Chatbots: Temporary Trend or The Force of e-Commerce Revolution

 Amanda Sparks
  Dec 05, 2017

Are chatbots simply a popular trend that will fade away in favor of more traditional customer service options and content? Considering that major brands have adopted the technology, use of messaging apps has surpassed the use of social media platforms, and customers have embraced them, it seems the answer is an absolute ‘no’.

Chatbots aren’t going anywhere. In fact, they will continue to gain popularity. It could even be said that they will cause a bit of an e-commerce revolution. People are using chatbots to shop, interact with customer service, consume content, even order pizzas.

The App is Dead! Long Live The Chatbot!

Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration. Obviously, messenger apps are important. And, most folks do have a few other apps that they use on a regular basis. Still, it’s become clear that folks simply aren’t keen on filling up precious storage space on their phones with every app that each brand they encounter wants them to download. Even when they do download apps, most never really use them.

Chatbots give brands the chance to engage with consumers using the category of apps they are most likely to use, messengers! Whether it’s KIK, Facebook, Slack, or something else it’s become much more feasible to create interaction through an existing app than to create a new one.

Bots Allow Conversational Interactions That Customers Prefer

Starbucks and Pizza Hut are already using chatbots to interact with customers. Taco Bell is very open about its work to make Taco Bot ready for release on the Slack messenger app. One reason these efforts have been successful is that it allows customers to interact with brands through conversational platforms.

Many different companies already use automated customer support, by providing customers with options such as online self-service or telephone customer service that allows customers to take actions such as making a payment or changing their account without interacting with anyone. However, that isn’t the same as leveraging messaging as a means to provide customer service, answer questions, even allow customers to make purchases.

Major Brands Are Adopting Chatbots

Whole Foods has created a bot that enables customers to search for recipes and get other information about the food they are interested in making and serving. All of this can be done directly through Facebook Messenger without having to enter the company’s website or social media pages. Harper Collins’ Epic Reads bot takes users preferred tastes in literature and then returns personalized book recommendations. Duolingo, Marvel, and National Geographic are just a few of the other brands that are using bots to interact with consumers in meaningful ways.

Customer Adoption is Here And on The Rise

25% of households use chatbots on a daily basis. Further, the majority of them report that their interactions are helpful. Those that don’t mention that this is usually because the bot was unable to answer the questions that they had. That’s an issue that can be addressed through further AI development and training. By using machine learning, chatbots are able to improve their ability to help consumers simply by interacting with them.

Chatbots And IoT

One of the most popular ways for people to interact with a chatbot on a regular basis is through the Amazon Echo. This chatbot can play music requested, answer questions, report on the weather, share sports scores and statistics, and provide updates on news and current events.

While the Echo is simply a device that receives spoken instructions as opposed to typed instructions to pass along to the chatbot, its existence proves that there is potential to combine connected devices with chatbots in order to provide great customer service experiences. For example, instead of receiving information from a connected appliance, a chatbot could also receive information from the owner of that product all through the same channel. This information could then be used to return relevant advice or to determine that a service person should be brought into the conversation.

Conclusion

The uprising may be slow, but it’s becoming clear that brands and consumers are both embracing chatbots. As technology improves, chatbots will be even better at meeting customers needs and providing them with the information and service that they need.

Chatbots: Temporary Trend or The Force of e-Commerce Revolution

Amanda Sparks

Amanda Sparks, pro writer and editor at Essay Supply, lifestyle writer at Huffington Post. I am fancy doing perfect things for this perfect world, and help people make their life easier with my lifestyle tips.

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