Will customers use an Amazon app to chat?
Smartphone messaging is perhaps one of the only areas of technology where we haven’t seen Amazon.com’s name show up front-and-center. But that may be changing.
Amazon is developing a messaging app called Anytime by Amazon, according to AFTVNews. Development appears to be in the very early stages, with Amazon now surveying customers about features they would look for in a messaging app.
Amazon isn’t the first big-name tech company to focus on messaging. Apps like Skype, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp, and Google Voice have become popular for different uses. And in recent years, Facebook has been pushing users to install the standalone Facebook Messenger app, which evolved from its on-site chat function. Retailers have been implementing chat bots on the Facebook Messenger platform, which allow app users to text messages back and forth with a bot to place an order or make a purchase.
Some speculate that this type of “conversational commerce” is the next big thing for selling online.
Amazon’s ownership of a messaging app could be another tactic for keeping users within its shopping ecosystem. Amazon could, for instance, incentivize shopping via chat bot through the app or somehow integrate the app with Alexa and other Amazon products.
But even for Amazon, getting users to install a new chat app could be a challenge. People tend to be set in their ways with the communication channels and apps they use. Last year, a survey indicated that nine out of 10 minutes spent on mobile apps are spent on a user’s top five favorite apps (Facebook Messenger numbered among the most popular). And people also have the option of non-app based text messaging.
But given the type of creative perks Amazon has come up with for its Prime members, it’s possible that the company could find ways to get its loyalists on board. In fact, Amazon has begun using such a tactic to promote the newly-launched Amazon Spark. Spark, a shoppable, Instagram-like tool, is now available as part of Amazon’s app. While all users can browse using the app, only Prime members are allowed to contribute content and comment.
- Amazon possibly working on new stand-alone messaging app called Anytime – AFTVNews
- Will chatbots drive a ‘conversational commerce’ trend? – RetailWire
- Why aren’t more retail apps being downloaded? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is it a worthwhile pursuit for Amazon to get involved in messaging to keep people further engaged within its ecosystem? How might Amazon integrate the Anytime by Amazon messaging service into its other offerings?