Here’s your ultimate guide on how to choose the right conversational commerce platform for your business.
How close are you to achieving your marketing goals?
If your answer is far, you’re not alone. The easy days of digital marketing are over.
These days, customers expect instant, effortless, and personalized interactions with brands on the digital channels they already are. They also want to feel safe when shopping online and are increasingly concerned about being tracked across sites. This shift towards a privacy-first world has made online marketing, especially conversion tracking and targeting, more difficult.
So it’s time for marketers to step up their game and embrace a new, privacy-first, and messaging-first world. They need to offer next-level shopping experiences and build deeper connections with customers via conversations.
Did you know that 67% of people prefer to message a business rather than speak to a person? Also, 55% say that being able to message a brand helps them feel more personally connected.
Still, brands are yet to make the most of the messaging revolution. And this is where conversational commerce makes a real difference.
And most importantly, it empowers customers to interact with brands as easily as messaging their friends and family.
We know. It can feel daunting to survive, let alone thrive, in our accelerated commerce landscape. But the numbers never lie: conversational technology is on the rise, and it’s only set to grow further in the upcoming years.
This is why you’re here, looking for the right conversational commerce platform for your business.
This post will look at the most important factors you should consider when choosing a conversational commerce platform in 2022. We’ll discuss each factor in detail, giving you pro tips before you make an important long term software decision for your business.
Table of Contents
- Easy to Deploy, Customizable Chatbots
- The Ability to Deploy Chatbots on Multiple Channels
- Conversational Commerce Platforms Must Be Built for Marketing Use Cases
- Conversational AI to Guide Customers Through the Commerce Journey
- Direct Message and FAQ Automation
- Declared Data and Customer Insights to Improve Audience Value
- Integration with External Platforms and Digital Channels
- Safe, Privacy-First Customer Interactions
- Support and Training
- The Right Platform for the Job
Conversational Commerce Platform With Easy to deploy, Customizable Chatbots
Chatbots are nothing new to the commerce industry. 1.4 billion people are currently using chatbots. Furthermore, the projected value of e-commerce transactions through chatbots by 2023 will be $112 billion.
Chatbots offer endless benefits for brands, moving prospects from discovery to consideration and action in one conversation.
But the idea of designing and launching your chatbot might seem like a real struggle. The good news is that it’s a lot faster and easier than you might think. Especially, if you choose the right platform. What you’ll have to look for is an easy to deploy solution that doesn’t require any coding.
What makes a chatbot easy to deploy?
- An intuitive conversation design interface anyone can use without any coding skills.
- Easy to understand conversation paths and branches that make designing a conversation as easy as chatting with friends.
- Dynamic, one click product feed integrations that allow businesses to inject a carousel of product images, titles and descriptions directly into a real-time chat with your customer.
- The ability to seamlessly trigger actions in the chatbot to connect your marketing stack and other systems.
- A modern interface that supports memes, GIFs, images, emojis, and other fun content to spice up your product recommendations.
Still, you might wonder: is it possible to deploy a chatbot without coding? The answer is yes.
As your marketing team probably doesn’t have any coding skills, don’t make them rely on engineers for every small change. Instead, enable them to quickly iterate, A/B test, and improve the bots to reach the best possible results.
Many solutions on the market, including Spectrm, require zero coding. As such, any marketing team can have their custom chatbot launched on a messaging channel in 2-4 weeks without getting the IT team involved.
Check out how Happy Socks launched their bot from concept to success only in 4 weeks!
The Ability to Deploy Chatbots on Multiple Channels
Customers spend time on multiple channels, and they expect to be able to switch between them as they want to. When they reach out to a brand, they don’t make phone calls anymore. They reach out via chatting. On their preferred channels.
You want to reach customers on all the channels they use for messaging. But you don’t want to build chatbots multiple times or use different platforms at the same time.
You want to build your chatbot once and deploy it on all the channels your customers use. So, make sure the conversational marketing platform you choose integrates with all the major messaging platforms. Make sure it’s easy to duplicate conversations to new channels. And make sure the platform has validation for message types on each different channel so your messages are accurately delivered.
Here are the top 5 channels you want to ensure your conversational commerce platform integrates with.
On Facebook Messenger, you can connect with 1.3 billion customers. On Instagram, 150 million people have a conversation with a business every month. WhatsApp has 2 billion active users monthly.
You can direct customers from ads to one-to-one conversations. Get to know their preferences and guide them through a hyper-personalized buyer journey.
93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine. Google’s Business Messages is one of the latest conversational channels, combining organic search, websites, and Google Maps for a seamless cross-channel experience.
Through conversational display ads on Google DV360, you can reach up to 90% of internet users through Google’s extensive display networks on desktop and mobile devices.
These social, search, and display channels for conversational commerce are clearly a marketing gold mine, so if you haven’t started to leverage them, now is the time. Just imagine how many potential customers you’re about to lose if your platform doesn’t integrate with these channels.
Spectrm supports all the above mentioned channels. Through its multichannel approach, businesses can extend their audience and convert more leads. They can deliver dynamic product recommendations and answer FAQs in real-time. Respond with helpful information when prospects show buying intent. Best of all, customers can easily connect with brands when it matters to them. And they can do it on the channels they prefer.
Conversational Commerce Platforms Must Be Built for Marketing Use Cases
You might have heard it before, but it’s worth repeating. The true potential of chatbots lies in marketing use cases.
E-commerce is growing at a tremendous rate and it’s not showing signs of slowing down. The global e-commerce market is forecasted to hit 6 trillion in 2022.
This extensive growth in e-commerce means massive competition for brands. As opposed to customers walking into a store where they can directly interact with sales staff, it can be challenging to provide personalized and more human interactions via e-commerce. But it’s not impossible.
Brands need to stand out from the crowd and attain a competitive advantage over competitors. One of the trends in e-commerce is using conversational chatbots to convert customers on social channels. These chatbots can recommend products and gain valuable customer insights without the user ever visiting the website. This personalization improves the shopping experience and increases customer satisfaction while driving sales and improving ROI.
Spectrm’s conversational marketing platform has been specifically designed for marketing use cases, setting it apart from many other platforms out there. Let’s see some of these use cases below:
Guided Shopping for Valentine’s Day
Happy Socks, a Swedish Fashion & Apparel brand, knew that consumers are loyal to brands that understand their specific wants and needs. As such, they designed and launched a gift finder AI chatbot built with Spectrm for guided shopping. The guided shopping bot helped customers find the perfect gift for a loved one during Valentine’s Day. As such, customers were able to easily navigate 300 different sock styles to find the perfect pair.
What result did they manage to achieve? Happy Socks was able to engage customers at scale and nurture personal connections. The chatbot helped the brand increase revenue by 20% and achieve a 3.3x return on ad spend. Read the success story here!
Live Shopping Event to Multiply Social Engagement
A leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle, wanted to improve its digital shopping experiences while multiplying social engagement and driving sales. The company launched a conversational commerce experience built with Spectrm that reached out to prospects during a live shopping event. Using the bot, they managed to grow a high value audience that is directly reachable with messaging. The event turned out to be a great success as 64% of the comments left in the chat were shopping requests from prospects. The company also reached a 3.2x incremental ROAS and +5pts awareness uplift among Gen Z, which is above the norm.
Deichmann Messenger Chatbot Personalizes Product Recommendations
Finding the right shoes can be overwhelming, with often too many options available. Especially from a product catalog the size of Deichmann’s, who sold over 183 million pairs in 2019 alone. That is why the company launched an eCommerce chatbot on Facebook Messenger that personalizes shoe recommendations for shoppers.
After clicking a click to Messenger ad on Facebook and Instagram, shoppers were asked a few simple questions about their shoe preferences. Using Spectrm’s eCommerce product feed integration and dynamic product recommendations in chat, Deichmann was able to easily recommend the most relevant products that convert. Check out here what other results Deichmann achieved with Spectrm!
Conversational AI to Guide Customers Through the Commerce Journey
Your brand has its own language. Understanding what your customers want in any context and always responding intelligently can make or break your business.
That’s why you need unique conversational AI.
With conversational AI, you can train your bot by combining powerful machine learning with natural language processing (NLP). That is why we believe that choosing a conversational marketing platform fueled by AI will be a real game-changer for your business.
So, now you know that conversational AI is the secret sauce to chatbots.
Still, you might wonder. Why do most chatbots have a reputation for providing an inefficient and frustrating customer experience?
The problem with basic chatbots is that they can only leverage basic decision trees. They don’t collect declared customer data and they don’t help you deeply understand customer intent. As such, they are unable to offer personalized customer experiences.
In the end, all of these can result in poor experiences when customers diverge from the scripted path. Leveraging AI-powered conversational chatbots will help you avoid that.
AI-powered marketing chatbots are fueled by domain-specific natural language processing. They focus on purchase intent and guide customers through a conversion journey. They extract entities from the conversation to achieve this. Entities, such as “sneakers” and “Adidas.” These entities can even be filtered down by size, color, and other attributes to suggest the most relevant products from a catalog to the customer. The chatbot is capable of following up with missing information, such as a sizing guide, and asking if they’d like to keep browsing. Impressive, isn’t it?
This is why all chatbots built with Spectrm’s conversational commerce platform are fueled with domain-specific NLP. This helps the chatbot learn how your specific customers speak. It’s unique to your brand, audience, and goals unlike what most out-of-the-box NLP solutions are capable of.
Direct Message and FAQ Automation
No conversational commerce platform is complete without the ability to instantly reply to incoming direct messages from your customers and automate FAQs.
Did you know that 70% of incoming messages on social are pre-purchase? Still, companies often ignore their direct message box on social media.
We know that handling all social messages manually takes a lot of time and effort. But what if you could automate your messaging with chatbots?
Automating your direct messages will ensure you don’t ghost customers. You can offer a fully automated guided shopping experience. You can retarget customers with automated remarketing campaigns. You can automate FAQs to educate customers about products and services. You can reach customers at scale.
With an automated customer journey, you can guarantee 24/7 availability to your customers. You can engage them in real-time, as opposed to 85% of brands that do not respond to requests in 5 minutes.
The best thing about direct message automation is that you can send messages to customers at the moment they’re most likely to make a purchase. To support this with data, 80% of consumers who used a chatbot for making a purchase would do it again. That’s quite convincing, right?
Declared Data and Customer Insights to Improve Audience Value
Privacy updates are reshaping the digital marketing landscape. Due to regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), collecting data has become more challenging.
But businesses can’t afford to lose data. As customers expect personalized experiences, relying on customer insights is now more important than ever. Given these changes, how can marketers better understand their audience?
With declared data and valuable customer insights. Collected by marketing chatbots through one-to-one conversations.
Conversational commerce is a creative way to capture customer insights at a time when data is becoming more and more protected. Chatbot conversations are a gold mine of declared data: this is the information customers share with the bots directly in the conversations.
Using customer insights from bot conversations, Spectrm helps brands build a strategic audience that they can continuously monetize via messaging. One-to-one conversations simplify the often messy and not easily trackable customer journeys. In fact, with a marketing chatbot, it’s easy to track every interaction as all insights are at the same place.
What’s even better is that since these conversations are one-to-one, customers are more comfortable sharing data with businesses. And businesses can later leverage these data to better understand their audience and optimize the customer journey based on their preferences.
For example, you can segment and retarget customers directly in Messenger or WhatsApp, using the data they share with you in a conversation. You can then automate personalized follow-up messages based on the insights. The result? 10x higher engagement than email.
To maximize your ROI, your conversational commerce platform must have a solution to automate messaging re-engagement campaigns. It should be able to help you build hyper-specific audience segments based on declared data captured in chat directly from your customers. It should also enable you to use that declared data and other chat-based events as triggers to automate re-engagement campaigns.
Integration with External Platforms and Digital Channels
There are few companies around the world where day-to-day business, customer service, sales, and marketing can be solved using a single system. However, using several systems at the same time that are not integrated might result in messy processes and duplicated data.
That is why we always recommend choosing a conversational commerce platform that can be integrated with external systems and digital channels.
We also believe in this trend and consider it vital to integrate our platform with external systems. That’s why Spectrm’s platform can be integrated with a number of systems, including Zendesk, Zapier, Google Analytics, and many more.
Besides external customer service and live agent platforms, Spectrm integrates with the world’s most popular messaging channels, including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp Business, Instagram DM, Google’s Business Messages, and AdLingo.
Safe, Privacy-First Customer Interactions
The last few years have seen a strong shift towards a privacy-first world. Customers want to feel safe when shopping online. This means they don’t want to be tracked across sites, apps, and have their data sold to other businesses.
Recent privacy updates, such as Apple’s iOS 14 updates and third-party cookie deprecation in browsers, make it challenging to track events and attribute conversions for digital marketing. As a marketer, you know what this means for businesses: broader, less accurate audiences for remarketing and prospecting. Less efficient campaigns and higher customer acquisition costs.
One solution to overcome this challenge is to choose a platform that allows you to collect, and act on, declared data.
Declared data is information volunteered by customers in a direct interaction between the customer and the brand, rather than purchased from or accessed through a third party.
Conversational marketing chatbots are one of the best channels to collect declared data as they enable two-way, personalized interactions, encouraging consumers to share valuable zero-party data with brands. Bots learn customer preferences in real-time conversations, and these insights can be later used to better understand and target prospects with personalized offers.
By leveraging declared data, marketing chatbots built with Spectrm can effectively retarget customers and provide them the right offer, based on their preference and budget. Messaging as a retargeting channel is the world’s most effective re-engagement channel.
To support this with data, open rates on Facebook Messenger are around 80%, while CTRs are 30% for Messenger retargeting messages. Definitely a big increase compared to email, which averages only 20% open rates.
Support and Training
Setting up the right conversational marketing platform and launching your first chatbot is a great start. But your job isn’t done here. Optimizing your bot and elevating your campaigns’ performance is also an essential part of long term success in conversational commerce.
Luckily, you don’t have to do it all alone.
Implementation support, white glove onboarding, and ongoing customer success is critical for your enterprise to get fast time to market and sustainable success. When looking for the right conversational commerce platform, make sure to choose one that has a dedicated customer success team.
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Launching your first chatbot is a great milestone for sure, but the real work starts after. Reporting on KPIs, running A/B tests, and optimizing your bot are key to successful results.
A dedicated account team provides industry expertise, authenticity, and consistency. Customer success managers often have the most valuable industry knowledge around, and they are ready to share it with you.
They can use their experience to help you overcome specific challenges and make suggestions for improving your bot’s performance. They can help you analyze your data and optimize your bot accordingly. They can assist you in crafting converting chatbot conversations.
A goal of such services is to maintain the successful and long-term operation of the chatbots and help improve the overall customer experience.
So, don’t settle with a company that only sells you a software solution. Choose a conversational commerce platform that also offers ongoing support.
Spectrm is more than just a simple marketing chatbot development company. After the setup and training period, our dedicated customer success team continues to offer ongoing support as required. Using their extensive experience in digital marketing, they can help you optimize your bots and boost your performance.
Furthermore, if you’re really struggling with in-house resources, our conversational designers will help you create brand-specific conversations that convert.
As one of the leading conversational commerce platforms out there, we have seen many use cases and helped major commerce companies, such as Bosch, Deichmann, and Ford. Check out our case study library for the latest success stories!
The Right Platform for the Job
For years, the commerce landscape has experienced steady growth. This extensive growth means massive competition for brands. Marketers need to come up with new strategies to stand out from the competition and win customers’ attention.
Why is conversational marketing so powerful in commerce? Because it’s customer-first, messaging-first, and privacy-first. It enables businesses to create fully automated, personalized one-to-one conversations.
It also empowers customers to interact with brands as easily as messaging their friends and family. It’s instant, effortless, and seamless. That is why your business needs to adopt it (if you haven’t already done that).
A reliable conversational commerce platform will be your best partner in creating one-to-one conversations with customers. When looking for the right platform for your business, make sure to choose one that comes with:
- Easy-to-deploy, customizable chatbots
- The ability to deploy chatbots on multiple channels
- Chatbots specifically designed for marketing use cases
- Conversational AI capabilities
- Declared data and customer insights
- Integration possibilities
- A privacy-first approach
- A dedicated customer success team
With eCommerce and social commerce all fuelling the rise of conversational commerce, now is the time to invest in the right conversational commerce platform.
Book a demo with one of our conversational marketing experts to learn how Spectrm’s conversational commerce platform can help you grow your commerce brand at scale!
What is a conversational commerce platform?
A conversational commerce platform is a software solution that enables customers to build automated chatbots and launch them on messaging apps.
A conversational marketing platform allows your company to:
- Sell more by capturing declared data to recommend products and personalize customer journeys in real-time.
- Launch fast by designing chatbots and integrating different marketing channels in a few clicks. No coding required.
- Optimize your marketing funnel and conversion rates using data on how customers engage with your chatbot.
- Retarget drop-offs by automating retargeting messages in chat that get 80% open rates on average.
- Develop unique conversational AI that understands your customers’ specific intents in natural conversation. Without needing any engineering resources.
What is conversational commerce?
Conversational commerce, also known as conversational marketing, refers to the intersection of messaging apps and shopping. It is a one to one approach to marketing that brands use to fast-track customers to purchase by learning about their preferences and personalizing their customer journey in a real-time conversation. Conversational commerce is a customer centric approach to marketing automation that uses chatbots to engage and convert customers in conversation, at scale, on their preferred channels and at their preferred time.
What are the benefits of conversational commerce?
By connecting with customers one to one in a more human way, conversational commerce enables companies to leverage automation to build stronger customer relationships and drive more sales.
Conversational marketing stands in contrast to one-way, one-to-many approaches to marketing that rely on assumptions about what customers want and push the same message to every individual. Instead, conversational commerce is a feedback-driven, two-way process that personalizes every message based on what your customers tell you they actually want.
Find out why conversational marketing is so effective at engaging and converting your audience by reading Why Go Conversational.
What is a conversational marketing strategy?
Choosing a conversational marketing strategy depends on how well you know your audience.
- Identify the messaging channels where they already are, and start building an audience
- Launch automated chatbot experiences on these messaging channels to engage your prospects
- Ask questions, get to know them better, and start collecting the zero party data they share with you
- Based on the data, target them with relevant offers that are personalized based on their preferences. Personalized offers will encourage them to move further down the sales funnel
- Re-engage them with regular updates and recurring notifications on the topics they’re interested in.