Consumer receptiveness to chatbots is high

A majority of consumers are comfortable talking with a chatbot yet only a fraction have engaged with one, according to the 2017 Mobile Consumer Report from Vibes, a mobile engagement company used by brands to deliver targeted, personalised mobile experiences.

In addition to under-indexed chatbot usage, Vibes’ fourth annual report – which interviewed 2,000 consumers across the US – uncovered a number of insights into consumer perceptions and preferences about how they want to interact with brands on their phones via text messages, mobile wallet, push notifications, apps and more.

The results can inform marketers’ approaches to connecting on a personal level with today’s hyper-connected, mobile consumer.

>See also: A shopping machine: AI and the future of retail

“Consumers are open to engaging with brands on mobile in a way that is unlike any other channel,” said Jack Philbin, co-founder and CEO of Vibes. “While consumers carefully control how brands can engage with them on these personal devices, they are highly receptive to new and emerging mobile experiences that add convenience and value. Brands that cater to these consumer preferences will see significant dividends, including enhanced reputations and incremental revenue growth.”

Most consumers welcome a chatbot experience, but few have experienced it.

Over 60% of consumers would feel comfortable talking with a chatbot, yet only 22 percent have actually done so, suggesting marketers should accelerate efforts to deliver mobile engagement experiences on this emerging channel.

The majority of consumers are more drawn to brands that offer mobile loyalty.

>See also: Don’t talk to strangers, talk to robots

Indeed, this corroborated by the 70% of consumers would have a more positive opinion of a brand that allowed them to save a plastic loyalty card in their smartphone. Over one-third of people store information from brands in mobile wallets such as Apple Wallet and Android Pay, which can also be used to store and manage loyalty programs.

Consumers carefully curate the number of brands that can deliver alerts to them on their smartphones.

On average, smartphone users feel comfortable subscribing to four mobile alerts, highlighting the limited inventory available to brands seeking to connect with consumers.

These users are most likely to sign up for mobile alerts from retailers, restaurants and brands (50%), followed by weather and radio stations (37%) and financial institutions (34%).

Apps are not a highly effective in-store shopping companion for most consumers.

After opening an app for information while shopping, only 19% of smartphone users report making an in-store purchase on that same trip at least half of the time.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...