The Customer Journey: Purchase

In this third part of our Customer Journey series, we’re focusing on the purchase stage.

As we’ve mentioned, the beauty of Chat Marketing, what makes it so incredibly potent as a marketing strategy, is how seamless and easy it renders the sales funnel. In a chatbot, going from consideration to purchase, for example, is as easy as a single click from a chat window onto a checkout page. That can mean a shorter, more unified funnel.

But, according to McKinsey, 40% of consumers change their minds right before they make a purchase because of something they see, learn, or do. This something might be a subpar interaction with a salesperson, or missing or misleading product information, or a branding issue. And it’s amplified in e-commerce: 95%+ of customers leave a given e-commerce site without making a purchase, or they abandon their cart.

So how can Chat Marketing enable companies to retain those 40% of customers who change their minds and the 95% who abandon their carts?

This is where Chat Marketing has the edge over any other medium. Since chatbots enable brands to have conversations with customers — real conversations that are two way and dynamic — your bot can give a customer the vital information that will stop them from changing their minds.

In fact, ongoing conversation shifts the whole funnel; since you are engaging directly with the customer throughout their journey, you stay top of mind the entire funnel. That means those things that change consumers’ minds right before purchase may be addressed at any point before purchase.

Furthermore, a chatbot is the best way to retarget online window shoppers and cart abandoners. As we mentioned in the awareness and consideration stages of our customer journey series, with a bot, you don’t need to trail someone around the Internet throwing up banner ads, hoping they take notice, and praying they don’t get annoyed. Chat Marketing doesn’t operate on a wing and a prayer. Instead, it utilizes data and strategy to figure out why a customer didn’t buy, and it incentivizes them to come back and make that purchase.

Conversational Marketing doesn’t operate on a wing and a prayer.

Say you’re a cosmetics brand and a customer visited your site three times, added two of your lip kits and a mascara to their cart, then abandoned that cart. In the past, you might have emailed that person — if you could locate their email address — reminding them about their abandoned cart, and you might have tried, in that email, to figure out why they didn’t buy.

The only problem is that, while you could ask the customer what stopped them from pressing purchase, they had no way to respond. Sure you could link them to your website, but jumping over to the site is clunky and certain to lose a large number of people. And this is assuming your customer even sees your email or reads through it: the majority of emails go straight to the trash, and the few that are read are mostly abandoned halfway.

Chat, on the other hand, boasts 90%+ open rates — 10x better than email. That means if you send an automated chat message retargeting a cart abandoner, that customer is 10x more likely to read through your message and respond than they are to an email. And when you send someone a chat message reminding them of an abandoned cart, you can ask directly why they didn’t buy — perhaps the price was too high, in which case you might offer them a coupon code. Or perhaps they couldn’t find shipping info or a delivery date — which you can then provide right in the bot.

Then, when they’re ready to buy, you can lead the customer directly from the chat into their cart — with their abandoned items ready to be checked out. That’s why Chat Marketing is the easiest, most frictionless way to recover abandoned carts and reengage online window shoppers.

In fact, the entire purchase itself can be made inside the bot conversation. A bot can use a customer’s specific data — which the bot has already collected — to recommend a product, or to offer a quick purchase on an item a customer has previously viewed. The bot can also offer preprogrammed choices for delivery times, or even take a credit card, finalize, and confirm an order — all inside Facebook Messenger.

Thus, Chat Marketing drives a customer towards purchase faster and more painlessly than any other medium. In the digital e-commerce sphere, where people conduct a huge amount of research and assessment themselves, they still crave guidance. Your chatbot is the guide that drives them towards purchase.

However, it’s important to remember the funnel doesn’t end at purchase. It’s still crucial to keep customers engaged post-purchase, and to follow up with incremental sales targeting. Remember: the customer journey is more of a cycle than a funnel. We’ll delve more into that in our final installation in the customer journey stories: post purchase.

Learn more about how Chat Marketing can help your brand at Chatkit.com.

Stay tuned for our final customer journey story on the post-purchase stage coming soon!