Nowadays, customers have become "moving targets." With so many e-commerce websites and apps on a platter, there has been a transformative shift in their buying preferences.
So, engaging customers in the competitive digital ecosystem is a challenging task. But regardless of how daunting it may be, it is vital for the growth of e-commerce businesses.
In such a scenario, conversational marketing can help businesses achieve the best results in the least time. It leverages the power of AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants to engage and personalize buyers' experiences, moving them through the sales funnel.
Using intelligent chatbots to offer a personalized experience for users can be the best bet for B2C marketers and e-commerce business owners aiming to maximize their growth in 2022 and beyond.
In this post, you'll learn the concept of conversational marketing and how it can help e-commerce store owners boost their ROI.
What is conversational marketing?
Conversational marketing is a trending marketing practice that involves a personalized communication approach to engage, convert, and retain the target audiences. It leverages chatbots and virtual assistants to help businesses identify the exact pain points of audiences, delivering solutions that meet their expectations.
The prime aspect of conversational marketing is simplifying customers' journeys with a dialogue-driven, personalized approach.
Here are a couple of things that e-commerce store owners and B2C marketers need to keep in mind while implementing conversational marketing:
- A successful conversation is a two-way street. So, listening and analyzing the inputs of users is pivotal.
- The aim should be to help the users. This tactic can help create a positive reputation for your brand, improving conversions. Most importantly, it can turbocharge your lead generation strategy, boosting revenue growth.
So, how can you achieve these goals?
You can either automate the conversational marketing process by implementing chatbots on your e-commerce website or engaging the visitors via live chats, voice assistants, or landing pages.
Here is a screenshot of H&M depicting how chatbots can simplify the customers' journeys.
Notice how the brand enriches the customer experience by implementing a chatbot to help with online shopping. The bot asks basic questions to the users. Based on their inputs, it shows them all possible options, simplifying the search for the right item.
Here's another similar example showing how Michael Kors leverages AI-based chatbots.
Being an e-commerce store owner or B2C marketer, you can follow a similar approach to fuel the growth of your business. Investing in conversational marketing can help you reap the following benefits:
- Collect insights about the target audiences
- Generate quality leads and sales
- Improve customer satisfaction rate with personalization
- Save time due to shorter sales cycles
- Provide better accessibility by automating the process
- Nurture better relationships with the customers
5 tips to create a conversational marketing strategy
Here are a few actionable tips for driving sales by creating a solid conversational marketing strategy.
1. Map the customer journey
Before selecting chatbots or designing a meaningful landing page, you should identify the stage at which the customer is. For instance, understand whether the customer wants to buy any products or merely explore your services.
Once you identify the stage, ask yourself:
- What channel can be the most effective?
- What channels are my competitors using?
- At what stage should I offer live chat assistance to the users?
- What should be the end goal of the conversation?
This systematic approach will help you gain clarity and proceed with confidence.
2. Identify the best conversational marketing channels and platforms
Now that you know the stage your buyer is, think about the channels that can bring maximum traction.
For instance, an AI-based web bot or landing page can be great to engage prospects in the awareness stage.
Check out the following screenshot of HomeChef's landing page:
Observe how they've personalized the user experience by adding credible questions. The page looks simple to read and attention-grabbing. The personalized CTA on the page further enhances its value, leading to meaningful conversations.
If the buyers are in the decision-making stage, try offering live assistance. Implementing software that offers live help can be a smart move.
3. Plan everything in advance
A successful conversational marketing strategy relies on the standard operating procedure (SOP) that helps businesses define their internal processes and make informed steps. SOPs also help customer success executives effectively educate the consumers about business-related processes.
For instance, customer success executives need to interact with customers daily. In such cases, a well-defined standard operating procedure can help create a roadmap for addressing their concerns. The SOP can be prepared in the form of a simple document, diagram, or flowchart. Irrespective of the format, they should be convenient enough to understand and assist your team complete daily tasks. This tactic reduces dependency on managers, saving valuable time for the organization.
Hence, if you are serious about improving traction and driving sales, you need to prepare a plan beforehand.
Here's how to get started:
- Note the goals you want to achieve with conversational marketing. For instance, whether it's customer engagement or conversions, set your priority clear.
- Research, brainstorm and decide the most suitable platform. Shopify, Wix, and BigCommerce are some of the leading platforms to consider.
- Analyze your consumers' data and behavior. This tactic will help you understand the scenarios that may arise during real-time conversations.
- Prepare product-related documents or a knowledge base for the customer success team. It can help prepare a structured map of the conversations and help answer the consumers' queries with accuracy.
- Ensure the AI-bots have seamless functionalities.
4. Test the application before going live
Test the chatbot assistant before making it live on your website.
Technical glitches or poor customer experience may result in a high bounce rate.
Reports state that e-commerce sites experience a bounce rate of around 47 percent due to poor digital experience.
This behavior shows how crucial it is to test your chatbot before making it available to the users. So, test the application thoroughly.
How can you do that?
Hire a group of people with similar interests like your target audiences to take feedback. Analyze their perspective of the chatbot and then work on improving its functionalities. Repeat the testing until you get a positive response.
This strategy will ensure better engagement with the target audience, thus, boosting the chances of conversions.
5. Track and improve chatbot KPIs
Once you release the chatbot, make sure it engages well with the customers.
Tracking and analyzing the conversations is essential to understanding customers' challenges and providing them with the best possible solutions.
Here are the top chatbot KPIs to consider:
- Total users
The total number of users signifies the number of users that interact with the chatbot during a day/week/month/year. Tracking the number of users can help you understand the basic engagement level. An increased number of users after implementing the chatbot is a positive sign. It reflects that users are enjoying the enhanced digital experience.
- Missed/Failed utterances
Sometimes, the chatbot doesn't understand the language of the users. It may be due to language barriers or any technical failures. Such types of interactions become missed/failed utterances.
Keep a tab on such incidences and work with your development team to resolve them.
But, it may take time. So, in the initial stages, adding a follow-up message like "I am sorry, I didn't understand what you said. Would you like to interact with our customer success team?" can help.
- Interaction rate
Interaction rate is the number of times your chatbot successfully handles a conversation. A high interaction rate maximizes the chances of conversions, while a low interaction rate is a sign you should analyze the chatbot's functionality.
- Goal completion rate (GCR)
The goal completion rate (GCR) signifies the number of times a chatbot achieves its target. The goal could be engaging the customers, conversion, or retention. Set the goals, and check whether the chatbot can deliver them. If not, you need to improve the functionalities.
To sum up
Conversational marketing is all about adding value to your customers' journey. It offers personalization, the prime element for converting prospects into loyal customers.
Following the shared tips can help you scale your e-commerce store's success by identifying and resolving customers' issues. So, make your e-commerce business stand out from the crowd. Implement conversational marketing to achieve phenomenal success in 2022 and ahead!
This is a guest post by Hazel Raoult.
Hazel Raoult is a freelance marketing writer and works with PRmention. She has 6+ years of experience in writing about business, entrepreneurship, marketing and all things SaaS. Hazel loves to split her time between writing, editing, and hanging out with her family.
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