Group 19

Conversational Commerce: What it Is and How it Works

As popular as online shopping is becoming, users are continually searching for more ways to easily purchase their favorite items with just the click of a button. Imagine how efficient it would be to be discussing a product with a company representative over instant messaging, then all of a sudden be able to click-to-purchase the latest trending item. With conversational commerce, you can do just that. Before we continue any further, let’s make sense of this newly coined term. Conversational commerce “refers to the intersection of messaging apps and shopping.”



It is the use of “chatbots,” and sometimes real people, to perform a more automated form of customer service. This is extremely beneficial for consumers, as it obliterates the need to jump back and forth between websites. As opposed to any ‘Q & A’ tabs a site may have, this new technology is more similar to advice you might receive in a store, a more personalized way of customer service. A company representative can assist a consumer in finding answers to any questions they may have. They can give feedback and reviews on an item they’re interested in and even click to make purchases all within a messaging app that they’re logged into.

Conversational commerce can be used through any business site or app. Currently, it is most commonly seen when a chat company partners with a brand. For example, Facebook has teamed up with Uber to allow a user to request a ride directly from Facebook Messenger.

Obviously, this implementation makes it much simpler for consumers to buy from your brand. They need only click a link in the instant-messaging tool they’re already working out of. But, why else might this seem beneficial for businesses? Business Insider explains that messaging apps have surpassed social networks in monthly actives.


What does this mean?

This means that your market is most likely spending more time chatting about their interests with their friends than tweeting or reposting their favored links. Connecting your business to a conversational interface can create a bond with your market once they sense the personal attention coming from a large company right to their very own notification center.

Not all of these forms of conversational commerce will be delivered from a real person, however. Chatbots are most commonly used. They program Chatbots with a number of responses given to key trigger phrases consumers use. Computer-driven chatbots will become more human-feeling as the technology advances. Eventually, the average person will be unable to distinguish between a “bot” and a real representative.



There are a few ways in which you can put conversational commerce into action. One of these ways is to dedicate each messaging app to provide its own app store for users to browse their partners; such as WhatsApp or Slack. Within these messaging apps, a user can connect all of his or her other apps. For instance,  KAYAK for traveling, Skype for communication, and even Twitter for social engagement. The consumer would go into the messaging app, and from there be able to locate their choice of another social site.

An additional way in which conversational commerce can be put into motion is to access it in-context through data detectors.  Simply put, this means that when you type an address, a calendar date, a time, or a place into your messaging app, a data detector will be able to create a link through that key phrase.

We see this currently when typing a message to our friend creating a plan for “next Sunday at 5,”. Suddenly, a link is created taking you to that date on the calendar widget, allowing you to mark it as an event. This technology is especially helpful if the user knows how to “talk” efficiently, and more similar to a programmer. In order to make this tool more effective, one should try to type more as a command; get in the mind of the chatbot.


more conversational commerce

Brands should strongly consider looking into conversational commerce and pairing their site with a messaging app. Consumers love this extremely personalized attention. Eventually, it will build you strong customer loyalty, and reinforce them to share what they love with the people they love. This is also an easier way for your company to market socially without even leaving the computer. Or, if you set up a chatbot, even less work than that.

Curious about more ways to connect your company to a messaging app, or more insight into conversational commerce? Let us know.