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The Chatbot Evolution And Its Role In Conversational Commerce

Mehreen Siddiqua Feb 02, 2018

The biggest challenge yet opportunity in e-commerce is constant change. With the rise of Ai driven chatbots, we have witnessed a major shift in the way businesses think about conversational commerce.

All entrepreneurs seem excited about the convergence of mobile messaging apps and advances in artificial intelligence. It allows various brands to communicate more effectively with its customers and establish an omni-channel presence through chatbots at reduced costs. The idea is both promising and implementable but is it workable in an environment where customers want to interact with real humans. They’re certainly reassessing their priority.

But can bots overcome personalization issues?

Well that’s exactly where AI comes into play. Currently, tech startups are testing chatbots boosted with machine learning, natural language processing to offer sales and customer support.

In the league of good bots (crawlers, transactional bots, informational bots) vs bad bots(hackers, scarpers, spammers, impersonators), chatbots have developed a personality similar to that of a human. They have seen at least 4 generations of evolution starting from a rudimentary FAQ bot to a sophisticated AI-driven bot that can serve all aspects of conversational commerce by delivering convenience and personalization. Now these bots have already started to improve an online shopper’s experience.

In fact, more shoppers enjoy their interaction with chatbots that can address their queries and make recommendations. At the same time, entrepreneurs and startups are searching for competitive chatbots to integrate in their business for better engagement and customer retention. Here’s how these bots can be categorized.

Chatbot evolution: Breaking down the generations

Generation 1: bots answering FAQ

Generation 2: read my mind bots

Generation 3: Ai driven sophisticated interaction

Generation 4: advanced voice/image recognition

Role in conversational commerce

When e-commerce became a sensation, every brand wanted to make sure they catch up to the idea. Eventually, they were also the first to experiment with chatbots. Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant soon became the virtual assistants that revolutionized the way consumers interact with brands.

Some interesting and revolutionary ideas came forth as brands joined the bandwagon. They have added their bit of creativity in both operational nature and naming of the bots. Take a look at some of past year’s chatbots:


Mehreen Siddiqua

She is a millennial with a sense of humor that she embodies in visuals. A Digital Marketer focusing on Social Media Marketing by profession, exploring diverse avenues and ventures in tech while honing entrepreneurial skills. Currently she is the communications coordinator and strategist for Arpatech looking into e-commerce, consumer behavior and digital business models.