How Conversational Marketing Can Boost eCommerce Sales

How Conversational Marketing Can Boost eCommerce Sales-feature image
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As we are moving towards a digital-first world, e-commerce stores are growing at an unprecedented rate. According to Statista, the retail e-commerce traffic went as high as 22 billion monthly visits in June 2020. The sales increased by 25 percent compared to the previous year, with a high demand for items like clothing and groceries. 

As customers have the option to choose from numerous platforms to buy anything they need, competition among e-commerce platforms rises. So, how do e-commerce companies create a marketing strategy to increase sales conversion? 

This is where conversational marketing comes into play. While ads, social media posts, and newsletters about exciting offers are a one-way process, conversational marketing is a two-way approach. In this blog, we discuss how businesses can use conversational marketing to assist users throughout the purchase journey. 

What Is Conversational Marketing?

Conversational marketing is an inbound marketing strategy that focuses on two-way communication for engaging platform visitors, retargeting old customers, and converting leads.

The aim is to move your platform visitors down to your sales funnel by conversing with them in real-time, in their preferred mode. The interaction helps in identifying individual needs and building strong connections.

Conversational marketing is often performed via live chats, text messaging, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, or chatbots. Businesses also integrate conversational AI (artificial intelligence) into their social media platforms and websites to create automated and personalized responses.

What Is the Conversational Marketing Framework?

The Conversational marketing framework consists of three standard steps as discussed next.

1. Engagement

In the first step, you interact with the visitors landing on your website. Traditionally, this connection is made through lead generation forms and pop-ups. Nowadays, chatbots are gaining popularity due to the several advantages they offer. Users can interact with a chatbot whenever they want to. They can get any query answered anytime.

You can tailor text messages or chatbots based on different parameters to align with your brand and user’s intent. You can send targeted messages, collect emails for lead generation, or help the buyers to boost sales. AI-based chatbots are designed via ML models to answer even more complex questions around your offerings, which are otherwise taken care by customer support representatives.

2. Understanding

The next stage involves understanding your audience to categorize customers and work on qualified leads. The customers can be segmented based on parameters such as geolocation, choice of web browser, platform interaction, language, and many others. If you use chatbots, you can collect data directly by asking qualifying questions too.

The gathered data can be used for more successful email campaigns and lead nurturing. Segmenting the target audience also becomes a quick process. This way, it becomes easier to personalize your offerings as per the individual needs of every user.

3. Recommendations

To ensure e-commerce sales happen and prospects become customers, human intervention is needed in the final stage. Based on the knowledge about a customer’s expectations from the gathered data, a sales representative can tailor a buyer’s journey.

For example, if customers remove items from shopping carts, they can be asked to enter feedback before leaving. This can help ensure that the sales representatives can troubleshoot issues to ensure the completion of transactions. The sales team can also use strategies like account-based marketing to focus on a specific target audience segment. Even in this stage, you can automate tasks like the addition of client meetings to agent calendars to further save time.

Checkout: Best eCmmerce Platforms for your Business needs.

How Does Conversational Marketing for eCommerce Work?

How Does Conversational Marketing for eCommerce Work

Conversational marketing strategy plays a role at all stages of e-commerce marketing. It works in the following manner:

  • Connecting and engaging with target customers

The first step in e-commerce marketing is to connect with potential customers and engage with them. The prospects include your social media audiences, platform visitors, or individuals interacting with your ads.

With conversational marketing, you can send targeted messages to different prospects. There are several tools available in the market that can be customized for your business. The leads can be connected from different channels automatically. Both existing and potential customers can be sent relevant offers, product recommendations, and discounts. Customers can get instant answers through chatbots or live chats, helping them engage better.

  • Understanding the audience behavior

The success of marketing campaigns depends on how well a business understands the behavior of its customers. It is necessary for maintaining a long-term relationship with your customers. In a usual process, the sales team must spend a lot of time and effort creating customer segments.

However, conversational platforms can help in understanding customer preferences and ensuring data driven engagement. Using AI powered platforms, businesses can collect, analyze, and obtain data on customer behavior in real-time. Based on the data, the offerings and messaging can be tailored to suit the needs of customers.

  • Be sales-ready

Using relevant data, sales representatives can help prospective customers place orders smoothly. Conversational tools ensure that all relevant data based on user behavior gets transferred to the existing CRM software.

The sales department can use this data to ensure that customers buy the items they save in the cart. The data can be used to address sales queries through calls or chats and resolve payment issues, if any.

Suggested Read: Want To Boost Your Sales? ECommerce Is The Way

Tips for Successfully Implementing Conversational Marketing for eCommerce

Tips for Successfully Implementing Conversational Marketing for eCommerce infographic

The increase in the growth rate of your e-commerce business through conversational marketing depends on how well you implement it. Some of the best practices and tips for successful conversational marketing are:

1. Selection of an eCommerce management platform

Ensure that the choice of a management platform for your eCommerce business meets your requirements. It must be compatible with your existing systems and have the option of integration with third-party conversational tools.

The platform must also scale as your business grows. Some of the popular eCommerce management platforms include WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, etc

2. Integrate conversational marketing with other marketing forms

In your eCommerce business, you must integrate all your marketing strategies under the digital marketing umbrella to ensure a smooth workflow. You can use data collected by conversational tools to launch personalized email and social media marketing campaigns and convert more leads.

3. Make your chatbots user-friendly

Initially, many businesses jumped on the bandwagon of integrating chatbots across their web pages. However, many were not fully satisfied as the chatbots could only answer basic questions and not provide users with a similar feel to human interaction.

Instead of switching back, a business must humanize their chatbots as much as possible. They should follow a user-friendly script so that visitors are willing to interact with chatbots. You can make chatbot replies conversational, add multimedia content like videos to the flow, and use AI to help bots answer complex questions too.

4. Don’t make customers unhappy

While implementing your conversational marketing strategy, ensure that you do not send unnecessary messages. Also, tools like chatbots should not be randomly triggered. This can irritate the users and they might lose their interest in your services.

5. Be proactive and experimental

When starting out, don’t think that you have to abandon your existing marketing processes. Instead, combine conversational marketing with existing processes to improve your sales. Monitor the process regularly and gather user feedback to understand how they feel about your approach. You must be ready to adjust and satisfy the customers.

Suggested Read: Best eCommerce Platforms for Building Online Stores

What are the Best Conversational Marketing Examples?

Conversational marketing can drive user engagement and boost e-commerce sales significantly. Some of the examples where conversational marketing plays a massive role in achieving sales targets are discussed next.

1. eBay

eBay uses virtual assistants to help users get the most relevant information about its inventory. Users can choose the option they want and make the purchase easily on this multinational eCommerce giant’s platform.

By simply saying, “Okay Google, ask eBay…”, users could save time in searching for products. The company capitalized on the growing popularity of voice assistants like Siri and Alexa to provide a seamless user experience.

2. Sephora

Sephora, the popular personal care and beauty items retailer, uses AI-based Facebook bot for conversational marketing. The virtual artist enables visitors to try on different makeup products on any selfie they upload. Next, the users can directly buy the products they try.

Such a strategy is extremely fun for any makeup enthusiast, making the individual tempted to buy beauty products instantly.

3. prAna

prAna, a US-based premium lifestyle brand, uses Facebook Messenger for conversational marketing. The company processes inquiries and orders via Messenger. It tailors the user experience based on their used keywords.

This strategy helps in establishing a two-way bond between the business and consumers to ensure a hassle-free purchase experience.

4. HelloFresh

The globally known meal-kit company, HelloFresh, launched Freddy Fresh chatbot a few years ago. Customers can interact with the bot via Facebook messenger and get recipe ideas, resolve queries, and be reminded of their meals timely.

This approach to conversational marketing helps build strong relationship with customers by ensuring that their needs are met at every step of the purchase. By being a reliable source for all meal-related needs, the company increases the chances of customers renewing their subscriptions too.

5. Campbell Soup

Campbell Soup employed IBM Watson advertising conversations to better understand its customers. Users can ask questions through text or voice and get personalized responses. The Watson assistant also analyzes available recipes to generate unique dishes that suit customers’ tastes.

The processed food and snack company drove engagement and improved user satisfaction by understanding their mindset through ad interactions.

Suggested Read: 4 Changes You Can Make to Improve Your E-Commerce Website

Benefits of Conversational Marketing for eCommerce with ORAI AI

Conversational marketing, when implemented effectively across different channels, brings the following benefits.

1. Develop the understanding of customers

Conversational marketing helps businesses gain insights into the behavior of their target audience and make necessary improvements to better serve them. You can store accurate details of customers such as their likes, complaints, and other relevant information directly. This can be used to run more successful campaigns and drive sales.

2. Personalize omnichannel interactions

Instead of generic promotional messaging, businesses can personalize the content and interactions across all digital channels like social media, websites, messaging apps, etc. With personalized content, you can attract the attention of your audience and get feedback about your brand, solutions, and services. You can also build strong relationships and make them feel valuable through personalized communication.

Conversational platforms like ORAI AI enable businesses to build virtual assistants for their messaging apps, websites, and Facebook pages. This helps develop customer loyalty and boosts sales.

3. Find qualified leads

Conversational marketing via chatbots and other similar tools makes it easy to identify qualified leads. This helps save time spent by teams in finding qualified leads from different platforms. Conversational tools can also connect with backend applications like ERP or CRM software to store the information automatically.

For instance, the ORAI AI platform offers API integration to connect WhatsApp chatbot to ERP and CRM apps easily. This shortens the sales cycle and increases conversion opportunities. Hence, the sales team can focus more on nurturing such leads and enhance the conversion ratio for the e-commerce business.

4. 24×7 customer engagement

Conversational marketing includes the use of automated tools to answer user queries instantly and improve satisfaction. These tools can assess customer details, help resolve queries, and connect them to the right agents.

Many conversational platforms even support multiple languages to avoid any language barrier between the customer and support team. For example, ORAI AI provides a WhatsApp chatbot to automate customer engagement through instant responses in over 40 languages.

5. Lower the workload on the customer support team

With the adoption of conversational marketing in an e-commerce company, the customer support team can focus on more complex tasks and manage their operations remotely. This is possible through automation of repetitive tasks like sending notifications, onboarding prospects, routing of customers to relevant customer support executives, etc.

Conclusion:

Conversational marketing can play a vital role in your e-commerce sales and marketing strategy. Without altering the existing processes significantly, conversational AI platforms like ORAI AI can lower customer acquisition costs and improve the loyalty of existing ones. On the other hand, customers find the buying process faster, more engaging and rewarding. So, if you have not implemented conversational marketing yet, experiment with it soon and observe your progress.

Suggested Read: What Points to Consider Before Setting Up eCommerce Store?

FAQs:

  1. Why is conversational marketing the future of eCommerce? 

    Conservational marketing focuses on customer satisfaction through personalization and instant issue resolution. This is necessary for any eCommerce business to stand out among its competitors. 

  2. Why would an eCommerce company use conversational marketing? 

    An eCommerce company uses conversational marketing to connect with its customers at every step of their purchase journey and establish strong relationships.   

  3. How will conversational commerce enhance the online purchasing experience? 

    Conversational commerce enhances the online purchasing experience by catering to the individual needs of each customer and providing them with the best solutions for their needs. 

  4. What is the conversational marketing strategy? 

    Conversational marketing strategy is a two-way communication approach that focuses on customer engagement and experience to boost sales. 

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