Just recently, Facebook unveiled their latest e-commerce update, which has to do with Facebook messenger. A while back we blogged that they were making their way into e-commerce with Buy Buttons. The messenger app, which is for mobile phones as well as the computer, is their second approach.
Why is Facebook messenger the platform?
Well, over 900 million people use Facebook messenger already. And consumers enjoy conversational interactions with businesses, which is how a brand called Chubbies became so popular. So messenger seems like a great platform. How it works is when a Facebook user clicks on an advertisement on Facebook, the click can open up a message in Facebook messenger. This message with either be an advertisement or a generated message from the seller. Users can then interact with chat bots to make a purchase, and make the payment, while still in the chat. This changes the way humans and businesses interact with each other. Essentially, you’ll never have to make a phone call again.
How will chat bots effect e-commerce?
In the near future, these chat bots will also answer message-specific questions you may have about the product you’re looking for. Instead of waiting on emails, this could really cut the amount of time it takes to purchase something online. According to Forbes, 44% of the population says that having a live chat available for customers is important. Chat bots can sometimes fail miserably. But if they are watched carefully and/or controlled by humans, chat bots can do the job correctly. Humans are still (thankfully) necessary to get the job done.
Currently, only a small portion of e-commerce happens over social media sites. But as the market grows, we can expect that number to rise. While Facebook itself is popular, messaging apps have overtaken social network apps in terms of monthly usage. If this goes well for Facebook messenger, it could change the way we buy products.