Did you know that 63% of consumers are interested in personalized recommendations, but only 22% of consumers are happy with the level of personalization they are currently receiving?
Consumers want brands to be more personal, but often that personalization can get a little creepy. People don’t want to feel like their every move is being tracked and cataloged for the next advertiser to use – they want more engaging, efficient and meaningful conversations with brands.
Let me just start off by saying personalization DOES NOT mean hounding consumers with ad after ad. Marketers should be focused on creating experiences that leave customers excited about the brand – not worried that you’ve just read all of their text messages. Creating unique experiences for each consumer can seem daunting and impossible to scale, but that is where conversational commerce comes into play.
What is conversational commerce?
Conversational commerce refers to the intersection of messaging experiences, Artificial Intelligence and shopping. This technology allows brands to engage with customers through existing and preferred communication channels like SMS and Facebook Messenger, as opposed to requiring them to download another app. Most definitions of conversational commerce talk about it in the context of eCommerce, but it’s applications also extend to retail transactions.
What can conversational commerce do that a regular advertisement can’t?
Imagine if you could put your best customer service representative by the store shelf and they could describe your product to prospective customers. Imagine being able to have a one-on-one conversation with a potential customer as they are thinking through their next purchase. Imagine having the ability to confirm that the consumer purchased your product. Imagine being able to re-message that shopper after purchase to continue building that relationship. Now, imagine being able to do that across all shelves and all digital outlets. That’s what conversational commerce can offer brands and retailers.
Consumers are confident about messaging with businesses
Not only is messaging scalable, but it’s also an effective communication tactic that consumers respond to. Over 58% of consumers feel more confident messaging than making a phone call, and over 55% feel more confident messaging than sending an email. Your goal as a brand should be to make the consumer’s journey to purchase your product as simple and seamless as possible. Now, the shopper journey is no longer linear – most consumers take a complicated path through multiple channels prior to purchasing your product – and your brand needs to be communicating to consumers throughout that journey.
Conversational commerce and chatbots are still a relatively new concept to consumers, 10% - 15% of consumers have used a chatbot within the last year to engage with a brand, but that number is growing. Opportunities for brands to begin connecting with consumers using the technology are abundant. Now is the time to start personalizing consumer conversations throughout the purchase journey from awareness to consideration to purchase to re-engagement.