Updated: Feb 5, 2020
Breaking Down Conversational Commerce
2020 marks the arrival of accessible AI and intelligent chat bots and at the same time, consumers are starting to show preference in communicating with brands through messaging apps. In response, more companies are using conversational commerce to guide their customers through their marketing and sales funnels while harnessing the power of real-time conversations.
The goal of conversational commerce is to make it faster and easier for consumers to interact with companies- through the use of live chat, chat bots and social media apps - giving them richer experiences with brands and their products. Instead of forcing people to go through lead capture forms and wait days for a response, conversational commerce provides the opportunity to communicate one-to-one with consumers and engage them in a more meaningful way than typical broadcast or one-to-many channels can facilitate. In a hyper automated online retail world, it builds relationships and creates authentic experiences with customers and buyers.
How Augmented Reality Fits In
Conversational commerce will accelerate the consumer buying cycle to a certain point, but when it comes time for the customer to pull the trigger on a purchase, the age-old questions that have always plagued digital commerce come up – What does the product look like in real life? Will it fit? Does it go well with my other products? Whether it’s a piece of clothing, a TV, or furniture, consumers can’t fully visualize how it’s going to look like until it’s physically in their home.
That’s where augmented reality can help. Paired with conversational commerce, AR will further facilitate your customer’s buying experience by providing them with visual context of what they’re purchasing. A successful conversational commerce interaction will always end with a suggestion of a product. AR will take the interaction from a simple suggestion to showing the customer physically how a product would look like in their own environment. Your customers will spend more time on your products and statistically will be less likely to return it.
AR can also highlight key features of a product that would otherwise be hidden in the specifications page and provide a better understanding of how the product will work. Take Mifold for example, one if the most notable features of its hifold booster seat, is how it can be folded to be compact and portable. Such a feature might have been overlooked if the customer was looking at a static image. In augmented reality, the customer can not only see how it works, but also experience the booster seat in their own car. When you help your audience visualize, you improve their experience with your business and build trust. They will be more likely to make a purchase from you because they will feel confident that your product works for them.
In a discussion with Simon Silva, Global Retail & Customer Experience Manager from Bang and Olufsen, Simon states- “Positioning the application of this technology as a sales tool - so that it is a facilitated experience, is what has given us the significant ROI. People don’t get it just yet and big/established brands are targeting the end consumer without educating them effectively in the technology, nor resolving a pain point in the most optimal way via AR. For it to succeed it can’t be a gimmick, it needs to solve a problem. And the problem it is solving for us is; The Imagination Gap. Will it fit? How will it look in my home? What’s the right color? What’s the right placement.”
Companies have a lot to gain by adding augmented reality to their conversational commerce strategy, mainly because their customers have a lot to benefit from it as well. Augmented Reality experiences save time, provide detailed information, create engagement and are entertaining. If done properly, AR can be a powerful marketing tool that will allow you take the conversation one step further and provide information-rich experiences that your buyers can interact with in the comfort of their own homes.
To learn more about how to create AR experiences visit Vew Inc. Vew is an iOS-based application that allows users to create, manage and publish photo-realistic AR content. By downloading the Vew application, submitting photos of your items, and providing real-time feedback, you can have a browser-based AR experience created for you in just a few days. All this without signing any agency contracts or commitments, and most importantly, without having to allocate any resources and turn this into a project. You can download the application and get started here.