March 08, 2018

More consumers are interacting with businesses through messaging and chat apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, or through audio technology devices such as Amazon’s Echo product. This chatter is often called conversational commerce. How might it impact supply chains?

Brian Subirana, Director of the MIT Auto-ID Lab, will explore the implications at the forthcoming Crossroads 2018 conference, on April 17th, at the MIT campus, Cambridge MA.

The array of audio communications channels now available to consumers allows them to chat with company representatives. They can receive customer support and product recommendations, and query companies by verbally interacting with a human or virtual agent.

As the technology evolves, these interactions will become more streamlined and convenient for consumers. For example, after obtaining the product information they need from verbal communications and online searches a buyer can complete a purchase – all within the app they are using.

Such advances will benefit companies too. They can automate customer service communications and send relevant messages such as shipping and delivery notifications within the same apps. Again, the technology consolidates interfaces with customers, and provides another channel for establishing relationships with customer bases.

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