The Future of Customer Experience: The Evolution from Chatbots to Conversational Commerce

time icon3 min read

calendar icon24 January 2024

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The world of commerce revolves around customers’ wants and needs, because of course: the customer is king. And these customers are telling us that chatbots often miss the mark on the personalised touch everyone craves. Fewer than a third of the customers use them because, let's face it, they're a bit too robotic. These chatbots struggle to grasp customers’ specific needs and respond with a too generic, rule-based script. 

But, there is a game-changer on the rise: Conversational Commerce, powered by the magic of generative AI. This sophisticated tech can turn chat sessions into human-like conversations, taking your customer experience to new heights and smoothly guiding them through the whole buying process. 

But first.. What actually is Conversational Commerce powered by GenAI?

Conversational commerce involves the use of messaging apps, chatbots, voice assistants, and more to make buying and selling smoother for businesses and customers. The AI-based tech is outstanding in answering questions, offering product recommendations, and guiding users through every stage of the funnel. A solution that offers a human-like experience, as if you are having a conversation with your own personal assistant.

How will Conversational Commerce Benefit my Businesses?

Although traditional chatbots have been disappointing for consumers in the past, BCG (2023) states that they are still very willing to connect with GenAI-powered conversational commerce. The implementation of conversational commerce is crucial not only to meet consumers’ ever-growing expectations, but also to stay competitive in the current and future commerce market. 

And.. It brings along some fine benefits. Conversational Commerce can:

  • Decrease your customer service costs by 30%, while boosting revenue through more efficient organisation of marketing and sales. 

  • Speed up your sales process by four times compared to traditional rule-based chatbots, because of a faster and more dynamic experience.

  • Increase customer’s willingness to pay. According to PwC (2019), about 30% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product if it’s suggested to them via personalised recommendation and 42% would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience.

  • Enhance your customer satisfaction scores, ensuring an overall positive impact on customer happiness (BCG, 2023).

Real-life Use Cases

Various companies are already exploring the potential of GenAI-powered conversational commerce, like Google, Four Seasons, and Apple.

  • Google: Earlier this year, Google integrated artificial intelligence into their online shopping tool, showing how clothes fit on different body types and recommending  different items from many different retailers. The AI-powered shopping feature, launched in June, includes brands like Anthropologie, Everlane, H&M, and Loft, uses AI to show clothing on real models, with their goal to improve the virtual try-on experience. 

  • Four Seasons: Conversational commerce is also growing in the hospitality industry. In addition to room service, Four Seasons offers much more to its customers. Guests of Four Seasons can make purchases, request upgrades, and get personal recommendations, all through an ongoing conversation. Four Seasons Chat leads the way when it comes to messaging guests and digital assistants. The company provides an award-winning conversational commerce experience, which is now seen as the go-to standard for luxury and hospitality.

  • Apple: Siri, the well-known AI assistant, employs natural language and voice requests, ensuring a super-useful and personalised experience. It adapts to your language, searches, preferences, and more. Siri excels at answering questions, providing recommendations, making phone calls, sending texts, and offering location details.