2016 will be the year of conversational commerce
Chris Messina

Great summary of emerging trends.

Startups & brands that want to follow a conversational commerce path will face some obvious challenges:

  1. Cost of Development

Given fragmentation of networks, how does a company build their service across Twitter/Facebook/WeChat/SnapChat/SMS/Slack/etc. etc. As the richness of the platforms increases, the development costs go up. And in addition to initial development, keep up with ever changing APIs?

One obvious answer is that there will be aggregation and abstraction platforms. However, just the way Facebook didn’t want to participate in Google’s Social aggregation play. You can see leaders defecting.

2. Cost of Control

Finally, as a brand, do you want to build your audience inside of someone else’s network? Is it even your audience? The underlying platform can change the rules of engagement at any time. Facebook made changes to their developer platform creating issues for Zynga and others that had built on their platform.

3. Cost of Taxation

How much of the value created by commerce will the platform owners want to capture? Amazon’s apps do not enable commerce on iPhone, because of the tax that iPhone imposes on any transaction. And if you have invested a lot in building your audience, how do you know that the rates don’t go up significantly in the future once you are locked in?

Interesting to watch

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