Conversational commerce is a term coined by Uber’s Chris Messina in a 2015 piece published on Medium. It refers to the intersection of messaging apps and shopping. It now also includes voice conversations based on speech recognition technology.
H&M has created a chatbot that acts as a personal stylist. The chatbot asks users to answer a series of multiple-choice questions to determine their preferences before making recommendations.
That could be an entire outfit or the latest trending pieces. Customers can also see outfits that other users have created for inspiration and even vote on them.
Lego is using a chatbot in Facebook Messenger to add fun to the present buying experience.
Ralph is Lego’s super-friendly, emoji-loving chatbot, which starts by asking questions about the gift recipient – the child’s age, play interests, etc. before offering up several personalized suggestions based on the customer’s answers. With the present selected, users are directed to Lego’s website to pay.
Starbucks has built Conversational Commerce into its mobile app.
Using a smart barista bot, customers can type or use voice commands to order their morning favorites and pay for their coffee using their phones. Then once the hot beverage is ready, they’ll be alerted through a message.
Another interesting example of using conversation commerce can be found on the travel site – SnapTravel. The website works via SMS, WhatsApp, or Messenger.
While conversational commerce has not matured yet and is probably overhyped, we need to keep an eye on opportunities to use it as natural language technology evolves.