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WTF Is Social Chat Commerce?

Fara Rosenzweig
WTF Is Social Chat Commerce?

News flash: Shopping has moved beyond brick-and-mortar stores and traditional eCommerce websites. 


Welcome to the world of social chat commerce, where the convenience of online shopping meets the personal touch of social media and instant messaging. 


This innovative approach is changing the way consumers interact with brands, making shopping more engaging, personalized, and efficient.


From learning about products to actual purchasing, social chat commerce is a powerful solution for brands to expand their audience reach and meet their consumers where they spend most of their time researching products. According to research, 62% of the world’s population uses social media with an average daily usage of 2 hours and 23 minutes.


Since marketers are always looking for new ways to get in front of their target audience, social chat commerce is a solution that can help! Discover the ins and outs of social chat commerce, its key features and benefits, and what’s in store for social shopping’s future.

What is Social Chat Commerce?

Social chat commerce combines the elements of social media, chat, and eCommerce to create a seamless shopping experience directly within messaging platforms and social networks. Imagine discovering a new product on Instagram, chatting with a brand representative on Facebook Messenger, and making a purchase without ever leaving the app. That’s social chat commerce in action.


This approach uses the popularity of social media and messaging apps, where consumers are already spending a significant amount of their time. By integrating shopping features into these platforms, businesses can engage with customers in a more natural and conversational manner. Examples of social chat commerce platforms include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat, and Line, where users can browse products, ask questions, and complete transactions all in one place.

The Evolution of Social Chat Commerce

The journey to social chat commerce started with traditional eCommerce, where consumers would visit websites to make purchases. As social media platforms gained popularity, brands began using these channels for marketing and customer engagement, giving rise to social commerce. This allowed consumers to discover and buy products directly from their favorite social media platforms.


With the proliferation of messaging apps, a new opportunity emerged. These platforms provided a direct and personal way to communicate, leading to the birth of conversational commerce. Social chat commerce is the culmination of these trends, combining the best elements of social media, messaging, and eCommerce to create an immersive shopping experience.


Consumer behavior has also shifted significantly. Today’s shoppers expect instant responses, personalized recommendations, and a seamless experience across all touch-points. Social chat commerce meets these demands by offering real-time interactions and a convenient, integrated shopping journey.

Key Features of Social Chat Commerce

Direct Communication with Brands

  • Shoppers can engage with brands through direct messages on social media or messaging apps.
  • Instant responses to queries enhance the shopping experience and build trust.

Personalized Shopping Experience

  • Brands can use chatbots and AI to offer personalized product recommendations based on customer preferences and behavior.
  • Tailored interactions make shoppers feel valued and understood.

Instant Customer Support

  • Immediate assistance with any issues or questions during the shopping process.
  • This reduces friction and increases the likelihood of completing a purchase.

Social Sharing and Recommendations

  • Customers can easily share products with friends and family, leading to organic promotion and word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Social proof and recommendations from peers can influence purchasing decisions.

Click-to-Experience Ads (CTX)/Click-to-Messenger (CTM) Ads

  • Turn ads into sales instantly by using a personalized chat experience once the scroller clicks on the ad.
  • One more channel to drive sales, quickly. 

Benefits of Social Chat Commerce

Enhanced Customer Engagement

  • Interactive and conversational approach keeps customers engaged.
  • Builds stronger relationships between brands and customers.

Higher Conversion Rates

  • Real-time assistance and personalized recommendations lead to higher conversion rates.
  • Reduced abandonment rates due to an easy shopping experience.

Improved Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

  • Quick and efficient customer service boosts satisfaction.
  • Positive experiences encourage repeat purchases and brand loyalty.

Seamless Shopping Experience

  • Integrates discovery, communication, and transaction in one place.
  • Eliminates the need to switch between multiple apps or platforms.

Examples of Social Chat Commerce

JCPenney Drives 3.8x Higher Conversion Rate

The holidays are stressful enough. Add in gift hunting for everyone on your shopping list and your stress level is probably about to explode. So, JCPenney, one of the nation’s largest retailers, noticed this struggle and stepped in to help make holiday shopping as personalized, easy, and joyful as possible. The team created the JCPenney (JCP) Holiday GiftBot


So, the team decided to run Click-to-Messenger and Click-to-Instagram Direct campaigns. This approach not only drove first-party data collection for future CRM activities but also enabled JCPenney to send recurring notifications and exclusive holiday offers to Holiday GiftBot users. 


Customers were directed to specific categories like jewelry, home goods, and clothing, as well as to the JCPenney offers page, ensuring a streamlined shopping experience.


The results

  • 95% of all conversations were initiated by first-time JCPenney messengers.
  • The campaign achieved a 3.8x higher conversion rate compared to business-as-usual campaigns during the same period.
  • 30% of participants who messaged JCPenney opted in for future communications.

Check out the full story, and more, here

Zenni Generates 18% Conversion Rate Through Chat

Zenni chat commerce

Zenni Optical, a pioneer and leader in the online eyewear retail space, is committed to helping people around the world “see better and live better.”


Unlike at a brick-and-mortar store, there are no reps readily available to make suggestions or answer questions about Zenni products in realtime. So, Zenni successfully integrated a social chat commerce solution and deployed an even more personalized shopping experience to enhance and accelerate the frame selection process on their website.


The results

  • Generated an 18.00% conversion rate through automated chat experiences
  • 94.40% of users completed the chat experience to get personalized product recommendations

Check out the full story to learn more about Zenni’s success. 

The Future of Social Chat Commerce

Social chat commerce is revolutionizing the way we shop by combining the convenience of online shopping with the personal touch of social media and messaging apps. It offers numerous benefits, including enhanced customer engagement, higher conversion rates, and improved satisfaction.


At ZEALS, we’re at the forefront of this revolution, providing innovative solutions that enable businesses to harness the power of social chat commerce. Our advanced AI-powered chatbots and seamless platform integrations help you engage with customers in meaningful ways, delivering personalized experiences that drive growth and loyalty. By leveraging ZEAL’s expertise and cutting-edge technology, you can unlock the full potential of social chat commerce.


As we look to the future, the potential of social chat commerce is immense. With ZEALS, you can stay informed about emerging trends and technologies, ensuring that your business remains competitive and continues to thrive. Now is the time to embrace social chat commerce with ZEALS and transform the way you connect with your customers.

Start driving higher customer engagement & sales! Chat with us to learn more.

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