3 tips for retailers on AI-driven conversational commerce

31 Aug 2017

3 tips for retailers on AI-driven conversational commerce

Quill Founder and CEO Ed Bussey recently wrote a forward-looking thought leadership piece for Campaign magazine, exploring the growing ‘conversational commerce’ trend – chatting, either via voice or text, with AI-powered bots to make queries and purchases.

Sales of voice-driven assistant devices have seen a large increase in the past year, with products such as Amazon’s Echo leading the pack – and offering consumers a novel way to conduct search queries with easy voice commands. It’s a trend that appears likely to grow, and potentially even revolutionise the way we shop in the near future, particularly now that Amazon has launched the Echo Show in the US, which features an in-built screen.

To date, these voice-driven devices have been best-suited for making repeat purchases or ordering commodities, simply because consumers are unlikely to make more complex purchases (e.g. for clothing) without being able to see the products. By introducing a screen, Amazon has overcome this hurdle – and put conversational commerce firmly on the agenda for retailers.

For brands who want to embrace this new technology and stay relevant in the brave new voice-driven ecommerce world, Ed offers the following tips:

1. Boost your brand visibility in marketplace search results

With consumers now routinely bypassing Google to go direct to marketplaces, Ed suggests: “adhere to site best practice. Recent and authentic reviews, consistent imagery, quality product descriptions, competitive pricing, and correct categorisation – and your products will remain searchable.”

2. Anticipate the language of customer questions and format data accordingly

Given that consumer search queries are likely to change in nature and structure, becoming more conversational and ‘speech-like’ in a voice-driven market, Ed suggests that “product descriptions must be detailed, accurate and well-structured for bots and voice-powered assistants to identify and deliver satisfactory answers.”

3. Don’t forget branding principles

Like any other channel or touch point, a chatbot must reflect the brand’s personality and tone. Ed recommends ensuring “the bot’s tone of voice is consistent with the rest of your content, while remembering that consumers understand that these interactions are automated. Transparency is key, but that doesn’t mean you can’t inject personality.”

Brands that are willing to adapt first will be the first to profit from this emerging trend. Ed advises that marketers should be integrating conversational commerce into future strategies to stay on top of the changing market.

Read the full article here: ‘Time to chat? Three tips to succeed at conversational commerce’

Lauren Johnson-Ginn @ Quill ContentHead of Marketing Communications at Quill, passionate about all things content and digital.

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