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Chatbots, Chat Interfaces, and In-Chat E-Commerce, Oh My!

Humans love to chat. From old-style rotary telephones to smartphones, the need to communicate with other humans has led to a plethora of inventions over the years.

Chatting by computer emerged as far back as the 1970s, and instant messaging technology puts the power and allure of chat directly into the palms of our hands. But all of this technology has been about humans communicating with other humans.

Chat technology is set to have a huge role in mobile e-commerce.

A Change in Chat

However, modern chat technology has emerged, leading consumers to chat, not with other people only, but with A.I. as well. Enter the age of Amazon Echo, Cortana, Google Now, and Siri. Like a scene from StarTrek, consumers can now simply verbalize to their smartphones what they want from within chat platforms, and like magic, A.I. takes over, sometimes providing results in the blink of an eye.

E-Commerce: the Perfect New Place for Chat

There can be no doubt that consumers in America are turning their attention to mobile for e-commerce. It seems logical, then, to assume that as more and more consumers use mobile devices both to chat and to shop, a merging of the two will take place.

That is what is already happening in other regions of the world. According to, mobile commerce is already high in the Asia-Pacific market, where 46 percent of consumers made at least one purchase on a mobile device in 2015. Experts believe that in-chat e-commerce in that region has grown exponentially because of the Asian messaging app, WeChat. WeChat has 650 million active monthly users, and it is a common occurrence for them to use in-chat e-commerce to get their shopping done on the go.

Facebook and WhatsApp-An Unstoppable Combination

However, Asia will not have all the fun, if Facebook has anything to say about it. Commenting on Facebook's announcement of chatbots for Facebook Messenger earlier this year, Venturebeat notes: "Facebook's entry signals massive opportunities given the combined 1.6 billion users on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp - the messaging platform Facebook acquired in 2014. According to eMarketer, Facebook and WhatsApp are regarded as the two "global powerhouse apps" with significant reach in more than 20 countries worldwide. And the number of messaging app users globally is expected to reach 2.19 billion by 2019 - or 80 percent of smartphone users."

Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp points to a bright future for chat.

Channele2e believes that chatbots, in-chat e-commerce, and chat interfaces will continue to make their presence known in the world of e-commerce for some time to come, asserting that at some point, chatbots will no longer be thought of as novelties, but as tools that enable consumers to quickly and easily interact with their favorite e-commerce brands.

The Channele2e article notes: "Bots, and the chat platforms they run on, provide an amazing opportunity for brands to deliver contextual experiences on borrowed mobile moments. This is the first step on a journey towards a bright future where consumers no longer orchestrate their needs through content and services, but sit back and let the technology work for them."

The Takeaway

As chat technology continues to evolve, it appears there will be no shortage of ways in which chat will contribute to the mobile revolution. At the same time, you can still enjoy chat technology in a much simpler form, in the way of easy-to-use chatrooms like the ones you can find at Wireclub. Check out our free online chatrooms today.