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Creating Commerce At The Edge With Conversational Commerce Applications

How conversation apps like Facebook Messenger are becoming some of the highest-converting channels for ecommerce brands

via Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

When people scroll through Instagram these days, they can’t avoid the ads and the influencers pushing products. And that’s not a bad thing. In fact, more and more often, ecommerce is taking place in channels other than on a brand’s website, which is why so many companies are looking for ways to optimize how they execute commerce at the edge — this means meeting customers where they are. Paloma has one way to do that, by turning messenger platforms into sales channels, which creates a more personalized shopping experience for customers, and a .5-to-10x higher conversion rate for brands.

Kelsey Hunter is the Co-Founder and CEO of Paloma, and she has the inside scoop on why brands should be investing in conversational commerce.

“When it comes to online shopping people don’t shop on websites, that’s just where they transact now,” she said. “They’re making decisions by watching influencers, DMing folks, talking to friends, watching YouTube videos, TikToks. So you’re piecing together all these different parties to figure out, ‘Should I buy this? What’s the right thing for me?’ Whereas if you walk into a storefront, for example, you can get all of that figured out in a matter of minutes. You can talk to an associate, they’re going to ask questions. There’s nowhere like that online. And that’s where messaging channels open up that opportunity for the brand to be part of that purchase decision process. So instead of leaving it up to all the third parties, the brand can do it themselves and they can scale it through automated conversations.”

In the last year, Paloma has helped brands bring that kind of automation and conversational focus to the forefront, and it has paid off. Paloma’s partners have converted $9 million in sales, and Hunter explained how they were able to make that happen..

“First and foremost, we can own the conversion rate,” Hunter said. “That’s the KPI that we really truly measure against because, essentially, we’re saying if you drive traffic here instead of your website, it’s more likely to convert. That’s our thesis. And so if that’s true, that’s what we’re going to start measuring against. And we’ll do that by looking at what’s your conversion rate from a standard click to site ad. And then when you run a click to Messenger ad, we’ll do the exact same thing. How many purchases are you getting out of those ad clicks? And that should be able to tell us if it’s a higher converting channel for you. Fundamentally we’ve seen anywhere from 50% increases to 10X increases in one case and anywhere in between.”

With so many more conversions possible, you’d be right to wonder why more brands aren’t taking advantage of this channel. Hunter asks that question, too, and she cautions ecommerce companies to really start investing in conversational channels.

“Not doing anything at all is what I would say is the worst thing,” Hunter said. “Because, whether that’s Instagram DMs and you’re just not responding to the people that message you there, that’s a huge, lost opportunity. We understand that it’s really hard to scale responding to people individually, which is why platforms like ours can help. But by just not doing anything, you’re losing customers every time you don’t respond to them because they want to engage with you directly for a reason. And every time they do that, there’s an opportunity for that to become either a customer or a recurring customer.”

To hear more about how to optimize your Facebook and Instagram messaging channels, be sure to listen to Hunter’s full interview on Up Next in Commerce, here.

Up Next in Commerce is brought to you by Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Learn more at salesforce.com/commerce

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