How Conversational Commerce Can Boost Product Trial and Customer Retention for CPG Brands

Thursday, March 4, 2021

What is Conversational Commerce? 

According to e-commerce platform, Shopify, conversational commerce is a term coined by Uber’s Chris Messina in a 2015 piece published on Medium. It refers to the intersection of messaging apps and shopping. There is an increasing trend toward interacting with businesses through messaging and chat apps or through voice technology, like Amazon’s Echo product, which uses voice commands to connect to your favorite companies.  

Did you know that Americans spend 5.4 hours a day using their smartphones? People check their phones 58 times a day on average with more than half of those occurring during working hours.

Chatbots For CPG Product Trial and New Customer Acquisition

If you’re like me you’ve probably visited a company’s website recently that offered you the chance to interact with their chatbot. According to a recent State of Marketing report by Hubspot, more than 45% of businesses today have implemented bots as part of their marketing efforts. 

COVID has certainly accelerated the shift for CPG brands to set up online storefronts. CPG brands are now struggling with delivering a curated shopper experience that people thought could only exist via face to face engagement. The question is what can brands do to mimic the in-store experience and drive product trial when most states in the U.S. are banning food/bev tastings or product demos in-store? 

The answer? Use chatbot experiences to create personal relationships at scale through digital product sampling activations. One vehicle to get products into the hands of consumers in the comfort of their own homes is to create a sample box offering or join an existing sample box program. 

A chatbot can act as a virtual brand ambassador that can have 1:1 conversations with customers to collect individual preference data and suggest relevant products in your line that they should try!  

For instance, a chatbot for a new potato chip brand called XYZ might suggest the bbq chips be added to the sample box instead of the sour cream chips since your customer specifically indicated they like bbq chips but dislike sour cream chips during a conversation with the bot. Once the sample box has been delivered, your chat bot can re-target that customer and send them a 25% discount via SMS text to purchase the bbq chips at a nearby store or right from your website.  

Chatbots that help with CPG customer retention

It’s that 5 letter word that every CPG company dreads in the industry...CHURN. According to Progressive Grocer, the average American consumer is a member of 30 reward programs. However, 54% of their members are NOT ACTIVE!  

One grave mistake where a lot of CPG loyalty programs fall short is bombarding their loyalty members with irrelevant marketing messages. Nothing can irk a customer more than getting spammed with off putting messages from a brand you thought you could trust. 

Chatbots to the rescue! Intelligent chatbot assistants are able to understand your customers better through 1:1 conversations and keep a profile of each customer, with data such as age and preferences; and then share relevant content, tips, how-to video demos, make the experience more “humanized” through GIFs and emojis, and provide relevant recommendations to enhance the customer journey at every touchpoint. 

Automate your customer retention and put it in the hands of the almighty chatbots that can get the job done and maintain long lasting customer relationships while providing a consistent and high level brand experience for every single customer.  Whether you have 100 customers or 1,000,000 customers, your chatbot will provide a consistent brand experience far better than any human and in a fraction of the time.  

If you are a CPG brand looking to elevate your product trial and customer retention you should consider adding a conversational commerce strategy.  

Contact a Sampoll rep today at to book a strategy call!