The New Wave of Chat Commerce
Messaging has been around for long. The first ones were the good old SMS's in our phone. Every phone had them. Next came the internet based messaging service. They started in big corporations and over the years with tweaks to the core idea became today's What's App and Slack. The basis has been same- messaging. In 2016 we saw the rise of ChatBot- another extension of chat based messaging apps. These chatbots intelligently answer most of your queries. And the next thing can be when these ChatBots are intuitively integrated into our messaging apps and together drives commerce.
Messaging apps have grown exponentially in past couple of years. They may be very well on the way of replacing emails. Take for Example Slack- which grew to 1B in 2 years and it's core functionality is that it lets teams interact via chat and keep a track of their work. Or think about Whats App, FB messenger, WeChat, Line and more. All messaging apps have grown at a jaw-dropping rate. This growth can be attributed to change in user behaviour - we now like to chat (using a messaging platform) rather than picking up the phone and making a call. This happens because our attention span has decreased and chatting supports that- we can switch between conversation very easily on our chat apps. The fact that What's app has a monthly 1B active users and that it reached there way faster then Gmail indicates the change. And personally, there are people I talk only on FB messenger and we are great friends!!
Another interesting technology that has risen in a couple of years is ChatBots. We see a machine talking to us in almost every chat app. Take for example Skype, FB messenger- the CNN Bot, FB messenger bot and so many. You can ask CNN bot about any news you want to know. ChatBots use our existing habits to provide us with information that might help is in taking decisions.
Chat Commerce —> Messaging Apps marry ChatBots :
The next wave which has already started is when messaging apps marry ChatBot. The obvious next step for all these chat apps is to help people buy. Because now people have all the information they need to make a buying decision via the bot! The integration of a payments system will be easy. With sophisticated ChatBots powered by Artificial Intelligence a lot of buying processes can be automated and value delivered to end customer. This will be big for messaging app companies because they have all the data to help them target audience.
The New Order
The messaging apps have become mainstream and with a plethora of data and artificial intelligence, the will become ever more powerful.The new order can be just one messaging app for everything. You can shop while talking to your friend on What's app. You don't need multiple shopping apps, price comparisons etc. One thing that provides you all.
Think about it - You want to buy a gadget and you open an app check gadgets. You add your friend to the chat &ask if she likes it? An intelligent AI (chatbot) gives you awesome suggestions based on your purchasing history from behind the scenes. And finally, you buy it. Isn't it cool! You can chat and shop.
That is what a messaging will evolve into!