Conversational Commerce: if you’re not buying, then our algorithms are just not good enough… That’s why we are still working on them!
0. Before we start
To begin with, let’s define what conversational commerce is all about: it’s a kind of commerce that is done via various means of conversation. Sounds simple, right? Chatbots on messaging apps or websites and voice assistant using speech recognition, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence — they all contribute to an exciting shift in the world of tech and business.
Conversational Systems in eCommerce are intelligent machines that can hold a written or verbal conversation with a customer. Their use is aimed at improving customer experience by steering interaction.
Consequently, eCommerce is one of the most customer-facing industries where direct personal experiences and social conversations define brand value. It is an automated technology, powered by rules and artificial intelligence, that enables online shoppers and brands to interact with one another via chat and voice interfaces.
1. Bots know the user better than he knows himself
The first inclination of most people when they want to talk to a friend or a family member is to text them. It’s crazy this hasn’t come to businesses yet!
Conversational commerce is bringing commerce into the familiar and personal context of messaging apps, transforming the customer experience by making it a whole lot more convenient for both businesses and their customers alike.
In fact, for business, it’s typically more challenging to provide customer service via AI as there is a larger number of use cases than in straightforward ordering. Businesses are going to have to reimagine what their customer relationships look like from this new perspective, when setting up a conversational business.
While conversational commerce is quite similar to the in-store retail experience, it’s not exactly the same. It’s a quick interaction (a logged cadence of product-related questions) rather than an extended conversation that’s so typical when it comes to human-to-human talkativeness. Moreover, one will inevitably conclude that it’s fast and it’s getting even faster!
2. Bots use this knowledge to sell goods in a perfect way
Conversational Systems are everywhere — it’s not just about Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant. They’re embedded in our phones, applications, voice assistants, business chatbots, and even cars. Among consumers who use voice AI, like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, 51 percent use them for product research and nearly a quarter use them to make a purchase. Now consider that more than half of all US residents will actively use mobile messaging apps by 2022, and you can start to realize where e-commerce is headed.
Chatbots are becoming an important touchpoint for customer experience: the user experience, the layout, the tone of voice and the approach (formal or informal) are the key elements for chatbot success.
Conversational experiences can add value to every part of the customer’s journey, ranging from when the customer makes the first order to answering a product-related question instantly.
Conversational commerce enables two-way communication with the customer. There are numerous use cases that retailers are waiting to incorporate and that can help them to draw potential customers, increase sales, upsell and cross-sell, make informed decisions, deliver personalized experiences, and, last but not least, to improve customer satisfaction!
3. Conversion rate is crazy because you’re selling in the dialog
People have been using conversation to drive sales and make customers happy since humans first began trading.
However, what is new to conversational commerce is that it is powerful not only because it makes the automated interactions between the brand and the consumer feel so much more human, but because it reduces the number of steps the customer has to take to complete the action.
According to some reports, stores using conversational commerce in the right way increase annual revenue by 7 to 25%. 47% of users are open to purchasing items through a chatbot. 71% of users are willing to receive customer service through a messaging app. On average, users are willing to spend more than $55 on chatbot purchases.
What’s more, a report by Gartner predicts that by 2020 more than 85% of customer interactions will be managed by AI without human involvement.
Human-centered design is an approach aimed at creating “experience systems”, by humanizing processes and exploiting advanced technology. Personality by design is an approach to chatbot personality through the design of interaction styles, by humanizing customer touchpoints and user experiences.
Conversational commerce allows businesses and brands to interact and nurture customers during their buying journey by offering them personalized assistance and recommendations while establishing long-term relationships.
4. Success Secrets of Conversational Commerce
There are several essential success secrets of conversational commerce that one will need to know in order to start and run an eCommerce business:
1. Nobody likes bot’s, for real. Customers talk to bots like they are humans
When bot says ‘Hi,’ people say hello back. People engage in that conversational manner — no matter what platform you use, Facebook Messenger or Instagram Direct,
2. Choose risk or rational way: Make it crystal clear when the customer is talking to a bot — or blame yourself.
You should choose, allow people to understand when they’re speaking to a bot vs speaking to a human as early learning. Risk way can really confuse people — customers want to know the truth.
3. AI intent recognition and NLP-support surely face certain challenges but create opportunities as well
Business can then use the data to make the transaction more frictionless and just much easier and much more enjoyable. But on any of the early stages or while learning misunderstanding customers is going to be a serious challenge.
4. Conversational commerce is not about only text. Use visual as well!
Chatbots have many features, not only text or emoji. By using CRM and flows businesses are able to re-use mostly the same flows and dialog. Product images, video, links, and other visual information can also be presented to the user.
5. Yes, Conversational commerce is a new hype. As any new technology
Be where your customers are. That’s long been the first rule of survival for any business. Every day billions of people turn on their phones and computers to access Messenger, WeChat, Slack and other platforms to connect.
And all these consumers never want the same thing, they always want something new. Considering this, using conversational commerce you will most likely have a consistent experience in the eCommerce business and moreover, you can have that experience at scale. That’s a great opportunity that isn’t there to be wasted.
To wrap it all up, conversational commerce is, beyond any doubts, an extraordinarily exciting shift in the world of tech and business.
5. Benefits of Conversational Business Systems in eCommerce
1. Quick Results and Easy Implementation
The amount of time saved is meaningful and provides a better user experience.
2. Accurate and Scalable Results
Chatbot assistants can provide timely, accurate, and tailored experiences in many instances, especially customer service in eCommerce. Ease of scale and adaption with low costs/automatic responses.
3. Facilitate User Engagement and Positive User Experience
Meet your customers on their terms and make it easier for them to engage with you. Yes, that’s right — you need to make your customers and employees feel happy, isn’t that so?
Conversational Business Systems have enough power to redefine the way your business operates. I’ve run ROI analyses across different industries and business functions — and the sheer potential is incredible. More people have this long-awaited chance to dedicate time to tasks they enjoy while the machines handle more arduous ones.
6. How to start with Conversational Commerce: BRAIN
With this in mind, BRAIN has defined a new, Conversational Commerce Platform BRN.AI, in which chatbots are built according to the basic principles of closed domain Conversational Systems.
Conversational Commerce System will bring your eCommerce Business into the familiar and personal context of messaging apps, transforming customer experience by making it a whole lot more convenient for both businesses and their customers alike.
If you’re looking for it on a distant horizon, you’re looking the wrong way since the era of conversational commerce is already here.
Conversational Commerce: if you’re not buying, then our algorithms are just not good enough was originally published in Chatbots Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.