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Shop Talk: How Conversational Commerce is Revolutionizing Retail

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Sometimes technology changes the world and sometimes the world demands the advent of new technology. It’s kind of a chicken-and-the-egg sort of thing, never more so than when you consider the rise of conversational commerce. We spend the majority of our day with our fingers tapping away on the touchscreens of our smartphones, and outside interference – even from things as paltry as, oh, the need to eat or get to work – is frowned upon, to say the least.

That’s where conversational commerce comes in. The ability to communicate with businesses in the same swift, convenient fashion we say hello to our friends is not only awesome, it’s downright revolutionary. Here’s why:

It All Starts with SMS

There’s a reason that text messaging took off like it did. People love the idea that they chat with friends in the middle of a movie or math class without missing a single scene or equation. For businesses, convenience is just the beginning. Email has a mere 20-percent open rate and a response rate of just 6 percent while text messaging has a 98-percent open rate and a response rate of 45 percent. In other words, if you want people to not only read your message but actually reply, text message is the way to go.

That’s why companies like Textpedite are so popular; mass text messaging is a way for businesses to have personalized yet still automated conversations with consumers. From confirming subscriptions to sending personalized discounts, text is the original version of conversation commerce – but it doesn’t end there.

The Convenience of One-Stop Shopping

Some 32 percent of consumers wish that it was easier to navigate the purchasing process on mobile websites and 48 percent say that “ease of use” is the most important quality in a mobile website. Now imagine that instead of shopping on a website, being transferred to another site to complete payment, clarifying shipping information by phone, and getting your order confirmation by email, there was a way to get all that done in one spot. There is, of course, thanks to conversational commerce.

Facebook Messenger, for instance, has been testing out functionalities that would allow Facebook users to message back and forth with brands such as 1-800-Flowers and Shop Spring, simply writing out commands like “I’d like to order flowers for my Grandmother,” then busying themselves with something else while the brand on the other end of the conversation uses information from your profile (Grandma’s name and address, your credit card, etc.) to complete the transaction. They might even ask you a quick question, such as “Does Grandma prefer roses or violets?” or “Would you like it delivered today or tomorrow?”

That kind of interaction is what makes conversational commerce so special. It’s personalized, it’s interactive, and it’s intuitive – this isn’t a lifeless, emotionless bot, and that makes all the difference in the world.

Figuring out how to build your ecommerce brand is like creating a master blueprint titled “success.” A great foundation is essential, but it’s the way you communicate with consumers that will ultimately determine whether your business thrives. What’s holding you back from joining the commerce conversation?

Author Biography

Sophorn Chhay is the marketing guy at  Trumpia, a mobile content delivery service that allows users to customize their one-to-one marketing efforts by interconnecting and optimizing all digital platforms. As an innovator in two-way SMS messaging, Trumpia's mission is to empower brands and public figures with interactive access to their audiences, reaching targeted affinity groups in a personal way. Trumpia delivers world-class content such as video, ticketing, polling, products sales, contests and giveaways.

Follow Sophorn on Twitter(@Trumpia), LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+

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