Conversational Commerce: Your Ticket to a Successful Holiday Season

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When it comes to interacting with brands, consumers today have much higher expectations. They’re not only looking for products that meet their needs, but also a convenient and personalized shopping experience—whether they’re scrolling through your website or browsing in-store. These expectations only get more prominent during the holiday season. Consumers have so much to buy in so little time, it’s crucial for brands to put their best and most personalized foot forward to lock in customers for holiday shopping and beyond. Conversational commerce may be the solution.

During the CommerceNext 2022 keynote session, “Preparing Your Tech Stack for the Era of Conversational Commerce,” executives from Rainbow Shops and Attentive discussed how your brand can lean into conversational commerce, meeting your consumers where they prefer to shop with curated experiences. 

Read on to explore the session’s key insights or watch the recording below.

The Power of a Text Message for Conversational Commerce

Attentive recently partnered with CommerceNext on a retail strategy report, The Ascension to Digital Maturity and found that 70% of marketers are using SMS for retention and re-engagement, which is a 10 percent increase from 2021.

SMS messaging is a unique marketing strategy that allows your brand to use conversational techniques to help customers in their buying journeys. It’s special because it’s the most conversational form of marketing. Text messages are personal and can resemble the power of a sales associate, leading customers to respond and interact with your brand!

Because of the changes in the digital privacy landscape, brands have been forced to rethink their personalization strategies. Marketers have found that SMS is a great way to capture data as it allows you to get first-party data to correctly personalize. 

Rainbow has seen this to be true in its SMS marketing efforts throughout the past few years. They begin the conversation with a text asking the customer what exactly they are interested in, and just from that response Rainbow is able to personalize the landing page, seeing 10x stronger return rates over the generic page. There is clearly a significant difference when you are able to bring your customer to exactly where they want to be on your website.

During the holiday season, the influence of SMS marketing can greatly impact your peak season success. Asking your customers through text what they are looking for, how you can help and keeping them engaged as gift-givers can help ensure they return to shop for themselves.

Humanize Your Brand & Converse With Customers

SMS’s conversational tone and ability to not only humanize the customer experience but also to drive results at scale makes it one of the most forceful channels for marketing professionals. Attentive shared that 63% of retailers have seen a substantial impact from utilizing the channel.

There are a variety of different programs and approaches available for conversational commerce through SMS messaging, and marketers have seen incredible results. One example is automated messaging. Your brand can set up a variety of responses to keywords, phrases or frequently asked questions to create two-way conversations with consumers. This not only helps simplify the shopping journey but also makes the customer feel heard and understood. According to Attentive, customers spend 50% more on these conversational messages than on average marketing messaging.

Another example Attentive shared is Attentive Concierge, the company’s newest service that allows customers to speak with a live agent, bringing the value of store associates to the customer’s messaging inbox. Exploring the option of genuinely conversing with your consumers can open up a variety of new opportunities for your brand to build meaningful relationships and customer loyalty. 

Building these strong relationships is important for your brand any time of the year, but especially during the holiday season. With the majority of consumers shopping for gifts, they are more likely to have questions and concerns about the product and its usage. Having SMS messaging available for them to feel more comfortable with their purchase is not only going to help your brand close the loop for that purchase, but also for many purchases to come. In fact,  consumers have shown 30% more lifetime spending due to the humanization of SMS messages.

 

SMS is an incredibly useful marketing tool for all retailers and brands, and adding it to your marketing strategies for the holiday season can help ensure successful customer retention and engagement during the busiest shopping season of the year. Conversational commerce can reveal specific insights about your customers and allow you to have a two-way conversation with your audience like never before. 

If you want to learn more about retailers’ concerns, strategies and plans for holiday 2022, download our newest holiday research report today!