Making Conversational Commerce Work For You

By 2020, 85% Of Customer Actions Will Be Managed Without A Human

Gartner, a leading technology research firm, predicts that by 2020, 85% of customer actions will be managed without a human. We all understand that chatbots and shopbots are increasing in prevalence, but do you appreciate the real magnitude of these numbers? If your business is consumer-facing and you are not already incorporating bot technology or actively looking at how you can add bots to improve your customer’s experience and your bottom line, you are missing out.


What Is Conversational Commerce?

Conversational commerce is essentially the intersection of messaging apps and consumer shopping. With conversational commerce, the idea is to utilize bots to encourage conversations with customers that motivate them to browse longer, find things easier and buy often. More and more consumers are interacting with businesses through messaging and chat apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa.

 

How Does Conversational Commerce Add to the Conversation?

For consumers the benefits of conversational commerce stack up. With messaging apps, they can contact customer support, get questions answered, receive personalized recommendations, and click to purchase - all directly from the app. With voice assistants, the consumer can request music or a podcast, search the Web, add to their shopping lists, and make online purchases all without picking up their phone or getting on their computer.


For businesses, the benefits are limitless. You can use chatbots and shopbots, the cornerstones of conversational commerce, for automating customer service messages, allow for consumer purchases directly from their messaging apps, and ultimately, interact with customers and potential customers in real time.

 

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Much of the recent software that has shown a meaningful impact have two aspects in common: large existing data sets and automation. The idea of software beginning to work for you is the next major step, and it is where savvy entrepreneurs, investors, and smart businesses are putting their time and money.

Get Ahead, Don’t Fall Behind

The majority of consumers are already familiarized with utilizing messaging apps for a variety of uses. It is clear that this technology is being rapidly adapted, too, and there are no signs that it is going away, only growing. Consumers are increasingly using chatbots and shopbots to find and select products and services and complete the payment process, all without calling, emailing, or even visiting a company’s website.

 

Each contact is being initiated through the messaging app. If your business is not utilizing this technology, you are missing out on a surging stream of customers.

Shopbot and chatbot technology will continue to improve with architecture and design evolving to the point that conversational commerce will become the standard for retail. Furthermore, beyond retail, there are numerous applications for chatbots and shopbots across nearly all business sectors.

When Implementing the New Tech Falls Flat

So many business leaders know that they need to add chatbot and shopbot technologies to their e-commerce but they aren’t sure where to start. Conversational commerce isn’t just a quick add-on to make sure your competitors are not outpacing you, rather it will be among the primary ways consumers will come to interact with your brand.

 

Utilizing this technology isn’t straightforward or seamless. With this in mind, you have to look at developing tech that works and not just grab off-the-shelf functionality that is bound to fall flat with your customers. Chatbots and shopbots can’t just deliver a user experience, they need to deliver a good user experience.

 

Implementing Bot Technology That Is Dynamic & Effective

It is possible to provide your customers with an engaging, helpful experience but that requires thought, planning and resources. Off-the-shelf software or one-size-fits-all products are likely to lead to a frustrating customer experience and, ultimately, failure.

 

Shopbots and chatbots are only as good as their programming

You need to choose the right platform for your specific needs and the platform your customers and potential customers are most likely to prefer. You need to decide which features are most important as it’s better to have a limited product that works well than one with lots of bells and whistles but rife with problems. For example, you can’t neglect important features like buying functionality that allow your customers to make purchases directly from the app.

 

Similarly, you need to sufficiently test before you go to market to ensure that your conversational commerce supports your brand rather than reflects poorly upon it. Feedback from actual customers can be invaluable, as they can pinpoint small modifications that improve interaction and user experience dramatically.

Finally, your application should be dynamic, allowing for changes as bot technology gets better and better. For instance, advancements in natural language processing (NLP) are making bots even better at conversation and tuning in to humans in a way that feels engaged, relevant and natural.

Use Shopbots & Chatbots to Improve Customer Experiences

Conversational commerce in the form of chatbots and shopbots can substantially improve customers’ experience in a multitude of ways. Consumers can:

  • Ask for support

  • Take advantage of deals

  • Make purchases

  • Access personalized shopping options

  • Create a size profile to further customize their experience and see only inventory that fits their criteria

  • Pre-purchase and pickup (like Subway and Starbucks), limiting interactions with store employees

  • Utilize easy customization of orders

  • Easy purchase of oft used products

  • Convenience of shopping from anywhere

  • Engage with favorite brands in a more casual setting

  • Have an experience that feels more personalized and connected

  • Get answers to FAQs

  • Find things fast when physically in a store

 

As bot technology continues to grow and bots learn from user behavior, conversational commerce will get better and better, offering users a seamless, intuitive, natural experience.

 

Use Chatbots & Shopbots to Improve Your Business

The benefits of chatbots and shopbots aren’t limited to just your customers, there are a multitude of advantages for your business and operations.

  • Be open and accessible to customers 24/7

  • Reduce the need for extraneous human staff, on-boarding, training and management costs

  • Free the employees you do have from repetitive, rote task work

  • Systemize interactions for more responsive, consistent, on-message, on-brand customer interactions

  • Record and analyze incoming customer data and track buying behavior

  • Improve your handling capacity with bots that can manage thousands of customers at once

  • Save money while increasing customer satisfaction

  • Foster brand loyalty by engaging your customers in meaningful ways

  • Capitalize on a growing alternate sales channel

  • Create a personalized experience for your customers, increasing brand awareness and loyalty

 

AI is Transforming Business - Don’t Get Left Behind!

Technology is moving faster than ever before. The rise of mobile messaging is exploding in popularity driving increasing demand for conversational commerce. Bot technology is getting exponentially better and has gone from a “we might need this” to “we absolutely need this.”

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Don’t delay plans for identifying how this technology can be used to grow and transform your business.

 

Here at Techsparq, we help companies across the globe compete in real time and prepare for the future today. To find out more about how bots will continue to evolve in the future or how you can make use of bots today, reach out.