With India clocking Rs 3,200 crore of digital transactions between April and July 2022, it is safe to say that the digital payment domain in the country has been transformed. In fact, the country has witnessed a continuous spike in digital transactions over the past few years. The UPI transactions, too, went up 73 percent YOY, with over 7 billion transactions, marking a record high for the platform since its inception in 2016. SBI Research, in its report, Ecowrap has called it a structural change for the Indian economy as currency circulation declined during the Diwali break for the first time in 20 years.
Rapid mobile and digital adoption have made India a mobile-first economy while changing how customers engage and interact with brands. They not only look for more alternatives to choose from but also expect a better end-to-end personalized experience. Around 52 percent of the customers want all offers to be personalized. To adhere to such changing demands, brands today are leveraging conversational commerce, besides other technologies, especially combined with advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms.
Why Conversational Commerce?
What started in 2015, conversational commerce is not just a buzzword anymore. It is the need of the hour and the future of commerce. While enabling the customers to chat with the brand’s representatives, ask questions, and get support and personalized recommendations, all in real-time, it can also help the brands to enable customers with the convenience of being able to make a transaction – all from a single channel. Its convenience makes conversational commerce the next big thing that businesses must adapt to take their digital transformation to the next level.
Furthermore, the need for conversational commerce can be quantified by analyzing the customers’ readiness to enter purchase journeys with chatbots. According to a study, of 15 percent of the customers who made purchases using a retail chatbot, 81 percent of them said they would do it again. However, the success of conversational commerce will be facilitated by the development of CpaaS capabilities that are easily integrated with SaaS solutions.
Role of CPaaS in Conversational Commerce
CPaaS, or Communication Platform-as-a-Service, help easy implementation of a channel and use cases and allows companies to seamlessly build a chatbot on it. The amalgamation of messaging and services creates an end-to-end experience for customers, where everything from acquisition to onboarding, e-commerce, and conversation takes place on a single platform.
To deliver such an experience, CPaaS companies are leveraging advanced messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Messenger, Telegram, WeChat, Viber, KakaoTalk and LINE, etc. Technologies such as conversational chatbots, video, carousels, geolocation, and quick response (QR) codes further help customers to get in touch with the brands. These visual builders, bots, and conversational APIs also drive omnichannel experiences for them.
One such example is Uber’s chatbot on WhatsApp. It enables users to order a ride using the messaging platform, enabling a never-before seamless booking experience. It is a classic case of meeting the users where they are. Additionally, a Gartner study also states that 80 percent of customer service organizations in 2025 will abandon native mobile apps and adopt omnichannel messaging to deliver a better customer experience. However, in this end-to-end customer journey, payments are still supported with third-party integrations.
What can CX Leaders Expect in 2023?
CX leaders can expect even more robust CPaaS functionalities in the coming year. One such trend would be the enhanced integration of chatbots in retail and other areas, making the end-to-end experience offered via conversational commerce absolutely hassle-free. Another trend that one should look forward to is the unification of chatbots across messaging channels. Lastly, CPaaS companies are in the works to make payments possible through chat apps without relying on third-party integrations. It can be a game-changer in conversational commerce for both brands and consumers.
It’s been a few years since conversational commerce emerged globally. But if numbers tell us anything, it is that conversational commerce is here for the long haul to revolutionize online commerce. This new interactive way of shopping and engaging with brands has provided customers with the personalized experience they are longing for while buying products and services online. Year-on-year, there are new technologies that are making conversational commerce better than it is today. If businesses want to grow and build a loyal customer base, investing in the right technologies is the way forward.