Chatbot commerce – utilising messaging and other natural language interfaces to connect with consumers – has the potential to reimagine the way brands and businesses engage with an increasingly digital consumer.
Chatbots deliver a tailored digital presence to already established platforms, allowing brands to meet consumers at the right time and the right place in the digital universe. A good example is the ABC Newsbot, which sends regular news updates to users’ Facebook Messenger app.
CHATBOTS GROW WHILE (MOST) APPS FADE
In 2009 when launching the iPhone, Steve Jobs told the world “there will be an app for everything.” But he was only half right. In Australia – like the US, UK, and Europe – a select few apps became integral to our day-to-day lives, while the rest were left untouched, sitting on the app-store’s virtual shelf.
Many brands working towards a strong digital presence were left disappointed after launching an app that worked well in theory but didn’t make it onto enough consumers’ phones.
Meanwhile, message apps became undisputed leaders; retained on devices for longer and used more regularly than other apps. In late 2015, messenger platform engagement surpassed traditional social networking app engagement.
ARRIVING IN A HURRY
Twelve months ago 30,000 Facebook chatbots were operating around the world today that number is 100,000 and next year Facebook predicts it may be in the millions. To re-word Jobs, what seems to have developed is a world where is “everything is within a messenger app.”
Retailers in China, the EU and the US can already take credit card payment from chatbot interfaces and it is only a matter of time until the same options are available to Australian brands.
Rob Walls, Head of Product, Visa Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific:
“Chat is becoming the center of customer-retailer interaction. With its ability to connect consumers with brands anytime, anywhere, for customer service and purchasing, chat commerce has the potential to shake up the retail industry. Rather than invest in developing an app that consumers will need to download separately, enabling a chat commerce option in social media platforms on which consumers are already active would help retailers capture more revenue from this built-in audience. Chatbots will also be able to cultivate retailers’ deeper understanding of consumer preferences when the AI technology they are built on has access to a large and varied dataset about the consumer. This will in turn enable more accurate product recommendations, promoting end-user loyalty to their brand and driving spend.”
CHATBOTS FOR THE REALWORLD
Successful chatbots are accessible, compelling, simple and designed to complement – not supersede – existing engagement and communication infrastructure. Working with Etched Communications, Venn Campaigning fills a gap in the chatbot market between tech focussed developers and traditional communications specialists.
We design and build chatbots that increase digital engagement, populate relevant primary data sets and adhere to trusted communications principles.