Ecommerce has a real conversion rate and engagement problem.
But the solution is pretty straightforward – it involves shifting a portion of your advertising budget to conversational marketing.
The web was originally designed for content-sharing, less so for commerce, hence its abysmally low average conversion rate.
In fact, about 90% of consumers start research and shopping online, but just about 14% of sales actually happen online.
Plus, while 27% of hard-earned web traffic arrives on a site planning to purchase, just 2-3% of these visitors actually convert.
When compared to the average conversion rate for traditional in-store commerce, which ranges between 15 and 30%, this stat is pretty horrible.
And it’s not hard to understand why this is the case.
Good brick and mortar stores offer knowledgeable, personable, charming sales people trained to provide support and move visitors towards purchase.
In stark contrast, many online stores assume that the customer’s online purchasing journey is finished once they get to their website.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Instead, given the vast array of choices available to consumers online and the relative ease of finding and navigating to alternative stores, customers are wary before buying and very much appreciate assistance in confirming their final purchase choices.
According to Forrester, “[t]oday, customers have more choice: more products to buy, more information to influence purchasing decisions, and more devices and channels over which to seek customer service. What they don’t have is more time.”
To stand out in this environment, retailers need solutions that respect customers’ time.
Retailers need to make sure that each and every customer service encounter is fast and well supported with modern tools agents can use to deliver a high-quality experience.
Fifty-two percent of US and UK consumers call fast response to their needs the number one factor in an exceptional customer experience, according to the CMO Council.
Meanwhile, in addition to this engagement issue faced by brands, we often see huge budgets earmarked, sometimes exclusively, for digital advertising based on the faulty belief that this will mitigate the distinct conversion rate problem.
Getting eyes on your site will always be valuable, no question.
These days, however, rather than boosting advertising spend, your incremental dollar is typically better spent attempting to make better use of your existing ads to lower cost of customer acquisition and increase conversion rate.
In other words, your money is more effectively spent making sure more visitors driven by your existing ads actually end up buying!
Focusing on talking to your prospects and customers through conversational marketing, where human interaction and personalisation are at the core of the relationship, can drive dramatic increases in conversion rate and very real, solid return on investment.
Communications with brands that sell products and services has historically been largely a one-way communication.
Conversational marketing is centered around actual conversations between brands and customers that are at the heart of the online buying journey.
We are talking about conversations with visitors new to your ecommerce store, returning visitors, and also conversations with leads and customers, via messaging, after they leave your store, e.g., to share information about your brand, offer discounts, alert them as to sales, etc.
We are also talking about leveraging your existing support staff to proactively engage customers in a meaningful way so as to contribute to sales.
With the shift to conversational marketing now well underway, given that there are so many channels now available to consumers to engage with brands, chatbots are increasingly being relied upon to handle large volumes of conversations.
Chatbots are able to handle low-value questions and then seamlessly escalate them to a human respondent when the questions become more complex and a chatbot is no longer able to provide a satisfactory response.
Chatbots are also great at proactively approaching your store visitors with curated messages at just the right time to increase your conversion rate and boost sales.
Below are just a couple example Gobot chatbots currently being used on WaterEstore’s ecommerce website.
TheWaterEstore is one of Canada’s biggest water filter companies with a very large number of SKUs.
TheWaterEstore’s retail store has been successful because they have knowledgeable sales people who are familiar with water treatment systems and the myriad of ways they can be used and interconnected.
TheWaterEstore wanted to leverage a chatbot to help guide customers on their ecommerce store to the right products and also to increase their conversion rate and online average order value.
TheWaterEstore’s main bot:
One of TheWaterEstore’s upsell bots:
The future is particularly bright for conversational marketing.
We expect to see continuous growth in the coming years, especially as more and more brands see the value in this approach.
Companies will increasingly move past exclusive reliance on advertising, and will shift to conversational marketing as a core part of their business strategy.