With the dawn of 2018 fast approaching, the e-commerce landscape is shifting drastically across the world. “Conversational Commerce” (a term coined by Chris Messina of Uber) was used to describe the rising trend of utilizing messaging, chatbots and voice-powered searches to interact with customers via messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Telegram, Slack etc – would soon be considered a normal feature that business incorporate all over the world to interact with their audience.
According to comScore, 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020
It comes as no surprise as we’ve seen Microsoft’s Cortana assisting voice searches from your pc to phone to Xbox and Amazon’s Echo having a star-trek computer (commonly referred to as Alexa) to take down all commands from playing music, taking reminders to ordering pizza online
Collecting data from various devices and the Internet of Things – voice-powered API’s and digital personal assistants are soon becoming a second nature to the consumers shopping experience.
Brands are rushing to either integrate their own custom voice power assistant or leveraging existing ones for their marketing strategies. Compared to text-based searches, voice-powered searches are very intent-rich composing of around 5+ words. This allows marketers to build more specific intent-based customer lifecycle process and customise their content based on the conversational tone of the users.
However, without a proper understanding of its applications, the responses provided may backfire on the brand itself, like it did with Burger King when they used voice search in their marketing campaign.
Chatbots, the new necessity for running a successful e-commerce business
You have seen them present in a majority of sites that contain transactional property. They are already being used for client on-boarding, internal/external money transfers, bill payment, payee addition/modification, P2P and recurring payment setup, data and alerts and real-time financial market data etc.
Now being integrated with technologies like blockchain, AI and IoT, chatbots are in high market demand for startups and businesses alike. Additionally, speech recognition has improved drastically, especially in terms of native languages, which is expected to result in enhanced performance of chatbots in various applications.
- A Business Insider survey reported that 80% businesses expect to have chatbot automation implemented to some extent by 2020.
- A LivePerson survey of 5,000 consumers showed that 67% had used a chatbot for customer support in the last 12 months.
- The global chatbot market is expected to reach USD 1.25 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 24.3%, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. The chatbot industry is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period as they enable enterprises to substantially reduce operating costs.
Chatbots used for marketing is expected to witness the largest growth over the forecast period as they can connect the customers directly to service providers.
Chatbots can now provide context-aware notifications and offers to customers with seamless payment technology integrated into their intelligent interface.
Facebook has been leading this trend for a while now by allowing brands to integrate chatbots via the Facebook Messenger app.
Most companies prefer in-built chatbots on their websites as they drive the business forward by providing instant customer interaction. For instance, Slack and Twitter messaging platforms are preferred by majority businesses.
In 2018, we can expect brands to communicate with customers in powerful new ways using artificial intelligence and machine learning powering chatbots and voice powered API’s.
To sum it up voice-powered API’s and chatbots can provide:-
- Reduced operation costs.
- Immediate customer interaction with 24/7 availability.
- Highly personalized offers and communication.
- Automation of the entire e-commerce customer lifecycle.
- Instantly resolve customer issues.
- Improved customer experience and satisfaction.
- Improved handling capacity & automation of featured e-commerce services.