According to a 2021 report by Liveperson,6 77% of consumers worldwide are more likely to make a purchase if they can browse or obtain answers through messaging. Furthermore, they are also more likely to seek immediate communication with a business in order to make their business, preferring to do so via brands’ messaging channels.
This communication has to be interactive, responsive, and personalised, according to Gupshup. Specifically, 64% of customers want messaging to be interactive, 57% rated responsiveness as the most important criteria in customer support, and 91% desire this support and communication to be personalised.
With the personalisation and convenience that comes with direct channels of communication, doors for online transactions to happen are more open than ever. Direct communication between customers and sellers is now aptly accommodated through e-commerce with its constantly evolving technology.
This practice was coined as ‘conversational commerce’ by Chris Messina in 2015.7 The human interaction facilitated through conversational commerce, or chat commerce, has elevated online hospitality and service without requiring a physical presence. It has also brought consumers one step closer to the support and attention usually provided by a sales associate of brick-and-mortar stores. Personalisation is also higher, due to the historical information that online channels provide, such as data about the customer’s location, purchase history, and so on.
The open-ended nature of chat commerce allows consumer loyalty and engagement to be built, turning conversations into transactions in a split second by leveraging the power of personalised experiences. Brands are better-positioned to respond to a high volume of simultaneous inquiries and orders, while monitoring customer service activities at the same time. On the financial end, chat commerce helps reduce operational and manpower costs. The use of auto-response features, such as by providing a pricelist or FAQ, leads to higher efficiency in task completion and sales recap.
For consumers, the benefits of chat commerce are similarly plentiful. Those who use chat platforms regularly can easily and swiftly meet their needs, especially with automated chats, since waiting time will be drastically shortened. Additionally, chat commerce replicates an offline consultation process with the added practicality of a personalised online experience. The use of chat commerce further shows that the brand is credible, able to keep up with current trends, and provides the highest level of service, thus increasing consumers’ trust.