“Technology, changing consumer habits and trends, are redefining how we live and operate; paving way for the innovative. Around products/services, and product/service extension, the flow of new innovation is limitless and unstoppable. And the coming change is going to be unending and ruthless!”
– Maxi Sam Ohuabunwa @ The Retail Leaders Conference 2015 in Nigeria with the theme: The Future of Retail in Nigeria – The 7 Horsemen (7 key factors that will push the frontiers of the retail revolution in Nigeria).
One of the key factors is technology. With technology, around products/services, and product/service extension, the flow of new innovation is indeed limitless and unstoppable as we recently witnessed the debut of Bots in e-commerce segment of the retail industry in Nigeria fulfilling one of the predictions at The Retail Leaders Conference in 2015. The future possibilities can only be imagined.
The innovation, called Jumia Bot, is powered and hosted by Facebook Messenger. It was officially launched on 2 October in Nigeria and will offer the country’s 18 million Facebook users the ability to get their own personal Jumia shopping assistant directly on Facebook Messenger. The bot works by asking customers what they’re looking for, and then using their answers to uncover the best offers. For example, to get access to the best hotel and airfare deals on Facebook Messenger, a user can simply provide his or her preferred date and destination to the bot in order to see the top recommendations.
Once a user’s criteria is selected, Jumia Bot will remember and use the research for his or her next order. The bot, developed by Jumia with support from Facebook, uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural learning process to hone in and learn users’ preferences over time in order to make recommendations that are personalised and useful to the shopper. The customer’s post-order experience is also integrated into the bot. As a result, shoppers can track their orders and contact the customer service team for follow-up questions.
“When we launched Bot for Businesses on Messenger, our goal was to help companies make meaningful connections with their customers in order to meet their business goals.” said Emeka Afigbo, head, platform partnerships, Middle East and Africa at Facebook.
In a statement on the significance of this new service, Juliet Anammah, CEO Jumia Nigeria said, “Jumia Bot has a very simple yet important objective: to help our customers get to personalised deals on Jumia Nigeria. We are pleased to unveil this new dimension of e-shopping for the Nigerian customer, and excited about helping to pioneer the next wave of local content and tech tools within our ecosystem.”