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What is Conversational Commerce: Equipping brands to meet consumer demand throughout the sales funnel

AI chatbots working across messaging apps are expected to process around $290B of consumer purchases by 2025

LivePerson Team

May 11, 20224 minutes

Woman receives message from brand about new sunglasses collection as an example of what is conversational commerce

That’s a BIG number, $290 billion. And if your brand has global reach, consider that China, Japan, and South Korea are expected to account for 90% of this forecasted chatbot spend alone by 2025. In fact, Juniper Research confirms that Conversational AI platforms will be crucial in increasing the adoption of Conversational Commerce channels to meet this consumer demand.

So what is Conversational Commerce?

It’s a conversational marketing and ecommerce strategy that leverages AI — from chatbots to digital voice assistants — to engage customers and automate transactions and payments through popular channels. Along with websites and in-app messaging, these channels include messaging apps like SMS, Apple Messages for Business, WhatsApp, Google RCS Business Messaging, Facebook Messenger, LINE, and KakaoTalk.

Such opportunities for customer engagement via Conversational AI can happen throughout the entire purchasing process. That’s why this strategy can open up additional paths to increase customer satisfaction and drive revenue through channels that you may not have thought possible.

Conversational Commerce will become a key component of omnichannel retail strategies

The pandemic ushered in a change in the way we shop and browse today — primarily taking us from in-store to strictly online. Since 2020, 75% of customers have explored new online shopping behaviors, especially in trying new brands, and will continue to do so. Another one of these new shopping trends around the world is the expectation that digital customer service solutions should be quick and relatively easy to engage. For example, research tells us that 53% of consumers are more likely to abandon their online purchase if they can’t find an answer to their question about the product or service.  

Practically overnight, retail brands shifted from brick-and-mortar exclusivity to adopting more ecommerce website services to remain profitable, competitive, and to keep up with rising demand for contactless purchases. Now that digital automation has become more commonplace, businesses can interact with customers throughout their entire purchasing journey. From marketing messages to first browse, confirmation of sale, and re-engagement post-sale, they can connect directly through Conversational Commerce channels of the customers’ choice.

Building a Conversational Commerce strategy: Eliminate extra clicks and improve conversions

Delivering convenience is one of the big benefits of Conversational Commerce. Consider that one of our clients, a popular American bridal retailer, went from storefront to ecommerce superstar practically overnight during the height of the pandemic. The retailer saw $30,000 in sales within the first few weeks of supporting purchasing through messaging channels.

Here are a few ideas on how to integrate Conversational Commerce for your own needs:

Accelerate the discovery and consideration phases

Speed up these early phases by actively engaging with customers right away instead of sending them to a passive landing page and losing their attention (and, probably loyalty) in the unnecessarily lengthy process. For example, consumers can initiate Conversational Commerce interactions directly from digital ads and even offline ads via a QR code. And those customer conversations can then stimulate new or repeat business.

Offer a seamless checkout experience

You can seamlessly offer your customers an experience where they never need to leave the conversation, even as they are prompted to submit payment. With the ability to integrate secure payments right inside the messaging app conversation, you can reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase conversion rates in no time.

Leverage the Conversational Cloud®

Our Conversational AI platform is a powerful Conversational Commerce tool that can help you embrace this type of customer experience in all phases. The end result? A competitive advantage.

  1. For example, we have quick, out-of-the-box intent detection starter packs specific to the buying journey. These packs can reduce time-to-market deployment for AI to scale commerce-related instant messages.
  2. Want to re-engage existing customers for upselling and cross-selling opportunities…without feeling spammy? Proactive messaging conversations help you do so in a personalized way, keeping customers in a channel where they can complete purchases. 
  3. Provide secure, compliant digital messages and transactions, with quick and efficient support for transmitting credit cards or custom integrations to your payment processing system. LivePerson is PCI DSS L1 certified, the most comprehensive independent security audit and international compliance program in the industry. 
  4. While security is a top priority for our tools and technology, the Conversational Cloud also offers top-notch conversational analytics to help measure the impact of your program with AI and messaging with real human sentiment analysis, dashboard reporting, integrations, and more. (After all, LivePerson technology is specifically designed to create Curiously Human™ digital experiences, where bots actually understand customers’ intents, leading to a higher conversion of sales to help accelerate ROI.)

So what are you waiting for, commerce leaders?

It’s time to unlock incremental revenue through personalized experiences powered by Conversational AI. Doing so will set your brand apart as you help consumers proactively discover products, get answers, and make purchases in the messaging channels they use every day. In addition, you’ll be able to unify these messaging conversations across social, voice, and email — throughout the entire customer journey. And the next time someone asks, “Just what is Conversational Commerce?” maybe you’ll be able to point to your own purchasing process.

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