Marketers need new strategies. But in a noisy marketplace where channels are in decline, old tactics are no longer working, and customer preferences change rapidly, is there really a new way to engage and convert delight customers?
There is, and it’s through one-to-one conversations with customers on the messaging apps they use every day.
Our recent report on “The State of Social Conversational Commerce: 2022” surveyed over 1700 consumers in the EU and the US to learn more about their experiences with messaging brands and the value and benefits one-to-one conversations bring.
What can marketers do to create or strengthen their conversational commerce strategy?
The State of Social Conversational Commerce
The consumers we surveyed for our report told us the following about their experiences messaging with brands:
- Messaging is the primary way they want to communicate with a brand.
- 53% of EU respondents and 43% of US respondents have clicked on a Click to Messenger ad.
- Nearly three-quarters of respondents have had a positive experience while messaging with a brand.
- Those who had a negative experience messaging attribute it to a slow response, or no response at all.
- Over three-quarters would be comfortable giving preferences to a brand.
Overall, great experiences with messaging have a direct impact on brand affinity and sales. Customers were clear in their responses: they enjoy messaging with brands because it’s fast and convenient for them. Because of those positive experiences, consumers say they’re more inclined to interact with and make purchases from a company that offers messaging.
However, the opposite is also true: negative experiences with messaging have a direct impact on brand affinity and sales as well. Consumers who had a negative experience with messaging, where the brand took too long to reply or never replied at all, said that the experience made them less likely to purchase from that brand in the future. They’ve even abandoned purchases when brands took too long to respond to a message, actively resulting in lost sales, lower retention, and less brand loyalty.
Steps to Better Conversational Commerce for Marketers
Positive one-to-one conversations with brands via messaging leads to more customer engagement, higher loyalty, and more sales. Here are a few ways marketers can strengthen their conversational commerce program to start better engaging with customers today.
Make one-to-one messaging a primary marketing focus.
As consumers have told us, they enjoy messaging with brands, and prefer it to other channels. Messaging engages them in a conversation in a privacy-first manner, and results in higher conversion rates and more sales. In a time when the return on all other marketing channels are declining, marketers can turn to this new channel and focus efforts on building their one-to-one messaging strategy on the social media and messaging apps consumers use each day. One-to-one messaging not only makes it easy for customers to interact with you, but it lets you stand out from other brands with a more engaging strategy and open a direct retargeting channel where you can act on the data you collect.
Use chatbots to scale messaging and provide more positive experiences.
While one-to-one messaging can be an engaging and successful approach, it can’t always be done through live agents. That’s why brands looking to find success with messaging can only do it at scale with chatbots. Using a conversational AI platform and great conversation design, chatbots can be designed with a personality, and the more conversations it has, the better it will be at guiding your customers through questions to get them to the products they want. Automated chatbots also means that your brand is “always on” and can respond to customers when they want to engage.
Gather declared data collection through messaging.
Finally, with increased privacy regulations – like GDPR and CCPA, operating system privacy updates like iOS 14, and third party cookie blocking browers – marketers need new approaches to gathering information about their customers. Zero-party and first-party data that’s collected through those conversations is yours to use to improve chatbot conversations and offer a more personalized experience to your customers. As those surveyed told us, they’re more inclined to offer information about themselves if it will be used to improve their experience.
Marketing’s Future is Conversational Commerce
Marketers need new strategies, and that new way forward is through automated one-to-one conversations via messaging with your customers. Focusing on conversational commerce will not only let you stand out from competitors continuing to do the same things. It will give your customers what they want: messaging with the brands they love.