Remember the good old days when a personal shopper would help you navigate through a bustling department store to find the perfect outfit for you? Remember when customers and retail associates knew each other by name? Remember when stores used the principles of clienteling to build lasting relationships with customers?
With the invention of eCommerce, and online shopping becoming "the norm," it seemed like those days were over…
When the C19 pandemic hit, it seemed like everyone was okay with DIY shopping experiences. Amazon had become the #1 place online to shop by removing people from the buyer's journey. Associates were replaced with robots, cashiers were replaced with one-click add-to-cart and auto-ship options. It seemed like personalization was dead.
Fast forward 3 years and isolation has made us desire the human element in shopping again, and this time it's here to stay…
And it's called Conversational Commerce!
Let's hit the ground running with a question that's probably top of mind: "What is meant by the term conversational commerce?"
Simply put, it's the intersection of shopping and conversation—mostly powered by live chat, messaging apps, voice assistants, and other digital platforms. In rare cases, conversational commerce software is actually powered by Humans... but we'll talk about this later.
Conversational commerce solutions are like having a personal shopper, one who understands your preferences, helps you navigate an online store and makes personalized recommendations in your pocket.
To get a real understanding of this concept, let's take a look at an example of conversational commerce.
Imagine you're a busy professional, and you've seen an ad for REN Skincare - you're familiar with the brand and even low on facial care products, but you haven't pulled the trigger on a new skincare routine just yet because you're unsure of which products will work best for you.
So instead of guessing, you head over to renskincare.com and click "Personal Shopper" on the right side of the screen. You answer a couple of questions like whether your skin is oily, normal, or dry, you mention any conditions that you'd like to treat, and what your budget is. Once you click submit, you're connected to a real human personal shopper who will guide you through the process of creating your skincare routine and the products you need from beginning to end via text.
All of their recommendations end up on a beautifully designed custom landing page with the ability to select or deselect each product and a button at the bottom that says "add to cart"- to streamline your checkout.
And that's just one example of how conversational commerce solutions can help customers shop smarter and faster.
This is how conversational commerce solutions by Humankind work. Our platform leverages the power of human connection, allowing brands to create 1:1 human relationships with their customers and create excellent customer experiences.
We call it "concierge commerce," and it's quickly becoming the new standard for eCommerce.
People often confuse conversational commerce with conversational marketing, but they're two different sides of the same coin.
While both involve interactive, real-time conversations with customers, the former focuses on guiding customers through a purchase within a conversation. The latter, on the other hand, primarily aims to engage customers, gather information, and build relationships. It's about creating memorable 'conversations' that can enhance brand recognition and loyalty.
And, there's only one platform on the market that combines the best of both conversational commerce and marketing with a 1:1 human connection between the brand and the customer... concierge commerce by Humankind.
When you combine both solutions into one platform you get higher customer satisfaction (CSAT), increased conversions (CVRs), and engagement scores, more loyal customers, higher lifetime customer value (CLV), and more repeat purchase rates.
But don't take our word for it. Check out our customer case study with OLAPLEX Haircare, after implementing Humankind they've been able to increase CSAT scores to 4.94 (out of 5) and increase average order values (AOV) by more than 150% since using our platform.
Let's switch gears for a moment. If you've been watching the meteoric rise of conversational commerce solutions, you may be thinking, "That all sounds great, but are these solutions really here to stay?"
To answer that, let's crunch some numbers. According to McKinsey, conversational commerce is poised to be the next big thing in the e-commerce industry - because it's really that effective. The report cites the exponential growth of mobile messaging apps, and the increased convenience and personalization they offer, as key drivers of this trend.
Furthermore, industry statistics suggest that the global conversational AI market size is expected to grow from USD 4.2 billion in 2019 to USD 15.7 billion by 2024, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 30.2% during the forecast period. And with more and more conversational commerce companies entering the fray, the competition is heating up.
So it's growing rapidly, but doesn't that mean it will be out of date in a few years?
"What's the future of conversational commerce?" I hear you asking…
With the advent of advanced technologies and changing consumer behaviors, we expect the trend of personalized, 1:1 human connections in e-commerce to grow stronger. People want human connection in their shopping experiences but up until recently, the only way to get it was to go to a physical store.
Now, thanks to conversational commerce solutions like Humankind, shoppers can get that same 1:1 human connection online without ever having to leave their homes. Plus, it's easier than ever for brands to track customer behavior and preferences in real-time which allows them to create highly targeted and personalized experiences – leading to improved sales and customer loyalty.
Given all of that, it's safe to say conversational commerce solutions are here to stay – and the future looks bright!
I believe we've entered an era where 'virtual concierge software' will be commonplace, and personalized shopping experiences will be the norm across all e-commerce platforms.
Digital consumerism is on the rise, and with it, the demand for engaging, personalized shopping experiences that conversational commerce solutions offer.
As conversational technologies become the cornerstone of how brands communicate with customers, we'll see a flywheel effect. Access to data will lead to increased leverage and allow brands to engage with customers in new, interesting, and relevant ways.
While the results are yet to be seen, we can predict this access to data will result in more personalized experiences, improved customer service, and increased sales.
Overall, the integration of rich customer data enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of conversational commerce, benefiting both brands and customers alike.
These integrations enable businesses to leverage the power of conversational commerce directly from their existing e-commerce platforms, creating a cohesive and user-friendly shopping experience.
At Humankind, our solution fits into this ecosystem like a glove. It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned eCommerce marketer or new to the space, integrating our conversational commerce solution into your e-commerce platform is simple.
With the help of our team, you can start connecting with customers and creating personalized shopping experiences that will drive the success of your business.
So, where are we heading with all this? We talked about the future of conversational commerce in a previous section, but the consensus among industry thought leaders points towards the continuous evolution and sophistication of conversational commerce solutions.
At Humankind, we've been integrating a strategy to leverage AI, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and large language models (LLM) to supercharge human interactions further. However, the goal remains the same: to foster genuine, 1:1 human connections between brands and their customers.
Remember, it's not just about automating customer interactions and scalability, it's also about enhancing and personalizing the shopping experience. It's about moving towards what we at Humankind like to call a true "concierge commerce" experience.
In conclusion, conversational commerce isn't just another buzzword; it's a transformative trend shaping the future of e-commerce. As we've seen, it's more than just AI chatbots and automated messages. It's about delivering a personalized, concierge-like shopping experience to every customer, every time.
So whether you're a CMO planning your brand's next big move or a marketing manager looking for innovative ways to connect with your customers, it's time to put conversational commerce firmly on your radar.
If you're ready to explore how conversational commerce can revolutionize your customer experience, Book your demo with Humankind Conversational Commerce Software today, and let's take your e-commerce game to the next level!