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“We’ve lived through the dotcom revolution and experienced the mobile and social media revolutions. Now, we are in the chat era, and companies need to acknowledge that chat may have more impact than any of the previous tech revolutions because it’s a combination of each one.” - Bizcommunity
Businesses that are integrating Chat Commerce into their operations are benefitting from better customer retention, lower service costs, and increased return on investment (ROI) overall, according to studies by Aberdeen Research in partnership with Clickatell. But despite the overwhelming evidence of Chat Commerce benefits, some companies are still slow to incorporate this digital revenue driver. Here’s a look at what Chat Commerce is, how it works, and why your business should be adopting it.
Chat Commerce is not some fleeting buzzword that will be out of fashion in a few years, it’s revolutionizing the way businesses engage with customers by providing them with a simple, single interface for engagement. Also referred to as conversational commerce or conversational shopping, chat-based commerce facilitates transactions directly through a chat app such as SMS or WhatsApp. This means that your customers can make purchases, pay bills, and other financial transactions through their preferred chat app. This comprehensive offering takes customers all the way from product discovery, through to ordering, paying, delivery tracking, issue resolution, and feedback on one application.
“Consumers are making a rapidly increasing portion of their purchases through Chat Commerce channels. Juniper Research estimates that sales made via Chat Commerce channels like chatbots, digital voice assistants, and messaging will grow more than seven-fold from $41 billion in 2021 to $290 billion by 2025.” – Engineering News
Aberdeen Research into chat-based commerce, which is available on the webinar, Leveraging Chat to Manage & Evolve a Customer-First Digital Transformation Program, surveyed 405 global companies for technological insight. The findings indicated that at least two-thirds of companies use Chat Commerce for a better customer experience, with some positive results. They noted:
A 75% improvement in annual revenue growth
A 48% increase in customer retention rates
A 27% improvement in ability to reduce service costs
21x improvement in marketing ROI
The findings indicated that chat, whether via SMS, WhatsApp, or in-app messaging, provides for much better customer connection. Many businesses are now looking to implement chat-based commerce into their existing structure within the next few months. Here are some of the ways that chat-based commerce can boost ROI:
1. Chat Commerce provides data insights
Data is a formidable tool in modern business, and conversational shopping enables companies to quickly gather valuable customer-related data for better visibility and planning. This customer-first business model means businesses can use data insights to address challenges experienced by customers and provide them with a service that they actually want.
2. Chat Commerce is mobile
“2022 is set to blow past records in a transformed economy reliant on digital socialization, hybrid work, and entertainment from the palm of your hand. A mobile-first strategy is a prerequisite for success in our transformed economy. A data-informed strategy is the fuel that will take you there.” – Data.ai
Customers want a mobile-first, mobile-always experience with people spending around 4.8 hours per day on mobile apps. Chat Commerce empowers you to meet this need because you’re engaging with customers on a platform that they understand, and one that they have with them all the time.
3. Chat Commerce lowers costs
When you incorporate Chat Commerce into your business, you’re automating repetitive tasks, accelerating daily operations, and reducing friction for customers. This increased efficiency translates into lowered operational costs and a boost in revenue over time. Conversational shopping also enables partner offerings within chat apps as a way to drive profits.
4. Chat Commerce improves customer engagement
“Along with the cost optimization benefits of reducing call volumes and increasing engagement with self-service channels, customers feel a greater sense of appreciation toward the provider and its service organization.” - Gartner
Because you’re reaching customers on an app with which they’re familiar, they’re much more likely to connect with you. This positive digital interaction means improved brand loyalty and customer retention, with customers actually more likely to pay more for a better customer experience.
5. Chat Commerce works on preferred platforms
As we’ve mentioned, Chat Commerce is available via existing mobile communication channels such as WhatsApp, which means customers feel safe and secure when engaging on these platforms. All the necessary customer information is available on this single interface, and they’re able to navigate from the start to completion of the commerce journey with no hassle.
“By 2025, 80% of customer service organizations will have abandoned native mobile apps in favor of messaging for a better customer experience.” - Gartner, Inc.
Chat Commerce is advancing customer service and boosting ROI across a number of key industries. Some of those that are showing great advancements through conversational shopping include:
Chat Commerce allows customers to engage with support service for rapid response to urgent queries. Some of the other transactions facilitated through Chat Commerce include:
Reporting identity theft or fraud
Locating nearby ATMS and banks
Applying for credit cards and loans
Managing accounts and viewing balances
Setting up and managing direct deposits
Now that air travel has opened up once again, airline customers are able to maximize on the opportunities offered by Chat Commerce, such as:
Check in and retrieve boarding passes
Search for available flights and make reservations or upgrades
Access club information and manage personal profiles
Enrol in loyalty programmes and purchase passes
There are so many uses of Chat Commerce for telecommunications’ providers, with customers able to:
Find branches and get online assistance
Manage mobile contracts and services
View airtime and account balances
Check latest and past statements
Buy goods and services from telecom partners
Service delivery can be better facilitated through Chat Commerce with customers provided with ongoing support, as well as accessing:
Energy-saving tips and solutions
Access electricity meter balances or water use
Report and check on power outages
Make payments for utility bills
The media industry is also benefitting from conversational shopping with customer support, account management, subscription settings, and gift cards all accessible via the single app.
When it comes to Chat Commerce, Clickatell is an industry leader, having created the first Chat Commerce telecom solution worldwide. Through Clickatell’s preconfigured Chat Commerce solution, you can better engage with customers while ensuring maximization of ROI.
SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.