What is Conversational Commerce?

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By: Munira H. Alanjari

Conversational Commerce is the process of having real time conversations with your customers in order to close a sale.

People nowadays want a more personalized shopping experience, and by bringing back conversations into sales, you are more likely to capture and convert your best leads.

Why is Conversational Commerce essential to business growth?

In our time, access to information is one click away. There is a wealth of knowledge on the internet and that includes product and service reviews; which gives buyers the upper hand.

And to be honest, no one likes to be bombarded with sales oriented text messages and emails anymore.

We want our customers to reach out to us when they are ready and they should be able to find us easily.  The best known way to make that happen is to get on the same communication platforms they are already using such as WhatsApp, for example.

By doing so, you will receive a larger volume of interest from potential customers.

Having a personalized one-on-one conversation puts you in a better position to understand their needs, and ultimately, recommend the most suitable products for them.

Capturing leads through online forms Vs WhatsApp

Asking customers to fill in lead forms, and making them wait hours, maybe days, before someone reaches out to them has proven to be inefficient. Customers expect quick action especially when they are serious about making a purchase, so we have to be there for them when they are ready to close a deal.

According to a study done by Harvard Business Review, companies need to respond to customers within the first 5 minutes of contact in order to better their chances of converting a lead. Waiting any longer will drop conversion chances by 400%

Try to recall your last online shopping experience

When you were looking for a specific product or a service online, and wanted to talk to a company representative to answer some of your questions,  try to remember what you liked and what you did not like from that experience.

Were you asked to fill out a lead form? Or maybe you tried to contact a company through the email address or phone number they have provided on their website. 

How long did you have to wait before someone actually called you back?

Have you ever reached out to a company through instant messaging? What was that experience like?

In the GCC, most small businesses would rather not waste time or resources creating a website because they know customers want to interact directly with a sales representative through instant messaging. These businesses have set up their social media accounts (mainly on Instagram), encouraging Direct Messaging through the app, or by providing a WhatsApp number on their bios.

Instagram and WhatsApp have a gigantic user base, so instead of forcing people to fill out forms on different platforms, or asking them to send an email from an account they barely use, companies will lock in more leads  if  they meet people on the platform they are already familiar with and trust. This makes business interactions quicker andt the overall experience feels more personal.

Pros and Cons of Conversational Commerce:

We’ve talked about the pros, now let us look at some of the cons.

Small companies that receive a large volume of daily queries will definitely not have the means to reply to everyone fast enough, and could potentially lose their lead’s interest.

Customers usually prefer reaching out via chat to receive quick responses, and if your company is not able to do that, then that defeats the purpose of offering this service.

Companies that have the luxury of spending on chatbot solutions can scale their businesses and respond to a substantial volume of queries per minute. However, if the chatbot settings are not done properly, and responses do not address your customer’s questions, this could be a frustrating experience and customers will leave the chat before a real person gets a chance to take over the conversation.

So, what can companies do to resolve this problem?

WhatsApp has capitalized on the Conversational Commerce trend and has introduced a solution called WhatsApp Business:

WhatsApp took this one step further with the API integration, where they partnered up with global business solution providers who are messaging experts in enterprise to customer communications.

WATI, one of WhatsApp’s global partners, has a user-friendly dashboard, with multi-agent access to the application making it easier to track customer queries in real-time, from any location!

This dashboard was designed to enable every team member to view, assign, and respond to every client, and create and use pre-canned answers to respond quickly, personally and consistently.

Companies are also able to personalize their notifications at scale by sending targeted template messages. These templates are very easy to create - no coding experience necessary, and you can also manage a large volume of contacts and data with ease.

Another important feature to consider when choosing your WhatsApp partner is the automation of WhatsApp replies. WATI uses a full-fledged chatbot experience for users by triggering automated responses based on keyword matching rules, and provides instant replies to customers, making them feel like they are talking to a real person.

Companies will also be able to send transactional messages to their users. Like appointment reminders, confirmations, etc. which saves employees time and effort.

Interested in exploring Conversational Commerce for your business?

If you would like to know more about conversational commerce and how you can use it for your business, reach out to us on WhatsApp and let’s talk. If we are not there, our chatbots will gladly assist you and keep you company until someone from our team becomes available to chat!

Contact us: 66605095