Let’s Talk About Conversational Commerce
If Salesforce Ventures backs something, they’re not just making idle conversation. With their latest investment they have turned their attention to a payment option that is already popular in developing markets: conversational commerce. This refers to payments made in messenger services like WhatsApp, where functionalities facilitate actual transactions within a conversation, or voice chat such as Alexa. Paying for something usually works with online wallets, i.e. stored payment credentials. Berlin-based conversational commerce startup Charles has just raised $20 M in Series A funding, as startuplanes reports. Why are the investors hopeful? Because in Charles’ customers’ multichannel mixes, chat apps have made up to 40% of sales. Co-founder Andreas Tussing points out that chat transactions are particularly useful for existing customers. “Conversational commerce empowers brands to build stronger relationships with their potential and existing customers via ongoing and personalized conversations. This directly translates into better conversion rates and higher customer lifetime revenue,” he says. So far Charles works with only a select number of companies outside Europe, but with the new funding round expansion is imminent.