Written by 11:07 pm Economics

Scaling Conversational Commerce. We just enabled 325,000 merchants to… | by Brandon Chu

Commerce is a deeply human behaviour that our species has been doing since the dawn of civilization, and for millennia things have generally stayed the same: people walked into stores and then bought things.

Then a few decades ago, the internet happened and now we rarely go into a store unless we have to. As consumers, we’ve saved a lot of time, gained more product selection, and received cheaper prices as a result, but something we’ve lost was the intimacy with a business that we used to have: that interaction with a shopkeeper, whom we shared our needs with and then relied on to find us the right products.

Although the growth of online shopping has been tremendous, we have failed to bring back that intimacy into the user experience. In fact, as good as we’ve become at designing shopping websites and apps, we really haven’t evolved beyond a simple digitization of the Sears catalogue.

Messaging enables us to rekindle the conversations we used to have with businesses, and recapture that lost intimacy.

We explored the scenario of asking a friend who’s a product expert in category X for advice.
We dreamed up this keyboard thing
We landed on a simple button businesses embed on their websites to initiate a conversation
From an internal presentation — parts of the journey that didn’t exist are in red
Incredible how close this was to our imagined hack day project
Businesses could embed this widget into their checkout flow
Our launch video
What a business configured in Shopify’s admin
Example implementation on a store
To try it out just message the page: https://www.facebook.com/theshopifystockroom

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