Market research company Forrester, in its recent data on chatbot adoption, revealed that 57% firms globally are already using chatbots. However, the start wasn’t as rosy as it looks today. Technology developers that saw immense potential early in the day had many hurdles to jump over, trying to convince investors and keep the excitement high. Tracing the journey of bots,
says “In 2015, the concept of having conversational assistants became very hot and suddenly there were hundreds of companies globally doing something in the bot space, both in the consumer, and the enterprise side. Interests were heightened and even we managed to raise capital from our partners Times Internet. However, by the end of 2016, the excitement tapered down and it was still interesting but not as hyped as we originally imagined. Now in 2017, the utility of chatbots has been validated and there are different areas of chatbots that are 100% productive such as customer service and lead generation. Content is still picking up and hence it is too early to comment on that.”
According to “The global chatbot market is set to expand at an incredibly high CAGR of 27.8% in terms of revenue, within a forecast period from 2016 to 2024. By the end of 2024, the global chatbot market is expected to reach $994.5 million in size. In India as well, this figure is soaring. The use of chatbots saw a surge in 2016. However, they were already being used in many industries including Finance, Healthcare, etc., for a few years globally.”
Niki.ai has also developed HDFC Bank’s Messenger chatbot ‘OnChat’ which received more than 2.4 million messages, with 25% conversations with non-HDFC Bank users, thus proving to be an effective marketing tool.
For a multi-lingual country, developing a vernacular language support can be a game-changer in improving engagement. Also, in areas where Internet bandwidth is yet to pick up, and there is limited usage of smartphones, chat interfaces can be an apt alternative. “We want to make AI accessible to everyone and for everything. The aim is to take e-commerce to people in deeper geographies that have connectivity issues and people are loathe to download many apps due to bandwidth constraints and limited usage of the smartphone,” sums up an optimistic Jaiswal.