Digital Disruption Series: Part 2

From How We Shop to How We Seek Medical Care
5 Minutes
Ruhana DaSilva
July 20, 2022

This week we explore how we shop and seek treatment.

Digital Impact: Commerce

Conversational commerce is an area heavily prioritised by commercial brands.

But what is Conversational Commerce really? Well, in its basic form “Conversational Commerce” is a term coined by Uber’s Chris Messina in a 2015 piece published on Medium.

It refers to the intersection of messaging apps, experience, and the ability to have a transaction. Allowing users to interact with businesses and brands through messaging and chat apps like Facebook Messenger, Instagram DM, WhatsApp, and WeChat. We can even explore conversational commerce through audio commands through voice technology.

Consumers can chat with brand representatives, inquire about customer support, such as “how-tos”, book an appointment like a test drive, ask questions, with personalised recommendations. At REISE we're also implementing the use of conversational commerce for donation journeys and volunteering for causes.

With enhanced capabilities, we're able to read reviews and click to purchase all without having to leave the social platforms we're already engaging on. With conversational commerce, the consumer engages in this interaction with a human representative, chatbot, or a mix of both with the support of AI.

Beyond conversational methods, in 2018 we observed a major push for “app-first” stores. Harajuku, Japan, is home to the first (and very Instagrammable) Lush store that uses the #LushLabs app as its primary source of product information and in-store interactivity.

Merging how we shop from IRL to online, creating a dynamic experience for users to gather more information via their mobiles, while browsing in-store, and online. Shoppers are invited to select bath bombs that appeal to them by scent, visual appeal, or both. They are then able to scan the product with the Lush Lens (a feature of the #LushLabs app). Scanning the product with your mobile will reveal more information including its name, ingredients, properties and benefits, and visuals showing how to use the products.

This approach adds another layer to shopping where users are increasingly more interested in transparency. Where is my product made? How was it made? Is it sustainable? Is it cruelty-free? All avenues consumers heavily consider before purchasing. While only 20% of consumers trust brand sustainability claims, this becomes an area of priority for brands to be accountable and transparent with their business and products, from how they operate, right down to the representation of diversity and inclusivity practised internally. 66% of modern consumers believe that transparency is one of the most attractive qualities of a brand. Brands of tomorrow need a consistent communication roadmap that addresses their values beyond product USPs in order to resonate with the consumers of today.

Take for example the experience of buying a car - it no longer starts at the dealership. Digital is already fragmented with multiple channels; consumers typically research via websites, social media, and online forums before committing to a purchase. With brands now offering online purchasing for convenience since their dealerships were forced to close under Covid-19 restrictions. We’re seeing an increase in VR for automotive and even property. It boils down to the experience, and what value will these new innovative initiatives provide to the end-user or consumer.

The consumer shift to digital channels will remain after the pandemic. Other trends in this space include online shoppers increasingly looking for the best price, choosing healthier options and being more eco-friendly by shopping locally where possible. With lockdowns in place and digital consumption increasing, also comes a decline in brand loyalty. Consumers now shop from the comfort of their homes, increasing the opportunity to try a new shopping method and or brand within their radius.

Digital Impact: Healthcare

The digital transformation of healthcare is estimated to reach USD 210 billion by 2025 when in 2018 that value was at USD 76 billion by 2018. The healthcare industry will continue to be disrupted by new technologies and advances, merging the gap between conventional health services and health-tech.

This is partly due to the shift in experience and demand, where the patients of today expect more digital interaction. 78% of patients prefer to have access to their medical records online, so a big push to digitize medical records is in progress. Its three key impacts being:


Utilising technology that allows healthcare providers to examine, diagnose and prescribe to patients virtually. With the impact of Covid-19 and country restrictions, telemedicine is no longer a nice to have, but rather a necessity and health professionals agree.

Taking into account that in all cases, diagnoses and treatments vary by patient. Virtual consultations can and will still impact the point of entry to seeing a medical professional, especially under circumstances where face-to-face is not an option.

Access to Medical Records

Access plays a critical role in medicine when changing healthcare providers and or locations, resulting in more efficient and effective patient care. In today’s world, we can virtually connect and receive a prognosis from doctors and medical staff in varying locations.

Take for example individuals who may have parents living overseas and desperately need to be in the know of their health care. Access to digital records allows for meaningful convenience and peace of mind, knowing where and how to access historical information for the patient. It also contributes to an effective way to prescribe, and timely prevention.

Big Data

Digital transformation has advanced how medical institutions can collect data, and at scale. The collection of data in volumes support better efficiencies in research, where clinical trials will see a substantial benefit in collecting data instantly and from diverse populations.

Scientific studies use this data to help keep up-to-date information on emerging techniques and efficacy. Understanding the power of data is crucial, especially in the handling thereof, teams need to be equipped with best practices and be data compliant in all aspects from collecting to analyzing, and storing. Having access to this data further impacts how practitioners can identify risks early on and prescribe treatments.

Want to learn more about digital impact and conversational commerce? Schedule a chat with us today, we’ll be happy to discuss further on how to leverage the momentum.