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What is Conversational Commerce and what does it mean for eCommerce?

What is Conversational Commerce?

The term ‘Conversational Commerce’ is used to describe the connection between Sellers and Buyers through messaging and chat applications. Many people now like to use chat systems to accomplish different tasks, but until fairly recently, this kind of interaction has predominantly been used for accessing support, such as customer services. But what if online retailers could use Conversational Commerce to provide a better, more personalized user experience for their shoppers?

Gartner research shows that by 2020:

  • 5% of all digital commerce transactions will come from a smart machine, such as those that power conversational commerce.

As people become more accustomed to interacting in a conversational way, they will be increasingly likely to want to use the same conversational mode when finding products.

Mirroring the Store Experience

When a customer walks into a physical store, the sales associate can ask a series of questions to narrow down the choice and focus in on the right products for the customer. In a human context, the sales associate has the necessary knowledge about the products to filter down to a few products.

This is what retailers should be trying to achieve online with Conversational Commerce.

When shopping online, a Conversational Commerce system should intelligently suggest appropriate ways of limiting a set of products. You need to make sure that your system has the intelligence to ask your customer the right questions.

 

Intelligent Questions and Responses

Let’s compare the in-store experience to one that could be achieved via Conversational Commerce:

                           

Store Sales Associate                                                             Conversational AI-powered Search Engine

Good morning, how can I help you? Good morning, how can I help you?
I’m looking for a jacket, please I’m looking for a jacket
Is it for yourself? Would you like the men’s, women’s or kid’s department?
No, it’s for my wife Women’s
And what will she use it for? What activity is the jacket for? Skiing, hiking, everyday?
It’s mostly for hiking on holiday this summer… Hiking
Ok, right over here we have our lightweight waterproof jackets. Would you like to see all women’s hiking jackets, or select from the following features?

Lightweight, windproof, waterproof, breathable, packable

Lightweight, waterproof and packable

 

Just like with the in-store experience, the Conversational Commerce engine asks questions in a logical order and uses the responses to intelligently suggest attributes to refine the search further.

However your customers wish to interact with you, they should have a similar experience. But the Conversational Commerce experience shown above is only possible with the support of powerful, intuitive technology. This kind of advanced interaction requires an AI-based engine that can understand what the next set of attributes (prompts for the user) should be.

Are You Ready?

With the research showing the pattern for Artificial Intelligence to be the biggest influence on eCommerce over the coming years, it is time to make sure that your search system will be able to keep up. Whether using text or voice input, your customers will be progressively accustomed to chat-based interactions and will expect this format when buying online. By adopting an intuitive AI-based search system that can cope with the demands of Conversational Commerce, you will be able to fast-track your customers to the right products every time.

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