This example is a restaurant chain, not a retailer, but the conversion rates speak volumes. TGI Fridays saw a 74 percent lift in orders when it was proactively communicating with consumers in a timely manner specific to each individual customer.
TGI Fridays’ innovation and partnership with AI-powered personal assistant bots also allow the brand to communicate to consumers in its own brand voice, using phrases such as the tagline “In Here It’s Always Friday,” or personalizing comments about menu items.
Building sticky customers is great for your business, and these features help tremendously. Again, convenience is key, and making the process as simple as possible is what contextual commerce is all about.
- From buy buttons to messaging bots and voice assistants to scan-and-bag apps, the grocery industry is adopting contextual commerce, whose key feature is convenience.
- Success relies on the ability to create a shopping experience like one that customers can receive in a store.
- Brands should adopt such technology as quickly as possible to get the advantages of first adoption and allow them to select the types of contextual commerce that make the most sense for them.
“Taking away all friction with one-word voice ordering completely takes away the entire abandoned-cart issue and will be a profitable game-changer for all ecommerce stores who adopt the technology,” asserts Caprio. “Right now, so many ecommerce stores lose sales from people who abandon their items in carts, due to a high-friction checkout process with many steps and points to reconsider the purchase, or simply open a new tab and start doing something else.”
According to LivePerson, there are more than 100 billion messages sent every day, with nearly 13 million texts sent every minute. These large numbers show the possibilities for brands to reach people through messaging.
“We tend to do a lot of our interactions day to day over our phones,” Reza says. “If you think about that now in the retail world, that’s where consumers are; that’s where they’re buying
“A few years ago we could say that this is something that will change the world and people are going to head toward conversational commerce,” she continues. “Today, what I’m going to tell you is that consumers are already demanding it, and will continue to do so even more.”
Whether through SMS, iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or a number of other messaging apps, brands can communicate with consumers, answer their questions, help them locate a product and complete the transaction.
The success of these messaging bots relies on conversational design, the ability to create an entire shopping experience similar to one that customers can receive in a store with an employee, but instead at their fingertips.
“If you’re going to have automation in the conversation, you’re also going to have humans, and that experience has to be really well designed,” Reza notes. “You must design a full journey and not just part of it. The last thing you want is to give consumers an experience that they’re going to walk away from because it’s just a broken experience.”
Customers need to be able not only to buy, but also to come back and check on the delivery status and inquire about other items, all within the same message.
As for voice-enabled ecommerce, Amazon and Google lead the pack, but other companies, such as Apple and Samsung, have gotten into the space.
“I would advise brands to adopt this technology as fast as they can right when it comes out,” Caprio says. “This will allow them to get the advantages of first adoption as well as allow them to test and pick the types of contextual commerce that make the most sense for their brand.”
Her message is clear: Brands must meet consumers where they are, on every device, seamlessly integrating ecommerce into their everyday activities.