In 2015, Uber’s Chris Messina brought light to the term ‘conversational commerce’ in a piece published on Medium. He described the term as “delivering convenience, personalization and decision support while people are on the go, with only partial attention to spare”.
Essentially, conversational commerce is a moniker to describe how online messaging apps have transcended common communication methods to facilitate businesses’ sales and dialogues. This includes apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram, Slack, etc. Conversational commerce mimics face-to-face customer service without the need for any physical presence.
The magic of humanizing e-commerce via messaging apps happens with the help of bots. Customers shop or make purchases online within a messaging or chat channel by interacting with a brand’s chatbot in a convenient and conversational manner.
So, why would you need a bot if you already have an online website running? Simply put – chatbots can be interacted with while online websites are stagnant. Customers want immediacy and round-the-clock service that a simple bot can provide. 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent, you can enhance your customer service as bots efficiently handle your customers request no matter the time. We will delve deeper into the futuristic world of bots later on.
Shift from traditional to digital
The use of email has dominated the way we communicated for a long time. However, digital messaging apps have now taken over the way we interact, shop and form relationships. The proliferation of mobile messaging apps is undeniable as recent reports from Statista shows that there are over 2 billion mobile messenger app users in the world.
- (Juniper) 94 trillion digital messages were sent in 2015 – mainly email. Instant messaging overtook emails by mid-2016.
- Despite the shift toward the web and the advancements of online technology, the retail conversion rate is less than 10% globally across smartphones, desktops and tablets
- Why should you jump on the bot bandwagon? *context on FB messenger – invoke some FOMO – “why aren’t I doing that?”
- Since Facebook Messenger launched the capability to directly accept multiple payment methods number of bots on Facebook messenger jumped from 33,000 in September 2016 to 100,000 by 2017