Monday, May 27, 2024

Conversational Commerce Powered By Gen AI to Spur The Next Wave Growth For Businesses: Bain & Company - Meta Report

* Over 60% of surveyed large enterprises plan to increase spending on conversational platforms over the next 3–4 years

* 80% of the enterprises are planning to invest in generative AI within the next 1–2 years

As the adoption of conversational messaging platforms accelerates across large and small businesses, the transformative power of generative AI is steering businesses toward conversational commerce. According to the report ‘Win with Conversations’ by Bain & Company and Meta, released today, 70% of surveyed large enterprises are already engaging with half of their customer base using conversational platforms. Moreover, 60% of the surveyed large enterprises are planning to increase their spending on conversational journeys over the next 3–4 years.

The report, based on a survey of end users (consumers) and businesses, shares insights into conversational journeys across enterprises, small businesses, and digital users.

Sandhya Devanathan, Head and VP, Meta in India, said,  “As the adoption of business messaging grows on WhatsApp, we're investing in tools and solutions for businesses to establish a strong presence, connect with the right audience with tailored messaging, and deliver engaging in-thread experiences that convert into higher customer engagement and return on investment. GenAI will be central to this vision and will empower businesses of all sizes, especially small businesses in India, to leverage its vast potential. The coming decade presents a unique opportunity for technology, particularly generative AI, to revolutionize how businesses of all sizes operate. We're firmly committed to adding more capabilities on our platform that bridge the gap between businesses and their customers, fostering growth and engagement.”

Arpan Sheth, Partner, Bain & Company said, “While only about 200 million of the 650 million Indians active on social media currently shop online, GenAI-powered conversational messaging platforms have the potential to bring the next 450 million consumers to e-commerce. We are seeing a growing user preference for leveraging conversational platforms for daily tasks, along with increased spending and investment by businesses in Generative AI to enhance end-to-end journeys on these platforms. We expect both small and large businesses to experiment with conversational commerce to redefine customer engagement and gain a competitive advantage.”

Users have a strong preference to leverage conversational commerce

India is at an inflection point as most of the future online shoppers and sellers are already within the digital funnel, signaling a large, untapped opportunity.

Across both savvy and non-savvy digital users, more than 50% of surveyed users expressed a preference for conducting transactions via conversational journeys, particularly for high-frequency interactions such as accessing bank statements, booking travel, and paying utility bills.

Both large and small businesses are increasingly leveraging conversational platforms to enhance customer interactions

With the advent of generative AI-powered assistants and the ease of integration with conversational platforms, businesses are now able to build contextualized conversational journeys and implement them at scale with much faster deployment cycles.

Generative AI emerges as a top-of-mind priority for businesses, with around 95% of surveyed enterprises in India familiar with it, and over 80% plan to invest in generative AI solutions within the next 1–2 years.

Most large enterprises are planning to invest in delivering end-to-end journeys through generative AI-powered conversational platforms. About 70% of surveyed large enterprises are already engaging with over 50% of their customer base using conversational platforms, especially in marketing and promotion-centric use cases, followed by customer service and transaction updates. More than 60% of large enterprises are planning to increase spending on conversational platforms over the next 3–4 years. Conversational commerce will thrive in domains characterized by frequent purchases such as grocery shopping, or frequent transactions such as utility bill payments.

Conversational commerce will transform the way small businesses engage and interact with customers

The study also highlights that the impact of conversational platforms will not be limited only to large enterprises. There is a large appetite from consumers to engage with SMBs using conversational platforms, as 90% of surveyed non-savvy digital users prefer to interact with SMBs through conversational platforms for day-to-day needs. 70% of surveyed users said that they would prefer to connect with local grocery stores to send a list of items and place an order. 65% of the users would prefer to connect with local restaurants to receive offers and place an order, and 80% of the users would prefer to raise service tickets, manage warranty, or request a technician visit/spare part replacement using a conversational platform.

Conversational platforms can be a critical unlock for SMBs, addressing key pain points like discoverability, cataloging, order management, payments, and customer engagement. Thus, empowering SMBs to rapidly integrate into the conversational economy.

The report conclusively highlights that the opportunity presented by generative AI and conversational commerce is vast and transformative. By following the six key imperatives—reimagining customer journeys, scaling personalization, establishing new markers of trust, embedding generative AI, scaling experimentation, and defining a measurement framework for conversations—businesses can craft a winning playbook.

Bain & Company

Bain & Company is a global consultancy that helps the world’s most ambitious change makers define the future.

Across 65 cities in 40 countries, we work alongside our clients as one team with a shared ambition to achieve extraordinary results, outperform the competition, and redefine industries. We complement our tailored, integrated expertise with a vibrant ecosystem of digital innovators to deliver better, faster, and more enduring outcomes. Our 10-year commitment to invest more than $1 billion in pro bono services brings our talent, expertise, and insight to organizations tackling today’s urgent challenges in education, racial equity, social justice, economic development, and the environment. We earned a gold rating from EcoVadis, the leading platform for environmental, social, and ethical performance ratings for global supply chains, putting us in the top 2% of all companies. Since our founding in 1973, we have measured our success by the success of our clients, and we proudly maintain the highest level of client advocacy in the industry.


Meta builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.

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