What is Conversational Commerce?

Viber cristina-constandache
Cristina Constandache
Chief Revenue Officer at Rakuten Viber
What is Conversational Commerce?

Conversational commerce is the use of messaging platforms by brands to sell products and services and provide after-sales customer support, and it is the next step in the evolution of e-commerce. It allows buyers to interact with brands in a more natural way, and includes everything from asking questions about products to making purchases. The key benefit of conversational commerce for businesses is that companies can provide a more personalized experience for their customers. This can include recommendations, assistance with orders, and answering any questions customers may have during and after the purchase.

While still in its early stages, conversational commerce is growing in popularity. As more people become comfortable with using messaging platforms for shopping, the trend is only going to continue. This makes it the perfect time to get in on the action.

There are many types of conversational commerce, but some of the most common include chatbots, voice assistants, and live chat (conversations with a real agent). Let's look at each of these in more detail.


Chatbots are automated customer support agents on messaging apps. They're programmed to answer specific questions and rely on machine learning to improve how they answer questions over time. Despite the wide use of chatbots, the technology is still in its infancy, but has a lot of potential. Chatbots are already being used by many companies and can be a very effective way to provide excellent customer service. 

At Rakuten Viber, we've seen chatbot usage grow from zero to almost 100 000 bots within just a couple of years.

Bots are a great way to provide customers with the information they may need to know but don't want to spend time searching for. In most cases, bots handle tedious interactions, like answering common questions, while allowing human employees to focus on more complicated tasks.

Here are some examples of what chatbots can do:

  • Provide basic customer support for a product or service
  • Process orders by taking customer purchases and reservations
  • Provide automated information or updates about a product or service
  • Help customers troubleshoot problems
  • Make recommendations
  • Track inventory and shipping status

If any of this sounds like something your brand could benefit from, check out Rakuten Viber messaging solutions. The use of chatbots is especially useful for businesses with a large volume of customer support questions, and it’s no wonder that this automation is becoming more popular because it can save companies time and money. In the near future, chatbots will be able to handle even more complex interactions. 

If you wonder how chatbots work, it’s by interpreting natural language input from customers and responding with text or voice output. Natural language processing (NLP) enables computers to act like humans in certain ways: NLP-based chatbots are designed to understand spoken and written commands with the goal of carrying out specific tasks. NLP is an essential component in creating chatbots capable of learning and responding to human inputs. While it may sound complicated, you don’t need to be an NLP specialist to launch a chatbot.

Examples of Rakuten Viber chatbots

Rakuten Viber Chatbots

Viber has been revolutionizing the way businesses communicate with their customers for the last 7 years. Rakuten Viber Chatbots allow companies to connect with their audiences in a more efficient and convenient way, while reducing costs. 

With Rakuten Viber Chatbots, businesses can: 

  • Increase sales and conversions. 

Chatbots work by engaging with customers one on one through a chat interface. It gives customers the feeling that they are getting personal attention, which can encourage them to buy from you. 

Also, instead of having to leave a chat to go to a website or a search engine, a chatbot can provide a customer with the information they need when they need it. This increases the likelihood that a customer will make a purchase, since they don’t have to go through the hassle of finding all the necessary information on their own.

  • Automate customer service.

Chatbots can automate customer service tasks, such as answering inquiries, providing product information, and processing orders. This not only frees up your staff to handle more complex tasks, but it also ensures that customers receive fast and accurate responses to their inquiries. 

  • Improve communication.

By providing buyers with a convenient and easy-to-use chat interface, businesses can communicate with their audiences more effectively and reduce the number of customer inquiries that need to be handled over the phone or via email. 

If you’re looking for a more efficient and convenient way to communicate with your buyers, then Rakuten Viber’s chatbot tools are the perfect solution. 

Learn more about how Rakuten Viber chatbots can help your business

Voice Assistants

Amazon's Alexa, Google Home, Apple's Siri, and Microsoft's Cortana are all examples of voice assistants, which are essentially just miniature computers that users control by speaking to them. They're equipped with artificial intelligence that allows them to understand user requests, and can perform a variety of functions (such as playing music, searching for information, and answering questions).

Voice assistants are changing the e-commerce landscape by making it easier for customers to find and buy the products they need. With voice search, people can speak into their device to find the products they want and buy them instantly. This eliminates the need to scroll through pages of results or click through multiple links to find what you're looking for. In addition, voice assistants can help find the best deals on products and compare prices between different sellers. With this technology, e-commerce is becoming faster, easier, and more convenient than ever before. 

But it lacks one thing – human interaction and visual cues. That's where conversational business messages come in. These business messages allow a real human conversation, and they're perfect for bridging the gap between voice assistants and e-commerce. With the help of conversational business messages brands can provide customers with all the information they need about products, as well as provide visual cues, such as images and videos, to help them make informed decisions about their purchases. 

Live Chat

Live chat is the oldest form of conversational commerce, and conversational business messages, as its natural evolution, are becoming more and more popular. On Rakuten Viber, companies can connect with their customers in real-time to answer any questions they may have. This direct line of communication can help people feel like their questions are being addressed quickly and efficiently, and can foster a stronger relationship between the brand and its audience.

With Conversational Rakuten Viber business messages brands can manage multiple business cases in a single channel, following customers at each stage of their customer journey. Learn more about how to drive purchases, help with choosing the right product, manage orders, provide support, collect feedback  and more with conversational business messages.

Conversations via Rakuten Viber Business Messages

The benefits of conversational commerce 

  1. It is convenient. Customers can ask questions and receive answers without having to search for information in search engines.
  2. It is fast. It’s possible to get answers quickly, without having to wait on hold.
  3. It is flexible. Customers can get answers to a wide variety of questions on the go.
  4. It is engaging. Conversational messages can be used to engage customers on a deeper level, providing them with personalized service and helping to build long-term customer loyalty. Connecting business messages with your CDP can help increase engagement even further, by providing recommendations for future purchases.
  5. It is cost-effective. Conversational commerce allows businesses to connect with buyers in a more personal way, leading to more sales. Customers are more likely to buy from a business they feel they have a connection with, and conversational commerce allows to create that connection. Because of its personalized nature, CPA is normally less than traditional advertising methods, such as TV and radio ads.
  6. It is easy to use. A familiar medium for most people that does not require any extra effort to use.
  7. It is feedback-oriented. Conversational business messages and chatbots can also be applied to collect customer feedback, which can then be used to improve marketing and product development efforts.

The role of AI in Conversational Commerce

A big part of conversational commerce is the use of AI and machine learning. Both help chatbots be more responsive and dynamic, which is helpful for businesses to provide a great customer experience.

AI/ Machine Learning in this sense can be used to:

  • Answer and anticipate user questions
  • Suggest products and services to the customer
  • Personalize the experience
  • Gather user data

The use of AI and ML in chatbots has been proven to have a positive impact on customer interactions, which in turn has a positive impact on the business.

Given how AI is evolving, it is only a matter of time before most businesses will adopt it.

With the right strategies, companies can leverage it to significantly boost their bottom line.

Last but not least. Conversational commerce also helps businesses collect data about customer preferences and behavior, which can be then used to improve products and services.

It is natural for customers to want to interact with companies via conversations. As e-commerce continues to be a growing part of the economy, the demand for more convenient and personalized customer experiences will continue to grow. To learn more about conversational commerce, check out Rakuten Viber for Business solutions and see how our products can help grow sales and improve engagement.

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.