They’re changing the way we’re being sold to and the way we’re interacting with tech… Is this the end of our faithful Apps?!
Bots (if you don’t know already) are AI assistants, much like Siri, Cortana and now Alexa, that can communicate via text, decipher what is being said and respond accordingly… So no need to awkwardly speak aloud to your phone!
Bots are above and beyond apps for several reasons… for one they don’t sit on your phone, taking up a whole lot of your precious memory whilst performing updates (way too frequently) and taking even more of that precious memory!
They let us interact with companies via our beloved messenger apps allowing us to get information quickly… pretty much like having our own personal assistant whenever we need them… and these days we all find this mode of interaction very natural. There are now more people messaging than are posting on social media… with over a billion monthly active users on Facebook messenger and WhatsApp alike, we’re all at it!
Despite there being over 2.2 million Apps available for Android users and over 2 Million for iOS, with downloads now surpassing 150 billion, the average number we actively use (according to research by Nielson) still sits firmly at 27, having not changed in years!
On top of this, Bots are less expensive and timely to create and could offer a good alternative to developers struggling to see any return on their Apps. One study suggests that 94% of U.S. app store revenue comes from the top 1% of publishers meaning there’s a lot of well created apps out there not getting a look in! (http://bit.ly/AppSore) AI is complicated technology but ultimately, because they’re run through already existing platforms, new features in bots can be deployed through backend integration alone… no need for teams and teams of UI & UXer’s!
Google’s Allo offers a great example of a bot at work. You can type ‘@Google’ in your messages at any time and google will answer your queries, decipher your emoji’s and tell you what you need to know, effectively, for the first time ever, you can have a conversation with Google! Another increasing use for bots is allowing you to speak to your favourite characters (or at least a bot pretending to be them).
Facebook teamed up with ‘The Muppets show’ to create a Miss Piggy chatbot for promotional purposes (yeah, really!) where you could ask her anything and she’d respond as Miss Piggy would… I mean, how else would you want to spend your evening?!… A lot of companies, including American Express, have used bots to keep customers updated with the goings-on of their accounts or to alert them to new products. The likes of Burger King have Bot’s pending which will allow you to order through messaging before you’ve even reached the restaurant!
This marks a change in the way we get marketed to and is the next big stage in commerce!! It’s estimated that by 2020 conversational commerce is going to be taking over, with 50% being voice searches.
Bring on the bots!!!