SOCO, which stands for Search-Optimized Conversation, is an e-commerce conversion platform from ConvMind (a startup created by two Carnegie Mellon University PhDs). ConvMind successfully launched their conversational AI in Asian e-commerce markets last June, where they saw a 120% increase in website conversions. Now they are offering that sales and marketing power to all Shopify users through SOCO’s chat platform.
“SOCO is bringing human-level conversation and engagement with 24/7 availability to Shopify store owners,” said co-founder and CEO Tony Zhao. “Shopify is the perfect platform for our US launch because of its extreme popularity, ease of use, and robust app store.”
Conversational marketing is a rapidly growing trend as consumers want more immediate and rich engagement when shopping online. This coincides with an increasing preference for instantaneous but text-based communication methods such as messaging platforms and chats — in other words, they’re tired of waiting on hold.
According to global research firm Gartner, more and more brands are also embracing the conversational marketing methods that used to only exist between consumers, such as chat, mobile, and social messaging. Brands can use this to their advantage by turning these interactions into rich marketing content that dramatically shortens the customer sales cycle.
So what makes SOCO special? First, it sits at the intersection of search, sales conversions, and conversational marketing, which are all critical components for e-commerce sales. Features include instant product mapping and suggestions, customer personalization, curated shopping lists, and mobile search optimization.
Secondly, the underlying technology for SOCO was developed at Carnegie Mellon University, a leader in artificial intelligence research. The technology keeps learning from millions of website visitors and previous customer conversations, and communicates with users using natural language. These conversations are not only smart, but SOCO takes it a step further and personalizes these interactions — a tactic which can increase conversions by 4x.
Best of all, once it’s set up (a quick process for the store owner), it works autonomously in the background. As the team behind SOCO describes, it’s like having your customer’s best friend AND your best sales associate shopping alongside each customer. So when they can’t decide which boots buy, SOCO will personalize suggestions via popup chat that are most likely to get you the sale.
“With SOCO, brands will be on the cutting edge of conversational marketing innovation, resulting in an increase in sales conversions like we’ve seen first-hand in Asian markets,” said Zhao. “We’re so excited to work with Shopify and other e-commerce platforms as we continue to grow.”
If you’re a Shopify store owner interested in increasing conversion, contact us here!