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What Is Chat Commerce & How To Use It

17 March 2019 | 0 comments | Posted by Che Kohler in Geek Chic

What is chat commerce

Technology is helped bridge the gap between businesses and consumers and allows us to communicate with audiences in a myriad of ways from email marketing, search engine marketing, social media marketing and more. Having the ability to connect with users on the various platforms they spend time on has become a valuable skill that is starting to become the competitive advantage of many businesses.

As the various platforms become more competitive for attention one landscape is showing considerable room for growth and this is the medium known as instant messaging. Applications like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram Direct Messaging and Twitter Direct Messaging are often ignored by brands but is becoming a considerable marketing channel for many bespoke offerings.

Chat commerce on the rise

While chat commerce is growing for local businesses looking to connect with local customers it doesn't mean large franchises and brands aren't looking to leverage this channel too, even at scale. Everyone from Domino’s Pizza to the world’s largest banks experimenting with chatbots, it’s not surprising to see the world of e-commerce is jumping on board.

Chatbots are starting to transform the expectations of customers and the way we do business online. As more people interact with chatbots, their ability to provide personalised and nearly human level interaction consistently improves as the AI continues to learn new techniques of engagement. 

As this reaches a level almost indistinguishable from humans the result is what appears to be a brand-new type of commerce that many are calling chat-commerce.

What is Chat-commerce

Chat-commerce is still a fresh term in the marketing and telecommunications world and has yet to be specifically defined. So loosely it is any practice of conversing with a consumer that results in a sale, this can be done via messaging apps that offer a place for personalised bidirectional messaging. 

Chat commerce

While that may sound highly complex the practice is anything but, as people have been doing this informally for years and its value is only starting to gain recognition now and turned into a formal marketing and communications practice. This basically means that our future interactions with e-commerce will more resemble a person to person interaction than the current (lonely) style of adding items to a cart.

How chat commerce will change with secure payments

At Facebook’s F8 developer conference in April of last year, chatbots were centre stage, with Facebook announcing partnerships with CNN, 1-800-Flowers, and several other retailers. Facebook appear very interested in adding new functionality to their messenger application and there’s no doubt that the ability to integrate with the world’s largest messaging platform will transform chatbots into a sector with huge potential for commercial opportunities.

Future chatbot applications will be able to accept secure transactions within the conversation and allow users to submit sensitive data with the knowledge that it is protected and allow them to purchase goods and services as if they were handling an over the counter transaction. 

Online Commerce becoming a more personalised experience

As with any evolving technology, there are still plenty of teething issues that will be ironed out over the coming years. One of the more significant challenges remains training chatbots to behave in a way that fully aligns with a business’ branding and allowing humans to feel at ease speaking to a bot.

As technology scales and brands reach larger audiences it will make it impossible to service their responses with manual interaction without a seriously large investment in human capital. Chatbots will reduce the amount of staff needed to handle these volumes and filter only highly complex queries to humans who would be able to handle it. Simple requests which often take up a large portion of call centre contact time will then be handled by chatbots with some experts predicting 85 percent of all business interactions taking place without human interaction, the only way for chatbots to go is up.

Tell us your instant messaging story

Have you sold products via instant messaging or direct messaging on social media? How has it worked for you? Let us know in the comments.

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Contact us

Would you like to start using chat commerce in conjunction with ads then speak to us about running a campaign by contacting us directly 

Recommended reading

If you have some time to spare and would like to dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is chatbots and chat commerce, then we recommend you check out these articles.

Tags: apps , instant messaging

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