The rate at which conversation has moved from the physical space to the virtual is exponential. And as more of our conversation moves online, it gives marketers the opportunity to endorse their products and services. Smartphones have provided people with an easy access to the world of social media. On such platforms, people connect with their family, friends, and colleagues. This offers marketers an outstanding opportunity to seamlessly join the conversation and receive an increased return on their investment.
The social media platforms that initially came up with the idea of connecting and bringing people together were later used by marketers for their word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. As more and more people are communicating via instant messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat, marketers have moved on to a more sophisticated form of marketing on social media, conversational commerce. The online channel of communication is preferred by the young people in general and millennials in particular. To know more about how to influence millennials, check out this blog.
It is no longer enough for brands to initiate conversation; they need to be an active participant in the conversation for it to have any lasting effect on people. Besides, the more brands engage with their audience in an organic way with transparency, the better chance they have at having a meaningful interaction with them. This idea of turning conversations from merely being about brands to making them more interactive and approachable is conversational commerce.
People now have various options at their disposal. They can chat with company representatives, ask questions, clarify doubts, have their queries addressed, get personalised recommendations and customer support, read reviews and purchase the products of their choice from within the messaging application. Conversational commerce thus engages people by interacting with them through a human representative, a chatbot, or a combination of both, thereby turning them into paying customers.
With the recent developments in the field of artificial intelligence, the idea of including conversational commerce as a marketing strategy is gaining traction. More businesses are experimenting with the use of chatbots. They are introducing chatbots to automate customer service and reduce time and costs. With chatbots, customers now have the ability to find, choose and buy a product without leaving the messaging app that they are using. Several businesses are now using Facebook Messenger to not only send the order confirmation, but also shipping and delivery notifications.
Conversational commerce… largely pertains to utilizing chat, messaging, or other natural language interfaces (i.e. voice) to interact with people, brands, or services and bots that heretofore have had no real place in the bidirectional, asynchronous messaging context
Chris Messina, Developer Experience Lead, Uber
Conversational commerce is not an abstract idea with no return on investment. “In the US, the bot provides users of instant messaging app Kik with make-up tips, provides them with reviews, and subsequently attempts to convert them into paying customers at the innovative cosmetics brand Sephora – that’s literally ‘conversational commerce’.”
There is a visible change in the mode of communication. More and more consumers are switching to different messaging apps for all forms of communication, personal, business or commerce. And rightly so; they find it easier to communicate via text. With that in mind, businesses are embracing chatbots and are also partnering up with chat companies “to make it simpler for customers to buy from them. Facebook Messenger, for example, has partnered with Uber to make it possible for customers to order an Uber driver without leaving the messaging app – the conversation. Amazon’s Echo – a voice-activated tool – has partnered with Capital One so that the bank’s customers can inquire about their balance, make a payment, or check recent transactions, all through Echo.”
SmatSocial’s SmatBot brings seamless user experience at your doorstep. It helps in generating leads by automatically interacting with your followers on social media and websites. SmatBot also helps you convert visitors into customers by chatting with them. It recommends products and services based on the preference of your followers. Through its SmatBot webhooks, it also answers questions for you and enables you to automate the lead follow-up like quotation generation, relevant recommendation through email or text message, uploading to CRMs. You can learn more about SmatBot here.
Conversational commerce makes it easier for people to gather information and make purchases. They no longer need to shift between several apps and websites – no matter how seamless the latest smartphones have made this task, it is still tedious. Conversational commerce condenses all the services offered by a website into one simple chat while providing the experience of shopping at the store itself.
Increase your productivity with the SmatSocial. The AI-powered social media manager allows you to schedule, publish, monitor conversations from anywhere, and convert leads through conversations.