What is conversational commerce?

The future of the text message is still unwritten...
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What is conversational commerce?

Changing the way we use our smartphones

It’s estimated that smartphone users focus most of their time on just five apps – those being communication-based things like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. But imagine if, when using these apps, you didn’t need to go elsewhere to check your bank account, order a cab or get a pizza delivered – it was all right there.

This is what’s being called conversational commerce, which experts say will be big this year. This would give us a more streamlined smartphone experience, and could change the way we use our favourite apps forever.

What is conversational commerce?

Standalone apps, like your banking app, will be worked into the likes of Facebook Messenger, which has already started testing the option to hail an Uber by simply typing an address into your conversation.

China is putting this kind of technology to work with messaging app, WeChat. Users are able to order food, check their bank accounts and even take advantage of flash sales.

Google, on the other hand, has Now on Tap - which comes as part of its latest operating system, Android Marshmallow. It lets you find out more information about the page you’re on by simply holding down the home button. By scanning a page, like a YouTube film trailer for example, you’ll be met by the likes of local showing times and cast information.

What’s in the pipeline?

Google is also testing a new service, according The Wall Street Journal, which will let you search Google within other apps, using chatbots.

UPDATE: Facebook has announced a beta version of its Messenger Platform at its F8 conference, heavily relying on the usage of chatbots. This new technology will allow users to share their location with friends, follow directions, order taxis, book hotels and video call... this list goes on. To find out more, check out the video below.

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