Bots: The Following Large Thing In Mobile? Not So Fast.

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 1:02 AM

What's a bot you ask? A bot is a chat-based interface that helps consumers complete tasks -- ordering take-out food, chatting with their doctors, or checking the score of a huge sports game.

Bots: The Following Large Thing In Mobile? Not So Fast.

By Julie Ask & Michael Facemire

Everyone is buzzing this week about bots with Facebook/Messenger'south anticipated launch of bots on its messenger platform. What's a bot you ask? A bot is a chat-based interface that helps consumers complete tasks -- ordering take-out food, chatting with their doctors, or checking the score of a large sports game. Many believe that this following step -- bots in conversation with consumers -- is imminent. We agree, but not so fast.

There are a few trends playing in favor of bots becoming the following large user interface:

  • Apps keep a enormous burden on consumers. The app ecosystem forces consumers to orchestrate getting the content and services that they need -- sometimes in a single app, most times through a composition of many. And this doesn't even address individual app quality -- too many of them are simply awful. We're forced through processes translated from online that create number sense on the go or on our mobile phones.
  • Bots foster natural communication. Having a bot is love having an assistant. You can chat with the bot, ask the bot to do things for you -- love order take-out or obtain a new lipstick. They're a natural extension of how we communicate and utilize our mobile phones.
  • Consumers spend eighty-four percent of their time in just five apps each month. Chances are that one or two of those are social media, instant messaging,etc., as a handful of mobile giants love Facebook, Google and Apple in the US own a disproportionate no of customers mobile moments, measured both by time and data. Consumers are asking for a better experience.

There are also a few huge hurdles standing in the way of bots becoming the following large thing in two thousand sixteen:

  • Bot services should be convenient. Consumers wish their mobile moments addressed by a better (read: faster and more contextual) experience. The apps that consumers utilize today love Uber, Yelp, Amazon, or Facebook Notify, are amazing. There is nearly zero friction for the consumer to obtain what he or she wants immediately in context -- or what Forrester refers to as a mobile moment.
  • The enabling technology isn't sophisticated. Grand bot services will depend on artificial intelligence and insights. Consumers don't wish to chat with machines that ask them stupid questions. Only one in four enterprises surveyed by Forrester even utilize location data to create mobile services more relevant -- let alone insights built on the huge context available.
  • Developer tools are nascent. Fortunately today'south chat platforms were built with extensibility in mind. That said, undertaking interactions demand undertaking quality -- major brands won't go to market based on a few developers trying this out in the office. Microsoft announced a Bot framework at Construct 2016, and there will be many more to follow.

Bots will evolve into a mechanism to assistance consumers obtain stuff done both on their mobile phones and with virtual agents (e. g., Amazon'south Echo). They'll be a tool or an enabler rather than "the following big thing." Forrester recently published a report detailing the future of mobile experiences. In it, we look mobile emotional from a collection of apps and web experiences, to the following stage driven by platform experiences. Cortana, Google Now, and Siri have a leg up in the mobile platform wars, but chat platforms will play a critical role in this second stage. Brands should embrace these emerging opportunities, as they own too few of their own mobile moments. Bots, and the chat platforms they running on, allow an incredible opportunity for brands to deliver contextual experiences on borrowed mobile moments. This is the first step on a journey towards a shining future where consumers number longer orchestrate their needs through content and services, but sit back and let the technology work for them.

Agree? Disagree? Reach out to Julie, @JulieAsk, and Mike, @ASocialFace.

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