Voice of the Industry

What makes conversational commerce compelling for merchants and consumers?

Monday 19 December 2022 13:42 CET | Editor: Vlad Macovei | Voice of the industry

Online commerce and messaging platforms have boomed. Worldline's Santi Ristol explains how this has led to conversational commerce which delivers an improved shopping experience via a familiar chat app.


Worldline's Santi Ristol shares insights about conversational commerce, which delivers an improved shopping experience via a familiar chat app.


A new era of conversations

Over recent decades we have seen the growth of ecommerce first, and then mobile commerce. These now mean that, no matter where they are, consumers can buy products online from their favourite merchants. However, nowadays consumers are looking for a more personalised and simple shopping experience that they can use when relaxing at home or when they are on the go. Additionally, they do not want to download a different mobile app for every single retailer they want to interact with.

We have also seen the rise of social messaging apps like WhatsApp, which has more than 2,400 million users worldwide, 100 million messages sent every day and more than 70% of its users using it daily. At the same time, chatbots combined with artificial intelligence have matured.

In combination, these trends mean that today we have all the ingredients needed to succeed with conversational commerce: a new paradigm in this evolution from interactions through the web and apps to a new era of conversations. 

Conversational commerce allows merchants to guide and assist their customers to provide a fully personalised experience during their shopping journey. What’s more, this is delivered by a chatbot or live person via direct interaction in the same, familiar mobile messaging app that they use to interact with their friends and family. This is great for the consumer: they do not need to install a new app or learn how it works.

Opening the door to better communications

Imagine you are in the metro going back home after a long day in the office and you want to order some food for dinner later at home. You could easily contact your favourite grocers near your home through their channel on WhatsApp and quickly order some products that you could pick up on your way home. You could choose to pay for your order online or when picking up your goods at the store, whatever you find the most convenient. 

Or imagine a completely different scenario: you are in a stadium watching a football match and you want to order some snacks without needing to queue. You could easily connect through WhatsApp to the closest bar in the stadium, place your order and pick it up at the express lane when you are notified that your order is available.

These are only two simple examples of what is already possible today – there are many more possibilities, some of which are illustrated below.  


Opening the door to better communications

Opening the door to better communications

Opening the door to better communications


As you can see, payment is fully integrated into the conversation, providing the consumer with existing payment options, like a credit/debit card or direct bank transfer, with also the facility to store securely a payment's details for future purchases, or even the ability to authorise payments using biometrics like the voice of the customer.

But now let´s imagine another scenario which takes the experience up another level. You are at home and you want to buy some meat for a barbecue you are organising this weekend. Of course, you want to get the best meat from your butcher, as well as their advice, but you are also too busy now to visit the butcher´s shop and you do not want to spend time waiting in a queue. Enter Conversational Commerce through a Live Shopping experience: a one-to-one solution provided by your butcher in which you book an appointment with your butcher through WhatsApp. During the appointment, you have a dedicated video call in which you can have a similar experience as you would have in the shop. You can see the products, you can get the personalised advice and you can view your shopping cart on your device in real-time. 

In this example, which is illustrated below, you can see how the conversation with the chatbot seamlessly transitions to a conversation with humans to deliver a great personalised shopping experience.


how the conversation with the chatbot seamlessly transitions to a conversation with humans to deliver a great personalised shopping experience


Shopping from brands with just a search

The adoption of conversational commerce will be soon accelerated by the facility to discover all these shops easily through a conversation. With this in mind, WhatsApp has recently launched a pilot in some countries (UK, Indonesia, Mexico and Colombia) with a search feature for people to find businesses and start conversations with trusted accounts on WhatsApp. With initiatives like this, all businesses will have a great opportunity to be found by their customers in this channel in a similar way as websites can be found through search engines.

Conversational commerce can create long-term, deeper relationships between brands and their customers. Brands will be able to have more awareness and more conversions through this channel in which they can provide a more casual and  personalised experience to all of their customers than can be achieved through classical web and mobile ecommerce solutions alone. At Worldline, we are at the forefront of this new Commerce revolution and provide WhatsApp Business API services to allow our clients to reach and connect with their customers in a simple, secure and reliable way with secure instant messaging. You can find more information here

About Santi Ristol Jorba

Santi Ristol is the Director of the Mobile Competence Centre at Worldline being also a member of Worldline Discovery Hub and WIN (Worldline Innovation Network). With over 30 years of experience, Santi has always shared and applied his passion for Innovation in all sectors with a special focus on Retail, Health, Hospitality, and Public Sector. Since 2010 he leads the Mobile Competence Centre providing his expertise for digital solutions (mobile and web) and all digital enablers around them (IoT, wearables, blockchain, mobile messaging, chatbots, etc.) to Worldline and its clients worldwide.

About Worldline 

Worldline [Euronext: WLN] is a global leader in the payments industry and the technology partner of choice for merchants, banks and acquirers. Powered by 18,000 employees in 40 countries, Worldline provides its clients with sustainable, trusted, and innovative solutions fostering their growth. Services offered by Worldline include in-store and online commercial acquiring, highly secure payment transaction processing and numerous digital services. In 2021, Worldline generated a proforma revenue close to EUR 4 billion. 

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Keywords: ecommerce, online shopping, mobile payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Worldline
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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