Conversational Commerce: The Next Frontier for Maximizing ROI

Conversational commerce is quickly gaining popularity as a new way to connect with prospective buyers. It allows marketing teams to connect and engage with consumers at the right time and place, creating a great consumer experience. Companies can engage the right people the instant they express interest by adopting conversational commerce, including sms,  live chat, and chatbots. As a result, brands will create more chances for high quality consumer engagement, which will drive sales.

A smart conversational commerce approach is less of a nice to have and more of an imperative for consumer brands. However, this does not always make it easy to justify exorbitant fees that some companies want to charge in order to engage in this new form of commerce. Don't worry; we are here to tell you about the next frontier for maximizing ROI.

How to Make Conversational Commerce Work for You to Maximize ROI

Several channels, such as text messaging, live chat, messaging apps, and chatbots can be used in conversational marketing examples. It's all about starting a direct conversation with your consumers and creating a frictionless experience; if you can accomplish this, you will begin to see engagement from your consumers, which is beneficial to both your brand and the end consumer.

Marketing is constantly changing, and you must be willing to adapt to new methods. Following are the ways to make conversational marketing work for you to maximize ROI:

  1. Ensure a Positive & Frictionless User Experience

While you want to improve conversions and ROI, your priority should be to provide a seamless end consumer experience and trust that the conversions will follow. If you simply try to maximize revenue, you may see short term gains, but will ultimately lose your audience and therefore the entire channel. In order to ensure a positive experience, connect with your consumers in many different ways to communicate different messages. Each consumer will have their own preference for how they prefer to be communicated with and increasingly we are seeing that Millennials prefer to receive SMS messages from brands that they trust. However, if you don’t implement SMS marketing in the correct way and treat it with the respect that it deserves, as an intimate communication channel, you can lose the trust of your consumer. This is why we recommend obtaining double opt-in from your consumers before texting and sending messages that are personalized to each consumer through intelligent back-end tagging and segmentation. 

Once you have established trust with your consumers and you have designed a program to maximize the utility to your end consumer, you are ready to implement the most frictionless experience. For the past few years email marketers have been struggling with over-crowded email inboxes and decreasing open rates and conversion rates. With no end in sight for this type of marketing, it is only natural to extend your brand’s relationship with the consumer in a more intimate channel, SMS. However, it is not enough to simply implement the same email tactics within SMS as a lot of companies are currently attempting to do, you need to provide the best experience possible. This is where Textworks’ conversational commerce tool comes in; allowing brands to sell directly within the messaging app, without the customer needing to click any links or take any actions other than to reply that they would like to purchase, with a simple ‘yes’. This is where the magic begins! 

  1. Include & Grow Conversational Commerce as a Major Channel for Marketing

In order to implement this new channel to create impact at scale, you will need to invest the time to grow and nurture a high quality list. For years now, companies have been focused on omnichannel, bringing together offline and online experiences into one system to provide a complete picture of what actions a consumer is taking. Now is the time to take this to the next level and begin interacting with your consumers at the exact moment you think they want to be contacted most. With email marketing, your consumer may not open or read your email at all, and if they do, it may be hours or days later than you intended; this reduces the overall impact for both your brand and the end consumer. With conversational commerce, beginning with SMS, you can have your message in your consumers’ hands and over 90% of the time, the message will be opened within 3 minutes. That is incredible timing! 

We are seeing brands using this channel to drive millions of dollars of incremental revenue! However, as you can imagine, consumers will not be willing to simply give their phone numbers to just anybody, so you need to establish trust and provide a substantive reason for why a consumer should want to interact with you directly in text or other conversational channels. This all begins with the expectations that you set up front; you want to explicitly tell a consumer why they should provide their phone number and how often and in what manner you plan to communicate with them via SMS. There has been a lot of success in this regard by using this channel in a way that consumers prefer, it can begin with tracking notification updates, offering exclusive discounts on a seasonal product, or simply providing useful information to your consumer when you think they need it most. However, this channel is not one that you want to abuse. If you start sending messages that your consumers don’t expect, or sending too many messages, you will likely lose the trust of that consumer. 

  1. Use the Appropriate Platform and Create Workflows, Automation, and Chatbots that Work

As with other channels, you need to ensure that the platform you choose to implement your marketing programs has the features and capabilities that will allow you to maximize your results. In order to identify the right platform for your brand, it should have the ability to perform highly targeted segmentation, create workflows to reduce campaign creation time, automate customer journeys, and offer smart chatbots. 

In order to achieve the segmentation you are looking for, you will want to connect directly via API to your other channels and be able to target customers based not only on 3rd party data, nor 1st party data, but begin to implement a zero-party data strategy. This is the benefit of direct conversations with your consumer, you can easily and intuitively collect zero-party data and your consumers will be happy to provide this data because it is going to make their experience with your brand that much better for them; and best of all, this data can enrich your entire marketing ecosystem!

Once you have all of this information on your platform, you can automate and create workflows that will provide that special personalized touch that consumers are so desperately seeking from brands these days. Additionally, by implementing chatbots, you can ensure that your customer won’t be waiting for a response from your brand. It is important to note that chatbots should not be a replacement for true human interaction, but that they serve a different and equally important role. Chatbots can work 24/7, allowing your consumers to get a response regardless of when they decide to interact with your brand. With the implementation of machine learning and training, chatbots can be programmed to be amusing, instructive, or simply direct and to the point. This will make customer encounters more pleasurable and boost consumer engagement, ultimately leading to maximizing ROI. 

If you want to take conversational commerce beyond just marketing and to truly realize the maximum ROI, you'll need a platform that allows for easy and frictionless purchasing that can integrate with your payments platform and occur directly in the messaging app. When a customer is receiving a message directly on their devices, opening over 97% of the messages, and trusts the brands sending the messages, the conversions are amazing and ROI has never been higher!

Final Takeaway

As with any new channel, conversational commerce is going to take some time to master for your brand, you may need to alter campaigns and interactions frequently until you're satisfied. It's also logical to use it with other lead-generating and marketing strategies. Conversational commerce is simply a better and updated version of how your brand has engaged with consumers. Hence, adapting to these new technologies like SMS marketing, SMS reply to buy, email marketing, live chats can actually maximize your ROI more than your expectations. 

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