Facebook Messenger, LINE, Kik, WeChat, and of course Snapchat — we’ve entered the age of messaging apps. But it’s not just banter between friends; these apps are increasingly used to converse and transact with businesses.

This type of conversation usually involves messaging a business to get a question answered. But as I’ve mentioned in the past, the real opportunity for local businesses is in action buttons and command prompts to schedule appointments, reserve products, or get personalized updates.

This “conversational commerce” is already prevalent overseas, and supported by messaging app penetration among millennials. Adoption at the brand level (see Sephora) also foretells what we could eventually see trickling down to SMBs.

But since most SMBs don’t have the time to text customers all day, there has to be some degree of automation. We’re talking a Siri-, Cortana– or Alexa-like assistant to play customer service rep for your local florist. Enter chatbots.

Branching from these

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Source: Street Fight