The future of e-commerce is upon us, and with that comes a heavy involvement in social media. Customers can now view products or services through visual content on Instagram, tap the item and immediately be redirected to the brand’s webpage to purchase it. Consumers can contact the brand directly (“DM”) with a question and receive an answer in seconds, and purchases can happen immediately via text message. If your e-commerce business has not yet evolved with the conversational commerce space, we recommend starting now.
According to OpenMarket, a mobile engagement subsidiary, over 60 percent of millennials prefer to communicate with brands via text messaging. The popularity of direct messaging with businesses has led to what Silicon Valley experts are calling “conversational commerce.” This new wave of communication allows companies to interact with consumers via text messages, WhatsApp and social media direct messaging on apps including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The conversations are a blend of automation and human exchange. Artificial intelligence software is still employed to guide conversations in the right direction, but there is a personal touch as well.
China serves as an excellent example of conversational commerce working effectively. WeChat is a messaging app similar to WhatsApp. It was released in 2011 and in 2014, WeChat Pay, a digital wallet service, debuted. It is now an entire e-commerce ecosystem where 90% percent of its 1 billion users purchase goods.
WhatsApp has taken note of WeChat Pay’s success and created WhatsApp Business, a separate app for small businesses, last year. Later in 2019, they are set to release a service that allows users to look for products and make purchases directly through the app.
Stores vs. Online Shopping
There is definitely a level of intimacy missing in e-commerce. In stores, customers can ask sales staff for special help with items. With clothing, for example, they may be looking for a particular wash of denim or for a top to match a skirt. Conversational commerce provides the personal touch that consumers have been craving. Through directly communicating with consumers, companies can replicate the in-store experience in an online space. However, it’s essential to strike a balance between acting as a personal shopper and a pushy salesperson. This balance can be achieved by providing personalized and appropriate suggestions as opposed to general and vague promotions.
At Innovative Vision, we are passionate about the world of technology. Founded in 2002, we are a marketing technology firm specializing in Contact Centre BPO. Through the power of omnichannel support, and hybrid live agent/AI models, we ensure that every interaction that a customer has with your business is positive and meaningful.
Allow us to inspire your company to grow through our enhanced approach to guiding the customer journey. To learn more about our advanced and specialized services, contact us today!