Study: Majority of consumers open to chatbot interactions
- Consumers are extremely interested in interacting with brands on their smartphones, according to the results from a survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by Vibes and provided to Mobile Marketer. Around 60% are comfortable engaging with chatbots, although just 22% have done so, and 83% report being privy to anniversary or birthday messages, exclusive content and surprise rewards would boost their loyalty to brands.
- Vibes discovered 56% of consumers are hospitable to daily push notifications from brands. However, they don’t want to be inundated with mobile alerts and, on average, demonstrate a willingness to sign up for four alerts. Consumers shared that they’re most likely to subscribe for alerts from retailers, restaurants and brands (50%), followed by weather and radio stations (37%), and credit card companies and other financial institutions (34%).
- Roughly 33% of consumers queried by Vibes keep information from brands in mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Android Pay. A much larger portion of consumers (70%) asserted they would have more positive perceptions of brands permitting them to store loyalty cards in smartphones.
Although there are well over 30,000 chatbots on Facebook Messenger helping consumers do everything from color their hair to order pizza, many brands have sat on the sidelines waiting for AI-driven chatbots to improve. While they wait, the results of Vibes’ survey suggest brands could be missing out on opportunities to reach audiences eager to connect with them on smartphones. “[Consumers] are highly receptive to new and emerging mobile experiences that add convenience and value,” said Vibes co-founder and CEO Jack Philbin. “Brands that cater to these consumer preferences will see significant dividends, including enhanced reputations and incremental revenue growth.”
The survey underscores the dilemmas brands face when determining whether to adopt nascent technologies that aren’t as perfect as desired. The chatbot experience today may be frustrating and not overly effective, leading to concerns chatbots will irritate and perhaps turn off consumers, but rejecting chatbots could prevent brands from deepening relationships with consumers and learning what works and what doesn't as the technology is still scaling up. Brands seem to be leaning toward embracing chatbots as investment in the automated customer-service agents is due to soar this year.
Like chatbots, mobile wallets have enormous potential and remain underpenetrated in the consumer toolbox. A study by PYMNTS uncovered mobile wallet usage isn’t widespread and won’t be anytime soon. It estimated 22% of consumers have linked at least once to Apple Pay, 15% to Samsung Pay and less than 10% to Android Pay. PYMNTS asserted mobile wallet providers and merchants should do better jobs of getting consumers excited about mobile wallets, and Vibes’ survey associating positive consumer opinions with smartphone-enabled loyalty cards illustrates why it could be beneficial to focus on energizing mobile wallet participation.
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