Conversational commerce is the talk of the town, with many businesses adopting it as part of their marketing, sales, and customer care activities. Although social media channels are still an important marketing channel for businesses to reach their audience, messaging applications are now taking over, as more consumers are using them for personal conversations.
As a result, companies of all kinds are trying to tap into these prolific channels...and that's where conversational commerce comes in. Before I tell you about how you can make money using this new technology, let's have a look at conversational commerce:
What is conversational commerce?
Instead of giving you an exact definition of conversational commerce, let me set the scene for you. Let's say you want to buy a new pair of jeans. You go into your messaging application and tell a chatbot, "I want to buy a new pair of jeans, in dark blue or black, size 6, less than $50". From there, a message pops up from the chatbot saying, "Here are your jeans", with a link to a recommendation, the delivery details, as well as the correct color and size.
The best part about it all is that you probably wouldn't be able to tell whether you were talking to a human or robot, which is the beauty of artificial intelligence (AI). Simply put, conversational commerce, better known as chatbots, is a way for brands to communicate with their audience on messaging apps using AI rather than humans.
Just how can AI-powered conversational commerce help you make money?
1. By combining chatbots with native content.
Native content is when brands pay media outlets to publish their content in a natural way. For example, if you see an article about eating more vegetables, you may notice a specific product mentioned. This is most likely because the brand that owns that product paid the media outlet to include it in the article.
Chatbots can do the same thing. Basically, if you are using a cooking chatbot to find a recipe, it will give you the information you need while also highlighting certain articles that promote specific branded products. Similar to selling advertising space, you could offer this service to various brands through your chatbot.
Related: 10 Tips for Creating a Great Chatbot
2. By using bots as a service.
Specialists believe that chatbots will be using the SaaS model by introducing various paid subscription versions to consumers. Instead of dishing out information on demand, the chatbot will offer the customer introductory features and then follow up by suggesting he or she upgrade to a paid version for more complex and detailed answers.
With this model, you must be sure that you are creating a subscription plan that is bulletproof. In other words, you need to make sure that you are offering enough for your audience to want to pay for an upgrade.
3. By leveraging affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a great way for you to make money, especially if you are working with popular brands. For instance, if you have a tech bot, you could send updates to your consumers on how some of the latest tech is being used today. You could then work with a brand such as Apple and use affiliate links to send them to the latest Apple products. If the consumer makes a purchase by following your link, you would then get a monetary reward similar to a commission.
4. By using it for retail sales.
Making direct sales is the most common way to generate revenue through your chatbot. All you need to do is create a chatbot for your brand and when a customer asks if you sell a specific product, your chatbot sends them a link to that product. Your customer should be able to make the purchase directly from their messaging app, similar to how the process works on your website.
5. By treating them as a form of lead generation.
Using chatbots for lead generation is very new, but I expect it will become a very popular way for us to monetize our conversational commerce. For lead generation, your chatbot would have a conversation with a consumer, it would then ask the consumer if he or she minds if the information in this conversation is passed on to relevant parties. If the consumer says 'yes', you then share the information with other relevant companies and you get a commission for your referral.
6. By offering them as a research tool.
While people use chatbots as research tools to find products and services from specific brands, the same cannot be said for brands looking to understand their audience. What if your chatbot could reach a very specific audience and you were able to leverage the information that it gathers and sell it on to other companies?
Let's say that you own a vegan restaurant in San Fransisco and you're putting together your festive menu. Of course, you're not going to go for the traditional turkey, so you need to find out what your customers want. Instead of hiring a research firm, you could hire a chatbot and run a specific campaign or survey through it to get the information you need directly from your audience.
7. By targeting advertising.
The data you gather from the conversations your chatbot has with your audience will not only allow you to automate your sales and customer care processes but also better target your advertising to eventually generate more sales. With the information you gain from each individual consumer, you can better target demographics.
Aside from finding out your customer's name, you'll be able to know where they are in the world, where they shop, their hobbies, and even what music and food they prefer. With that information, you can target your advertising, allowing you to push products they are more likely to buy.
Related: Make Chats With Chatbots Work
8. By using them as B2B productivity tools.
Today, most companies are using their chatbots to monetize their interactions with consumers, but they're actually missing out on opportunities to save money in-house. You can now implement chatbots within your organization that allow you to increase productivity among your teams.
Some of the benefits of internal facing chatbots include:
- Making internal communications easier
- Helping make decisions within departments
- Using them as personal assistants
- Improving cyber security
9. By launching exclusive campaigns accessed only through chatbots.
If you want to make your chatbot a money-making machine, you need to make it unique. Launching exclusive campaigns that can only be accessed through your chatbot is a great way to encourage consumers to use your bot more.
If people have a successful experience using your bot, they will come back for more in the future, saving you man hours and other valuable resources. You'll also be able to learn more about your customers, helping you design a better version of your chatbot with increased closing rates that generate more leads.
10. By giving it personality to connect with consumers.
In simple terms, if your chatbot is dull, no one will want to communicate with it. Your bot needs a distinctive personality that can easily engage and tap into your customer's emotions. A chatbot saying "hi" feels like catching up with a friend rather than being prodded by another tool used to make money. Because our inboxes are all now stuffed with spam and random newsletters, the personality of a chatbot has proven to be a much more efficient way to increase click through rates.
How Can You Create A Chatbot?
We've gone through the ways in which you can monetize your conversational commerce, but how do you actually create your own chatbot? Thankfully, you no longer need coding knowledge to implement a chatbot into your messaging apps.
Platforms such as Chattypeople allow you to create a free, AI-powered chatbot in a matter of minutes that:
- Takes orders directly from Facebook
- Integrates with all the major payment systems
- Pushes promotions and various forms of advertising, on demand, to your customers
Engaging, selling, and advertising are all ways your chatbot can increase your revenue, but you need to remember what's happening in-house. If you can cut costs in a way that brings value to you, your employees, and your bottom line, why not do it? By implementing your chatbot in the ways outlined above, you'll not only be able to run a more efficient business but also see your revenue streams sore.