The Ultimate Guide to Conversational Commerce: With Examples

Table of contents

Ever felt like the customer journey at your e-commerce store is missing that personal touch that traditional retail outlets offer loyal customers?

Imagine strolling into your favorite shop. The store owner greets you by name, knows your usual order, and even remembers that you like a dash of extra caramel on your sundae.

Ahh, sweet personalized service!

Now imagine if your online store could also offer a similar tailored shopping experience.

Sounds impossible? Not anymore with Conversational Commerce. 🛍️💻

In the age of 'Swipe, Select, Checkout,’ conversations with customers have taken a back seat, and customers are often lost in a sea of products.

Big brands like H&M and Sephora are already reaping the benefits of conversational commerce with their messaging chatbots, Kik and Sephora Virtual Artist.

But, as a small business owner, is conversational commerce work enough for you?

The simple answer is - Yes!

And Conversational Commerce is your best chance☀️!

Do not know where to start? Keep reading this blog to learn more about conversational commerce, its importance, how to implement it, and how it can give your e-commerce business a major glow-up.

Let’s jump right in!

Table Of Contents

What is conversational commerce?

You've been working tirelessly on your own eCommerce website or store, right from setting it up and marketing to handling daily operations. You want to make sure that your customers find their perfect products with just a few clicks.

But quite often, you see they just abandon the site ☹️

As we are talking about abandoning, see how you can reduce cart abandonment for your e-commerce site!

What if we told you personalizing shopping experiences can help you keep customers engaged? Say hello to Conversational Commerce.

Conversational Commerce is when you use chatbots, social media, or any messaging apps to strike up a conversation with your customers while they're shopping. You're not just showing them products, you're guiding them, answering their queries, and making personalized suggestions.

To understand this better, let’s use a conversational commerce example!

Imagine one of your regular customers named Sarah. She is after a new pair of running shoes. Now, Sarah would have to sift through dozens of different shoe styles and types without conversational commerce.

But with conversational commerce, a friendly chatbot pops up as soon as Sarah lands on your site, being your e-commerce assistant. It asks Sarah about her preferences - the brand she likes, the terrain she runs on, her shoe size, and her budget. Based on her responses, the chatbot shows her a curated selection of shoes that suit her needs.

Sarah's online shopping experience just got a whole lot easier and a whole lot more personal 😌

Learn more about ecommerce chatbots and see how they can help you enhance customer experience and skyrocket sales.

So, conversational commerce is not just a cool feature or an add-on for big brands. It helps you keep your customers engaged, making them feel valued and providing a personal touch. And when customers feel like they’re being heard and understood, they’re more likely to fill up their carts and return for more.

Why is conversational commerce important?

Conversational commerce is just a fancy trend!

If someone says this to you, share this blog post with them.

As this section is power-packed with real-life examples of conversational commerce and examples of e-commerce companies that leveraged the benefits of a conversational commerce strategy to drive business growth 📈

Well, we are not going to bore you with long paragraphs to explain the importance of conversational commerce, but we will share some interesting examples 🧐

1. Personalized customer experience

Ever heard of Stitch Fix? They've taken the concept of personalized customer experience to a whole new level with their use of conversational technology in commerce. Their chatbot, an essential part of the customer experience, quizzes customers about their style preferences, sizes, and budget.

Personalised customer experience - The Ultimate Guide to Conversational Commerce
Personalised customer experience

Based on the responses to customer conversations, a personal stylist curates a selection of clothing and accessories tailored to the customer's taste.

The result?

Customers feel understood and delighted with a service that's literally handpicked for them. This personal touch is a big part of Stitch Fix reaching ~ 4.2 million active users in 2021.

2. Boosts sales

Gone are the days when customers browsed through a shop and a smiling shop assistant suggested products that would go perfectly with what they were buying.

Or are they?

Conversational commerce is essentially that friendly shop assistant, just in a digital format.

The global beauty retailer Sephora is another perfect conversational commerce example to how online retailers boost brand loyalty and sales in app messaging.

Boosts sales - The Ultimate Guide to Conversational Commerce
Boosts sales

Imagine you are a makeup enthusiast trying to find the perfect foundation for your skin tone. And, you are convinced that you must visit a store to get the right one.

But Sephora’s Virtual Artist can prove you wrong. How?

This app can use augmented reality and AI to match the perfect foundation shade to your skin tone, just like in-store – but from the comfort of your home😌.

And Sephora didn’t stop there and developed a chatbot named the "Sephora Reservation Assistant." It is available on Facebook Messenger to help you book a makeover, a service offered in their physical and online stores too, using natural, conversational natural language processing.

These same conversational marketing and commerce practices helped Sephora to increase sales through online sales and footfall in offline stores.

3. Improved customer service

ASOS, a leading online fashion and cosmetic retailer, is a front-runner in implementing machine learning and other conversational commerce platforms to improve positive customer experience and service. It’s all about a chatty virtual assistant named Enki, available on Google assistant, is introduced in 2020.

Improved customer service - The Ultimate Guide to Conversational Commerce
Improved customer service

As an online shopper looking to buy a new pair of jeans. You might have a few questions before purchasing – size, delivery time, return policy, and more. Now, you could hunt down this information on the various online retailers' website, but wouldn't it be easier if someone (or, in this case, something) could answer these questions instantly?

Enter Enki, ASOS's online chatbot. It is designed to mimic human conversation, providing instant answers to customer queries answering questions.

If you're unsure about the sizing, Enki can guide you through ASOS’s sizing guide. If you want to know about their return policy, Enki is there to explain it. And if you're worried about the delivery time, Enki can provide the current estimates.

A shopping experience that is smoother, more enjoyable, and much less frustrating.

In 24 months, Enki has helped ASOS add 50 points to its NPS, reduced customer attrition, and improved resolution rates and waiting times.

4. Customer engagement

Who wouldn't love a brand that listens? Conversational commerce provides a platform where customers can voice their queries, opinions, and concerns, making them feel heard and valued.

Nike's bot, for instance, engages in customer conversations with customers by answer questions, offering style advice and product recommendations. And continues the conversation, building a connection with the customer.

Customer engagement - The Ultimate Guide to Conversational Commerce
Customer engagement

It's not just about product discovery and recommendations but about customer retention and building an entire community around the love for sports. They engage their customers with personalized training programs, early access to new products and even encourage users to share their sports achievements.

Nike has also integrated a chat feature in their app, ensuring that customer questions and queries are addressed quickly and efficiently, adding a personal touch to the shopping experience ✔️.

5. Better understanding of customer behavior

Conversational commerce is like a treasure trove of customer data. Businesses gain insight into customer preferences, shopping and global spending habits, and common queries with every interaction.

When it comes to e-commerce and customer data, no one has leveraged it better than Amazon. The Alexa virtual assistant used the data collected from conversational commerce to understand customer behavior and preferences better.

Alexa isn't just your average weather-reporting, joke-cracking virtual assistant. Beneath that pleasant voice interface lies a goldmine of consumer data.

If you routinely ask Alexa to add a particular brand of coffee to your cart, Amazon learns your preference for that brand. The system also learns from your searches, the questions you ask, and even the products you browse💻.

Amazon uses this data to create a hyper-personalized shopping experience like you see personalized product recommendations. If you were discussing a specific book with a friend over Alexa, don't be surprised if that book popped up in your recommendations.

According to a report by McKinsey, Amazon's recommendation engine, driven by customer data, is estimated to generate 35% of their revenue.

So, with Alexa around, it's not just you getting to know her better – she's getting to know you better too!

6. Omni-channel experience

Today, customers expect a consistent shopping experience across all channels, whether it's in-store, online, or through a mobile app.

And, of course, the Conversational commerce platform is here to help businesses create this seamless omnichannel commerce experience.

Meet Starbucks Barista - an AI-powered chatbot where customers can place orders using text and voice commands☕️🗣️. At the same time, you can also continue your order on the Starbucks bot on Facebook Messenger offers a similar service, weaving together multiple ordering platforms through chat-based interfaces.

Starbucks barista app - conversational commerce
Starbucks barista app

Aside from the kudos of being a tech-savvy brand, this gives potential customers, a more omnichannel experience.

And the numbers back this up💯.

Mobile orders, largely driven by these chatbots, comprised about 26% of Starbucks’ US orders in 2021.

Types of conversational commerce

We have discussed how amazing conversational commerce is, how it's changing the game in the world of the ecommerce websites, and even spilled the beans on some of the magic it's worked for companies like Sephora and Starbucks.

You're probably wondering, "What are the different types social channels of conversational commerce, and which one will suit my business best?"

We read your mind!

Let's look at the four main types of conversational commerce that social messaging apps and platforms have out there.

1. Live chat

Live chat is like the phone calls your favorite buddy who’s always there when you need them. It’s a real-time communication tool that businesses implement on their mobile devices and websites to interact with website visitors instantly 💬.

Features of Live Chat:

It comes as an instant messaging box that pops up at the corner of your website. It offers real-time responses, the ability to handle multiple chats at once, automatic replies, chat transcripts, and customer analytics making it one of the best chat commerce platforms.

Implementing live chat on your website usually involves integrating a service like Intercom, Zendesk, or LiveChat through a simple code insertion in your website's backend. It is primarily used for customer service or to capture any leads from website visitors.

For example, IKEA uses a live online chat support system to help customers regarding their purchase decisions, making the shopping experience smoother. It ensures IKEA customers get the right product for their needs, reducing returns and increasing customer satisfaction.
Ikea conversational commerce
Ikea conversational commerce

Benefits of Live Chat:

  • It provides real-time customer support by instantly connecting to a customer support agent, which improves the overall customer experience.
  • Quick resolution of queries can turn visitors into customers.
  • Live chat can gather valuable customer data to analyze for insights.

Limitations of Live Chat:

  • Live chat requires human involvement as it cannot answer complex customer queries, which can become a resource issue.
  • Offering 24/7 support can be challenging due to different time zones.
  • During peak times, customers may have to wait for responses as live chat does not completely automate the customer support process.

You can implement live chat for free with products like If you just want to test the water, it can be a good choice as it is quite basic and does not come with many features. But if you want to upgrade, consider Intercom starting at $39/ month.

Add live chat to your website in under 5 minutes. Check out this guide on how to add live chat on a website.

2. Conversational AI chatbots

Imagine a diligent, tireless employee who never sleeps, works 24/7, and doesn't even need a coffee break. Meet the Conversational Commerce Chatbot!

And AI-powered chatbots bring the power of artificial intelligence to engage with your customers, to provide customers instant assistance, and make your business operations shine.

Features of AI-powered conversational chatbots:

  • AI-powered chatbots are equipped with advanced NLP technology, allowing them to understand and respond to user queries just like a human would.
  • They can handle multiple conversations simultaneously, ensuring efficient and timely responses to customer inquiries.
  • Leveraging AI capabilities, conversational commerce chatbots can analyze customer preferences and behaviors to offer tailored product recommendations, enhancing the overall shopping experience.
  • AI-powered chatbots seamlessly integrate with other systems, such as inventory management or customer databases, to provide real-time information and automate various tasks.
Platforms like Botsonic offer intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces for designing, deploying, and managing AI-powered chatbots without extensive coding knowledge.

Benefits of AI-powered conversational chatbots:

  • AI-powered chatbots are available 24/7, ready to assist your customers anytime, anywhere, providing round-the-clock support.
  • With their ability to process and analyze information swiftly, chatbots provide instant answers and guidance, ensuring prompt resolution of customer queries.
  • Through AI capabilities, chatbots can deliver personalized recommendations and tailored shopping experiences, making customers feel valued and enhancing engagement.
  • They can handle a high volume of conversations simultaneously, enabling businesses to scale their customer support operations efficiently and effectively.

AI-powered conversational chatbots come with a range of options to suit different budgets. Platforms like Botsonic offer flexible pricing models based on your business needs, and other providers like Chatfuel offer free plans for basic bot functionalities.

3. Voice assistants

Get ready to meet the helpful butlers of conversational commerce - voice assistants! These virtual companions bring the convenience of hands-free interaction and voice commands to enhance the customer experience and streamline business operations.

Features of Voice Assistants:

  • Voice assistants utilize advanced voice recognition technology to understand and interpret user commands, making interactions feel natural and seamless.
  • Customers can interact with voice assistants simply by speaking, enabling a convenient and hands-free shopping experience.
  • Leveraging customer data and AI algorithms, voice assistants offer personalized recommendations and suggestions tailored to individual preferences.
Amazon's Alexa is the voice assistant powerhouse in Amazon's conversational commerce game. Customers can simply use their voices to place orders, track packages, and reorder past purchases. This smooth, voice-driven experience has been a major factor in Amazon's success, providing customers with a seamless and convenient shopping experience.
Alexa - conversational commerce

Benefits of Voice Assistants:

  • Voice assistants can automate routine tasks, such as order placement or information retrieval, freeing up human resources to focus on more complex issues.
  • They can cater to a wide range of customers, including those with visual impairments or limited mobility, ensuring equal access to information and services.

Limitations of Voice Assistants:

  • Voice assistants may occasionally struggle to accurately understand complex or unique requests, leading to potential errors or misinterpretations.
  • They may have limitations in understanding various accents or languages, potentially creating barriers for non-native speakers or international customers.

4. Messaging apps

Messaging apps have revolutionized how we communicate and are now transforming how we shop. These chat apps that, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat, offer a convenient, fast service and familiar space for businesses to engage with their customers in real-time conversations.

Features of Messaging apps:

  • Messaging apps provide a seamless, real-time messaging experience, enabling businesses to interact with customers directly.
  • They allow the exchange of various media types, including images, videos, and documents, enhancing the visual appeal of product offerings.
  • You can also integrate messaging apps with AI-powered chatbots to automate responses, handle inquiries, and provide personalized recommendations.
Brands like Zara, Adidas, and Uniqlo use social media platforms and messaging apps to engage with customers, share product updates, and provide personalized recommendations, making the shopping experience more interactive and convenient.

Benefits of Messaging apps:

  • Messaging apps foster two-way communication, enabling businesses to build stronger customer relationships through personalized interactions.
  • Businesses can utilize customer satisfaction tools to provide instant customer support, address queries promptly, and resolve issues in a timely manner, leading to higher customer satisfaction
  • Messaging apps can be integrated across multiple platforms, allowing customers to access and continue conversations seamlessly, enhancing the omni-channel experience.

Limitations of Messaging apps:

  • Unlike search engines or dedicated websites, businesses relying solely on messaging apps may face challenges in attracting new customers who are not already engaged with their brand.
  • Conversational commerce through messaging apps relies on users having the respective app installed and actively using it, limiting the reach to specific user bases.

How ChatGPT can help conversational commerce?

By using AI in customer service, businesses can save an average of 30% of their costs.

The numbers speak for themselves!

Ignoring technologies like AI and ChatGPT can be of no good than putting you behind your competitors. And you will be only wise to use ChatGPT while implementing a conversational commerce strategy for your business.

But how? ChatGPT is an AI conversational model that cannot give custom answers to your customer queries.

That is absolutely right!

But, we can still use ChatGPT powers to build a mighty conversational commerce chat platform, for your business.

Introducing Botsonic, a no-code AI chatbot builder!

Botsonic - The Ultimate Guide to Conversational Commerce

You can train ChatGPT on your company knowledge base, making a custom ChatGPT-powered chatbot to meet your business needs.

By using Botsonic for conversational and social commerce?, your business can get

  • Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: A custom AI chatbot can improve the customer experience by providing a personalized, quick, and convenient purchase experience that matches your brand identity. It allows for convenient checkout, customer feedback collection, personalized offers, and round-the-clock availability.
  • Higher Lead-to-Conversion Rate: Botsonic can potentially increase the lead-to-conversion ratio by understanding customer needs through interaction, allowing for effective personalized offers and discounts, and by providing 24/7 availability.
  • Customer Loyalty: Conversational commerce can help make customers more loyal, which in turn allows for repeated sales. By knowing your clients, you can consistently meet their needs, improving their likelihood of repurchasing.
  • Survival Strategy for SMBs: Conversational commerce can be a survival strategy for small to medium-sized businesses, helping to stand out in the competitive e-commerce world.
  • Cost Savings: By automating customer support and sales processes with Botsonic, you can simultaneously reduce staffing costs and handle a larger volume of inquiries, resulting in significant cost savings.

And the use cases of Botsonic do not end with customer service. You can use it for personalized recommendations, order tracking, upselling, cross-selling, personal shopping assistance, and more.

You can also check out 5 must-have conversational commerce tools that can help you enhance customer experience and skyrocket your business growth.

Leverage AI-powered conversational chatbots for your business

As we wrap up this ultimate guide to conversational commerce, it's clear that integrating AI-powered chatbots into your business' marketing strategy is a game-changer.

You can provide personalized customer experiences, boost sales conversions, and offer round-the-clock customer service. With AI-powered tools like Botsonic, you can now train ChatGPT with your own knowledge base to build a ChatGPT-powered custom chatbot.

It is easier than ever to leverage AI-powered conversational chatbots for your business.

So, are you ready to take your business to new heights with this conversational commerce tool?

Aishwarya Gindham

A content writer at WriteSonic who loves to write long-form content with details and examples. The agenda is to help the reader find a solution to their problem.

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