- The rise of AI
- Hello conversational commerce
- Why businesses are loving the chat
- 5 Kickass Conversational Commerce Examples
- What lies ahead?
Want to know what bugs me?
Going into an actual shop to buy something specific, but having nobody to help me.
Whether it’s because of a staff shortage, assistants being too busy on their phones or just bad timing – it’s always annoying.
Because even with all our technical advances – good service is still fundamentally one of the most important elements of a shopping experience.
Sure, it’s fine popping into Tesco to grab the essentials, checkout at the self-service and wander out without having exchanged a single word with anyone.
But for the items that are more specialized, expensive or technological – you want help.
Before you part with your hard-earned cash you want someone to tell you one last time how those gold-plated headphones will bring untold joy to your life.
Or even to find the right size for you.
While we live in a commerce-anywhere world, where we can buy whatever we like, whenever we like – sometimes you need that personal interaction. Even online.
Which is why more and more businesses are turning to AI to make sure that there’s ALWAYS ‘someone’ there to help customers.
Even if all it is really is several lines of clever code disguised with a human name. 😉
The rise of AI
While artificial intelligence (AI) was once the stuff of the ‘future’, reserved only for sci-fi films and Star Trek spaceships, these days it’s as mainstream as celery juice.
A combination of machine learning, natural language processing and live operators, it’s come a long way from the early Alan Turing days to become part of our daily lives.
So much so, you’d find it pretty hard to avoid it really.
You’ve got Siri on your phone.
Google Maps telling you how to avoid traffic.
HIghly personalized product recommendations on Amazon.
Driver-assist in cars.
And over 20M Roombas ferrying cats and babies around living rooms all over the world.
No escape really.
AI has become so ‘normal’, we don’t even pay attention to it anymore.
But behind the scenes, it’s constantly evolving. And the companies that use it are constantly finding new and innovative ways to weave it into our routines. Making it so personal and relevant to us, that sometimes it’s hard to tell whether it’s a human or a bot we’re having a conversation with.
Hello Conversational Commerce
Definition: Conversational commerce is an automated technology, powered by rules and often artificial intelligence, that enables online shoppers and brands to interact with one another via chat and voice interfaces.
And unless you’ve been hiding under a rock. Or are new here – in which case – welcome! 👋. You’ll know that it’s what we do here at Jumper. And do well. #humblebrag
You see everyone loves shopping.
And everyone loves to chat.
When you bring them both together, to where people are already hanging out – social media or direct to their phones – life instantly becomes more pleasant for everyone involved.
Sure, anyone can offer speed and convenience, but few can master that personal touch when it comes to online sales. Which is why we make conversational commerce magic happen for thousands of brands daily.
Why businesses are loving the chat
And here’s why conversational commerce is so hot right now:
- Money saving: One chatbot can deal with hundreds of customer queries at once. Hundreds. (No, of course we’re not saying they’re better than humans… or are we!?)
- Money making: You can sell directly to customers day or night. Winter or summer. Hail or shine. 24/7.
- Always-on: Whether your customers need support with an order, or a shoulder to cry on, you (as in your automated messaging system) will ALWAYS be there to help.
- Always there: You’ll hang out exactly where your customers are hanging out – on social platforms.
- No more abandonment issues: Customers will be reminded via friendly messages to come back and push that cart straight to the checkout. More on that here.
And these are just a few of the many things conversational commerce (aka Jumper) can offer you.
Now, enough about us.
Let’s see what everyone else is up to.
But first, sign up to our newsletter here to keep up to date on the latest social happenings.
5 Kickass Conversational Commerce Examples
Why do some automated campaigns flourish… while others fail. Dramatically?
Well, there’s a number of reasons for that. And many memes that celebrate these misfortunes.
But today we’re going to focus on the good.
The great, actually.
And look at successful conversational commerce campaigns across several platforms.
Goal – Turn personalized style suggestions into sales
While Kik may not be as popular as Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp when it comes to messaging platforms, it still has an impressive user base of over 300 million people. And over 40% of those are US teenagers.
So this made it the perfect space for H&M to connect with its customers via a KiK chatbot.
Acting as a personal digital stylist, the chatbots asks the user to answer a series of multiple-choice questions to determine their preferences, before making bespoke recommendations. This could be an entire outfit or the latest trending pieces.
There’s also an option to see outfits that other bot users have created for inspiration and to then vote on them.
Key benefit to customer: Human-like experience
Why it works:
- Gamification element – Letting users choose between styles is a fun way for the chatbot to learn more about the user’s specific taste in clothes.
- Highly personalized – The multiple-choice questions let users classify their style: Casual, Boho, Preppy, Classic, or Grunge – then browse for similar outfits.
- Convenience – The Kik bot saves users the effort of wading through thousands of pages of clothes.
- Relevant – The brand now has the knowledge they need to retarget the shopper in the future with specific, highly-relevant recommendations.
Platform: Facebook Messenger
Goal – Offer highly personalized Lego gift suggestions
Ralph is Lego’s super-friendly, emoji-loving chatbot who turns present shopping into a cute and fun experience.
He starts by asking the right questions about the gift recipient – the age of their child, their play interests etc. before offering up several personalized suggestions based on your answers. Along with some entertaining GIFs. Then users are directed to Lego’s website to pay.
Originally built to help with Christmas indecision around gift-buying and to give Lego an ecommerce foothold on Facebook, he was then taken on as a full-time employee after becoming a roaring success.
Key benefit to customer: Help with decision making
Why it works:
- Personalized shopping – Buying for kids is tough. Especially when you don’t have any of your own. So Ralph acts like your own personal shopper. Available 24/7.
- Inherently Lego – The playful imagery and warm tone of voice oozes happiness – turning a potentially stressful occasion into a sweet one.
- Limiting options – There’s a zillion questions Ralph could ask about the child, but instead he focuses on just a few so as not to overwhelm the user – reducing friction to purchase.
- Easy checkout – After selecting the right toy, users are redirected to the website for a seamless checkout experience. And free shipping!
Goal – Streamline the morning coffee routine
Is there anything worse than being stuck at the back of the line in a coffee shop when you’re already late for work, but desperately need caffeine?
Starbucks realized this. And decided to offer its customers a different way.
Using a smart barista bot, only available through their app, customers can now order – even by voice command – and pay for their coffee through their phone. Then once the hot beverage is ready, they’ll be alerted through a message.
So they can smugly saunter straight to the top of the queue to collect their ‘Triple, Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato’ without wasting a minute of precious time.
Key benefit to customer: Immediate service
Why it works:
- No queues – Because nobody likes waiting in line.
- Voice commands – Users don’t even have to go to the effort of typing out a message.
- Easy payments – User can link their debit or credit card to the app for instant payment.
- Location tracking – The bot will tell you where the closest Starbucks is to collect your drink.
- No queues – Did I mention that already?
Platform: Facebook Messenger
Chatbot goal – Turn engagement into direct ticket sales
To boost ticket sales for both Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man, Marvel wanted to try something new and bring the box office to where fans hung out: social media.
And they enlisted Jumper.ai to help.
Using personality-packed images and gifs to build hype and short persuasive copy, they prompted users to comment on the post using the hashtag mentioned in the post. Here they were directed to a Messenger checkout chatbot who seamlessly took them through the sales process and the tickets were booked in no time.
Key benefit to customer: Extremely convenient, safe payment
Why it works:
- Super convenient – Users don’t have to leave the comfort of their Facebook to buy a ticket.
- Builds excitement – The bots uses fun, exciting gifs from the film to get the user hyped about what they’re going to see.
- Clever targeting – Users who fail to convert are retargeting with more persuasive content.
- On brand – Marvel is a huge and very well-loved film publisher so fans are happy to engage with the brand.
5. Amazon Alexa
Goal – To take over the world. (Pretty much, right?)
And lastly, we have one of our all-star commercial commerce examples: Alexa.
This virtual assistant, who lives in a smart speaker, will do math for you, tell you where Timbuktu is, dim your lights, update you on the weather in Singapore, or play Nickleback. All on command.
But don’t be fooled by all its wizardry, it’s first and foremost role is to be a storefront. Or should I say, to be an imaginary friend who will help you shop. It is an Amazon product after all.
And what is both impressive, and highly terrifying, there have been over 100 million Alexa powered devices sold globally.
Key benefit to customer: Multi-tasking capabilities
Why it works:
- Hands-free – Alexa works by voice control so no need for any typing.
- Shopping – Once credit cards are linked to the account, users can ask Alexa to buy anything and everything for them.
- Super, super smart – The natural-language processing system Amazon has built is ridiculously intelligent so if you ask a question or deliver a command, you usually don’t have to ask twice.
- ‘Baby Shark’ on-demand – Please watch this video.
What lies ahead?
Simple answer: who knows!
Behind closed doors, scientists and engineers are beavering away non-stop to seamlessly weave chat or voice-based shopping experiences into our daily lives.
While it’s unlikely that robots will take over all of our purchasing needs, they’re making a good effort. So watch this space.
And in the meantime… for help with transforming your website or social app into a conversational commerce haven, get in touch with us today.
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