I had the great pleasure working with Smoope, a messaging as a service vendor recently. The segment is super relevant in these days selling to millennials. In these days every smart company is trying to find their strategy for turning conversations into transactions.
What I learned from a research in an analyst conversation with Lefti Co-Founder of Smoope and Forrester Analyst Laura Naparstek was, that 36% of conversations in chats are centered around “products & services”. That emphasizes the need for rich and fast product master data to power the conversational commerce channel with the right and relevant data so that the customer can take a purchasing decision.
I my opinion the omnichannel term continues to expand adding new interaction channels, such as messaging. This brings the need to integrate data and connect master data to new apps like messaging platforms. Clearly this is tied to the AI and chatbot discussion and blog, I published this summer. Wether you are talking to a human being or the AI-driven bot, answers can only be as good as the data foundation to offer the right product at the right moment. This promise and challenge, has just become more complex.
There is an appetite talking to brands through messaging, but the brands need to be clear on expectation setting and their processes. Many brands seem not to do well and are not able to go beyond the welcome message. Many are not set for taking the conversation to the next level and advancing the conversation, which will turn customers away easily.
The future vision in this segment is clearly impacted by the Zeitgeist of Alexa and Siri where customers are getting used to the most simplest way of formulating their need. Like texting or saying “please transfer 20 Euro to Ben”, or “please send me the shirt which was delivered today in size M” without filling out a complex form.
Germany is a highly developed economy which is not shy of any international benchmark. In times of the digital transformation discussion, politicians frequently address one of the foundations of making digital business and digital work place models a success: fast broadband internet. Yes, my friends in the US, we have a challenge here.
Germany’s soccer fans are unhappy this season with Sky who does not offer any more all Bundesliga games, while prices for their subscription have not changed. Clients have to sign up for the Amazon/ Eurosport channel to see the Friday games.
Last Friday I went to a local bar/ pub to watch the game of VfB Stuttgart with friends and many local supporters and had a real new live soccer experience:
The first five minutes the large plasma TV was all but not HD. Reality was it was unsharp lagging and stuttering. While discussing the first scenes and missed chances over a beer, I noticed vibrations in my pocket. It was my phone obviously alerting me that VfB Stuttgart leads 1:0. But the entire bar was still seeing the 0:0 score.
So I said to my friends “I bet player x has missed some chances, but he will score a goal today” with a bright smile on my face 😉 From this moment on a new pattern got established in the bar. People started to follow the game on live tickers and Twitter using their mobile phones to be right faster.
Everytime a critical alert came in people stopped their conversations, put their phones and came closer the the TV screen to see what will happen – or better “has” happened.
For all fans of live sport events, this is clearly a momentum, where watching sports in the internet is getting less attractive. In our case the bar owner was said because their guests have been unhappy about this. The bitter truth is, it is not their fault. They would go for a high speed internet deal, but is is just not available. I would go for it to, but it is not available.
How can the future of a connected home, working from home and all IoT connected devices work, if there is no fast internet?