Conversational commerce drives 80% businesses to invest in Gen AI for growth: Meta report – Moneycontrol

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The coming decade would throw up a unique opportunity for technology, particularly generative AI, to revolutionise how businesses of all sizes operate.


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With generative AI-powered conversational messaging for business likely to bring in 450 million consumers to the e-commerce ambit, nearly 80 percent enterprises plan to invest in this technology through the next couple of years, a joint study by social media giant Meta and research major Bain & Company showed on May 23.

It stems from the emergence of conversational commerce as the way for most large and small businesses alike to interact with at least half of their customers. The report titled, Win with Conversations, surveyed around 7,800 end-users or consumers, 150 enterprises and interviewed over 25 senior executives across verticals. Nearly 90 percent of the non-savvy digital users preferred to interact with small businesses (SMBs) through conversational platforms for their day-to-day needs, it showed.

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Some 60 percent of the surveyed large enterprises are planning to step up their spending on conversational journeys over the next 3–4 years.

“As the adoption of business messaging grows on WhatsApp, we’re investing in tools and solutions for businesses to establish a strong presence, connect with the right audience with tailored messaging, and deliver engaging in-thread experiences that convert into higher customer engagement and return on investment. GenAI will be central to this vision and will empower businesses of all sizes, especially small businesses in India, to leverage its vast potential,” Sandhya Devanathan, head and vice-president of Meta in India, said.

She added that the coming decade would throw up a unique opportunity for technology, particularly generative AI, to revolutionise how businesses of all sizes operate. “We’re firmly committed to adding more capabilities on our platform that bridge the gap between businesses and their customers, fostering growth and engagement,” she said.

According to Arpan Sheth, partner at Bain & Company, while only about 200 million of the 650 million Indians active on social media shop online, GenAI-powered conversational messaging platforms have the potential to bring the next 450 million consumers to e-commerce.

“We see a growing user preference for leveraging conversational platforms for daily tasks, along with increased spending and investment by businesses in generative AI to enhance end-to-end journeys on these platforms. We expect both small and large businesses to experiment with conversational commerce to redefine customer engagement and gain a competitive advantage,” he said.

Not just the larger enterprises, smaller businesses too are exploring end-to-end transactions through conversational business platforms, such as WhatsApp for Business.

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Conversational commerce will thrive in areas of frequent purchases such as grocery shopping, or frequent transactions such as utility bill payments, accessing bank statements, and travel bookings, the report said.

Earlier in February, Devanathan had highlighted that around 60 percent of WhatsApp users were interacting with businesses on the messaging app every week.

Conversational platforms will become critical for SMBs for addressing key pain points like discoverability, cataloging, order management, payments, and customer engagement.

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