Conversational commerce is the rage. And most tech giants are jumping on board, as seen at Microsoft Build, Facebook F8, and Google I/O. We also tackled the topic — zeroing in on its many local implications — at BIA/Kelsey ENGAGE (video below).
As background, messaging apps are exploding in popularity among increasingly buying-empowered millennials. Facebook Messenger has 900 million users and growing; and there are several others like WhatsApp, WeChat, Kik, and Snapchat.
But as we’ve discussed, these apps are evolving from peer-to-peer use, to a means to converse and transact with businesses. That’s everything from customer service inquiries; to checking the status of an order; to buy, schedule, book or reserve something.
Like many other things, this is starting at the brand level with companies like Sephora. However, the real opportunity is in the long-tail SMB segment. But since SMBs are famously time-constrained, they can’t sit there and message customers all day.
That’s where chat bots come in. See the entire session below, featuring leading messaging app Kik and local chatbot pioneer Pingup.