Is ‘Conversational Commerce’ Future of eCommerce?

Anna Shvetsova

‘Conversational commerce’ or ‘Conversational user interface’ is one of the latest trends in eCommerce as it implies the usage of chats and messaging apps to provide consumers with a convenient and personalized way of interaction with services providers.

The term ‘Conversational commerce’ has been first offered by Chris Messina in Medium where he emphasizes the growing tendency of interaction between consumers and businesses via messaging and chat apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, etc or voice assistants similar to Google’s Now. The main reason of the trend’s intensive growth is that it’s a simple and habitual way for consumers to resolve their questions on the go and with no hassle.

Messaging apps have already left social networks behind, having turned from means of chatting and exchanging photos with friends into advanced tools offering much more opportunities to their users. You can order pizza, ask for a taxi, transfer money to a friend, pay a bill, buy products directly through your chat and the opportunities constantly expand.

It’s not necessarily a human you chat with, it can be a bot. These bots are constantly improved and their dialog with a customer may look as natural as if the customer chatted with a human.

Today dozens of apps, each with its own interface and notifications, create a total mess in our smartphones. As a result most of these notifications are neglected. What if all the services we use could be reached from a single app with nothing to install and configure? Well, this is becoming real. More and more businesses extend their channels of communication with customers to popular messengers, and now you can talk to them and receive notifications in your Facebook messenger, Operator, Slack, Telegram, etc. And it’s much more convenient than using separate apps.

While ordering something in chat instead of making a phone call or placing an order on website is still amazing for some of us, it’s already normal for others. And certainly it’s a new level of customer service, which combines artificial intelligence, bots and humans forces to deliver prompt and high-quality assistance.

Facebook Messenger Bot in X-Cart

To keep up with the latest trends we’ve developed Facebook Messenger Bot for X-Cart 5. With the module enabled, your customers will be able to receive notifications on their order in their Facebook Messenger and ask questions to the bot about their order status. It’s a bot who will normally reply to customers, however the store administrator will see the history of communication in his Facebook account and will be able to step into the dialog at any time.

Order confirmation notification       Tracking number info       Order tracking

Order confirmation page       Facebook Messenger Bot settings

Though many messaging apps have already adopted the bot technology, it’s Facebook Messenger we decided to create integration with, as this service is very popular and has more than 900 million users.

Among opportunities of this integration it’s worth mentioning ads on Facebook Messenger. You can send promotions and special offers as personal messages to Facebook users who had previously initiated chat threads with your business. This channel is not yet flooded with advertising and if ads are sent in gentle and maybe even informal tone, they will deliver good results.

Facebook Messenger Bot has been developed as a concept solution and now it is compatible only with X-Cart 5.3. However we are already working on its adaptation for X-Cart 5.2 and
X-Cart 4.4-4.7. Also, we are working on another bot which will let your customers browse your store and make purchases directly through the messenger.

If you are interested in using Facebook Messenger Bot to assist customers in your store, let us know the version of your X-Cart to help us to determine the versions for which we should adapt the module first of all.

I would like to use Facebook Messenger Bot

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