Earlier this month Google announced the roll-out of a new feature enhancing its mobile Adwords offering: click-to-message ads. It provides an easy way for consumers to message brands through an ad extension, launching the SMS app with a pre-written message tailored to the relevant product or service.
Why this is a major shift for the entire industry
Consumers’ preference to contact brands via messaging solutions is on the rise. According to Google, 65% of consumers would like to use messaging in order to connect with brands and receive information about a product, service or schedule an appointment. And 97% of smartphone owners use texting—it’s also the “app” they use most frequently.
Can your brand afford to not be conversational now
With this new feature it opens up a large opportunity for consumers and marketers to be able have conversations over SMS bypassing the typical current barriers to communication. And with the meteoric rise of messenger apps in the market, the top four sharing 3bn users in total and silicon valley on a quest to provide the future AI Chat solution. Google are opening the communication stack in their own way to give consumers and brands the opportunity to open a dialogue through the simplest and most used means.
Why this relates back to Chris Messina’s 2015 post on conversational commerce.
In 2015 Uber’s Chris Messina predicted that 2016 will be the year of “conversational commerce”. He defined this term as “pertains to utilizing chat, messaging, or other natural language interfaces (i.e. voice) to interact with people, brands, or services and bots that heretofore have had no real place in the bidirectional, asynchronous messaging context.”
Why consumer behaviour is driving this shift:
Ease, effectiveness, and emotion.
Consumers want to move between devices and use the conversational interface they feel the most comfortable with to get service at any point in their pre-or-post-purchase journey instantly.
Conversational commerce represents a digital leap forward for many brands
The ability to carry out a host of tasks entirely via messaging: transfer money, ask questions, make purchases, book travel and check the weather through a bot is comfortable for some and not others. But this is not entirely relegated to text interfaces only, Amazon Echo offers all of these features through their voice technology, and consumers have been calling brands since the invention of the telephone to achieve these goals. To reiterate more plainly Chris’s observation, “Conversational commerce is a conversation through text or voice between humans or with a bot.”
And some brands are onboard already
KLM partnered with Facebook Messenger to allow users to look at their travel itinerary, check flight updates, download their boarding passes and book new flights. And with the announcement of the paypal integration consumers will now be able to securely purchase products directly through the messaging app.
The conversation is the centre of the customer experience and the quality of the conversation is the brand differentiator.
Brands must become more comfortable in providing their consumers with a range of conversational interfaces across both text and voice. And the next step in this evolution is for non-developers to get easy access to this communication stack. It won’t be enough to enable these conversation channels, marketers and ecommerce professionals need to take control of the experience across every text and voice interface to create exceptional consumer experiences and influence sales conversations.
Freespee is the software layer enterprise brands need to take control of conversational commerce.
How? Freespee is the only conversation cloud that offers businesses a marketing and analytics layer between your customers and your conversation channels. We give you visibility, control and personalisation through automated real-time messaging across your text channels (sms, chat, app messaging, forms) and voice (calls).
With the Freespee conversation cloud you can now manage all text and voice conversations your customers are having with your brand today across your desktop, mobile web, and mobile app.
To find out more, contact us to schedule a demo.