Albert Gudlaugsson

A beginners guide to conversational commerce and how it can help your online store.

Conversational commerce is something that has been around for a really really really long time. But the topic has been changing a lot lately. It has been introduced even more to online stores through platforms like Intercom and Drift. In this article I'm going to help you understand the topic better, why is it important, how can it help you and much more.

Lets get started.

Conversational commerce means using chat, messaging, voice or any other language interfaces to interact with people, brands, services or bots. In the context of online stores, it's how the store employee interacts with the customer and how the customer interacts with the online store.

The term conversational commerce was coined by Chris Messina in this article, where he talks about how we're moving to more chat based interactions.

"Conversational commerce is about delivering convenience, personalization, and decision support while people are on the go, with only partial attention to spare." - Chris Messina, Uber, Google, Molly.com and inventor of the hashtag.

The term conversational commerce was coined by Chris Messina in this article, where he talks about how we're moving to more chat based interactions.

But this is super important. E-commerce is such a high competitive market, that we have to treat customer happiness like it's gold. Gone are the days when the only place for conversational commerce was through long email threads or contact us forms. Now, the customer wants to be able to contact you right away, through a messaging platform he already knows. Whether that's Intercom, Drift, Messenger or any other messaging platform. And since e-commerce is such a high competitive market, if he doesn't like the way you handle conversational commerce, there are multiple online stores just waiting for him to arrive at their store.

So, now we know that adding conversational commerce to the customer journey can add a lot of value to your online store. Zendesk even did a resource on live chat and they found out that more and more consumers turn to live chat when shopping online, and a growing number of consumers say it is their preferred way to engage with support.

"All of the big trends in commerce over the past couple of decades have been in moving to where your customers are. Rather than forcing your customers to come to you, you go to where they are. The next generation of that is conversational commerce. It is inevitable that everyone is going to have to incorporate conversations inside of Messenger, and into social media platforms, in order to sell things more effectively." - Phil Libin, Founder of All Turtles and Evernote

But what's the best way to do it?

Adding a live chat to your store could be a good first step. Whether you choose to use Intercom, Drift, the new, still in beta, Messenger website plugin or any other live chat platform doesn't make that much of a difference. These platforms create a one-click customer support for your customer. Just adding that increases customer happiness, and that's not the only thing. It has been shown that it also increases revenue(and we all love more revenue).

These platforms only work if you're willing to put the time in to answering all those questions you'll receive through the live chat. One way to get around answering all those questions, is through a chatbot.

Chatbots we're a big hype last two years after Facebook allowed chatbots on Messenger. They were everywhere. At the Mobile World Congress 2017, chatbots were the main headliners. We were hyped. We at team iBot were super super hyped. We thought the end of apps was near. But we were wrong. But not completely wrong.

Now, we're understanding better how to use chatbots, what they are and what they can do. We now understand better, they aren't going to replace apps. But they can still solve a lot of problems. Especially for e-commerce.

With chatbots, you have to be careful though. It can be a really good addition to your online store, but if your customers average age is 65+, I'm not sure it's a good idea. But if your customer average age is 20, I'm guessing a chatbot would be something your customers would like.

I hope this article helped you getting a better understanding about conversational commerce. It's a huge topic, but I wanted to keep this article short and only the most important things to know.

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