User communities

2 Min Read

The Future of Online Commerce Is Conversational

In the brick-and-mortar era of commerce, pre-purchase questions were addressed by real people. Someone would come up to you in a shop and ask, “How can I help you?” In other words, shopping meant engaging in actual person-to-person conversation.

Today’s buying experiences are largely digital. Even offline purchases start with internet research, in many cases. Yet a gap has emerged between what the internet can offer and what consumers need.

The Future of Online Commerce Is Conversational

This is reflected in the conversion rate for purely digital purchases: a paltry 2%. In stores, where shoppers can ask questions and receive advice in real-time, it’s 40%.

Online engagement is possible on social networks. But these platforms limit the extent to which brands can engage shoppers (and typically charge a hefty fee for the privilege of doing so).

Meanwhile, your own support team can only scale its efforts so much. Support staffers typically aren’t equipped to handle pre-purchase questions, in any case.

So how do you bridge the pre-purchase engagement gap? The answer lies in facilitating conversations that are helpful, relevant, and authentic.

This means relying on your own customers to provide support and advice during the discover, explore, and buy phases of the customer journey. These kinds of customer conversations allow prospects to get the kind of authentic advice that drives them down the purchase funnel.

As our head of customer success explains in this video, there are myriad benefits to enabling customer conversations. Conversational commerce means a better shopping experience for consumers, and higher conversion rates for your brand.

Plus, empowering your customers to generate help and support content is vastly more scalable than relying on your own support staff or influencers.

Watch the video to learn how communities enhance e-commerce.