With the burgeoning number of digital-first brands at the forefront of the Indian economy, consumers had never been so close to companies and their products/services. This trend has brought forth a new opportunity and an added responsibility as all brands, big and small, need to focus on brand-consumer engagement for enhanced customer experience and long-term retention. Understandably, direct engagement/conversation with customers lies at the centre of this entire exercise.
Today, the direct engagement riddle is being solved via conversational commerce, a term coined by hashtag creator Chris Messina in 2015. Simply put, new-age digital brands are now developing AI-powered chatbots and data analytics-driven engagement tools to resolve issues and assist customers in their journey. It is one of the most effective ways to improve people’s perception and let them know how the brand cares for them, culminating in customer loyalty.
But building these processes to anchor conversational commerce efficiently is difficult even for big companies, let alone new entrants. To solve this critical business challenge, third-party solution providers like the Netherlands-headquartered CM.com offer a full suite of services, including AI chatbots, multichannel messaging APIs and automation software, so that businesses can smoothly interact with customers without any human involvement.
Set up in 1999 at Breda by Jeroen van Glabbeek (CEO) and Gilbert Gooijers (COO), CM.com started as an SMS provider that used to send messages to nightclubs and festival visitors. But the company evolved over the years and currently offers cloud software for conversational commerce, mobile marketing solutions and AI chatbots besides integrating API-based communication and payment platforms for businesses.
Watch Chetan Borkar, Country Manager (India and Sri Lanka) At CM.com, Talk About The Conversational Commerce Landscape And CM.com’s Role In Helping Businesses Automate Customer Engagement To Drive Conversation and Retention.
After expanding its business in 20 countries and gaining customers from 118 nations, CM.com entered India in January 2021 and is headquartered in Bengaluru. Within this short span, it has already started working with more than 50 Indian clients.
The company helps drive AI-powered conversations and uses its data analytics system and cloud servers to decode customer behaviour for better understanding and profiling of the customer base.
Such profiling enables its clients to customise communication (based on age, gender, geographic location, previous website visit and more), leading to better customer experience, enhanced engagement and higher retention.
“Today, companies are looking at conversational commerce in fragments. However, it is not of much use until it leads to conversions. But for that, having a 360-degree view of the customer is essential. The end goal of conversion can only be met when an entire structure is in place and the process begins much before acquiring a customer. CM.com offers services that help with market evaluation and then covers the entire customer journey from acquisition to retention,” said Borkar, speaking about the company’s entry to India.
With its array of tools for businesses to scale and grow by leveraging conversational commerce, CM.com clocked $158.5 Mn in revenue in FY20. But its growth is not an isolated phenomenon. The global landscape also underlines the growing popularity of conversational commerce in recent years.
In 2020, the global market for conversational commerce was valued at $4.8 Bn. It is now estimated to grow at a CAGR of 20.9% to reach $13.9 Bn by 2025, a report by Research and Markets says. Given the current scenario, it is quite likely that a good many brands across India will leverage this cutting-edge communication tool to build customer trust and drive growth.