Hear from Laurence Coldicott on how chatbots are changing the digital consumer experience.
Chatbots are artificial intelligence at their simplest and most effective form. They are allowing the app to evolve and the online experience for the consumer to improve dramatically, through a simplified and more narrative driven User Experience. On the simplest level, Machine Learning and NLP technologies are being implemented to allow the brand, through AI to help and converse with the consumer.
We are now in a period of a Bot platform gold rush with technology players, who may have missed out on the huge revenues of Apple and Google in the App gold-rush circa 2009-2012 keen to get the ball rolling.
After a shaky start, Facebook opened up its Messenger platform, which already has more than 1 billion active monthly users to fall back upon. More than 45,000 developers are now using Facebook’s Wit.ai chat-bot-building tool to create chat bots for Messenger. Other disruptors, are now jumping on the bandwagon. Microsoft, launching the Bot Framework, which allows developers to easily use their bot API.
So, why now? Why has the past 12 months seen the proliferation of this tech that has existed in a similar form for years?
Well in short, there seems to be a realisation of the technologies potential. Digital heads seem to have realised en masse that this could tech, whilst not replacing the app, could fundamentally create a shift in the way e-commerce works.
Whilst technology continues to be in one long state of flux, social messaging continues to be a dominant technology. The chatbot exploits this. Millennials with disposable income, and tech savvy attitudes to life, love the bot. The increased interest in chatbots reflects not just a technology shift, but a Black Mirror esque shift to social messaging as a predominant form of youth communication.
This has been reflected and had a knock on effect on the consumer apps market; as millennials spend more time within the social messenger environment, they are reluctant to download traditional native apps in order to accomplish basic tasks.
The most effective use of chatbots so far seems to be where brands can create a simplified UI around delivering effective customer service. As the technology adoptions grows, so does the opportunity. Bots thenare here to stay, becoming an ever more pervasive force in digital marketing.