Facebook Messenger Wants To Change The Way You Shop
This past April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told a large group of people – at the F8 developer conference – that customers will never have to call 1-800-Flowers again to order from the company, thanks to changes to the social network’s Messenger app.
The changes come in the form of chat bots. Brands and retailers will now be able to build chat bots that enable customers to make purchases and ask questions, all within the Messenger app. The bot will simulate human conversation and will help bring more businesses into the communication app that, currently, boasts more than 900 million users.
What Business Transactions Will Look Like In Messenger
Take Zuckerberg’s 1-800-Flowers as an example. At the F8 conference, Zuckerberg showed how he could type in “Order White Flowers” to a message to the flower-retailer giant and, as a result, the bot replies with several options of flowers. The bot then asks where to send the flowers and then asks for the user’s credit card number.
This could be great for retailers because consumers hate having to go through extra hoops and steps to make a conversion. Enabling Messenger to serve as a business hub will eliminate the need for shoppers to download a retailer’s app in order to make a quick purchase.
The goal, says Facebook VP of Messaging Products David Marcus, is to change the way consumers interact with businesses. With the advent of social media, businesses have had to rethink the business-consumer relationship. These bots will aide in brands’ and retailers’ quest to provide more of a two-way conversation to the table.
Already, Staples has joined the fray. Staples executive vice president of global e-commerce, Faisal Masud, said Staples agreed to be one of the first merchants to use Messenger since its customers are already on the app.
And since mobile shopping has increased over the last two years, consumers are becoming less wary – and more comfortable – with the notion of entering personal information into their smartphones.
Of course, Facebook’s latest Messenger news demonstrates another step the social network is taking to, essentially, take over the web. This could scare away some retailers who want to retain complete control over their purchase experience. However, there are ways to maintain control over your customers’ experiences, while still leveraging the clear benefits presented by utilizing Messenger’s new bot service.
That’s where OperationROI comes in. We’ve been monitoring Facebook’s latest news, and have closely examined how retailers like Staples are using these new bots, while still maintaining control over their branding and customer’s purchase journey. There are clear advantages to using Messenger as yet another channel connecting customers to conversions, if you use it properly.
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