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Thanksgiving Weekend Did Wonders for This Hot Retail Tech Trend

Chinese consumers may be the most messaging-happy shoppers around but new data shows their American counterparts just might be catching up.

Data from LivePerson, a provider of conversational commerce solutions, shows that over the Nov. 22-26 Cyber Weekend, shoppers on its LiveEngage platform conducted 97 percent more conversations with brand messaging channels. Even more telling, LiveEngage documented a 261 percent jump in the message exchanges handled by automated methods, including chatbots.

Conversational commerce generally refers to any communication happening on popular messaging platforms including SMS or text message, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and others. With billions of users already in these channels, businesses have seized the opportunity to meet consumers where they are—and automate some aspects of customer service or sales to remove the friction from the commerce experience.

According to LivePerson, the findings indicate that Americans are finally coming around to a streamlined means to accessing product information and getting their queries answered before purchasing. The company also uncovered a 119 percent year-on-year increase in the number of people trying out conversational commerce for the first time, perhaps indicating a growing confidence in the level of service chatbots can provide.

“The significant rise this Cyber Weekend in conversational commerce, including automation and bots, points the way to a much better alternative, where consumers have the ability to browse products, get help, and buy things through mobile messaging and AI voice assistants, quickly and on their own schedule,” LivePerson founder and CEO Robert LoCascio, said.

The company said the jump in automated conversations over Cyber Weekend correlates to the rise in traffic. “This indicates a maturing of conversational commerce to handle operations at large scale, where sudden spikes in activity such as the Cyber Weekend must be handled by intelligent automation, rather than swamping customer care staff and making consumers wait for service,” LivePerson said in a news release.

Adding to that, LoCascio said, “Forty percent of consumers have reported spending more than planned because of personalized service, and this rapid rise in messaging and automation shows that brands understand the value of personalization.”