Conversational Commerce: The Next Frontier in Personalized Customer Journeys

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In the fast-evolving landscape of e-commerce, a renewed emphasis on personalization has reshaped customer experiences. Guided shopping, propelled by tools like chatbots and quiz platforms, has become commonplace. Now, as cutting-edge AI and machine learning technologies come into play, a new frontier emerges in the form of conversational commerce. But what exactly is conversational commerce, and how is it set to redefine the customer journey?

Unveiling Conversational Commerce

Conversational commerce represents a natural progression from guided shopping, leveraging tools such as chatbots, voice assistants, and messaging apps with advanced AI capabilities for real-time engagement. This evolution is particularly intriguing when considered against the backdrop of discovery-based search—a trend where consumers explore detailed product information across multiple platforms before making a purchase decision.

For instance, Gen Z, constituting nearly 40% of TikTok and Instagram users for product searches instead of Google, underscores the shift in consumer behavior. Imagine providing consumers with a tool on your e-commerce site that delivers personalized information directly, aligning with their unique needs.

The Power of Personalized “Concierge-Style” Experiences

According to Forbes, this evolving world of e-commerce offers a personalized “concierge-style” experience that streamlines customer interactions, reducing cart abandonment, boosting online sales, and fostering brand loyalty. The potential applications across various B2C industries are substantial.

Fashion & Beauty’s Personal Touch

In the fashion and beauty sector, guided shopping experiences like ThirdLove’s Fitting Room® could transform into an open-ended format through conversational commerce. This approach would instantly address specific consumer needs, providing tailored insights on clothing sizes, cuts, skincare ingredients, and formulas.

Revolutionizing Travel Planning

Within the travel industry, brands like Airbnb are embracing discovery-based search. This new era in commerce could enhance the customer journey, enabling chatbots to instantly supply users with tailored options for stays based on their preferences and even follow up with alternative suggestions if weather forecasts predict a rainy weekend for their beachside vacation.

B2B Streamlining with Conversational Commerce

Conversational commerce’s potential extends beyond B2C, offering streamlined, intelligent experiences for B2B customers. A notable example is DEPT® helping Capstone, a children’s publishing house, simplify complex B2B orders. Through a chatbot, libraries could submit order lists and budgets, receiving optimized suggestions based on discounts, promotions, and customer reviews.

The Rising Tide of Conversational Commerce

The global market value of conversational commerce stood at $5.3 million in 2021 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 15.6% over the next decade. The surge of interest in AI and machine learning underscores the technology’s potential in reshaping customer journeys.

Conversational commerce is not just a trend—it’s a transformative force set to redefine how businesses interact with consumers. The shift from one-way text to conversational communication marks a profound change in search, content creation, and overall customer-brand interactions. As businesses strive to stay ahead, the key to success lies in personalized customer experiences, and conversational commerce stands as a powerful ally in achieving this goal.

Robbin Farrell is VP, UX at digital agency DEPT®, where she applies her expertise in usability, design, commerce and marketing to help companies build successful online businesses.