February 18th, 2018
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the Internet, the house always wins the bet, and by “house” I mean Google, Facebook, Amazon — the dozen top online tech companies. Everyone else is a sucker. (This is more true for consumer apps than business apps.)
Now, almost every website looks the same — and performs poorly. Offline, brands try to make their store experiences unique to differentiate themselves. Online, every website — from Gucci to the Gap — offers the same experience: a top nav, descriptive text, some pictures and a handful of other elements arranged similarly. Google’s rules have sucked the life out of unique online experiences. Of course, as e-commerce has suffered, Google has become more powerful, and it continues to disintermediate the consumer from the brand by imposing a terrible e-commerce experience.
…As I have discovered the truth about e-commerce, in some ways it made me feel a sense of failure from what my hopes and dreams were when I started in the industry. I have a lot of hope now that what I call “conversational commerce” — interactions via messaging, voice (Alexa and so on) and bots — will finally deliver on the promise of powering digital commerce at the scale we all dreamt about.
I am going to make a bold prediction based on my work with 18,000 companies and bringing conversational commerce to life: In 2018, we will see the first major brand shut down its website. The brand will shift how it connects with consumers — to conversations, with a combination of bots and humans, through a messaging front end like SMS or Facebook. We are already working with several large brands to make this a reality.