By: Owen Hawver
As we know, digital technology has rapidly evolved the ways in which we both work and live. Something that everyone participates in one way or another, is shopping. With the COVID-19 pandemic aiding the rapid expansion of e-commerce, nearly everyone has had experiences communicating with one another online to facilitate the purchase of a good or service. In an article written by Sprout Social, research has shown that 76% of consumers follow brands on social media for the sake of customer support. As digital commerce continues to evolve throughout our pandemic-shifted world, we tap into how conversational marketing is taking over.
What is conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing is the act of maintaining a one-on-one conversation with consumers across multiple channels. In short, the purpose is to provide the audience with the opportunity to communicate with you regarding your products or services in whichever medium they prefer to utilize. In an age of elevated digital competition, it is increasingly important for businesses and brands to maintain an online presence that meets the needs of potential consumers. Conversational commerce is known as the crossroads between messaging apps and shopping. What benefits can businesses expect to see through the implementation of conversational commerce methods?
1. Increased Engagement Rates
Engagements are interactions with a brand’s content, which could include commenting on, liking, or resharing a post. Typically, a higher engagement rate signifies a sense of commitment to a brand. Through the implementation of conversational commerce methods, brands can improve their reachability, which makes it easier for consumers to interact with their brand.
2. Build Your Customer Profile
Through increased interaction with audiences through conversational commerce methods, brands can begin to understand who their customers are, and what products or services they are looking for. For example, if a brand has begun offering a new method of communication with customers, they may notice that 70% of their messages are in regards to a particular product or service. This allows the brand to understand the interests and desires of its audience. Through the strategic design of chat flows, brands are able to learn more information about a customer through the questions they are asked throughout the conversation.
3. Elevate your digital customer experience
Customer experience encompasses every interaction and feeling that a consumer has about a business, regardless of whether or not a product or service is purchased. With increased consumer conversations, brands have the opportunity to establish and foster consumer relationships and offer personalized messages to current or potential customers. Giving customers an opportunity to have a voice and ask questions improves customer experience and boosts opportunities to make additional sales.
How to Approach Conversational Commerce
As we have outlined the many benefits that may accompany conversational commerce, we look into how conversational commerce can be approached.
1. Digital strategy creation and implementation
Before any brand begins expanding into conversational commerce, it is important to create a strong digital strategy that aligns with core values and growth aspirations. If it is determined that implementing chatbots and live chat features will benefit the business, we are able to create chat flows leading the viewer to the correct destination. Further, we can then optimize based on the results that are seen.
2. Chatbot and Live Chat features
In a Kayako live chat article, a study has shown that 41% of customers prefer to receive support through Live Chat, as opposed to email, social media, and telephone service channels. Chatbots also allow customer service to be provided 24/7, where we see many potential consumers disengage due to poor response time.
3. Social Media Response
Does your brand have a social media response team? Who is monitoring the social media inboxes for inquiries? It is important that there is a dedicated team checking for consumer inquiries across social media platforms. While it may be dependent on the size of the company, even a team of one can make all the difference. Consumers want to feel heard, so personalized responses to consumer inquiries can also help build brand loyalty.
Conversational commerce has proven to be monumental in the transformation of ecommerce with substantial benefits. In an age of endless digital competition, employing conversational methods to support a brand’s consumer base is essential to gaining market share and building strong and lasting relationships.