According to market research, the growth of the bots economy is outstripping the growth of app economy.
Bots On The Rise
According to a Citigroup research note reported by Bloomberg, booking by bots has become a common practice. Bots are artificial intelligence software applications that can perform simple tasks such as book travel, write an email or answer a question.
CNet reports that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this year that the company's messaging service, Messenger, will start introducing and promoting third-party bot apps from other companies, for roles in customer service. Citigroup analyst Mark May compared the growth rate of bot platforms on Facebook Messenger in the first six months of the year to the growth rate of Apple's App Store for the same period.
While apps grew 100 percent, bots grew significantly faster, about 170 percent. May also found that by month six the number of developers working on bots was already triple the number of developers working on apps by their 14th month.
According to Venture Beat, in the past year the interest for bots has been constantly growing. These mini-apps that are integrated within messaging services can help e-commerce business reduce costs with customer service and marketing. Bots can mimic human conversations and allow customers book a hotel or order a pizza effortlessly.
Chat bots also have the potential to improve the way customers interact with brands. However, the bot technology is still in its early stage and e-commerce companies are still looking for ways to improve it and make the best use of it.
According to tech experts, there are several ways bots may change commerce forever. Chat bots can offer a platform to provide various services, from traffic and weather updates, to customized communications like shipping notifications and receipts. They can even provide direct customer service conversations.
As artificial intelligence improves, chatting with a bot in a voice conversation or via text will start feeling more natural. Bots can keep customers better informed, give an estimated arrival time of delivery vans, organize group orders, give recommendations, track repeat business and earn loyalty points and coupons, make reordering and scheduling easier or make micropayments easy to use.