In every form of internet marketing, change is inevitable. eCommerce is no different and there is a major change that will be affecting your eCommerce store. This new phenomenon is known as conversational eCommerce.
Conversational eCommerce is a method of digital marketing that encourages conversations between brands and customers who are on their purchasing journey. Actually, this is not so much a phenomenon, but rather a progressive change that was inevitable.
With more than 20 billion smartphone users worldwide, users are spending more time using their phones to search and shop. eCommerce has extended from online shopping apps to messenger apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and LINE.
In this new process, the online purchase is carried out via dialog (aka conversational eCommerce). From the business side, this concept is based on chatbot software, which utilizes preset dialog patterns to analyze customer requests using text and speech recognition.
A Conversational eCommerce Success Story
It is becoming increasingly important for brands to be able to speak with users immediately about their present needs.
Uber has done a great job of doing this. When a client needs a ride, Uber stays in contact with them providing information about the vehicle that will pick them up, the rating of the driver, and how long they can expect to wait.
While not all businesses are as large and financially lucrative as Uber, this is a great example of how conversation leads to conversion. Uber spent a lot of money developing an app and creating software that communicates with the end-user.
For smaller businesses, you can utilize websites, forums, social media, and email to talk to your audience and engage with them.
How to Increase Conversation and Improve Engagement in eCommerce
As an eCommerce retailer, engaging with your audience is crucial to transform browsers into customers. A growing number of clients are utilizing social media, review sites, and online forums to voice their opinions.
Your potential clients want to know you’re hearing them, but how do you manage all these channels of communication? Conversation management software is how most businesses keep close tabs on what their audience requires. While this is expensive, it can invaluable in securing clients and converting them into loyal users.
However, there are other ways businesses can utilize conversation with their audience, with a much smaller investment.
Conversations and Engagement Principles
Communication needs to travel in both directions; you can’t wait for your audience to initiate conversation. Businesses need to be distributing content that invites their target audience to participate with their brand. This is the first step in reaching your audience on a personal level.
Make sure you focus your content to the needs and wants of your consumers. Show them that you are trying to understand them. We have mentioned in many previous posts that share-worthy content paves the road to success. One user sharing content from your site can have a positive ripple affects, putting your brand, products, or services in front of an audience you could have never reached otherwise.
There are three main steps to take when engaging with customers:
Take into account what the user has to say. This allows you to direct consumer insight. Keeping up with all your channels and notifications can be exhausting, so we suggest you use tools such as Google Alerts, Social Mention, and Talkwalker to oversee brand mentions, relevant topics, and competitors.
There is no point in having a social media presence if doesn’t help your audience communicate with you. Businesses need to be active and alert throughout all channels to best correspond with users. Tip: Include your social media links on all communication channels. This could include emails, your website, your online bio, etc
3. Join the Conversation
Always begin conversations by responding to a user’s comment to the best of your ability. Make your responses personal and avoid using industry jargon that could be confusing. From there, ask questions. This shows a user that you are really trying to understand his/her needs.
The more information you glean from the conversation, the more data you can collect and act upon. How do you capitalize on customer engagement? By using the information to personalize your customer’s experience.
Once Engagement is Underway, How Do You Make it Convert?
When you’ve learned more about your target audience, you can define your KPIs and create a user-focused strategy based on the data collected. In order for conversions to take place, you need to be observant of what words resound with customers.
What calls-to-action have been confirmed to be most successful? What are the top three questions or comments that you most frequently receive? Use this information to customize your message and attract new customers.