Was macht Conversational Commerce so wichtig?
Imagine if your customers could communicate with your company as naturally and easily as they do with their families and friends. And in a familiar environment: in WhatsApp and other messengers, which are now as familiar to most of your customers as email or the telephone. Conversational commerce is just that: simple and direct dialog via messenger or chat. Whether lead generation, customer advice or complaint management: Conversational Commerce offers support and contact persons in real time. Long queues on the phone and confusing conversations via e-mail are now a thing of the past. With conversational commerce, you provide your customers with a personal advisor. And that 24 hours a day and without any additional personnel. Conversational Commerce builds a bridge, between sellers and buyers. Now let’s take a look at exactly how this works.
Definition: Conversational Commerce
The term conversational commerce first appeared in 2015 and can be traced back to Chris Messina, the inventor of the hashtag. In a blog post on Medium at the time, he wrote that conversational commerce offers convenience, personalization and decision support, for people who are on the go a lot and who have little attention to give to one thing. Because the environment of messengers like WhatsApp feels so natural to us, Messina says there is less friction and the barriers to entry are lower. Conversational commerce takes advantage of this and relies on chats, short messages, and other interfaces for voice. This allows people, brands, services, and bots to interact in ways that were previously not possible in the asynchronous messaging context. Direct dialog is the key to success.
Conversational Commerce oder Social Commerce?
Social commerce, the sales process via social media, can be seen as a precursor and pioneer of conversational commerce. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest recognized the opportunities early on and set out to make the shopping experience more engaging and conversational. It was obvious to continue the sales process directly where many customers first get to know a brand: on social media channels. What social commerce alone could not solve, however, was the individual consultation and addressing of customers. And this is where conversational commerce comes into play: the dialog is continued in messenger services or via chatbots, the shopping experience is improved, and the user reaches his or her destination faster and with greater satisfaction.
Conversational Commerce in der Praxis
The areas of application for conversational commerce are diverse and encompass the entire customer journey – from initial contact to payment and post-purchase customer care. On the road, the customer can ask any questions that arise and will always receive personal and real-time advice. With Conversational Commerce, you unite the entire sales channel for your company in a single Messenger app. This is possible because messengers like Facebook and WhatsApp have opened their APIs. API stands for Application Programming Interface and describes the interface through which digital systems can communicate with each other. In order for Conversational Commerce to communicate through this channel, you need a provider, like Flinkit. This eliminates all programming work for you. With just a few clicks and no previous experience, you can create a wide range of marketing tools, such as newsletters, campaigns and media content. There is no need for a separate app, an online store or additional server fees. This makes conversational commerce easily accessible and saves development and operational costs.
Customers are the center of attention
Instead of competing for the limited attention of customers with loud advertising banners, as has been the case in conventional marketing, conversational commerce focuses on dialog. While classic advertising messages call on users to buy the latest sneakers or take out a premium subscription, for example, conversational commerce acts as a competent advisor and asks: “How can I be of assistance?” or “What do you need?” Imagine being able to provide your customers with a personal concierge who answers all their questions and solves problems – just like in a good hotel in a foreign city. This is what conversational commerce sounds like: individual, confidential and customer-oriented. This will take your company’s online commerce to a new level.
Accurate and efficient
And the numbers in conversational commerce speak for themselves. Today, messengers are already the means of choice for exchanging messages. WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Snapchat or Skype have replaced the classic e-mail or phone call in many areas. More than 70% of the German population uses messengers such as WhatsApp on a daily basis. Messenger messages have open rates of over 90% – an unheard of rate for most email newsletters. The best thing about conversational commerce is: Your customers are already there. WhatsApp has more than two billion users worldwide. WhatsApp zählt mehr als zwei Milliarden Nutzerinnen und Nutzer weltweit. For example, more than 90 % of 45- to 54-year-olds use WhatsApp, but are comparatively little represented in social networks. Conversational commerce reaches almost everyone and brings the largest number of customers together in one place.
Chatbots in Conversational Commerce
Chatbots are used for many of the applications in conversational commerce. They are highly developed thanks to artificial intelligence and have therefore gained acceptance among customers. According to surveys, the vast majority of Germans can imagine interacting with a chatbot. And for good reason: automated chat assistants often offer faster help – around the clock. Meanwhile, even simple chatbots can handle up to 90% of customer inquiries independently in many cases. Thanks to the connection to the CRM system, they can even personalize the communication with the customer in conversational commerce. Chatbots also pre-sort queries according to defined criteria and thus relieve your service team.
Legal certainty and DSGVO in conversational commerce
Before you can use the WhatsApp API in a legally compliant manner for your company’s customer communication and in conversational commerce, you first need the customer’s consent, the so-called opt-in. This consent is automatically requested for a clearly defined scope of use. Using the WhatsApp API via a provider like Flinkit is thus the legally secure way. All messages are end-to-end encrypted and cannot be read by third parties. Storing, managing and processing customer data remains in your hands at all times. With us, you act in Conversational Commerce in a legally compliant manner and in accordance with the requirements of the European General Data Protection Regulation. Flinkit stores all customer data on German servers and is certified for this by an external data protection company.
Beispiele und Anwendung von Conversational Commerce
As the bridge between sellers and buyers, conversational commerce adds the personal touch to your product or service while providing convenience and efficiency. Users no longer have to search a website themselves, but can simply ask their questions in a chat. And the sales process is handled naturally through dialog, almost like in a conventional retail store. This takes the customer journey to a new level – with enormous benefits for both sides: The consulting and sales process is simplified and accelerated. And the user keeps track more easily in the familiar and personal context and has a better buying experience. But it does not stop there. You stay in constant dialog via the messenger. In conversational commerce, you can retain and serve your customers over the long term.
Adidas and ADAC show the way
Two exciting examples of how conversational commerce can be integrated into successful marketing campaigns come from Adidas and ADAC: Adidas’ so-called “Rent-a-Pred” campaign was targeted at soccer clubs in the London Amateur League. under-staffed clubs could request substitutes for unreliable or sick teammates via WhatsApp at short notice before a match. All important questions and key data were clarified easily and quickly in the chat. Adidas then sent a “100% unfair” professional footballer as a replacement. among them world stars like Kaká. At the same time, of course, the sporting goods manufacturer made sure to publicize its new equipment. And even a company like ADAC, which traditionally appeals to a somewhat older target group, has already caused a stir with the help of conversational marketing. In a refreshingly humorous Messenger campaign, the Allgemeine Deutsche Automobil Club has managed to make itself known and popular among the younger generation. In a WhatsApp channel, users were able to ask all kinds of questions that they would otherwise ask their parents. The community team from ADAC answered a total of more than 58,000 inquiries in six weeks, directly and personally. Only 35% of these were automotive-related. In this way, ADAC has successfully positioned itself as cool and helpful with young users, most of whom do not even own a car themselves, using conversational commerce.
Application of Conversational Commerce in your company
Conversational commerce also has enormous potential for your company outside of extensive marketing campaigns. In the sales process, messengers offer direct dialog, for the best advice. You can recognize users and their preferences. They are open 24/7, 365 days a year, and available anywhere – provided you have an Internet connection. In some cases, payment is also already possible directly in the apps. After the purchase, you stay in touch with the customer via Messenger, informing him or her about the shipping status, obtaining ratings, or accepting complaints, for example.
Vorteile von Conversational Commerce
With conversational commerce, you offer your customers a dialog at eye level. Fast and competent answers are becoming increasingly important with a demanding clientele. By addressing your customers directly via Messenger and chatbots, you increase their satisfaction and foster their loyalty. The personal level builds trust and loyalty and keeps happy customers coming back for their next purchase. Along the way, you also get data that gives you better insight into customer behavior. Conversational commerce is thus the ideal tool for making your customers’ shopping experience perfect. And you can measure that directly: The dialog with the customer gives you exactly the feedback you need to make your service or product better. It is also easy to include an automated rating process in the chat. Instead of a service team and high call center costs, Messenger’s automation options provide efficient tools. They keep service levels high, at comparatively low cost. An elaborate marketing infrastructure and the operation of various channels are also unnecessary: everything takes place in one app. It is also easier to activate existing customers, as there is already a high level of loyalty. For example, via Messenger newsletters. The ability for your customers to ask direct questions also leads to fewer abandonments and abandoned shopping carts. WhatsApp and Co. become a lean and efficient sales tool through Conversational Commerce, with which you can increase your company’s sales.
Conversational Commerce mit Flinkit
User numbers and the spread of the messenger make WhatsApp the first choice for conversational commerce. Flinkit uses the WhatsApp Business API so that you can get in direct contact with your customers. We support you in serving numerous customers simultaneously on messengers in real time. In the process, you save time and money and increase sales. New customers are directly created as leads and, thanks to Flinkit’s CRM integration, immediately stored in the system. Our WhatsApp lead funnel shortens your sales cycle and increases the number of deals you close. Get involved in the dialog with your customers. Just contact us, we will advise you. Of course you can also contact us via chat.