Increasing revenue is a major goal for most business owners. However, with so much competition, especially online, generating leads and closing sales can be tougher than ever. Therefore, savvy marketers and website administrators are constantly on the hunt for ways to improve results.
Conversational commerce is a potential solution. This newer form of marketing and customer interaction focuses on the power of conversation – typically through some form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – to make online shopping more personal.
In this article, we’ll explore what conversational commerce is and how it can benefit your business. Then we’ll offer three tips for implementing it on your WordPress site. Let’s get started!
An Introduction to Conversational Commerce
The relatively new phrase ‘conversational commerce’ refers to the relationship between messaging apps and shopping. The term was coined in 2015 in a Medium post by Chris Messina of Uber.
The initial idea behind conversational commerce was to integrate shopping interactions directly into messaging apps. One of the earliest examples was ordering an Uber directly inside Facebook Messenger.
The thought process is that people spend a lot of time on these messaging apps, so bringing shopping opportunities to them would increase convenience and accessibility. This would, in turn, drive additional sales.
The concept has now evolved to include nearly any form of conversational messaging, including live chats on websites, push notifications from businesses, deeper integration with voice search, and more:
The aim is to bring the familiarity and intimacy of conversations into the world of eCommerce, and make online shopping more seamless and humanized.
Many studies back up this approach. For example, you might consider the following statistics:
- 82 percent of consumers see getting an immediate response as “very important”.
- 79 percent of customers are willing to use messaging apps for customer service over more traditional forms of communication.
- Nearly 80 percent of top businesses are already using marketing automation, including conversational commerce techniques, to generate more leads and sales.
Conversational commerce can be a significant driver of both increased sales and customer satisfaction. This is why it’s certainly a trend worth taking advantage of.
How to Drive Sales With Conversational Commerce (3 Tips)
Now that you’re familiar with the concept of conversational commerce, let’s look at a few tips for implementing it on your site. Thanks to WordPress plugins, these four methods are all much simpler to use than they may seem.
1. Add Live Chat to Your Site
One simple way to incorporate conversational commerce is by offering a live chat option on your website. This way, visitors and potential customers can have any questions answered by an actual person, without needing to wait for an email response or sit on hold.
The simplest way to add a live chat service to your site is by using a WordPress plugin. There are several to choose from, but the aptly-named LiveChat is one of the most popular and highest-rated options:
This plugin makes it incredibly easy to set up chat functionality on your website. To install it, just head to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Plugins > Add New, then search for “LiveChat”. It should be the first result:
Once it’s installed and activated, you’ll need to create an account. The plugin will then link you to the LiveChat website to complete the process.
LiveChat offers powerful features for automating chats, gathering analytics, and ensuring security. The chats themselves are conducted using a desktop app on your computer, enabling you to manage multiple conversations at once.
Note that while the WordPress plugin is free, you’ll need a LiveChat subscription to make use of the service. These start at $16 per month.
Of course, this is just one live chat tool. To learn about more options, you can check out our guide on setting up a live chat.
2. Implement a Chatbot
If you don’t have the time or staff to operate a live chat service, you might consider implementing a chatbot instead. The biggest advantage of chatbots is that they can automate conversations so that you don’t need to devote time to more basic questions.
If a customer has a query that the chatbot can’t handle, it can forward that visitor to an actual representative. This can significantly reduce the time spent on each customer, while still ensuring that they get the personal touch they expect (and deserve).
The HubSpot plugin is a popular option that offers a tremendous number of features, including Customer Relationship Management (CRM), email marketing, forms, and a chatbot – all in one plugin:
This tool excels because it integrates with the free HubSpot CRM, meaning its bots can access information about your contacts in order to deliver a more personalized experience. Best of all, both the plugin and chatbot service are free.
To get started with the HubSpot plugin, head to your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins > Add New, and search for “HubSpot”. Once activated, the plugin will walk you through creating an account and connecting your website. To learn more, you can check out our post about using chatbots for customer service.
3. Optimize Your Website for Voice Search
Voice search is a major part of modern Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Fifty-five percent of consumers use voice to search on their phones, and this is at least in part due to its conversational nature.
Voice search is all about quick answers to specific questions. To optimize for this, you can start by focusing on long-tail keywords. These are more sentence-like and conversational by nature, so they match perfectly with the natural language used in voice searches.
Next, you may want to consider the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) your audience may have and make sure these are answered on your website, ideally on a dedicated FAQ page. This helps ensure that when a search is performed for those phrases, your site pops up.
If your business has a brick-and-mortar location, we recommend making local SEO a priority. This means ensuring that your address, telephone number, hours, and other details are available on your site. Including a map can also help.
You should also claim and fill out your Google My Business profile as completely as possible:
Integrating WordPress and Google My Business can have a significant impact on your SEO.
Finally, make sure your site is mobile-friendly by using a responsive theme. Most (but not all) of the most popular themes for WordPress are mobile-friendly these days, but it’s a good idea to double-check.
Whether you’re a new business owner looking for a competitive advantage or an established brand looking to modernize your strategy, conversational commerce could be the way of the future. This tactic uses AI and other software to give online shoppers a simple, direct line to your business.
In this post, we discussed three tips for getting started with conversational commerce on your WordPress site:
- Add live chat to your site with a plugin such as the aptly-named LiveChat.
- Implement a chatbot for hands-free customer service using a plugin like HubSpot.
- Optimize your site for voice search to leverage the most natural form of conversation – the human voice.
Do you have any questions about conversational commerce? Let us know in the comments section below!