What exactly is
Transcending current communication abilities
People are spending more and more time in conversational channels as the price of data supports the use of platforms such as Wechat and Whatsapp over voice or SMS. A further trigger of this migration is the preference of millennials to interact with all people and business through chat platforms over any other channels like phone or mail.
The mass preferencing of conversational channels coincides with the next big leap in digital since the launch of the App Store. The ability to create bots or programs that can run within these messaging platforms, providing communication and services to people within the comfort and familiarity of their Whatsapp Chat Box or Messenger Inbox. Allowing businesses and brands to talk and transact directly with their customers just like any friend in their phone or on Facebook.
Conversational commerce is the new digital frontier and soon to be frontline battleground for consumer attention, acquisition, sales and service. The upshot being that if your brand or business does not have a useful presence in consumers’ conversational channel, they will be absent from the majority portion of the consumers digital reality. That space more than likely to be filled by a digital native offering which understand that ‘at the end of the day, humans want to communicate with businesses the same way they communicate with other humans.’ VentureBeat
Chatbots lead the next digital revolution
Bots have been around for more than 50 years, since early Eliza demos, but the growth of messaging, the explosion of machine learning successes, the emergence of huge data sets, and the rise of mobile have created a perfect storm for Eliza to grow up. There’s a wide variety of ways bots may come to do our bidding.
The unique opportunity for frontier markets
Not only is the market growing at an almost exponential rate, but so is the opportunity. This is especially true of frontier markets which can be considered mobile first markets, the perfect environment for conversational commerce. The scalability and agility of messenger platforms such as Facebook Messenger leads the belief that adoption rate of bots and their services will be much higher than any other disruptive software or hardware device in the internet history.
Meet some bots
How does it work?
Start with the messaging platform
The first step is to receive the message that is about to be interpreted. For that, we need a messaging platform.
Messaging Platforms currently being used:
WhatsApp – 1 Billion Users
Facebook Messenger – 900 Million Users
WeChat – 650 Million Users
Slack – 2.3 Million Users
SMS – 3 Billion Users
Next, the interpreter
The interpreter part can either be powered by AI (artificial intelligence) with machine learning algorithms, a human, or a combination of both. For now, most companies use a system whereby AI does most of the work. But for validation, there’s always a human that makes sure that everything is alright. As the technology gets better, and AI powered by machine learning learns more and more from the work that humans are doing, there will come a time when all of this will be fully automatic, without any need for human interaction. But that time is still a little ways off.
The last part of the equation is fulfilment, or in other words, making sure that whatever the customer was promised, actually gets delivered. With requests like booking flights and restaurants, the solution is simple. The app simply buys the tickets and calls the restaurant. When requests involve buying physical objects and getting them delivered, things get a bit more complicated.
Why it’s important for your business
Enabling you to have a personalised interaction with even more of your customers without increasing your workforce or cost.
Aggregation of user information from interactions and profiles gives you access to big data allowing upsell, cross sell and better product fit.
Serving the right service, information or product at the exact moment that the consumer needs and desires it.
What does your business need help with?