INDUSTRY NEWS

Dawn of The Conversational Ecommerce

With the recent launch of a click-to-message button (which will hopefully transform into a full feature campaign objective) and a chatbot API, Facebook will have a significant impact on how brands run performance campaigns becoming Facebook even more integrated part of the performance marketing ecosystem.

Recent messaging initiatives point to Facebook's ambitions in becoming the of the main customer relationship management channels and even bigger player in performance marketing.

Conversational interfaces could be a backbone of Facebook's performance marketing offerings helping it internalize brands-customers relationships as they've started doing with lead ads and more powerful pages messaging features introduced late last year.

Facebook took the first step in internalizing performance campaigns with the lead ads enabling brands to capture leads inside the Facebook mobile platform (now it's also available on the desktop version too). Now without leaving the app, users can click on the ad, fill and submit a lead form. It is a very efficient way to drive online mobile leads since many brands are still behind in mobile optimized websites adoption.

However, this ad format is useful mostly for industries where leads are the key form of conversion: auto (test drives), financial services, telecom services, higher education, travel.

With the introduction of click-to-message and chatbots, Facebook has unlocked a significant potential to internalize conversions for any possible industry and product category. The critical part here is chatbots.

With big advertisers running multi-million dollar campaigns it will be impossible for brand representatives to handle all the incoming inquiries via messenger within a reasonable response time. This is where chatbots will take over the main stage, leading all the qualified Messenger requests from initial interest to the conversion in a structured dialog form taking a more consultative approach.

Chatbots have the potential to improve both conversion rates and an average order value on mobile pages by providing an entirely different experience compared to the usual mobile site visit. The nature of consumer-to-brand interactions on Messenger will be conversational and in this way of consultative nature by default. It will be highly different from the regular mobile e-commerce site experience.

Even with the most efficient audience targeting and carefully selected mobile landing pages users can still change their mind about products they want to purchase multiple times thus facing challenges to convert because of the complicated mobile sites structures and in general worse mobile experience. Conversational nature of chatbots will help people discover more relevant offers and related products driving higher conversion rates and possibly higher sales volumes.

We can expect to have click to message campaigns driving traffic and chatbots helping to complete conversions in the most efficient way. These are very exciting opportunities that many brands are yet to try.