Chatbots: temporary trend or the force of e-commerce revolution?

Given the state of the online commercial industry, it’s no wonder that companies and businesses around the world have taken bots into consideration. In essence, bots represent the next level of AI development in online commercial and personal use. This means that we will soon see chatbots implemented to their fullest in both e-commerce websites and social platforms alike.

But what does this mean for the larger picture of AI development and the role chatbots will play in it? Are chatbots only a passing trend that people will forget soon or can we safely invest time and resources into this technology knowing that it’s going to pay off eventually?

The necessity of the many

Before we talk about where chatbots are now, we need to think about the circumstances that lead to their inception. E-commerce websites that focus on sales of retail items and online services have developed in the recent years, garnering positive attention from the public.

The only natural solution the administrators and developers of these sites could think of to alleviate their growing work obligations is to employ some sort of AI algorithm into their workflow. Thus the first chatbots were born, not out of sheer curiosity or the wish of betterment of the mankind but out of necessity and the need to automate mundane tasks.

Many of the administrative work that goes into processing and shipping items can easily be done by chatbots that are programmed with logical, user friendly and timely responses to customers’ queries. Chatbots have soon begun to spread to social media platforms, blogs and other forms of online media as a way of showing the world that the implementation of AI technology can be beneficial to everyone involved in their immediate use.

CXP and UX improvements

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It should be noted that the first signs of positive feedback came from the customers and users of said online platforms, not the administrators themselves. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since the chatbot technology aims to improve and evolve the customer’s online experience as well as the user experience they go through while browsing a site.

Chatbots are now able to guide a customer through different suggestions and use their previously-gathered knowledge to better adapt to different users and circumstances. This quickly made chatbots popular on the e-commerce market since the majority of the response that came from the public was in favor of their use.

Many would still argue that chatbots take people’s jobs away and make certain job duties obsolete due to their higher capabilities. While they will make writing help much faster in the future, this shouldn’t concern people since there will always be a need for learned individuals with proper education to support the rising need for chatbot development, maintenance and support.

Facebook’s own Messenger

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the leading companies to implement chatbots into their day-to-day operations is none other than Facebook. The Facebook Messenger app has garnered over 900 million active users since its inception, providing the perfect playground for companies and developers using chatbots. Facebook’s bots are used to automate purchases, provide people with chatting companions or simply help people find external online shops and e-commerce sites through Messenger.

The Messenger app is designed to allow outgoing links so it makes sense that chatbots would be implemented in an environment where people are constantly going back-and-forth between different links and their chat list. The bots are also able to match customers to potentially interesting online stores where they can further connect them to e-commerce bots that can finalize the purchase of said items. This one-two system has benefited both Facebook and companies who implemented said bots for the purposes of their expansion.

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Telegram and open-source bots

One of the major benefits of chatbots is their open-source nature. The majority of chatbot codes and algorithms can be found completely for free on the internet, while additional code can be custom-made per company needs. One such example is Telegram and the open-source nature of their business model. Telegram has made chatbots open to the public and allows people to easily develop their own bots for various purposes.

These bots can be implemented into Telegram apps with ease and no risk of malware or spam. Even though chatbots have been around for a while, it doesn’t mean that e-commerce administrators have fully grasped the concept of developing some of these AI scripts by themselves. This is where Telegram and similar platforms come into play and help usher a technological revolution to the market.

Long-term development 

No one can safely predict whether or not chatbots will be a mainstay on the market. The most important factor that will determine whether or not a higher form of AI will be implemented rests on the shoulders of Machine Learning. Chatbots are quite capable of learning and adapting to new situations even today, but that doesn’t mean that they are omnipotent.

Companies should definitely explore the possibilities that this technology represents, even in short term. It can not only streamline a lot of tasks that are open to error but also help employees focus on more pressing matters inside the company. Always look for long-term development benefits of implementing new technology, even if it has already been tested on the market (as is the case with chatbots).

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