In an article published by Customer Think (http://bit.ly/2w3vhGy), Amrita Bhattacharyya writes: “Conversational Commerce refers to using natural language within a messenger application (Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, and others) or using voice assistants (Siri, Amazon Alexa, and others) to interact with a business for an inquiry, purchase, or customer service.”
Conversational Commerce enables a person to, quite literally, message their refrigerator! For example, you would text your refrigerator “Do we have milk?” Using a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), your refrigerator would text you back “Yes, but at your current rate of consumption, it will be gone tomorrow. Would you like me to place an order with Peapod?”
This technology is not science fiction from Star Trek, it’s actually available today!
Here are a few more interesting scenarios:
The Smart Coffee Maker – Who loves a good cup of coffee? Who hates having to remember to restock the filters before you run out? I thought so! Introducing the conversational commerce-powered smart coffee maker. On one very tired morning, you whip out your phone and text your coffee maker: “Make me a coffee, extra strong, black, no sugar.” Your coffee maker obediently texts you back a confirmation. Then, you get another text: “Hey boss, coffee maker here! My water filter needs changing in five more uses. The three-pack is on sale this week at Instacart (saves you $2.00). Would you like to buy it?” Amazed, you text back, “Yes”. It responds, “Done. Delivery confirmed for this Wednesday.” Just like that!
The Smart Dishwasher – Have you ever had a situation where you loaded the dishwasher only to discover that you’re out of detergent? Do you ever feel anxiety loading the dishwasher because you notice the detergent supply dwindling, but keep on forgetting to buy more? How would you like to have a dishwasher that does the following: Your phone buzzes. You pick it up and read the following WhatsApp message: “Good evening. This is your dishwasher. You have seven more wash cycles until you’re out of detergent (It can predict the future!). As you like lemon scent (it knows what I like?!?), Cascade has a new lemon-scented detergent that’s on sale at Amazon.” You text back, “How much does it cost?” The AI-powered dishwasher responds, “The 24-pack (you want to stock up, no?) costs $7.99 with no shipping charges because you’re a Prime member. Would you like me to order it?” Incredulous, you respond, “Yes!” It texts back, “Done. Your order will arrive tomorrow.” I’m really starting to like this technology! I think I will stay in this century. There is no way I’m getting back in that time machine and going home to 1985!
The Smart Washing Machine – With a house full of kids (some of them are teenagers), there have been several times when I’ve loaded the washing machine, only to discover that the detergent is empty! I’d scratch my head and wonder how an entire gallon got used up in three days! What I wouldn’t do to have an intelligent washing machine! I would daydream and imagine the following scenario: I’m at the office working on a very important IoT-related proposal when suddenly, my phone vibrates. I look down at it and read the following text message: “Good afternoon! It’s your washing machine. Although you have enough detergent left to last you two weeks, Tide just went on sale.” I text back, “What’s the price?” It responds, “$23.49 for 225 oz, that’s $4.50 savings off the regular price. Would you like me to order one for you?” I text back, “Order 2”. It responds, “Done. Your order will arrive via UPS on Monday.”
In all these scenarios, the benefits are twofold:
- For the manufacturer and retailer, this creates a significant, sustainable, and scalable new revenue stream. Let’s face it, you have to buy groceries, you have to buy coffee filters (if you choose to own a coffee maker), you have to buy dishwashing detergent, and you have to buy laundry detergent. By making it easy for you to make a purchase, the manufacturers and retailers are earning your business for commodities that you would have otherwise bought elsewhere.
- Because of the convenience and ease of use, the smart product (i.e., refrigerator, coffee maker, dishwasher, washing machine, etc.) becomes more desirable, and possibly even viral. After all, who wouldn’t want to buy a washing machine that buys its own detergent?!?
In conclusion, manufacturers are rapidly realizing the benefits of conversational commerce as a way of adding value to their customers and building new revenue streams for their business. The technology is real and something that you must pay attention to in order to remain viable in today’s new marketplace.
My question for you is, what are you doing in your business to build new streams of revenue with cutting-edge technology?
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