Trends and Insights

Conversations are the Thread Between Commerce and Convenience

Phone screen with messages, graphs, and data flow charts
Published
Oct 17, 2022
Written by
Brian Long
Brian is the Co-Founder & CEO of Attentive. When he's not thinking about the future of commerce, he's spending time with his daughter and french bulldog.

Magical experiences are coming to SMS, and it’s our mission as a company to help you create them.

Couldn't make it to the event? We've got you covered with the full playlist featuring insights from over 20 breakout sessions. Start watching now.

Over 1,400 marketers and founders joined us at Thread, our inaugural conference for conversational commerce. We spent two energizing days with our customers, digging into the evolution of the business-to-consumer landscape, emerging industry trends, and how Attentive is empowering brands to transform the way that they’re engaging their customers. 

I’ve personally never felt more excited about the opportunity that lies ahead for brands of all sizes to create the sorts of highly curated and personalized experiences consumers want, and make every part of their journey shoppable. Not to mention, use every interaction as a chance to build long-term loyalty. 

Watch our keynote below, and keep reading for some of our top takeaways.

Want to catch up on everything that happened at Thread 2022? Watch (or rewatch) the event on demand. And read up on top highlights from the event.

Text messaging has become the default way consumers talk to brands 

When we started Attentive, we bet the future of business-to-consumer (B2C) engagement would happen over SMS. Over the past five years, that vision has come to life as the way we shop has fundamentally shifted. We use our phones at every step of the shopping journey. And, more and more often, those interactions are taking place via SMS. 

It's not hard to understand why. An SMS-first commerce model makes shopping convenient for both consumers and brands:

The future of commerce is conversational

Conversations make shopping easy. You’re able to ask questions and have your concerns addressed so you can confidently make a purchase. You’re able to get recommendations personalized to your preferences in real time. You feel heard and appreciated.

When it comes to building the future of commerce, we’re inspired by customer-obsessed, high-touch shopping experiences throughout which sales associates send you pictures, answer your questions, and make you feel like they’re right there with you every step of the way. 

These experiences feel magical. And we’re on a mission to make those convenient, high-touch conversations available to all brands and consumers. 

The evolution of the Attentive platform

Our suite of products and services is continually evolving to put you in the best position to not only get ahead of the market, but to stand out today. That means bringing the level of personalization your customers expect—and the level of orchestration you need. 

Over the last year, we’ve launched some of the most exciting innovations in conversational commerce. We just added a few more to our powerful toolkit. 

Attentive Concierge™ for real-time, two-way conversations

Subscribers are already inclined to reply directly to the text messages they get from brands. But when they have buying questions, they don’t always hear back—which means you’re missing out on critical opportunities to convert them into buyers.

An SMS conversation between a customer service representative and a customer.

With Attentive Concierge, we’ve introduced a new and scalable way for brands to engage consumers in real time, and have two-way conversations that ultimately increase sales. The product combines automated and AI-assisted agent messaging, allowing you to bring the same level of support customers get from the in-store shopping experience to your SMS channel.

LiveSMS™ for live chat, powered via SMS

A LiveSMS text messaging conversation

Typical on-site live chat experiences leave something to be desired. You often have to wait so long for a response, that you end up either walking away or losing track of your tab. And with your questions left unanswered, you're less inclined to make a purchase.

LiveSMS is an extension of Attentive Concierge. Once a visitor opts in to your text messages and starts a conversation, an Attentive agent can answer questions and provide product recommendations on your behalf in real time to drive conversions. No more leaving shoppers hanging.

LiveSMS is also a list growth tool. It allows you to incentivize SMS sign-ups without offering a discount in exchange for someone's phone number, meaning you can acquire and engage new subscribers without cutting into your profit margins.

Compliance tools and features to help protect your brand 

Attentive Litigator Defender

Over the last year, we’ve seen a 10x increase in the number of lawsuits against brands from professional plaintiffs and specialized lawyers. Unfortunately, many of these lawsuits can result in huge legal fees, large settlements or judgments, and lost customer trust.

Attentive Litigator Defender helps your brand stay ahead of professional plaintiffs. Our team keeps a proprietary list of known numbers—across all of our customers—associated with y SMS demands and/or lawsuits. 

We automatically remove them from our customers’ SMS subscriber lists to get rid of potential bad actors. Attentive Litigator Defender also listens for potentially unhappy subscribers and reminds them how to opt out, to help your team maintain a compliant SMS program.

Attentive Enhanced Audit Assistant

In the event that your brand receives a complaint from a plaintiff, our team provides you with the tools needed to mount a successful defense. The Attentive Enhanced Audit Assistant keeps a log of every subscriber action taken during opt-in, message engagement, and opt-out. 

If necessary, we’ll provide a pre-formatted letter with an in-depth audit of any individual subscriber’s interactions with your SMS program. Recently, our tools and audit letter were validated by a Florida federal court.

Text-to-Buy with Shop Pay to convert browsers to buyers 

A customer replies with a keyword to purchase a face mask

Consumers are increasingly shopping on their phones, but there’s friction in the mobile checkout process. Put simply: it can be long, complicated, and inconvenient, which contributes to lower conversion rates on mobile vs. desktop.

Text-to-Buy with Shop Pay is the evolution of conversational commerce, bridging the gap between browsing and buying, and making it easier for shoppers to check out on mobile. Instead of having to click-through to a brand’s website to make a purchase, SMS subscribers can place an order and pay directly via text message by simply replying with a keyword.

The Attentive Consumer Passport, the new center of customer identity

The Attentive Consumer Passport

Marketers are no strangers to change. Recently, they’ve had to rework their strategies to address the declines in ad performance driven by Apple’s iOS updates, as well as making the most of their web traffic. You need a way to bring consumers back to your website, and you need to collect relevant and accurate data to power your next phase of growth. 

We also know how much consumers value—but also expect—personalization from brands. That’s why we offer tools like preference collection options for sign-up units, Two-Way Journeys™, and our integrations to help you collect zero- and first-party data through your SMS channel.

With the Attentive Consumer Passport, we’re bringing all of this data together in one place, so you can build out rich subscriber profiles and tailor your messaging strategy. 

For example, if you're a beauty brand, you can use a preference collection form to learn about someone's skin type (e.g., dry, normal, oily, combination) when they sign-up for your text messages. Then, as you learn more about them—like their geographic location, spending habits, and web browsing behavior—you could invite them to visit your local retail store for a facial. 

Personalized messages like this help deepen your relationship with subscribers and increase customer lifetime value.

Improved reporting and analytics, so there’s no more exporting sheets of data

We’ve made a series of improvements to our analytics dashboard that make it easier for you to understand what’s working (and what’s not working) to optimize your marketing performance. Easily track metrics like new subscribers, message sends by channel, and revenue growth. And now, you can also view and analyze reports directly in our platform.

Attentive Email, for orchestration across email and SMS

Orchestration between separate platforms means marketers are managing their customer lists, data, and segments from different places, which can trickle down to create a less than ideal customer experience (think: inconsistent personalization, getting the same message on both channels).

Attentive Email is our solution. It’s flexible, customizable, and built to scale with your brand, so you can engage and meet the needs of your customers wherever they are. More than 500 of our customers are already using it and seeing increased revenue. (Right now, Attentive Email is only available to current customers. Be sure to reach out to your CSM to learn more.)

Magic Composer to help you maximize your time and ROI

Attentive's Magic Composer

Now that we're bringing email and SMS together in our platform, we also want to make it easier for you to create multi-channel, multi-message campaigns. Enter our Magic Composer.

When you're thinking about your marketing strategy, you're not thinking about the different components in a silo. You have a plan for how every message comes together across channels. Our Magic Composer automates this process, so you can quickly create a series of campaign messages tailored to your customer lifecycle.

Let's say you want to maximize ROI and conversions for an upcoming sale, and your campaign has three messages: an email, followed by a text, followed by another email. With the Magic Composer, you can control which messages someone gets based on the actions they take. 

For example, if someone makes a purchase from the first email, they won't get a follow-up text message. And, if someone clicks on the text message, but doesn't make a purchase, they'll get one final email with a unique discount code to incentivize conversion. So it's a seamless experience from start to finish for both you (the marketer) and the consumer.

Now’s the time to invest in your next phase of growth

The power of conversational commerce ultimately comes down to brand building. Having conversations with your shoppers to introduce them to your brand and products. Answering their questions and helping them make their first purchase. Educating them on how to get the most out of their items. And, maybe most importantly, keeping them coming back. 

It’s never been more important to build a brand consumers love, and love engaging with. You need a partner that will help you get there faster (while staying compliant), and enable you to have these conversations.

Learn more about how partnering with Attentive can fuel your next phase of growth.

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