Conversational commerce – what will artificial intelligence bring to online shops?
Voice assistants as advisors in the sales offering unobtrusive and substantive recommendations, or quick and painless returns of unwanted purchases – these are just two examples of many new conversational commerce solutions – online purchases supported by AI conversation solutions.
Conversational commerce (c-commerce) is a new solution in which purchases are conducted through a conversation with an intelligent assistant – just as if it was done with a competent salesperson. This technology supports on-line shops by automating customer service, usually based on artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, which connect customers with brands through chat and voice- supporting customers throughout the entire process of searching for offers, choosing and ordering. All of this is done organically with regards to the customer, and automatically, so it doesn’t burden the seller. This is the future of e-commerce. C-commerce allows you to shop on platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage, Viber, Alex, Google Assistant and mobile apps.
Communicators are growing in strength, are already more popular than social media, and no one needs to be convinced of the lower effectiveness of the ads displayed on a banner ad in comparison to a conversation with a seller such as Facebook Messenger. The latest statistics on the use of the app to send messages show that WhatsApp has 1.6 billion users worldwide, Facebook Messenger 1.3 billion, and WeChat is already used by one billion people. Don’t forget about the users of Voice Assistants – more than 25% of Americans have smart speakers, an impressive number of potential customers that will only grow.
What is the difference between conversational commerce and a regular online store?
Conversation, conversation, has always been, is and will be the basis of trade. Looking for a perfect wine for dinner, we ask the sommelier for a recommendation. When choosing the appropriate length of a gold chain we write with a request for help on the Instagram of our favorite brand. Only the form of the conversation changes – answers are given faster than ever and are based on our preferences, automatically! Customers are most likely to contact brands by message – 83% of consumers write to request information about a product or service, 76% to receive support and 75% to make a purchase. Thanks to advances in natural language processing technology (NLP) and machine and deep learning, companies can benefit from Virtual c-commerce Assistants that are user-friendly, with natural and intuitive interfaces.
Conversational commerce – ideal support for chat or live call for e-shopping
Conversational commerce is a dynamic technology, capable of adaptation – it opens up new opportunities for companies and brings many benefits to customers, offering personalised and professional advice, in the form of chat or conversation, which allows them to make the right purchase decision. Virtual InteliWISE Assistant – Chatbot or Voicebot – can, for example, talk to a visitor on an online store and offer him or her a product in a flash. Looking for gifts has never been easier – just tell the Virtual Assistant about the birthday boy by answering a few questions and you’re ready – after analyzing the data Chatbot will give personalized gift suggestions that improve with time. And that’s not all – the Virtual C-commerce Assistant can also finalize purchases with payment options that work all from the level of the communicator.
Best applications of Conversational Commerce – examples of already existing solutions
The first applications of this new technology were made by innovative service providers or online shops in the USA. The Virtual Assistant 1-800 Flowers helps with purchasing – using machine learning technology based on user behavior and previous conversations, it displays suggested products and allows customers to choose from several options.
An interesting and extremely useful solution is Chatbot for Uber – it allows users in more than 500 cities around the world to order transport with just a few clicks. No calling and no waiting for a call to the taxi dispatcher! Chatbot in selected countries works via Facebook Messenger. Fully integrated, it doesn’t even require downloading an additional app.
C-commerce also supports travel. Chatbot SnapTravel allows customers to find and book a hotel room in a selected destination. In addition, it works through many channels, including Facebook Messenger, Alexa and WhatsApp.
Conversational commerce – a new tool for increasing conversion and loyalty
“Shopping through conversation” is taking its first steps, and its growing possibilities are still in their infancy. The real breakthrough is yet to come – the moment when digital assistants are integrated into customer preference data and are finally able to personalize customer recommendations to maximize customer satisfaction is on the horizon. As well as its potential effect on the content and value of customer’s shopping carts.
The future of this tool will be a result of the development of AI algorithms that improve the quality and fluidity of conversation but also with further development of social media and mobile applications that are trusted by users. For all brands, it is and will increasingly be crucial to use this presence to recommend or sell products. The new tool makes the automated interaction between a brand and a consumer much more human. What’s more, it reduces the number of steps the customer has to take to complete a transaction.
C-commerce for customers is all about:
- product selection and recommendation during a conversation (with a virtual assistant), as you would at your favourite retailer
- providing a more tailored offer, often based on preference data
- personalized contact; the AI-bot personality is tailored to the target group.
For companies, on the other hand, the most important benefits, not counting the automation of processes, are worth mentioning:
- better analysis of customer behaviour
- more opportunities for potential sales of products/services
- Immediate feedback
- generating leads
- improving the experience of customers with the brand
- better and more accurate FAQ service.
Companies have to accept the changing reality. According to Gartner, 25% of customer service operations will be taken over by Virtual Assistants by 2020. Chatbots and Voicebots InteliWISE implemented in companies will be able to establish new, better and more significant customer relationships, and ultimately increased sales.
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