Jumia has introduced Nigeria’s first e-commerce Bot which is powered and hosted by Facebook Messenger.
A Bot, also known as a web robot is a software application that runs automated tasks over the internet through messenger apps. In the context of evolution, upgrades in e-commerce systems will make it difficult for large online businesses to succeed without the use of chatbots which essentially bridges the gap between businesses and customers, making it somewhat conversational.
The Jumia 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.
Being the first e-commerce Bot in Nigeria, the country’s 18 million Facebook users can now use the Jumia Bot on Facebook messenger to order food, find fashion or electronic items and book hotels and flights by simply having an online conversation with the bot, asking it for specific items, instead of having to sift through millions of products on the Jumia website or mobile app, trying to find a particular item.
“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.
“We are excited to be part of the story in providing technology solutions to one of Africa’s leading e-commerce website,” Afigbo added.
This system is particularly more useful to large online businesses that need to respond to and manage a lot of customer enquiries and conversations.
Once a user’s criteria is selected, Jumia Bot will remember and use the research to suggest other items that may be of interest to the customer depending on the user’s enquiry and purchasing pattern, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and natural learning process to hone in and learn users’ preferences over time in order to make recommendations that are personalised, timeline and useful to the shopper. The shopper’s post-order experience is also integrated into Jumia Bot. As a result, shoppers can track their orders and contact the Customer Service team for follow-up questions.
Speaking to Journalists during the launch of Jumia Bot at the company’s warehouse in Lagos, Lara Awoyemi, Managing Director, Strategic Partnerships and Payment Solutions at Jumia Nigeria said; “Jumia will keep updating and improving on the bot, to the point that in the nearest future, customers will be able to pay through the bot and not have to be redirected to the website to make payment.
We have always deemed it necessary to make sure that shopping on our platform is made as easy as possible and with the new Bot on Facebook, our customers do not have to look through our 1 million products, they can just tell the Bot exactly what they want, narrowing it down to even a price range and colour and it finds the item and the best deals for them,” Awoyemi added.
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.com.ng. 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.”