Conversational Commerce: Messaging Apps along the Customer Journey
We know Conversational Commerce from language assistants like Alexa or Siri. But the written word also counts as conversational. Messaging apps like WhatsApp and co are more than just customer service channels! Consultancy via Facebook Messenger, marketing with Notify Newsletters, service via Telegram, payment via Apple Business Chat and loyalty with WhatsApp – the use of Messenger Apps along the customer journey is already a reality today.
At the latest after the end of the newsletter, the first hype around the topic of messenger marketing was over. The hype yes – the business not! If you look to Asia, you will discover that messaging apps are already being used successfully throughout the customer’s journey. Quite a few people are already talking about the “Age of Conversational Commerce” that is the dialogue is once again becoming the focus of communication. For individual users and for personal use, this has been the norm for a while – but not yet between companies and customers.
Conversational Commerce: Messaging apps along the Customer Journey
If we look at the customer journey of the customers under this dialogue aspect, it quickly becomes clear that the use of messaging apps along the customer journey is not only possible but can also be very successful.
Messenger communication brings together the best of two worlds for our customers. It combines the possibility of personal consultation with the speed, convenience, and independence of digital communication, both in terms of time and place!
Matthias Gehring, Chief Digital Officer, TUI Germany
One of the many definitions that can be found on the web is: “Conversational commerce is any type of conversation that a user has with a business. Conversational commerce is thus a dialogue-oriented form of exchange between customer and company”.
And communication via messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Telegram is one of the most popular ways people communicate today!
Whether it it lead generation via chatbot, product launch, newsletter & content marketing, interactive campaigns, employer branding, or brand awareness – messengers are still ideal for marketing. We distinguish between 2 types of messenger marketing.
A) Push communication: Proactively send information to your users (Messenger Newsletter)
Despite the end of the WhatsApp newsletter! There are four messenger newsletter alternatives that are relevant for business & politics. These are the Telegram Messenger, the Notify App, the Facebook Messenger, and the Apple Business Chat.
Advantage: Offers, deals, and news reach the subscribers quickly, directly, and without algorithms.
⚡⚡⚡ Update July 2021: WhatsApp allows “non-transactional notifications” – a new way to actively send offers and products!
Under the somewhat unwieldy term “business-initiated messages“, companies have been able to proactively send information to their customers again since 06/2021. However, there are some requirements to be observed and it is not completely free of charge!
B) Pull communication: Dialogue as a marketing instrument (conversational marketing):
Dialogues with the target group can also be placed at the centre of marketing campaigns: Here are some of our favourites from Adidas, Unilever, Mercedes Benz, Nivea, the Federal Employment Agency, Deutsche Bahn and ADAC:
💡 All possibilities of Conversational Marketing and many examples can be found here: Messenger Marketing – Everything you need to know!
If we define conversational commerce as “dialogue-oriented customer communication”, it is obvious that pre-sales consulting is an important use case in messenger communication. What used to take place in the shop around the corner has fallen behind in the times of websites and apps: personal advice to customers. Conversational Commerce now brings the two worlds together again. Direct, personal advice (shop) and a fast, always available channel (digital).
In a study, 53% of respondents said that they would be more likely to buy from a company that offers advice via chat, e.g. on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.
Take the example of Brille 24, a German e-commerce company which sells glasses: Via the direct WhatsApp chat, employees clarify product inquiries with their customers, offer personal advice on suitable glasses and even arrange appointments with a local optician:
We also chose WhatsApp to provide our customers with even faster advice.
Andreas Sobing, Head of CRM at Brille24.de
If I have consulted a customer well over WhatsApp, I want to sell him my product or service. While WhatsApp does not yet offer a real solution here, Apple, for example, is much further ahead with Apple Business Chat. Using Apple Business Chat, I can offer my customers a product catalog in the messaging app and after making a selection, he can pay directly via Apple Pay in the messaging app.
We expect a massive increase in sales with the integration of Apple Pay.
David Kurzmann, CEO & Co-Founder of Women’s Best
Parcel tracking, payment reminder, or your boarding pass – what used to be “delivered” via SMS or e-mail now also works via WhatsApp Notification! These push notifications are WhatsApp messages that you as a company can send to your customers on various occasions. Comparable to a service SMS, which you still know from online banking or airline tickets today. The cost of WhatsApp Notification varies from country to country.
💡 For more information, see our article: “WhatsApp Business: What is WhatsApp Notification?”.
Customer service is certainly the main topic here – because it is the most popular use case on messaging apps. And probably for good reason – because people prefer chatting on messaging apps like WhatsApp & co over traditional customer service offerings like phone or email.
💡 Tip: Find the best examples of customer service via WhatsApp in your industry here. The success stories offer inspiring use cases as well as tips & tricks from various industries: Messenger Communication & their success stories.
In the final phase of the Customer Journey, the aim is to strengthen customer loyalty in such a way that any further purchases can be encouraged in the long term. Two options have proven to be successful in this respect:
a) Accompanying the customer after the purchase: The OPTIFAST Personal Coach – a campaign from Nestle, the producer of the food supplement OPTIFAST – is a six-week loyalty program via WhatsApp, which accompanies customers daily when they lose weight, motivates them, and supports them with suitable tips. Every day, a chatbot asks the user simple questions with suitable answers, which contain links and lead to the corresponding content on the Optifast website. If a user does not respond to a question within 24 hours, the coach will not contact him/her again. In order to complete the program in the best possible way, participants can also use OPTIFAST products.
b) Incentive after the purchase: The Brazilian supermarket chain AMPM has initiated a loyalty campaign that works via WhatsApp. Customers who purchase certain promotional products, such as ice cream from BEN & JERRY’s, can send the receipt to a WhatsApp number and participate in an AMPM competition.
If I offer my customers good advice and good service – in short: good communication via messaging app, I have the chance that these customers will recommend me to others. Many MessengerPeople customers report that customers who were satisfied with the service via WhatsApp and co also talk about it more often on rating platforms such as Trustpilot, Google, or Facebook and give positive reviews.
Artjem Weissbeck successfully founded a social commerce company on Instagram a few years ago with Kapten & Son. With his new company hey-charles, co-founder and managing director Artjem Weissbeck wants to think completely new and herald a new era in conversational commerce. Already today I can get very good consultancy via WhatsApp, pay for it, and if there are problems with the processing – Charles is also available – of course via WhatsApp!
I love this uncomplicated shopping experience – and apparently his customers do too!
- Constant product improvement: Customer feedback is much more direct, positive and frequent via messaging apps than via social media, for example, where users tend to complain rather than praise
- Reduced customer acquisition costs: because WhatsApp has a much higher retention rate than Instagram or Google, for example, where I have to keep buying users through advertising
- Higher Net Promoter Score: Satisfied customers buy again and recommend!
Tool Tip: With our Messenger Communication Platform we offer the first professional and data protection compliant ticket system especially for messenger communication via WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and Viber. All the above mentioned conversational commerce examples along the customer journey are possible with it!
Get a first impression of our product here:
Arrange a live demo for the Messenger Communication Platform now. We will guide you through the product via a web demo and give you expert tips and answers to all your individual questions.
Any questions? Just text us on WhatsApp!