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Conversational commerce: Early Movers

D2C brands have been the visionary pioneers of text-to-shop and are committed to ensuring the customer’s needs are met, whatever it takes. Verb Energy, which operates in food production, does all customer service over text, including purchasing: new buyers register their phone number, delivery address, and payment method. They can then ask questions about the product and manage subscriptions. Taika’s ready-to-drink coffee cans provide reliable and direct contact information, which means that customers/coffee enthusiasts can get in touch and ask questions in an easy way. Feedback is always welcome.

Threads Styling is a luxury personal styling service that will let you buy clothing with just a few taps on your phone. This service is widely popular and it can be used by sending direct messages on WhatsApp, WeChat, or SMS. You can also find products on this website and on social media channels including Instagram and TikTok.

Virtual assistants and influencers will make these interactions more engaging in the future. For example, virtual advisers created by Soul Machines have partnered with Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, and other corporations to give on-demand cookie-making help or skincare advice to consumers. Virtual advisors can chat with customers all around the world and fit whatever personality they need to.

The prevalence of virtual influencers in China is encouraging consumers to follow “private traffic” conversations. A high internet penetration rate means people don’t prefer emailing companies, which is why brands and retailers have turned to chat platforms like WeChat for smaller two-way chats to encourage more online sales. The company hosts exclusive sales and gathers feedback to foster loyalty with its customers.

Source: Nestle

Chinese online beauty brand Perfect Diary has been using chat groups hosted by Xiao Wanzi, their virtual influencer, since 2019. Consumers participate in the chat groups to get beauty tips, learn about new products and get special discounts. Chinese brands are increasingly using private communication channels to talk with shoppers after they make a purchase. They usually perform this task by using in-store employees and this can lead to more customer loyalty in the future.


  • With the help of an AI, it’s easier to automate chats online. For example, Yalo offers a chat commerce tool optimized for WhatsApp and claims to be able to automate over 90% of conversations.
  • Retailers and brands will sell more efficiently across borders, thanks to machine learning language requirements.
  • AI assistants and advisors will exponentially decrease the need for exclusivity in business. Digital specialists will shift their appearance or style to match what they sense from audiences. They’ll react to every detail, like a user’s specific visibility, language, and contextual data – which they would’ve already sensed before someone even clicks on an interaction.
  • With messaging becoming more popular than e-mails and social media platforms, chat commerce will also have greater potential. Discord has already been pushing boundaries with its communities and movie-watching services, brands can make their own servers in order to bring out the new form of digital shopping.
  • Voice-only assistants could rise in importance as they integrate with more devices. Alexa for instance is broadening its integration with smartwatches and other devices which should enable easier buying.



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