what the possible alternatives are, and ultimately direct customers toward an actual purchase.
They are also equipped to sift through the many user reviews of a product and give visibility to the most helpful reviews. So, if you want your customers to learn about a product and you don’t want them to spend time reviewing information manually, your AI-powered virtual assistant will pick and match the relevant information, making sure the customer remains unbiased.
How Brands are Leveraging Conversational Commerce
Here, we’re going to explain how businesses are already taking advantage of conversational commerce. Let’s take a quick look!
According to an Accenture study, 91% of consumers are more willing to buy with brands that recognize them, offer them relevant offers, and make recommendations. A chatbot effectively assesses customer needs and then provides personalized advice, helping them move forward with their transaction.
It’s also a great way for businesses to cross-sell or up-sell. 49% of shoppers said they would likely buy more items if their online shopping experience was personalized, according to research.
Cross-Channel Experiences and Omnichannel Re-Onboarding
A typical online store can be found on a number of different platforms. The benefit of conversational commerce is that a customer can start a conversation with a brand on one platform and continue it through another.
The chatbot immediately picks up the discussion where it left off, ensuring continuous and seamless support in an omnichannel environment.
The inventory of a brand or online store is usually quite large. This often stumps the customer and makes the decision difficult. Brands can provide customers with a personalized shopping experience that simplifies and expedites decision-making through the use of chatbots and virtual assistants.
The customer can tell the bot what he is looking for and receive accurate product information based on his preferences. The chatbot or virtual assistant can also collect information about the customer’s buying habits, which can be used to provide targeted recommendations.
Through chatbots and virtual assistants, it provides customers with a personalized, accessible, and convenient shopping experience. These technological tools allow customers to find products and receive information anytime, anywhere without human assistance.
By reducing the workload on customer service representatives and streamlining the product discovery process, conversational commerce is revolutionizing the way brands approach customer engagement and product discovery.
Conversational commerce provides businesses with valuable customer insights and data, enabling them to identify potential pain points and make data-driven decisions to improve the transaction process. It allows companies to focus on the transaction and improve their efficiency.
Push notifications, sales updates, and order status updates can all be sent using messaging apps. Customer service representatives can now work on other time-sensitive essential tasks or problem areas.
You Should Invest in Conversational Commerce – But Why?
Let’s Get Ready For The Future!
For now, we have seen that conversational commerce brings many benefits for both parties. For consumers, it means a significant reduction in cognitive load and freedom from the need to make mundane decisions. Without the need to Google, browse, and randomly choose the goods and services we need from millions of proposals, we can have a more satisfying experience, free from the disappointment of bad purchases and much more time spent on something really important.
For businesses, the rise of conversational commerce will bring more meaningful interactions with customers whose positive conversational experiences keep them coming back for more.
If we will talk about the future, then Conversational commerce is not the future of retail businesses, it is PRESENT. It is ubiquitous and rapidly evolving. And for any retail business that wants to keep up, it is absolutely necessary to try to find the right conversational commerce solution for your particular needs. So if you ever need an efficient and transparent conversational solution that fits into your omnichannel marketing strategy, we at Quytech are ready to discuss it. Get in touch with us today!