What is Conversational Commerce? And Simplr’s Awesome Approach
[Updated January 27, 2022]
What is conversational commerce?
Conversational commerce is a partnership between instant messaging and online shopping. It’s an approach for retailers and entrepreneurs to sell their products and services to potential customers using the power of conversation using live chat messaging apps or social media apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or any other chatbot apps, and voice assistant or voice-based apps like Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, and Siri. At Simplr, we’re very excited about this. Let’s jump in!
Using conversational commerce (aka conversation marketing or chat commerce), consumers can chat with and get information from company reps and even directly click-to-buy all from within their choice of social communication tool or channel. The company or management, on the other hand, can take advantage of chatbots to interact with users on a two-way and often real-time basis (unlike email) and improve their customer service, personalization, convenience that also often facilitates moving the customers quickly through the purchase funnel.
Raise your hand if you’ve noticed yourself shopping more online recently than you did this time last year, whether from Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, Walmart, and elsewhere on the internet? No matter when you’re reading this, I’d venture to say most people’s hands are going up.
It’s not a surprise, especially amidst a pandemic wherein most people are stuck in the privacy of their homes and in front of their computers, iOS, and Android smartphones, and other mobile devices reading a blog article or newsletter, browsing web content or a press release, listening to a podcast, sending SMS messages to friends and family, attending to notifications, planning post-pandemic travels to France or perhaps some exotic place, and of course, shopping stuff online like cosmetics, cookies, signed book copies, special edition ebooks, unique gifts, etc. The pandemic has accelerated a trend and popularity of online shopping that had already been in motion for some time- the increasing preference of customers to buy from and interact with brands digitally rather than in-store. Online sales, which increased at a 14 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past four years, grew by 25 percent in a two-week period in March 2020. (McKinsey)
This online shopping acceleration is forcing brands to adapt in order to keep up with the innovation. And the brands that are getting a distinct advantage and success in the crowded ecommerce marketplace are the ones who are evolving their customer experience strategy to differentiate themselves from the competition.
A key element of the in-store experience that consumers are demanding in online experiences is the ability to get in-the-moment help, interaction and consultation as they’re trying to buy. This type of consultative and conversational feeling or experience is becoming a must-have element of best-in class customer experience strategies, and has most commonly been referred to in the digital commerce world as “conversational commerce.” Its implementation just totally makes sense and critical in today’s highly connected world and online space.
At Simplr, we’re here to help you deliver the best possible conversational commerce experience possible that helps you meet the needs of the NOW Customer, increase brand awareness and customer engagement, better user experience, convert more browsers to buyers, and drive more customer loyalty.
Why are brands investing in Conversational Commerce?
Conversational commerce is a term coined by Uber’s Chris Messina in a 2015 piece published on Medium where he suggests that:
“Conversational commerce is about delivering convenience, personalization, and decision support while people are on the go” and that “concierge-style services may become the primary way in which people transact.”
Think about the experience of shopping in a store and asking a question about a product, or seeking style advice, or just needing to be pointed in the right direction to find something. The best stores like IKEA, Apple, and The Home Depot, have associates available to help you out right away, with all the answers you need. Today, the best online retailers from every industry have that, too.
Research from Forrester has shown that customers now expect that same level of consultation and help when it comes to the customer service you offer on your site:
“The best online chat experiences are able to replicate an in-store consultation process by asking detailed follow-up questions to determine the best product for the customer. This capability is crucial, as 35% of US online adults consider it important for retailers to offer product recommendations based on their past shopping/browsing history.” (FORRESTER)
Entrepreneurs and brands that are able to deliver a truly conversational commerce experience and lifestyle are differentiating themselves from a service perspective in an increasingly crowded online marketplace. This is exactly why we at Simplr have launched our Conversational Commerce Suite: to help retail brands provide value-enhanced customer service that serves as a strategic differentiator and growth driver for their online business by providing a set of capabilities that makes buying easier for customers, drives more conversions, and drives more customer loyalty.
Subscribing to Simplr is such a great investment in information technology and smart collaborative software also if you’re looking to improve social marketing, social media measurement, mobile marketing, community engagement, and content management. This is applicable whether you’re a startup company or even an established one.
Simplr’s Conversational Commerce Suite
As a value enhancement to Simplr’s existing service, Simplr’s Conversational Commerce capabilities give brands the ability to:
Provide Consultative Pre-Sales Assistance by Assigning the Most Capable Agent for Every Conversation through Intelligent Routing
You’ll discover that for any conversation that Simplr handles, the Simplr platform uses data to identify and assign specialists from our Human Cloud Network who have historically provided the highest quality service and best ability to convert buyers for your brand or category, so you know your customer is in the hands of an expert who is best suited to provide exceptional service, and convert browsers to buyers.
Simplr constantly analyzes and doing an evaluation on every specialist in our network and tracks metrics like CSAT, FRT, Conversion Rate, Repeat Purchase Rate, and more, and incorporates that data into our routing algorithms to determine which specialist will be best to handle every single one of your customer conversations.
Increase Conversion Rates & Repeat Purchase Rate with AI-Driven Product Recommendations
Simplr Specialists can now act as personal shopping assistants or virtual assistants or call centre agents on your site (Shopify or other ecommerce platforms), helping you drive more money by providing intelligent product recommendations to customers based on their dialogue with one of our specialists and/or their past purchase history, all powered by Simplr’s AI-based platform.
Use Simplr’s AI Product Recommendations to:
- Provide Proactive Upsell Recommendations: When there is an opportunity to upsell a customer, or when you have items on sale, clearance, or promotion, turn any service request into an opportunity to drive a purchase.
- Provide Alternative Options: When items are out of stock or not available, suggest related items they may like.
- Turn Returns into Exchanges: Turn returns into exchanges and upsells by suggesting products they might like instead.
- Suggest Complementary Products: When a customer asks about a product they’re buying or have already bought, recommend items that go with it to increase their cart size.
Report on and Optimize Customer Service’s Impact on Revenue with Revenue Insights
Getting the tools you need and deploying them is important to prove how NOW CX customer service is impacting revenue and growth. Simplr’s new Revenue Insights dashboard gives you intelligence into how Simplr and your own agents are impacting sales, driving conversions, and affecting wallet share of customers. Get the insights to look beyond the typical table-stakes operational customer service metrics and instead, optimize customer service for revenue growth.
How Brands Are Driving Revenue with Simplr’s Conversational Commerce Suite
Taking advantage of Simplr’s full conversational commerce suite, Simplr customers have already been able to see exceptional revenue gains thanks to the value-enhanced CX Simplr has been able to provide.
40% Conversion Rate Increase with AI-Product Recommendations
One online men’s apparel brand was able to improve their on-site conversion rates by 40% with Simplr Specialists after leveraging Simplr’s Conversational Commerce Suite for just one week.
With conversations being intelligently routed to community management and conversion specialists, and Simplr Specialists being enabled to recommend featured products that the men’s apparel brand was trying to promote (specifically when customers were asking about product details or needed product advice), they were able to see these conversion gains, and report to their leadership the impact that conversational commerce was having on revenue.
Simplr Converts Browsers to Buyers at a 22% Higher Rate than Internal Agents
Another online coffee retailer started leveraging Simplr’s AI-Based Product Recommendation capabilities to recommend featured products to existing customers based on past purchase history, and to new customers when the items they were looking for were out of stock. By doing so, when Simplr specialists handled pre-sale conversations, those customers converted at a 22% higher rate than when they spoke to internal agents.
Fast Response Times and High-Quality Conversion Specialists Drive 2.5X Higher Conversion
Even without implementing Simplr’s product recommendation capabilities, one online consumer electronics company was able to see Simplr converting customers at a 2.5X higher rate than their internal team, driven entirely by Simplr’s fast response times and expert service delivered by routing conversations to conversion specialists.
Looking to take advantage of more revenue opportunities on your site with Conversational Commerce? Reach out! We’re happy to show you more!