Conversational Commerce Trends 2022 – What’s Next in Ecommerce?


What does 2022 have in store for conversational commerce and ecommerce in general? 

Simplr CMO Daniel Rodriguez shared three trends that will be top-of-mind for ecommerce, CX, and digital professionals as we enter 2022 at Kustomer NOW 2021. 

Don’t miss these 3 must-know trends that will help you stay one step ahead of the competition! Watch (or rewatch) Daniel’s talk and keep reading to get ahead of these game-changing trends.  

What is conversational commerce?

Conversational commerce is the act of using conversation to offer a personalized, consultative shopping experience that drives sales and revenue. Customer service live chat is a critical component of conversational commerce in the digital environment.

For online businesses, conversational commerce is an ideal way to replicate the in-person experience for their website visitors. When customers shop in a store, they’re able to approach sales associates if they need help, advice, or guidance. The best stores have associates available to help you out right away, with all the answers you need. Today, the best online retailers have that too. 

Why conversational commerce plays an important role in ecommerce?

Before we get into the year ahead… let’s talk about NOW. 

We’d like to introduce everyone to the consumer we call the NOW Customer. We’re pretty sure you already know this person, and chances are pretty good that… you are this person. 

So, here’s what we know about the NOW Customer. They want: 

  • Rapid-fire response rates
  • Empathetic engagement
  • On-demand access to everything

We also know that 61% of customers base their CX standards on the best experiences they’ve ever had. So even if you’re a tiny online store, you will be held to the same standard as Amazon Prime. 

If you’re thinking customers have surely laxed their expectations during the pandemic, think again. We’ve also conducted research in the past year that shows that the majority of NOW Customers no longer “forgive” brands for COVID-related delays. Ouch! 

This leads us now to NOW CX – a new and different approach to exceeding the needs of the NOW Customer. This is done by empowering your organization to eradicate neglect, convert shoppers into buyers, and turn every customer into a five-star fan.

Now, on to the predictions:

Prediction #1: Backlogs will get worse before they get better

In 2022, backlogs will get worse before they get better. 

Right now, there’s a perfect storm of factors that are signaling a major backlog headache in 2022. 

  • First, consider what’s going on at the ports in Long Beach, California. An analyst for Gartner says that nearly HALF of all US imports are sitting in the ports of California and won’t hit shelves until late November. The ongoing supply chain and shipping crises we’re watching unfold are going to have a massive impact in Q1 of 2022 when returns are at their highest and certain industries like health and fitness are at their peak.
  • Second, pandemic-related staffing shortages are affecting supply chains as well as businesses and call centers that are struggling to hire quality agents for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, the companies that are fighting inflation with cuts to customer service rather than price hikes are feeling the burn of customer neglect and abandonment.

…. And on top of all this disruption, there is the NOW Customer, who, frankly, doesn’t care about what’s happening in the ports. 

They just want a speedy response.

A LOT of people will be asking about their orders. And they’ll be channel jumping when they don’t get a response. Based on our own data, we know that an unchecked email backlog can grow up to SEVEN times its size in just 2 weeks. The biggest risk here is customer neglect, which can deeply impact a company’s revenue.

While you can’t control global supply chain, shipping, and staffing issues, you can control the experience your customers have on your site.

The best way to deal with the surge of post-sale inquiries is to:

1. Have 24/7 live chat equipped with a human agent or a human-backed WISMO bot. Customers can get their answers quickly without filling your inbox.

2. Put order status updates and return policy notifications all over your website. Transparency is key!

3. Be proactive in your communications! This is a good opportunity to collaborate with your marketing team on friendly, proactive and empathetic messaging about order status. 

Prediction #2: There will be a marriage between CX and Ecommerce leaders 

We predict that CX and Ecommerce leaders will unite to work towards generating more revenue for the business.

The days of CX being a cost center are gone.

  • The Problem: Ads are getting more and more expensive and unpredictable. Converting and engaging personalized interactions on your website is going to be just as critical as bringing them to your website in the first place.
  • The Risk: If CX doesn’t start thinking about itself as a revenue-generator, they’re diminishing the quality of the customer experience.
  • The Solution: Get buy-in from your executive team, align your CX goals with overarching business goals, invest in conversational commerce rather than cost-cutting alternatives, measure repurchase rates and streamline the checkout process. 

To fully operate in the NOW CX model, your website needs to be humming with conversations, engagement, and, of course, conversions.

If CX continues down a path of cost savings, the quality of the customer experience goes way down, which can be detrimental to the business. Who better to help streamline the processes and effort behind the on-site experience than the ecommerce team? In the era of NOW CX, ecommerce and CX go hand-in-hand.

The brands that are doing this really well are seeing boosts to their bottom line. The best way to get started is to: 

  1. Advocate for CX as a revenue generator rather than a cost center and SHOW how that’s possible.
  2. Align CX goals with ecommerce goals.
  3. Go all-in on conversational commerce and live chat. It’s the proven way to convert more site visitors into customers. 

Prediction #3: Gen Z will become an even more powerful consumer block to win over (and brands will have to change to do it)

For our final prediction, we need to talk about Generation Z. These people were born NOW Customers!

According to Piper Sandler’s latest survey of teens, clothing has overtaken food as the highest priority for teens, making up 22% of wallet share. 

So, not only are they spending more, they’re expecting experiences that align with what they’re seeing on TikTok and Instagram — instant, on-demand yet authentic and meaningful.

Chances are you put a ton of resources into TikTok and Instagram to convert more Gen Z customers. But, it shouldn’t stop there. This generation of shoppers expects the same instant gratification they get on social media on all digital channels including live chat, email, SMS and more. 

This generation is not easily charmed by traditional marketing and the same goes for customer service. So make sure you’re investing the same amount of resources into your own digital channels that you put into your social media channels.

Again, this is another urgent call for having live chat all over your site, and systems like Kustomer that can integrate with all social media platforms.

It’s also important to make sure those channels are staffed with real humans, particularly for the pre-sale interactions. 

To recap what we’re thinking for 2022:

  1. Buckle up for backlogs
  2. Unite your CX and Ecommerce teams
  3. Get ready for Gen Z

This upcoming year is going to be unpredictable, but the one thing we can count on is that customers will always love feeling valued by the brands they shop.

Getting one step ahead with live chat and automation is one of the best ways to make sure you don’t fall behind your competitors that are already using CX to differentiate themselves.

If you liked some of the stuff we talked about, download our State of Ecommerce Customer Service Report — it’s an analysis of 1,500 ecommerce brands and how their websites are performing.

We identified costly gaps, missed opportunities, and also how some of the best brands are nailing it. Ready to reshape your CX strategy? Watch a recording of Simplr CMO Daniel Rodriguez’s presentation at Kustomer NOW to find more.    
Looking to take your customer experience into the future? Chat with Simplr to learn how we help the most innovative brands go backlog-free, staff live chat 24/7, and how we can help you too.