Martín Urrutia
Co-CEO
Auronix
/
Expert Contributor

Conversational Commerce Is the Future of Digital Shopping

By Martin Urrutia | Wed, 05/04/2022 - 18:00

Can you imagine being able to buy groceries, pay your internet provider or buy a plane ticket through a WhatsApp conversation? Today, hundreds of millions of Chinese buy everything on WeChat, China’s most popular messaging App. This new form of digital shopping, through which users explore and purchase products and services on messaging apps, is called conversational commerce (c-commerce). It is the next big thing in digital shopping.

With over 3 billion messaging app users globally, messaging is on the rise. However, today these users want to do a lot more than message friends and family on WhatsApp; 91 percent want to message businesses, 67 percent say they would change to a brand that offers a messaging channel and 77 percent want to conduct purchases on messaging apps. Therefore, customers are eager to shop on messaging channels and companies are rushing to create c-commerce solutions to cater to that need.

According to a Boston Consulting Group study, conversational commerce will grow 15-30 percent per year over the next five years, reaching a global market value of up to US$130 billion by 2025. The growth will be in the upper range of this estimate in emerging markets, where 40 percent of c-commerce users conduct their first digital purchase on a messaging channel. These users will leapfrog apps and e-commerce solutions, opting to do their digital shopping on channels they are familiar with, such as WhatsApp. In Mexico, where there are almost 90 million WhatsApp accounts, c-commerce is the perfect channel to reach the next frontier of digital shoppers.

Based on Auronix’s experience creating dozens of conversational commerce solutions for large brands, companies seeking to create best-in-class experiences should:

  • Automate the experience with chatbots, allowing the user to browse products and services, add them to a cart, check-out and pay without having to chat with an agent. Users are looking for immediate and dynamic experiences, rather than waiting for an agent to help them.
  • Keep users in the messaging channel, rather than trying to take them to a website or e-commerce platform. This is especially true in emerging markets, where users try to moderate their mobile internet usage and WhatsApp usage is free.
  • Use a combination of payment methods, including online payment gateways like Conekta, OpenPay and MercadoPago for those who want to pay with debit and credit cards, as well as cash-on-delivery for those with limited access to financial services.
  • Create an omnichannel experience, with the same chatbot on all messaging channels, allowing the company to be present on all messaging apps and users to engage on their preferred channel. Based on Auronix’s experience, brands on all popular messaging channels (WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, Apple, Google) get twice as much engagement (and thus sales) than those only on WhatsApp.

Today, over 175 million individuals message businesses on WhatsApp every day. This number is poised to rapidly grow, as companies rush to launch conversational commerce solutions that enable them to meet their customers where they are and reach the next frontier of digital shoppers. Therefore, c-commerce should be one of the key pillars in the digital transformation strategy of any major B2C company.

Photo by:   Martín Urrutia