Article

Julien Hervouët
Julien Hervouët 20 April 2018

Three reasons why businesses should deploy conversational marketing in 2018

Internet retailing has lost it’s human element. Over time e-commerce has become part of our routine and daily life. However, brands have inundated online consumers with unrelated and sometimes mistargeted ads and promotional content, on a scale which never happened when shopping took place primarily in-store. 

Brands have ceased to make online communication conversational and have created a one-way environment, but, by using conversational marketing, retailers can reintegrate two-way communication back into online trade.

Conversational marketing puts actual conversations between brands and their customers at the centre of the online buying journey. It also refers to transactions that are generated more or less from instant messaging apps, like WhatsApp and even Facebook Messenger. If companies and brands implement conversational marketing, they can reach their consumer base at a time that suits them and on their desired platform. By using an on-demand pool of independent experts furthers this human connection. Indeed, research carried out by Forrester Research found that 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.

According to IMRG, the average online conversion rate for the UK market (excluding travel) was 4.6% but conversion rates after chat in the e-commerce sector tend to vary from 15 to 25% depending on the proactive engagement strategy which is implemented.

So, how can you decide if you need conversational marketing? 

#1 – The authenticity of a conversation to enhance your brand image

Brands have had to rethink their communication strategy to suit digital platforms. Brands now need to create meaningful, real and genuine conversations to be seen as a great service provider, because consumers now have new expectations: they want human interaction, personalisation and transparency. By providing unique customer experiences, consumers feel more valued and are more likely to leave the experience with a positive outcome for the retailer.  

#2 – A beneficial collaboration with your customers

The rise of the gig economy exists in an environment in which organisations can involve independent workers for short-term engagements. By using peer to peer experts to share authentic and genuine advice with customers online, visitors can get real-time advice whilst showing how transparent and authentic a brand is. The use of conversational marketing can also be implemented in peak times to help influxes of customer questions and queries, such as the Christmas period or peak holiday booking times for the travel industry. By using a pool of independent experts, a lot of the simple customer queries can be handled in a much quicker time frame, freeing up agents to deal with the more complicated requests or issues. 

#3 – Conversational marketing for 24/7 availability

Conversational marketing is a flexible concept that can be applied across a variety of channels and platforms. Thus, conversational marketing allows your prospects and customers to converse with your brand as soon as they need assistance with their purchase and through the channel most adapted to their context and habits. 

It’s natural that consumers expect the same level of service online as they do in store, and as conversation are the core of all of our interactions - it plays a vital role in providing good customer service. By implementing more human approaches like conversational marketing into eCommerce, brands and retailers can ensure their longevity online by building a trusted and open image, whilst retaining a loyal customer base. 

Revolutionising the way a retailer offers customer service online is a necessity to stay afloat in a marketplace that is now, more saturated than ever. 

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