#SMLive: Building Conversational Commerce through messenger apps

Conversational Commerce

Neil Barman, Chief Growth Officer, Yellow Messenger shares use cases, benefits, and approach that brands can take to convert leads into consumers through popular messaging apps and build Conversational Commerce.

Conversational commerce can be built across multiple platforms. Consumers want hassle-free shopping, whatever they demand should be available whenever they demand it, without any complications.

So, why is conversational AI critical now? There are 2.95 billion users on messaging apps, who use the apps at an average of 7 minutes. Brands can start adopting to channels, consumers are already using at a high rate, and its much easier for a brand to come on a channel that consumers are used to.

COVID-19 has had an impact on retail, supply chain got choked, availability took a hit, and consumer behavior of high demands and higher needs has changed.

Neil shares an instance, when he was asked by a client about building conversational commerce for grocery shopping, without having to own a digital app, the commerce was built on Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp.

He further elaborates use case scenarios for different segments of commerce that can tap the potential of messenger apps.

Conversational Commerce

Consumer Chain

Brands are controlling the conversation with consumers. With consumers directly interacting with the brand, product discovery is better.

Traditional Example: Consumer walks into a store, selects a shoe they like, they ask if their size is available if not, the transaction ends.

Digital Example: Consumer walks into a store, selects a shoe they like, scans QR Code, checks inventory list, selects their size, if not available, they are pointed to the nearest store where it is available, or are given the option to order it online and get it delivered.

Supply Chain

The supply chain can start from online to online such as from a Facebook banner ad or similar ads, or even offline to online, when a user scans a QR Code, gives a missed call or taps a link or through an email.

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Distributor Management

Stock updates, that have become more relevant in the lockdown period, inquiries by dealers, and handling distribution, and product inventory can also be executed on messenger apps.

FAQ Handling

Complaints & issue handling has changed from human interactions and live-agent contact service models to digital contact service models.

Moreover, live-agent models are becoming expensive, and containment measures are causing a shortage of agents, which prompts businesses to shift to messenger chat to handle consumer queries, complaints, and more.

Purchase Use Case

With personalized push ads, brands can redirect consumers to messenger platforms, and from any social media platform, a consumer can be directed to a WhatsApp business account and similar messenger services.

Product inquiry, sharing recommendations, order tracking, canceling an order, product location discovery, and all of the steps involved and leads towards a purchase can be streamlined on messenger apps.


Another perk of conversational commerce for brands is, as soon as one taps a Facebook ad and lands on WhatsApp, the brand has the user’s phone number that they can use to engage with them.

Neil says today consumers’ data is not with the retailer exclusively, it’s floating with the brands, so engaging with the brand on email or call might not work, but re-engaging on messenger apps might be more fruitful.

Businesses can also send loyalty points as rewards, and tell them that they can also use this to buy a new product being offered with a link to the product page.