“… companies who excel at demonstrating customer intimacy generate faster rates of revenue growth than their peers. And the closer organizations get to the consumer, the bigger the gains.” - McKinsey
The explosion of online shopping in the past few years has made the retail space incredibly competitive, and customers a lot more selective when choosing brands. What sets retailers apart is the customer journey they provide, a major part of which needs to be a personalized experience.
In fact, McKinsey’s Next in Personalization 2021 revealed that 71% of consumers expect personalized interactions, and companies that meet that need grow 40% faster in terms of revenue generation. When it comes to the modern shopping experience, Chat Commerce is emerging as the leading way to provide customers with the personalized retail digital experience they’re searching for.
Around two decades ago, mobile phones were completely disparate from the internet. Phones were simply for calls and texting among friends, families, and business associates – and the odd game of Snake! Meanwhile, the desktop was used for emails and web browsing. However, Chat Commerce has bridged this gap, unlocking a world of communication possibilities for business. Chat Commerce goes well beyond enabling the internet to connect with mobile phones.. Through Chat Commerce, entire transactions can be facilitated using mobile messaging apps, without customers having to physically enter the store, visit your website, or download another app.
There are so many ways that Chat Commerce brings the customer closer to your brand. And considering the massive shift in customer behaviour to mobile commerce, it’s important that retailers are meeting customers using the best commerce tools available.
1. Support services
The first personalized benefit of Chat Commerce we’ll touch on is the 24-7 support services that are provided. Customers want to get the information they need about your product or service now. Not in an email response tomorrow, or waiting on a call centre queue. That’s why Chat Commerce is best for customer support. Using automation, any FAQs can be immediately responded to via WhatsApp or SMS, and if customers require more information, they’re simply re-directed to a live agent. They can provide expert insight into the product or service being offered while also engaging with the customer on a first-name basis. They know who they’re talking to, where they are based, and what they’re looking for.
2. It's comfortable and familiar
“Research published in 2021 found that Americans in their early twenties used their phones an average of 28.5 hours per week in 2020—up from 25.9 hours per week in 2018. One review of studies conducted in 2020 and 2021 put the estimates even higher, finding that average screen time for adults in the U.S. and other countries increased 60–80% from before the pandemic.” - Time
Step into any coffee shop and take a look around – you’ll no doubt see 90% of the people staring at their mobile phones. And of these, a significant number will be checking or replying to messages. Most people are acquainted with WhatsApp and SMS, they’re comfortable with them, and they’re more likely to engage with businesses on these familiar messaging apps. That’s where Chat Commerce works. You’re connecting with customers on mobile messaging apps that they personally know, love, and use every day.
3. Customized dealings
Every customer engagement via Chat Commerce allows you to gain further insight into their preferences, interests, and concerns. By building up this consumer profile, you’re able to create a much more personalised shopping experience. You can reach out to specific customers with tailored promotions and discounts. Working off previous purchases, you’re able to either cross-sell or up-sell to your customers. Beyond this, when customers get in touch, your customer service agents can immediately pick up where they last left off, so your customers aren’t having to repeat themselves. This makes for much more personalised after-sales support. Your customers don’t feel like just a number, they feel like they’re getting that individual treatment they deserve.
4. It's contactless
It might seem like an oxymoron but contactless retail solutions are actually bringing your customers the personalized experience they want. The reason is simply that you’re giving customers what they want – convenience. You’re not expecting them to waste time and money coming into a physical store, you’re meeting them in the mobile messaging apps they prefer and enjoy.
“Companies are quickly catching on to the importance of chat commerce in their channel strategies, but far too many are not paying attention to user experience (UX). A poor user experience will not only frustrate customers but can stop them from ever engaging with a business in the channel again.” - BizCommunity
Integrating Chat Commerce into your operations is an important business decision, but it needs to be accompanied by a few best practices so that your customer experience is enhanced. Some things to remember:
Gain information on your customers through surveys and by analysing your customers’ data history. The more you know, the better your customer’s overall experience.
You need to have the necessary technical support including backend integration capabilities so that you’re getting the most out of Chat Commerce.
Be clear and concise in your customer communication, particularly through automated FAQ responses. Your customers need quick and easy access to the information they need.
Direct customers to the right place when automation doesn’t work. They need to be able to chat with a live agent who can provide the right responses when needed.
Clickatell’s Chat Commerce is the next phase of conversational commerce that places your brand in the mobile messaging apps that your customers know and love. This is not only convenient, it ensures every customer is getting the personal experience they want. From product searches through to payment and after-sales support, Chat Commerce is the complete retail digital experience.
SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.