Posted: 03 Dec. 2020 05 min. read

Critical success factors for conversational channels in retail

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Deloitte’s Retail, Wholesale and Distribution leader, David White, interviewed Simon Stefanoff, Deloitte Digital Conversational Commerce Director, on the critical success factors for conversational commerce in retail. This blog is a transcript of the video interview featured below.

Simon: If there is something that has come up consistently over recent years, it is the importance of just getting started, and getting the learnings from your customers. Finding answers to questions like:

  • What are their preferred touchpoints?
  • What kind of interactions do they want to have conversationally vs existing digital channels?
  • What data do you need to be able to surface in order to provide a personalised conversational experience?
  • And what could it mean for your staff if you were able to remove repetitive and low value tasks? Allowing them to really use their knowledge of your business to maximise performance.

The brands that started down this path, even 12 months ago, are significantly ahead of those that are still trying to work out their first move. They know more about their customers and how to set up their teams to build, maintain, and optimise these channels. The benefits they are seeing from conversational commerce are only going to increase in the future.

It’s important to keep in mind that the reasons customers choose to use the likes of chatbots and voice assistants is for speed of completing an interaction, ease of use, and convenience. If the conversational experiences you build are not centred on these pillars, you are not optimising your return on investment.

The last aspect, is having a roadmap that gets you to a point of maturity where you are able to tie these conversational touchpoints together, so that you can enable a customer journey that might start with a messaging app, and continue through a voice device at home or in the car, and could include a customer picking up the phone and speaking to an AI-powered contact centre before or after purchase.

When used effectively, conversational commerce can provide cost-effective personalised customer service at scale. It offers more convenience for customers, and it also allows your staff to focus on tasks which provide more value for the business.

Want to know more? Watch/read our interview with Simon on unlocking the potential of conversational commerce in 2021 and beyond. If you would like to discuss how our conversational commerce team can help your organisation, please
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More about the author

Simon Stefanoff

Simon Stefanoff

Director, Deloitte Digital

Simon is a Director at Deloitte Digital. He has over 18 years' experience building and delivering innovative, customer-focused digital solutions for organisations across Australia, the UK, and Europe. Starting his career as a software engineer in the early days of the web, Simon has helped financial services, retail, media, telecommunications, and public sector clients establish their online presence and service their customers through web, mobile, and in-store channels. Conversational interfaces such as voice, chat, and messaging are a particular passion area for Simon, and as the lead for voice and conversational AI for Deloitte Digital Australia, he is pioneering the understanding and use of conversational technologies in building the customer experiences of the future.