Conversational Commerce Is Going To Be Big - But Could Be Risky

Over the next five years, businesses are going to have to pay attention to conversational commerce – and fraudsters will do to. Cyber security threats in mobile messaging are emerging as more people are using the simple SMS or WhatsApp platforms to explore, shop and contact customer service. A single recent reported messaging identity fraud cost a bank in Singapore US$ 10 million across 790 victims.

Imagine that across the world and with a bigger service penetration. It is time to understand this trend, and to plan for security.  

What is Conversational Commerce?

The first wave of marketing strategy was broadcast (a single advertising message broadcast to all potential customers via magazines, radio shows, billboards and TV). The second wave was the internet (more personalised broadcast messaging via email/targeted ads). Conversational commerce is an evolution of the app economy, representing the third wave of marketing strategy, which elevates the interactivity offered by websites, apps and email to a new level, building lasting relationships through two-way individualised messaging via a unique mix of channels – the channels we use every day in our personal lives. 

Conversational commerce is all about mobile messaging, which has been steadily growing over the last decade: 25 billion mobile messages are sent every day. Over 3 billion people use texting and mobile messaging apps every day. And this is what conversational commerce taps into. Conversational commerce is about ongoing engagement and deep interactivity with brands. It allows customers to speak to brands as if they are real people building individual relationships that stick. 

So far, brands have been sending single messages – the ‘I am here’ message, but with true conversational commerce brands ask you what you want, not tell you what they want. 

As yet, not all companies have grasped the full potential of conversational commerce, but at MEF (the Mobile Ecosystem Forum) we anticipate the market will grow rapidly over the next few years as more businesses register the benefits. And this is the tip of the iceberg. Conversational commerce will fundamentally change how we buy, sell, and serve our customers.

Example

Take a retailer selling barbeques in bricks-and-mortar stores. Typically, they will sell lots of products when the sun shines – June is a big month for sales. But that glut of customers doesn’t last long. 

With conversational commerce, this retailer can understand their customers’ needs (e.g. having a garden party), can service those needs (e.g. informing customers when the weather is likely to be sunny or sharing recipes), and provide ongoing support (e.g. how to effectively clean and service the barbeque).

Basically, the limits of broadcast messaging are being exposed. Sending the same message to everyone works extremely well to build and establish a consistent brand but is terrible when it comes to interaction.

People now expect to have a meaningful conversation about products and services. They want to know what the experience of the brand is like, to really feel it. That’s why influencer marketing is so popular - there is an opportunity to engage with a real person and understand the brand experience.

Handling Costs

Providing an orchestrated omnichannel conversation commerce strategy that looks after every customer’s individual needs would be prohibitively expensive for most businesses. Fortunately, the robots are here to save us. AI can guide customers in the right direction and quickly learn what they need. 

While chatbots have, historically, been unpopular due to their frustrating limitations, many of us are now speaking to chatbots without even realising. And they’re getting smarter every day! 

It’s important not to outsource the entire process to robots, however. While the AI could help and guide customers, it may get to the point where they need to speak to a human being. And this is key to conversational commerce: giving people what they want and need at the right time in the most helpful way.

By bringing all the data the AI has already gathered along on the journey, the human operator can quickly and effectively deal with the issue, allowing call centre staff to get on with the job of customer care rather than focusing on admin and call time targets.

It’s all about finding a holistic approach than brings information together to find the best way to help. 

Dario Betti is CEO of  the Mobile Ecosystem Forum 

You Might Also Read: 

Identity & Authentication For Mobile Users:

 

« Suspicions That Explosion At US Gas Export Terminal Caused By Russian Hackers
Apple Will Block Spyware Attacks »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

LockLizard

LockLizard

Locklizard provides PDF DRM software that protects PDF documents from unauthorized access and misuse. Share and sell documents securely - prevent document leakage, sharing and piracy.

MIRACL

MIRACL

MIRACL provides the world’s only single step Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) which can replace passwords on 100% of mobiles, desktops or even Smart TVs.

CYRIN

CYRIN

CYRIN® Cyber Range. Real Tools, Real Attacks, Real Scenarios. See why leading educational institutions and companies in the U.S. have begun to adopt the CYRIN® system.

IT Governance

IT Governance

IT Governance is a leading global provider of information security solutions. Download our free guide and find out how ISO 27001 can help protect your organisation's information.

Perimeter 81 / How to Select the Right ZTNA Solution

Perimeter 81 / How to Select the Right ZTNA Solution

Gartner insights into How to Select the Right ZTNA offering. Download this FREE report for a limited time only.

BakerHostetler

BakerHostetler

BakerHostetler is one of the largest law firms in the USA We have five core practice groups including a specialty practice team in Privacy and Data Protection.

Secusmart

Secusmart

Secusmart provide highly secure and encrypted speech and data communication solutions.

First Response

First Response

First Response is a Cyber Incident Response and Digital Forensic Investigation company.

Authorize.Net

Authorize.Net

Authorize.Net is a Payment Gateway which provides the complex infrastructure and security necessary to ensure fast, reliable and secure transactions.

Adroit Technologies

Adroit Technologies

Adroit Technologies has been developing award winning real-time software for the industrial automation markets for over 25 years.

Certus Software

Certus Software

Our Secure Data Erasure solutions protect customer data confidentiality by completely erasing it from data storage devices.

Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems (RBCCPS)

Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems (RBCCPS)

RBCCPS is an interdisciplinary research and academic centre within the Indian Institute of Science focused on research in cyber-physical systems.

Navarino

Navarino

Navarino is the maritime industry’s most advanced communications and connectivity company. We develop advanced technologies and innovative IT solutions including cyber security.

Spanish Network of Excellence on Cybersecurity Research (RENIC)

Spanish Network of Excellence on Cybersecurity Research (RENIC)

RENIC is a membership based sectoral association that includes research centers and other agents of the research cybersecurity ecosystem in Spain.

Awake Security

Awake Security

Awake Security offer a security solution built on an AI platform that acts like the human brain to sense, detect, and respond to threats you may not even know exist.

Tecnalia Research & Innovation

Tecnalia Research & Innovation

Tecnalia is the largest center of applied research and technological development in Spain, a benchmark in Europe and a member of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance.

StoneLock

StoneLock

StoneLock is a trusted leader in the design and manufacture of facial recognition software and technology.

Endure Secure

Endure Secure

Endure Secure is a managed cyber security & information security consultancy. Our passion for IS and our understanding of the threat landscape is reflected in the services that we provide.

Systal Technology Solutions

Systal Technology Solutions

Systal is a global managed network and security service and transformation specialist. We help enterprise-level businesses maximise the security and business value of their complex IT infrastructure.

Kahootz

Kahootz

Kahootz is a highly secure cloud collaboration platform helping teams to work together across organisations.

Simbian

Simbian

Simbian, with its hardened TrustedLLM system, is the first to accelerate security by empowering every member of a security team from the C-Suite to frontline practitioners.