Message platforms are not YET ANOTHER new platform. Chatbots and their foundational AI systems are how we will evolve the future of all digital-supported retailing. It will enlarge consumer trust and loyalty by enabling a meaningful, ongoing, private one-to-one conversation between the consumer and his trusted retailer or brand.
Why Does Conversational Commerce Matter?
Digital (non–brick-and-mortar) commerce has gone through several evolutionary steps; each has led to large shifts of consumer spending preference by channel. While purchases specifically from digital channels have grown decently, the percentage across many product segments of retail is many multiples of that, with estimates that more than half of ALL purchases are first influenced by visits to a digital channel.
So How Is Conversational Commerce Different?
Retail adoption of message platforms is not the real message here. What is important is that emerging AI-supported message handling tools will be able to deal with 80% to 90% of all customer interactions. After all, retailers will not be able to scale one-to-one customer communications if they have to hire live associates to handle every individual request. This connection to customers through both text and voice channels differs dramatically from their predecessor digital platforms (internet browsers and mobile apps/web) in one significant way: Previous digital platforms began as document-sharing tools, HTML specifically. Yes, those websites and apps act dynamically to tailor their underlying framework/document based on the visitor, but they still remain one-to-many communication tools. From inception, message platforms serve as one-to-one communication tools.
Read more about expanding from personalised to individualised retailing here.
Conversational Commerce: Largely pertains to utilising chat, messaging or other natural language interfaces (i.e., voice) to interact with people, brands or services and bots that heretofore have had no real place in the bidirectional, asynchronous messaging context.
Chatbot: A type of conversational agent; a computer program designed to simulate an intelligent conversation with one or more human users via auditory or textual methods.
Social Network: A dedicated website or other application that enables users to communicate with each other by posting information, comments, messages, images, etc.
Message Platform: Online chat systems that support real-time text transmission. Source may be text platforms or emerging natural language platforms.
AI/Assisted Intelligence: Artificial intelligence system that involves the taking over of monotonous, mundane tasks that machines can do more efficiently than humans.