Consumer expectations are constantly changing. In this day and age, it’s safe to say that when it comes to keeping in touch with a target audience, brands are more advanced than ever before.
The expectations consumers now have of speed and convenience have forced brands to become more innovative. This has led to the development of what is known as Conversational Commerce or cCommerce.
cCommerce refers to the way that brands and businesses interact with their customers beyond just well-placed advertisements. It’s a new level of interaction that’s giving brands opportunities to connect with clients and provides them with the instant gratification of having their questions or queries answered - right then and there.
The term “conversational commerce” was first coined by Chris Messina of Uber in 2015. He published a short piece on Medium, and in it, he discussed breakthroughs in adding an element of conversation to a customer’s experience.
In the article, Messina defined the term as:
“Delivering convenience, personalization, and decision support while people are on the go, with only partial attention to spare.”
It’s very likely that most people have already had countless cCommerce experiences. Brands interact with customers by using chatbots, social media platforms, and the smart voice devices we find on our phones, and in our homes and cars.
Essentially, what brands are now doing is communicating with customers through live representatives and AI assistants. This helps customers explore offerings, have their questions answered faster, and have instant access to any help or services they may need when browsing a site or completing an online purchase.
cCommerce makes it so much easier for consumers to find information about the products they care about, and it helps them make more informed decisions about whether or not to buy them.
Furthermore, for brands, it provides an opportunity to allow consumers to experience instant, personalized feedback, which immediately makes both brands and consumers feel more connected to each other.
For quite some time already, personalization and convenience have been two of the biggest perks enjoyed by direct to consumer brands.
Today’s customers don’t want to waste their time on an automated telephone menu or emailing a business and waiting for a response.
Designing a user experience that offers a casual conversation is beginning to gain traction in a big way. By making these conversations seem as authentic as possible, brands will be able to set themselves apart from those that continue to rely on slower, outdated means of communication.
Here are a few examples of why brands are managing to drive sales through cCommerce:
One of the most effective ways brands use cCommerce is by making the first move – they approach the customer instead of the other way around.
For example, many sites launch a popup chat as soon as a potential customer opens their page. This is simple but effective. During business hours, all questions and queries can be handled by employees in real-time. However, should a customer message the business after hours, a bot can be set up to handle simple questions and requests.
Online customers often begin shopping and add products to their carts, only to abandon them a few minutes into their browsing. As a means of driving sales and reducing abandoned carts, brands have now started sending customers with incomplete order recovery emails and messages.
These messages include links to the customer’s checkout page, making it much easier to complete the transaction. With this feature, customers won’t have to go through the process of putting everything back in the cart again, should they wish to follow through with their order.
Conversational commerce also goes a long way in creating a positive user experience for customers. It has become much easier for brands to generate a sense of goodwill with clients, as cCommerce allows for a personal feel.
Bots can handle questions and queries to a point, as long as they are quite simple and straightforward. Doing so gives customers a sense of faith in the brand, which in turn generates leads and sales. Brands that rely on cCommerce redirect more complex or complicated queries to humans, which naturally goes a long way in making customers feel valued and supported.
As the market shifts, so do consumer expectations. Consumers have shown that they are relying increasingly on cCommerce. Being able to contact a brand by sending a quick message is just as simple as sending a text to a friend.
The more convenient it is to contact the brand, the more likely consumers will purchase items from them. They may even do so repeatedly, and refer their friends, family, or colleagues.
Guided shopping and having an assistant on standby to help answer any queries goes a long way in building trust between the brand and consumer.
While the market has shifted and technological advancements have become a bigger part of our overall shopping experience, one thing has remained the same throughout. A trusted brand is one that drives conversions and retention, as customers feel comfortable with the systems in place and the service they receive.
With online shopping being one of the most popular internet-based activities globally, brands need to use whatever tools possible to get ahead. cCommerce has become more than a buzzword; it’s a game-changer in the marketing industry. If you’re not already on board with it, now is the time to make the move.
Addison is a content writer and editor where she writes about all things software related, including AI and CRM-related topics as well as a few other categories. When she’s not writing she loves curling up in her papasan chair with a glass of wine and Nintendo Switch in hand.