Conversational Commerce- The ShopBot Takeover
Personalisation and great seamless experiences have always been the name of the Ecommerce game. However, replicating traditional “personal touch” shopping experiences online is a challenge most companies still struggle with. As more retailers try to find their niche with the modern consumer, they’re turning to new technologies to recreate this experience. Now, in an new age where online shopping is a standard and consumers are ever demanding more from their Ecommerce retailers, we see the emergence of conversational commerce.
With the development of new machine learning technologies, there’s a lot of advancements happening in the messaging space. The first we knew of these kinds of interactions were voice assistants. We’re all familiar with Apple’s Siri and Google’s recently released Now, and of course Microsoft’s Cortana. The adoption of these kinds of voice command apps has been successful because this was the first time consumers could ask for what they wanted. Conversational Commerce replicates this principle, but now there’s an opportunity for brands to show face.
The beauty of this tech is that it all happens in one place. The comfort of using in-app messaging means there’s no swapping between programs and all the commands are up to you. Concierge-style selling has only reinforced what we already thought; consumers don’t respond to being sold to, they want to interact with brands. The point is for brands to respond to the way you speak and not the other way around.
These chat scenarios are creating opportunities in E-commerce from a purchasing, customer service, and even payment perspective.
Kudi is a messaging app that allows seamless payments through messaging. It allows you to send money to any bank, buy airtime & pay bills. Although this isn’t linked to a particular e-commerce brand this is a major stride in the way of allowing seamless payments without having to leave the messaging space.
The eBay Shopbot helps users find and buy items from the site within the Messenger platform. Users can switch between suggested items, find items by price or even view popular products. The bot also learns from choices and tailor future suggestions and prompts accordingly.
For customer service, Staples the office supply retailer tries to make everything easier with its intelligent Easy System, done in partnership with IBM’s Watson. Staples’ Facebook Messenger bot can answer common customer questions, about orders, tracking, returns, and stock.
Overall ‘bots’ are becoming very useful tools in the marketing space. While there’s a long way to go in terms of the adoption of conversational commerce methods, the fundamental principles of what these kinds of technologies allow is certainly very attractive to consumers.