An introduction to conversational commerce and bots
Bots are sweeping the digital landscape, giving consumers even more ways to interact with their favorite brands. Columnist Christie Olson believes it's high time for marketers to think about how to incorporate bots into their digital strategies.
We seem to be talking about talking an awful lot these days — and that’s no surprise, considering the advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing that have made interactions with technology more conversational and human. It’s leading the way to conversations about how businesses can, could, will and should be using bots to drive more personalized conversational interfaces with their customers.
Back in 2011, Gartner predicted the following:
By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.
I already prefer to use an ATM rather than visit the bank, and I go to the self-checkout stands at the grocery store. In this context, it’s not hard to imagine how conversational bots can become an extension of a self-service interface to your brand across the platform and channel your customers choose.
Bing already has a few bots integrated directly into the search results page. In the video below, you can see how I’ve utilized the bot to quickly discover the parking situation for a nearby restaurant and to make sure it offers vegetarian dishes for my coworkers.
We are seeing the rise of artificially intelligent agents providing answers and communicating with us and each other, and it’s time for marketers to take a look at how they can incorporate these technologies into their own digital marketing strategy.