Conversational Commerce: Enhancing Customer Service through AI

As the world of retail and ecommerce evolves, conversational commerce has emerged as a powerful strategy for engaging with customers and streamlining their purchasing journey. By leveraging AI and modern messaging applications, retailers can now create customised shopping experiences that are tailored to the individual.

In this blog post, we will delve into how real-time customer engagement through AI-powered tools is revolutionising the way retailers interact with potential buyers. We’ll also explore how implementing chatbots can enhance customer interactions using natural language processing techniques while providing faster response times compared to traditional methods.

Lastly, we will share success stories from businesses that have harnessed conversational commerce effectively to enhance their customer service and boost sales. So read on to discover how your brand can benefit from embracing this innovative approach in today’s competitive retail landscape.

How does Conversational Commerce work?

Put yourself in the shoes of an online shopper looking at a range of products. You’re trying to work out what difference there is between a couple of different products, but it’s difficult to sift through the product descriptions and you can’t see details as clearly as you’d like in the pictures. If you were in a store looking this confused, a member of staff would probably come over to help you out. But online, there is no such thing. Or is there? 

This is what conversational commerce is. Either through a live conversation with a person, or with a trained AI agent, you can ask the questions and get the answer you were looking for. Whether it’s something in the pre-purchase buying journey such as product comparisons, product recommendations, or a key detail such as shipping policies or returns policies, conversational commerce can convert browsers into buyers. 

Beyond that, it can also be applied to the post-purchase or aftersales journey, when a customer may want to get back in touch with a brand.

The Power of AI in Conversational Commerce

AI chatbots are game-changers in conversational commerce, improving customer engagement and streamlining communication. 

  • Natural language processing: AI uses advanced natural language processing (NLP) to interpret complex user inputs, making it easier for customers to communicate their needs effectively.
  • Machine learning algorithms: Chatbots learn from interactions with customers, allowing them to anticipate common questions and provide relevant information proactively.
  • Categorising and filtering: Using NLP, the AI can detect the “intent” behind the customer’s message and categorise it accordingly. Then the brand can set rules around how the AI responds based on different situations. 
  • Generative AI: This can then go a stage further, and conversations can be automatically generated using generative AI (the technology behind ChatGPT). Again, these can rely on rules set by the brand to ensure that the AI stays on its “rails”

Utilising AI-enabled conversational technologies in your business’s customer service approach can boost the overall purchasing experience for customers and facilitate more effective communication.

For example, Porto’s Bakery uses AI and conversational techniques to trigger a proactive message to customers when their order is delayed, allowing them to either automatically start a refund process, or issue a replacement order. This saves them $7k a month and providing a far better customer experience than waiting for customers to reach out. 

Omnichannel Conversations for Seamless Customer Experience

Chatbots are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating conversational commerce experiences. Email exchanges can also be facilitated using AI, as well as social media channels such as Instagram or messaging platforms like WhatsApp. As long as the channel is text-based and can be integrated to send automatic messages, there is no limit. 

Using all these channels to create omnichannel conversations is essential for retail and ecommerce brands looking to leverage conversational commerce.

  • Integration of multiple communication channels: Incorporate different touchpoints like live chat, email, voice assistants, and mobile messaging into a single unified platform.
  • Enhancing user experience through seamless transitions: Ensure smooth handoffs between automated AI assistants and human agents to maintain high levels of satisfaction during customer conversations.

This approach integrates seamlessly into existing systems, allowing businesses to engage their audience through web pages, social media channels like Instagram Business Messages, third-party messaging apps, click-to-message ads on search engines, and more.

With advanced natural language processing capabilities offered by conversational AI solutions like DigitalGenius’, it becomes easier than ever before to manage these transitions effectively. The integrations with other communication channels, whether it’s a helpdesk like Zendesk or another messaging platform, allows for a unified experience that meets customers in the channel of their choice, but allows for cross-channel switching. Being able to understand who a customer is, and the history they have with your brand can make your automated conversations richer and more personalised. 

Incorporating an omnichannel strategy within your conversational commerce work not only improves overall customer communication but also drives better results in terms of sales goals and long-term brand loyalty.

Improving Chatbot Interactions for Better Customer Relationships

Businesses adopting conversational commerce strategies must focus on refining chatbot interactions to best serve the customer and understand the position a customer is in. This can include triggering an automatic message when a customer has taken a long time to complete a purchase, or appears to be visiting and re-visiting the same page, showing a level of indecision. 

Once established, using analytics inbuilt into a Flow Builder, tied to your KPIs, whether that’s CSAT (Customer Satisfaction), NPS (Net Promoter Score) or resolution time, allows brands to optimise the conversations. New conversation flows and subflows based on if/then logical statements can then be built on top of this, to ensure that customers are always being served in the best way possible. 

Fostering stronger relationships with consumers

Tools like live chat software and voice assistants such as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa offer real-time support during every step of the purchasing process, from answering questions about shipping options to addressing cart abandonment issues before they occur, helping businesses build lasting connections with potential customers.

FAQs Conversational Commerce

Examples of Conversational Commerce

Conversational commerce examples include AI-powered chatbots, voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, live chat software on websites, and proactive messaging channels for customer support.

What is Conversational Commerce

Conversational commerce refers to the use of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning to facilitate real-time interactions between businesses and customers through various communication channels.

Impact of Conversational Commerce

Conversational commerce impacts include improved customer service experiences, increased sales conversions, reduced cart abandonment rates, streamlined purchasing journeys, enhanced personalisation in marketing efforts, and better understanding of buyer behaviour patterns.

Trends in Conversational Commerce Market

The trend in the conversational commerce market involves a growing adoption rate among small businesses due to its cost-effectiveness, rise in mobile device usage, and continued expansion driven by technological advancements. Industry reports predict further growth in the market.

Conclusion

Conversational commerce is revolutionizing the way customers interact with retail and ecommerce brands, thanks to AI-powered tools that provide personalized shopping experiences in real-time.

Chatbots with natural language processing techniques offer faster response times compared to traditional customer service methods. Proactive messaging channels can also be utilized to boost sales, and success stories have shown how conversational commerce enhances customer service while driving business growth through AI chatbots.

To see an example of conversational commerce in action, take a look at On Running’s contact page which showcases a range of conversational commerce for the post-purchase and aftersales journeys. 

If you want to see how you can use Conversational Commerce to transform your business, get in touch with our team today.