What is conversational commerce?

Many definitions of conversational commerce are used, that don’t differ substantially from each other. For our expert group the core is interaction between consumers and companies, that:

 

  • occur via messaging, chat apps and/or speech technology;
  • is (near) real time;
  • takes place with a natural person, virtual assistant (chat bots) or is a combination of both;
  • focuses on the customer journey of a commercial transaction (orientation, advice, sale, delivery, service, return).

 

The playing field in which this interaction take place is however much larger and more complex. Am I talking to a retailer or with a platform? Should I use a voice application or will I get a pop-up on a website? Am I talking to a computer or an employee?

 

Conversational commerce soon crosses the borders of a company. Figure 1 shows an overview of this playing field.

 

Figure 1 Playing field of conversational commerce preprocess

 

The key considerations for this are:

 

  • Conversational commerce is part of an omnichannel customer journey and hardly ever a standalone product;
  • Conversational commerce will usually be realized through cooperation between several partners;
  • Conversational commerce requires integration of systems to gain access to information in all channels.
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