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Conversational Commerce: How E-Commerce Chatbots are Revolutionizing Online Shopping

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Why are top e-commerce brands turning to conversational commerce? Results from personalization at scale no other digital marketing can offer.

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Over the last decade, e-commerce has been growing at an exponential rate. Projections indicate that in 2020, e-commerce sales will reach $4.13 trillion.

In addition to the traditional general merchant retailers, manufacturers are even dipping their toes into the world of e-commerce. Thanks to digital connectivity, it is now easier for producers to connect with the end-users of their products. As such, there has been an increase in the adoption of B2C (business to customer) and D2C (direct to consumer) models, and e-commerce is the main propellant.

Despite the growth and adoption of e-commerce by consumers, setting up an online shop for selling does not guarantee success. Competition for consumers’ attention is high, and it takes more than just great products to generate sales. A key component for e-commerce success is customer experience, which should begin from the very first touchpoint with a potential customer.

As opposed to customers walking into a store where they interact with sales staff and attendants, it can be challenging to provide personalized and more human interactions via e-commerce. However, it’s not impossible. When done right, the scale you can achieve is unlike anything an in-store retail shopping experience can offer. This is why so many e-commerce brands are turning to conversational commerce.

What Is Conversational Commerce?

In 2015, Chris Messina from Uber published an article on conversational commerce that has since brought to light its necessity in e-commerce. However, conversational commerce is not an entirely new concept. In fact, it has been used since the beginning of trade to drive sales and satisfy customers.

In e-commerce, conversational commerce can be described as the use of chatbots, AI-powered assistants and live representatives for brands and consumers to communicate directly one to one. Such interactions are somewhat similar to attendants dealing with customers at a physical store. They allow consumers to receive personalized help with their purchases, explore products and services on offer, and make transactions.
For consumers, conversational commerce makes it easy to learn about products and services, thus facilitating fast decision making. As a service provider, conversational commerce allows you to offer the kind of personalized service and advice that the modern-day consumer prefers, driving sales in a highly competitive digital marketing environment.

Why Is Conversational Commerce Essential?

From the onset, e-commerce has been heavily based on brand and consumer interactions via email. Capture an email address, send relevant offers, and convert subscribers into customers. Whereas it served its purpose, conversational commerce is now a much more powerful medium that promises to revolutionize brand to consumer interactions.

Despite being relatively new, conversational commerce is fast becoming a bare minimum requirement for e-commerce, rather than a luxury offering.

Here are some of the reasons to implement conversational commerce:
  • Enables two-way, personalized one to one communication. Brands can guide each customer individually, respond to their questions or concerns,and offer personalized solutions.
  • Stronger relationships with consumers that drive action. Through conversational interactions and personalized solutions, businesses can build stronger relationships with consumers that generate more value in the short and long term

Why are Conversational Chatbots the Future of Marketing?

One of the most popular methods for online brands to connect with consumers is via messaging. This necessitates the use of chatbots to be able to implement at scale in real-time. And now, chatbots can be leveraged on popular social channels like Facebook and Instagram, as well as across the Google Display Network through DV360 with conversational display ads.

Chatbots have, for the most part, typically been complicated to build and integrate with marketing channels. They’ve also relied on automated responses that are limited in addressing unique customer concerns.
However, conversational marketing platforms like Spectrm now make designing and optimizing chatbots accessible to marketers. No coding required. There are also natural language processing chatbots, which make truly conversational commerce a reality for brands. These advanced tools use machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to provide personalized user experiences. With a data-centric approach to interactions, they’re able to provide context-relevant responses to guide shoppers in real-time and help optimize customer experiences at scale.

To take it even further, bots can even help businesses develop their own brand-specific conversational AI. This enables them to better understand and respond to their customers’ unique needs and wants when it comes to interacting with, and buying from, their business.

How Chatbots are Revolutionizing e-Commerce

For e-commerce websites, chatbots offer great solutions to some of their key problems. Some of the ways store owners and consumer benefit include:

1. Improves Customer Experiences

Anything short of good customer satisfaction is suicidal in the modern era of business. One-third of Americans consider switching brands due to one instance of poor experience. To make matters worse, they share their poor experience with 15 people, compared to the 11 they tell about good experiences.

Having an interactive bot allows you to offer instant and personalized communication to your customers. From the very first touchpoint. The bot can guide shoppers in real-time and will recognize each customers’ unique intentions and provide a relevant response if needed. This ensures their concerns are not just adequately addressed but instantly addressed in the moment that matters most.

2. Helps Customers Resume the Buying Process

When doing their shopping, consumers compare different brands, and some may not be ready to make a purchase yet. As such, there will be many inquiries and page visits that will not materialize into sales immediately.
With a Conversational chatbot, you will be able to bring customers back to the buying process to complete the purchase. The bot will send personalized messages with product recommendations and even offer discounts to entice them. In doing so, you have an increased chance of generating income from what would have otherwise been lost prospects.

Optimize Your eCommerce Conversions

For non-techies, the idea of having a conversational bot is exciting, but the thought of actualizing it can be a little intimidating. Fortunately, it does not have to be so. With Spectrm, you have access to all the necessary tools to build highly intuitive chatbots for your marketing funnel, with Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities that help improve your bot easily over time.

You do not need coding skills to develop your own conversational e-commerce marketing chatbot. With Spectrm bots, you get:
  • Design conversation flows and funnels with rich interactive media in an intuitive conversation editor.
  • Detailed analytics on user engagement and A/B testing capabilities.
  • The ability to set conversational goals to track and improve bot engagement over time.
  • Access to conversational AI capable of handling complex queries specifically related to how customers engage with your brand.
  • Easily integrate product feeds for dynamic recommendations in chat.
  • Declared data and customer insights on what your customers actually want.
However, the primary benefit of using Spectrm for your conversational marketing is your bots ability to learn and evolve. With the analytics and capability to match complex conversations, your bot will become even better at guiding and converting customers, and responding to queries over time.

Enhance Your Social Media Marketing and Other Channels

With 3.5 billion users worldwide and counting, social media is one of the most powerful digital marketing tools. With a Spectrm chatbot, you can meet your audience on social media platforms, websites, and mobile apps to have personalized one on one conversations. More importantly, with Spectrm and Facebook Messenger, Instagram, or WhatsApp, you will engage them in their moment of highest intent, when they are ready to make a purchase.

Adapt or Lose The Customer Acquisition Race

Today, businesses must be agile and more receptive to change as any delays in adopting disruptive innovations can cause you to lose ground in your industry. Businesses that embrace conversational marketing chatbots early will benefit from increased conversions and customer loyalty, allowing them to grow faster.

Some of the companies that have benefited by as much as a 9x conversion lift from Spectrm bots include Telekom, Happy Socks, and Purple.

Are you ready to take your e-commerce marketing to the next level? Schedule a demo with Spectrm today to discuss your use case, learn more about its benefits, and how to reach your goals with conversational commerce.

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