For increasingly privacy-centric consumers, consolidating their interactions with a brand into one conversation thread can be an appealing prospect.
“If I were able to have a private one-to-one thread with a brand where everything is happening — right from me discovering the brand to me getting inspiration and recommendations to making the purchase to receiving order confirmation, to getting loyalty offers, getting upsell offers that are most relevant to me — why would I go somewhere else?” says Ränke.
“If I have that messaging thread at my fingertips I can always just message the brand like I would a friend or family member,” adds Ränke. “So why would I go through the hassle of creating different accounts on the website or clicking through different ads and landing pages instead of just having this in this one-to-one thread with the brand where I know everything is tailored to me personally?”
By tailoring the experience to the customer, the direct-message shopping experience even improves on the in-store model.
Conversational commerce takes the personal, in-store experience of a one-to-one dialogue and moves it to a digital platform, helping build lasting relationships between the customer and the brand. But unlike traditional one-to-one experiences, conversational commerce can achieve a level of scale that is not possible in brick-and-mortar retail — enabling brands to unlock data and insights they can use to optimize customer journeys or personalize experiences.
“If you think about traditional store retailing, at best you were left to the conversations of the frontline employee to get insights about your customers,” says Walton. “By communicating via DM, you get an exact sense of what people are shopping for. You can provide assistive experiences within that conversation, you can provide follow-up information or up-sell ideas at a scale you can’t achieve in-store. All kinds of different value can flow out of that.”
Communicating via DM also improves on traditional e-commerce. By gathering preference information and understanding customers’ intents with conversational AI, for example, brands can better meet those customers’ needs and expectations. They can personalize offers at high intent moments. Rather than chasing customers around the internet, retargeting them with generic ads, they can act on that customer data to personally engage them with the right message, at the right time.