Shows High Consumer Preference for Conversational Interfaces, Fast Adoption of AI and Automation
LivePerson, Inc., a leading provider of conversational commerce solutions, released its first annual conversational commerce index report, highlighting how businesses are using messaging and voice assistants to interact with their customers. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the untapped economic potential for conversational commerce, and quantifies the opportunity for the market with three benchmarks: consumer preference by industry and demographic; conversational capabilities of brands by industry; and use of automation by industry. It focuses on proprietary data collected by LivePerson and examines which industries are early adopters and which sectors have yet to tap into the technology.
“The capabilities of conversational commerce are evolving quickly, and leading brands recognize they can create more meaningful interactions with customers by leveraging conversational interfaces like SMS, messaging apps, and voice assistants,” said Jennifer Sutton, VP Marketing at LivePerson. “This report is a valuable tool to help brands gain deeper insights into successful adoption, areas for growth, and unseized opportunities to inform their conversational commerce strategies moving forward.”
LivePerson powers conversational commerce solutions for over 18,000 brands. As part of the report, LivePerson conducted extensive research to identify not only which brands and industries have successfully adopted conversational commerce, but also where there is room for growth and innovation. LivePerson also assigned brands and industries a LivePerson Conversational Quotient score, indicating their maturity in adopting conversational commerce.
Key takeaways from the report include:
- Conversational commerce is shifting the landscape of internet and digital shopping, as all of the major Internet players have now introduced their own services. These services range from Amazon Alexa to Google RCS Business Messaging.
- Telecommunications firms were among the early adopters of conversational commerce, particularly in their customer care departments. The pace of adoption in industries such as financial services, retail, and travel is accelerating as use cases expand beyond care to the entire consumer journey.
- Based on early sales and marketing use cases, conversational commerce conversion rates are up to four times higher than website conversion rates.
- Nearly 50 percent of conversations happening on LivePerson’s platform include some form of bot or automation, doubling from the beginning of 2018. Gartner’s recent, Market Guide for Conversational Platforms, forecasts that by 2021, 15 percent of all customer service interactions will be completely handled by AI — an increase of 400 percent from 2017.
- Consumers’ preferred method of communication is conversational. LivePerson data consistently indicates that conversational channels such as SMS or Facebook Messenger are chosen 70% of the time when consumers are given the option to message or call. The customer satisfaction on messaging versus traditional channels such as voice is also 10% higher on average.
- Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable interacting with bots and AI technologies to solve service issues. A majority of Gen Z and Millennials globally (69.5 percent) can imagine a future where 100 percent of purchases are done digitally or online. In fact, 20.7 percent globally would prefer to buy most products and services completely digitally, never having to speak face-to-face with a human.
- The economic opportunity from automation is significant, as brands reduce their “cost to serve” and extend concierge-like shopping and care experiences to a broader group of customers. LivePerson customers report reductions in total cost to serve in the range of 15 to 50 percent in addition to higher conversion rates.