Jan 07, 2022
Solutions that allow customers to shop by text may soon be a hot trend in the United States, and some big names in retail are trying to make it happen.
TextRetailer, Text2Shop, and Walmart Luminate (a product developed by this retail giant) are some of the names of text-based conversational commerce solutions poised to hit the United States, according to Fast business.
Even Marc Lore, former CEO of Walmart US eCommerce, is getting involved in the space with a new startup called Wizard Commerce slated to launch in 2022. Wizard Commerce will allow customers to send questions or product images directly to them. big brands using the service, round-trip text with an AI or human to get the necessary product information and complete a transaction.
Conversational commerce bots are already in use in the United States in the QSR space. A number of restaurant chains such as Subway and Cheesecake Factory launched chatbots on Facebook Messenger in 2017. Chatbots allow users of the Facebook Messenger app to place orders through text interaction with an AI and pay as you go. end of the conversation.
US consumers have also developed a certain level of convenience in using text communication for interactions with retailers outside of restaurant orders. Delivery services like Shipt and Instacart, for example, require customers to text in-store shoppers to choose products and arrange delivery.
Conversational commerce has had its share of failures, however.
Jetblack, Walmart’s hybrid human / AI personal shopping service, was discontinued in early 2020. The service launched in 2018 as the first technology to roll out of Walmart’s # 8 store technology incubator.
While conversational commerce only started to take hold in the United States a few years ago, it has been very popular in parts of Asia for quite some time. In 2019, the Chinese conversational commerce platform WeChat, launched in 2011, had 1 billion users according to Forbes.
Conversational commerce isn’t the only popular shopping method in Asia that’s starting to find its way into the United States. Direct shopping has spiked adoption in the United States throughout the pandemic.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think text-to-shop conversational commerce is growing in the United States for general retail? What are the potential advantages and disadvantages of the model?
“So many buying missions have become transactional as opposed to experiential, and this is the way to leverage that knowledge and keep it frictionless.”