Clientbook Blog
May 9, 2023

Why conversational commerce matters for retailers

In a world with so many means to communicate, from texts, to tweets, to DMs, it's easier than ever for brands to engage with their customers—and today's consumers want brands to talk with them. 

According to a survey by Sprout Social, 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them, and 91% believe social media has the power to connect people. 

One of the best ways to connect with your customers is through conversational commerce. In this article we'll cover what conversational commerce is, how it benefits retailers, and how a tool like Clientbook can help you implement a conversational commerce strategy at your business. 

What is conversational commerce? 

Conversational commerce is when retailers talk to their shoppers throughout the customer journey through virtual messaging channels.

So when a retailer replies to a shoppers' comments on their social media channels, uses chat apps to answer a potential customer's question, or allows customers to make purchases through voice assistants like Google or Alexa, those are all conversational commerce tools. 

The purpose behind having a conversational commerce strategy is to improve customer engagement even when shoppers aren't with you in your physical store. So whether they're shopping online, checking out your social media posts, or reading online reviews, they can get their questions answered and learn more about your brand. 

Examples of conversational commerce 

Conversational commerce platforms are available all over the internet, with thousands of brands embracing the trend. 

Here are just a few examples of conversational commerce technology tools in use today: 

  • Online chat features, whether run by actual humans or artificial intelligence 
  • Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp
  • Voice chats with tools like Google Assistant and Amazon's Echo 
  • Direct messaging users on social media platforms 
  • Replying to customer reviews on Google Business, G2, or other review platforms 

What is the benefit of conversational commerce for retailers? 

Facilitating customer conversations outside of your store has a lot of advantages for retailers, even if you don't offer an online shopping experience. 

Let's go over a few of the reasons why conversational commerce can have big pay-offs for both brick-and-mortar retailers and ecommerce brands alike. 

It engages with customers where they already are 

When you're having a conversation with customers on messaging platforms, social channels, and other digital channels, you're meeting them where they are—online. And that does big things for brand awareness and recognition. 

Think about it. The first step in any customer buying journey is awareness. The old-fashioned way for people to hear about your store and get to know your brand was through word-of-mouth marketing or even just stumbling upon your location just by chance. 

But with conversational commerce, you eliminate the need for a buyer to see your physical store or even have anyone in their social circle who knows about it. If they can find you—and actually talk to you—on social media, through online review platforms, or your website, you open up your market of potential customers that can find you. 

It encourages relationship-building 

Next, when you take a more conversational approach to the way you interact with your buyers, you're far more likely to build genuine relationships with customers that translates into lasting brand loyalty. 

After all, when you give buyers more opportunities to talk to you, whether through social messaging apps, text messaging, or online chat platforms, you're encouraging two-way conversations in a world where conversations with brands are usually only one-way. Many businesses talk to their customers with ads and marketing messages, but with conversational commerce, your customers can actually talk back. 

Responding to customer feedback and truly listening to what they're saying goes a long way in fostering strong customer relationships that will last a lifetime. 

It facilitates personalized conversations 

Having a conversation is an inherently personal interaction. This is especially true when you're directly responding to a single customer comment or hosting a one-on-one conversation between a customer and a customer service representative. Allowing for these kinds of conversations creates more personalized experiences for your buyers and makes them feel special. 

For example, when a buyer leaves a product review for something they bought at your store and gets a personalized message in response from you as the business owner, it tells them that you really care about the customer and their opinion.

What's more, through conversational commerce, your sales team can make personalized recommendations on products they think a buyer might like best, creating an improved customer experience. 

It turns casual shoppers into loyal customers 

Finally, conversational commerce has the power to turn browsers into buyers. 

Imagine a user scrolling through their phone on social media and finding your brand's page. They see an item they like on one of your posts and leave a comment asking a question about the product. Then they scroll away, moving on. If you respond quickly with an answer to their question, it invites them back to your page, and encourages them to shop with you. 

Without that brief conversation, that buyer might have forgotten about your post and even your brand entirely, never to become a customer. But because of their interaction, they know you care about your customers and want them to get the information they need, making them far more likely to make a purchase. 

Clientbook can help retailers engage with customers in-store and online

If you're looking to add a more conversational and personalized approach to your customer engagement strategy, clienteling software like Clientbook can help.

Clienteling is a retail strategy where retail sales associates work to build long-term relationships with shoppers to improve conversion rates and drive sales. This is done by engaging with customers both in-store and online. 

Clientbook is a mobile app and web platform that helps organize and even automate many of these communications, including sending personalized product recommendations, thank-you notes to buyers, and even requests for online reviews. 

Hear why our customers love Clientbook

Conclusion

Conversational commerce can have big returns for your customer loyalty, sales, and overall brand reputation. And it's easier than ever to offer a conversational approach for your customers, especially with a tool like Clientbook.

Ready to see how Clientbook can help you better connect with your buyers? Book a demo today!

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