Conversational commerce is here. And well, it’s pretty fun. Conversational commerce refers to the way customers and companies are making use of the advancements in Conversational AI and applying them to shopping. Conversational commerce makes use of messaging apps, chatbots, and virtual assistants to guide the user through the buying journey using conversation.

Why Conversational Commerce?

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Conversation is natural. It’s easy. It doesn’t require a lot of effort because it is a basic way of communicating. With the rise of chatbots and voice assistants, it was only natural to see a use case for e-commerce arise. Opening your phone and messaging Starbucks ” I’d like an iced latte” is so much easier than navigating to the website and placing an order online. Voice comes into play and makes the experience even easier by allowing customers to summon a company by simply asking to speak with it.

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Conversational Commerce allows the user to ask for what they really want. It allows them to freehand their responses and customize their selections in just about any way they’d like. It’s also helpful for brands because it’s yet another way to reach customers and provides lots of data to improve the experience or product internally.

A Forbes article published by Botsociety CTO Stefano Tomboolini says the following:

“What do 1-800-Flowers, Renault and Planned Parenthood all have in common? They’re but three of a slew of companies, brands, and retailers leaning on the transformative power of conversational commerce (c-commerce for short) to redefine their marketing and customer service strategies.”

Designing for Conversational Commerce

conversational commerce

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Designing for conversational commerce isn’t tricky. It follows many of the key principles and ideas one would take into place when designing any chatbot or voice assistant. There are lots of articles and resources available on conversation design best practices, but here are a few which are specific to e-commerce.

  • Options, options, options – When designing for e-commerce, it is likely that you are working with a large set of products or offerings. You want to keep this in mind when designing the experience and allow users to customize and make the most of the products they are adding to their cart.
  • Define what’s possible upfront – We don’t all speak the same, and we definitely don’t shop the same. Some users will be extremely picky and you don’t want them to become disgruntled with your bot that can’t handle their request.
  • Compliment the user on their choices – When you are designing for e-commerce add some spunk to your bot by adding quirky comments that reward the users for making decisions or selecting products. Short informal phrases like “Whoa. That shirt is crazy cool. I’ve thrown it in your virtual cart” will make the experience just that much better for your user.

Conversational Commerce is exciting and here at Botsociety, we’re happy to provide a powerful design solution that allows users to design scenarios just like this one. If you’d like to see a specific example, check out this video with the Macy’s voice design team and check out the ways they are approaching voice design.

Also published on Medium.


Bianca Nieves

Digital Marketing Manager at Botsociety