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What Exactly Is Chat Commerce Anyway?

Facebook’s F8 conference brought chatbots into vogue, but chatbots are not actually new. Chatbots have existed since the first days of interactive computing in the mid-1960s. As the NY Times suggests, Joseph Weizenbaum, an MIT computer scientist, wrote a program called ELIZA that fascinated an earlier generation of college students and since then, chatbots have been used as a measure of computer intelligence.

Decades after ELIZA, technology has evolved, and chatbots now see a ‘revival’ in a commercialized form with the aim to improve customer experiences and make shopping easier and better.

According to Chatbots.org, a chatbot is an artificial person, animal or other creature which holds conversations with humans. This could be a text based (typed) conversation, a spoken conversation or even a non-verbal conversation. Chatbots can run on local computers and phones, though most of the time it is accessed through the internet.

Chatbots are building a foundation for a new type of commerce – chat commerce. Chat commerce is developed with the intention of remaining relevant as traditional ways of engagement become obsolete and ineffective. As it became clear that customer expectations require real-time assistant with highly relevant and customized offerings, AI-powered chatbots appeared to be a tool that could deliver the results in a seamless manner.

Chat commerce provides the ability to engag ...

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