The platforms that enable conversational commerce
The term conversational commerce was first coined by Chris Messina earlier this year. It means you can communicate with bots, real humans or a hybrid of these two for your daily tasks when you are in your messaging comfort zones such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Telegram.
Below is a quick comparison of the different messaging platforms available to utilize conversational commerce.
Telegram Messenger is usually known for its security policy. You don’t have to be worried about your private conversations if you use it, as chats are encrypted and self-destroying if you want to.
They do not have an official bot store yet but you can find lots of bots by asking your friends or visiting websites such as TelegramBots.org – or you can use a bot that suggests you various other bots in different categories; it is called @StoreBot.
As mentioned above, Telegram has gained popularity in the messaging space because it offers end to end encryption of messages and it is known to be the most secure messaging platform available. These are remarkable features in terms of bots and eCommerce. Creating bots and commercializing your brand on a popular and secure messenger application like Telegram could mean better customer satisfaction and brand awareness.
Facebook Messenger is the second most used messenger application even though some people feel irritated because Facebook forcing users to download and use the Messenger application persistently.
There are some available chatbots on Facebook Messenger for different purposes such as Spring and 1-800-Flowers for shopping.
Regarding Facebook’s user statistics, it might be a logical option for brands to launch their shopping chatbots on Facebook Messenger because it is convenient to make contact with a brand or to shop just like you are messaging a friend on Facebook Messenger.
WhatsApp is the number one messenger application in terms of monthly active users. Many of us use WhatsApp on a daily basis. It is simple and user-friendly and is already used by more than 1 billion people around the world!
Unfortunately, there is no official chatbot that you can use on WhatsApp as they do not support chatbots.
They announced some changes however bots are not one of them. On the other side, other applications could make great progress and we can say that WhatsApp got behind its competitors already!
Kik, LINE and iMessage
And there are some other messaging applications that are keeping up with the chatbot trend. LINE, Kik and now iMessage are joining the game to allow chatbot development for users and brands.
LINE provides accounts to official partners and their Bot API Trial has been open for 10.000 developers since March 2016. It is expected that it will be available for everyone this year. Kik has its official bot store and it is open to developers. You can check it out and find some interesting and useful bots or create your own bot. Also, Apple announced that they will allow developers to create third-party applications for iMessage.
Maybe there is no perfect chatbot yet, but with work it is possible for chatbots to be successful for many purposes.
While messengers develop their systems to provide better chatbot experiences, developers should create bots by considering features such as convenience, user friendliness and enjoyableness.