360dialog Team

Where did Aunt Emma disappear to?

It is the early 1990s and I am around 6 years old. I don’t know it yet, but already then I’m witnessing an early version of conversational commerce. As always on Wednesday afternoons, I go do some groceries for my grandma. As almost every other day in fact. So I walk into that little store on the corner, the one next to my grandma’s house, and the old lady behind the counter – we used to call her Aunt Emma – recognizes me immediately. Aunt Emma has known me for my entire life. In fact, she’s known my parents for their entire lives too! I pay for the groceries and Aunt Emma hands me licorice candy. She knows it’s my favorite, I love those! So there are advantages to growing up in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere in Germany after all. Even if those are only pieces of licorice candy.

There’s something amazing I had noticed about Aunt Emma: she deeply cared about us. When I say us, I mean all of her customers. She knew our preferences, our behavior and just a whole lot about us. We liked going to Aunt Emma’s store because she always had a solution to our needs. The personal touch Aunt Emma brought made it so enjoyable to buy from her. From an entrepreneurial standpoint though, Aunt Emma’s business doesn’t scale: there’s only so much one person can care for her customers.

From customer-centric to brand-centric. We got it all wrong.

Fast forward 20 years or so. The Internet has become, well, the Internet. It’s gone mainstream. Never before has it been so easy for brands to get their products out into the world. Brands are everywhere. Small businesses can scale and become successful very fast. There is one big problem though, and you’ve guessed it: the relationship to the customer got lost along the way. We’re facing information overload, ad saturation and as a consequence advertising rejection. The world has changed, and it needs to evolve yet again. The world from my childhood was simple, customer-focused; today it’s become complex, noisy, where brands take up too much room. And consumers like it less and less.

It’s time to become scalable and relevant. With Conversational Commerce and Web Push.

If you’re still reading this, chances are you have one of two mindsets. Either that of a CRM manager, who’s sick and tired of micromanaging far too many campaigns for your far too many marketing segments. Or that of a marketing manager, who’s looking for new channels where you can get good ROI on your marketing spend.

We might just be on the cusp of yet another paradigm shift. Brands are acknowledging more and more that customer-centricity, which we’ve now lost, might just be the one thing we need to restore, to ensure continued growth going forward. We’re back to the two main problems discussed earlier: the ability to scale practices that foster customer-centricity, and being relevant in a world of information overload and ad rejection. For the first problem a little thing called Conversational Commerce might be the answer. As for the second, Web Push might very well be worth trying out, to boost those engagement rates.

Want to see how Conversational Commerce and Web Push will boost your marketing automation?

Contact one of our experts

What is Conversational Commerce?

At the beginning of the year Chris Messina predicted 2016 would be the year of Conversational Commerce: AI-powered bots enhancing our messenger apps and empowering consumers to have meaningful 1-to-1 conversation with the brands they love. Conversational Commerce will put the consumer at the center of the commerce once again.

It will be awhile before bots hold true conversations with consumers, and they will never be able to replace the real thing – human interaction. They might, however, very well make our lives easier. Early applications, like the Uber chatbot which sits in Facebook Messenger, have already shown Conversation Commerce will be changing how brands and consumers interact. And it’s only just the beginning.

What is Web Push?

Web Push is the channel you’ve been looking for to be relevant in a world of information overload and ad rejection. This new channel promises high engagement and conversion performance.

Web Push Notifications basically work like push notifications on your smartphone, only they are generated via the browser of your choice. So they are browser push notifications, really. You might have come across them already, companies such as Facebook and LinkedIn already use them.

A couple of things that makes Web Push so great.

  • Easy implementation: Add a few lines of code to your website and voila, there you have it, in just a few minutes you have just created a brand new messaging channel for yourself. You can get started in minutes, literally.
  • Advanced messaging: Messages are delivered in real-time, across browsers and across devices. Your messages, indicating items were forgotten in a shopping cart for instance, actually reach your customers when needed.
  • Professional targeting: Target your users based on their in-app or onsite behavior, geography, devices, browsers, and on just about any criteria you can dream of. Reach the right people and be relevant.
  • Simple reporting: Leverage Web Push data integration with your app and website tracking, so you can report message delivery, open rates, click rates and conversion rates easily and automatically.
  • Performance: Web Push is new, so opt-in, engagement and conversion rates for this new channel are particularly high.

Aunt Emma was the Conversational Commerce and Web Push of her time

The world has changed, I’ve changed, I’m not 6 years old anymore. I still long for licorice candy once in a while, and most importantly I wish we had more Aunt Emmas around. I realize Aunt Emma was the Conversational Commerce and Web Push of her time. Conversations are our most natural way of communicating, that’s where commerce online is bound to end up. And people don’t really mind being interrupted, as long as it’s by someone who really cares and when it really matters. That is precisely where Conversational Commerce and Web Push come in: these are the Aunt Emmas of our time.

For more information on Conversational Commerce and Web Push, contact a 360dialog expert by email at info@360dialog.com.