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The Rise of Conversational Commerce and Text Marketing in Indonesia (EN)
Published on 3 November 2022

Klik disini untuk versi Bahasa Indonesia

In the current era of e-commerce, it has never been easier for brands to start selling, but it has never been more difficult for brands to differentiate themselves. This is where conversational commerce can come into play. 

What then is conversational commerce? Conversational commerce is commonly defined as the intersection between text messaging and shopping. It provides interactive and people-driven conversations that make online shopping easier and more enjoyable for customers.

Conversational commerce removes friction from online commerce

In the online world, customers cannot touch, taste, smell, or try on a product before purchasing, which leads to more uncertainties and doubts for customers between interest and purchase. Unlike when a customer steps into a physical store, an online shopper is not greeted by a shopkeeper who is there to provide help should doubts or uncertainties arise. Furthermore, in a world where everything moves at great speed, it is frustrating for customers as they bounce around trying to get a hold of someone to answer a simple question.

At Knal, we provide the solution for brands to build meaningful customer relationships at scale as we realize that high-intent customers seek opportunities to interact with brands. Customers spend way more, on average, when they interact and get timely and relevant responses from the brand.

Facebook (and Instagram) marketing is no longer sufficient to be the only main growth channel

Brands realize they cannot rely on just Facebook (and Instagram) ads and Google ads as their main marketing channels. The aforementioned channels are not only getting more crowded, but they also serve a distinctly different purpose when compared to text marketing. While they are excellent at driving traffic and reaching and providing exposure to new (cold) customers, text marketing is an excellent way to have better customer retention, engagements, conversions, and brand building with the brand’s warm/hot customers. Many brands in Indonesia are already utilizing Facebook (and Instagram) ads to great success, with high click-through rates (CTRs) and high conversion rates (CVRs), but many of them are also wondering what is the optimum way to reengage the customers that have made a purchase (or have considered making a purchase). Sometimes, these customers would follow the brands’ social media accounts to stay in the loop, but they are often forever lost and unlikely to ever return again. Both outcomes are sub-par for businesses as even with the increase in the social media accounts following, it can be difficult for brands to reengage with them effectively. Text marketing is naturally the solution for the leakages of warm/hot customers. Unlike other social media channels, with text marketing, brands are able to send personalized and targeted marketing messages to their already warm/hot pool of customers, increasing the brand’s customer retention performance (more returning buyers!). Furthermore, the interactive nature of text messaging naturally helps with the consideration and purchase stages of the marketing funnel.

Businesses have tried time after time to utilize conversational commerce as a marketing channel with varying degrees of success, whether it is through SMS, various in-app messaging features, or WhatsApp. In Indonesia, we predominantly use WhatsApp in our everyday lives to talk to our friends and family, and for text marketing to be effective, businesses need to meet their customers where they are (aka WhatsApp). Not only that, customers do not want to receive irrelevant and spammy texts from businesses. Now, using Knal’s personalization and marketing campaigns performance review tools, brands can easily send effective personalized WhatsApp texts that are also in compliance with WhatsApp Commerce Policy and Business Messaging Policy, which is extremely difficult to do manually at scale.

Conversational commerce and text marketing provide long-term sustainable growth

Text marketing should not be a one-way channel and in its relationship-building interactions, personalized text messaging and marketing provide businesses with data and relationships that can only be beneficial for brands. Conversational commerce and text marketing are not only a matter of short-term revenue wins, it is an important channels for sustainable long-term growth for innovative companies and brands. 

A race to win the inbox

Naturally, customers are not going to subscribe to an infinite amount of text marketing programs. Even compared to email marketing programs, customers are likely to subscribe to fewer text marketing programs. Albeit an effective marketing channel, this effectively creates a race for brands, against other brands, to win the inboxes of customers.

Similar to other digital marketing channels like Facebook (and Instagram) ads, Google ads, and email marketing programs where costs and benefits are affected by the number of marketers using the channel, text marketing is not an exception. As it stands, especially when compared to other digital marketing channels, text marketing is still relatively underutilized in Indonesia and it is only a matter of time before its rise as more companies and brands realize its potency.


If you are keen to learn more about Knal and how we can help you grow your company or brand, fill up the form at and our team will be in touch with you.

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Steven Tanoto
Steven Tanoto

Steven is the Founder and CEO of Knal. He is deeply passionate and curious about with the fascinating world of Direct-to-Consumer businesses.