Chat commerce is reshaping the online buyer’s experience. Modern brands are using conversational commerce to increase conversions, drive sales, and build relationships.

Meeting consumer demand with chat commerce options

The term conversational commerce was coined by Chris Messina, former Google Designer, in a Medium post:

“Conversational commerce is about delivering convenience, personalization, and decision support while people are on the go, with only partial attention to spare.”

Conversational commerce brings the sale closer to the customer, but that’s not the only reason companies are seizing this opportunity.

Consumers want chat commerce

A Salesforce, Drift, and myclever study suggests chat commerce is meeting the evolving needs of consumers:

“In the on-demand, real-time world we live in, where everything seems to be just one click away, consumers expect to be able to find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily.”

Bulk SMS in South AfricaBut don’t make the mistake of thinking that conversational commerce is restricted to chatbots. Customers are embracing real-time, personalized exchanges with brands in messaging apps:

Fast, direct line to customers

Chat commerce lets consumers quickly connect with brands, and they’re willing to pay a premium for simplicity and speed.

A PwC study found consumers would spend more in exchange for good brand experiences. And customers value speed and efficiency as the most important contributors to molding positive experiences.

Companies are creating chat commerce offerings to meet these demands.

MTN South Africa, for example, has partnered with Clickatell to launch MTN Chat, giving customers the ability to engage with the telco over WhatsApp.

MTN customers can now easily - and securely - perform a range of transactions, including checking balances and purchasing data bundles and airtime.

In finance, institutions like Steward Bank offer chat banking via WhatsApp. The bank worked with Clickatell to provide the chat commerce channel, attracting over 30 000 users in the first three weeks. Steward Bank customers can check balances, access customer service, open accounts, and purchase digital products.

Tips for chat commerce

Bulk SMS marketing, B2B commerce, and the digital transformation in the accounting industryMarTech Advisor encourages brands to create frictionless chat commerce experiences.

If you’re driving chat commerce on the platforms your target audience is active on, it’s easier for your customers to connect with you.

“To truly scale conversational commerce for your brand, it is necessary to follow the omnipresent approach... The aim is to reduce app or task switching. Otherwise, the chatbot is defeating the purpose of conversational commerce,” reads the MarTech Advisor article.

A tool like the WhatsApp Business API enables companies to have real-time conversations with customers in WhatsApp, creating a direct line between shoppers and brands. This solution offers businesses global reach, and the API integrates easily into existing systems. On top of that, it’s a cost-effective way to boost customer satisfaction.

Ecommerce businesses can use the Whatsapp Business API for the following:

  • Order information: share purchase, tracking, and delivery updates
  • Product availability: send updates on products consumers want to receive alerts about
  • Billing inquiries: status on returns, payments and other billing issues

Start having real-time conversations with your customers

If you want to start speaking directly with your customers, learn more about how Clickatell’s solution for WhatsApp can improve your customer relationship management strategy.

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