Today, purchasing a pair of sunglasses at Amazon would require the user to download the app, do a preliminary research and then select the sunglasses from the displayed results. But, can you imagine replicating this process only via a few WhatsApp messages?
Several communication apps such as Slack or Facebook Messenger already allow brands and companies to create conversational chatbots for their customer support and e-commerce services.
And this is not a coincidence based on the existing and the evolving landscape:
- Messaging apps are one of the most crowded digital services  right now:
- Facebook Messenger: 1.200M active users on January’17.
- WhatsApp: 1.200M active users on April’17.
- Slack: 5M active users on February’17.
- The App market has grown rapidly and has shown shades of market maturity  in the recent times. The competitors’ growth is remarkable and the promotional cost are incredibly high. Only during 2016:
- Google Play (Android): +1.25M of new apps were released.
- App Store (iOS): +1.1M of new apps were released.
- Users are neither willing to install a separate app for each of the services  nor are willing to create a user account for each app again and again. In fact, the average number of apps downloaded per month and user is around 1 . If we take into account the previously provided data, this means tons of competitors fighting for a very low conversion rate.
Tech Giants such as Google, Facebook or Microsoft are aware of this and they are preparing their platforms for this near future:
You don’t need to create your own. There is always a chatbot for every industry:
― 1. Kasisto: a chatbot for banking.
Funding in 2017: $9.2M | Total funding: $11.45M
KAI Banking is the conversational AI platform of Kasisto. It is pre-loaded with thousands of banking intents and millions of banking sentences. It can fulfil requests, solve problems, predict customers’ needs, and improve performance on its own using machine learning.
― 2. Pypestream: automation for insurance services.
Funding in 2017: $15M | Total funding: 22.46M
Pypestream’s solutions are focused on providing customer services through chatbots and artificial intelligence. Thanks to automation, they promised to reduce the cost of customer services up to an 80%. In a secure and private way, their platform allows driving transactions over messaging while at the same time offering promotions and rich multimedia content.
― 3. Automat.ai: a conversational marketing platform.
Funding in 2017: $8.3M | Total funding: $10.9M
With the focus on Conversational Marketing, Automat’s Conversational Marketing Cloud encompasses the entire marketing customer journey. Automat customers fully control their customer data and can use it to build a massive long-term defensible competitive advantage in their vertical, providing enterprise-grade security, data privacy and scalability.
― 4. Wade & Wendy: recruiting 2.0.
Funding in 2016: $1.5M | Total funding: $1.5M
Wade & Wendy is a two-sided chatbot solution for both, recruiters and candidates. Wade is focused on career guide advising, suggesting to candidates the most suitable job offers based on the criteria learned through conversation. Meanwhile, Wendy is the AI hiring assistant who will help recruiters to define the job offers and to recommend relevant candidates.
― 5. Mezi: a personal travel assistant.
Funding in 2016: $9M | Total funding: $11.8M
Mezi is a personal assistant for all things related to travel. Mezi is able to automate more than 60% of the conversations initiated by travellers providing an end-to-end flight booking experience while at the same time finds the right accommodation and dining reservations.
― 6. Claire: AI e-commerce manager
Funding in 2017: $1.8M | Total funding: $1.8M
Claire is an AI platform with focus on retail and e-commerce. With your historical data and testing your new products with their AI-powered chatbot, you will be able to gather thousands of customer opinions to understand how products will perform before you launch them.
The future is conversational!
-  Statista.com: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp & Slack users.
-  App Stores start to mature: 2016 year in review.
-  Chatbots – The entry to AI
-  The average American does not download 0 apps per month.