INSTANT MESSAGING IS CHANGING HOW CONSUMERS INTERACT WITH PRODUCTS. NEED PIZZA? YOU ARE ONE JUST PIZZA EMOJI AWAY. WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!
In the summer of 2016, Domino’s launched a Facebook Messenger Chatbot which allows customers order their favourite pizza just by typing the word “Pizza” into the chatbox. Like this wasn’t good enough, the food company has updated the web robot aptly named “Dom” to do more cooler stuff. This innovation did come at a perfect time (a few days before Super Bowl). With tangible knowledge of the American culture of mixing Pizza, beer and football, this was a very clever move.
Domino’s Dom has been described as “an artificially intelligent customer whiz designed to help superfans get their No. #1 fix of cheesy food heaven.” Before the new update, customers were made to sign-up and create a Domino’s profile, through which they set up their preferences using the pre-order settings on the Restaurant’s website. However, following recent updates, orders can be taken from the menu via direct Facebook Messenger on the Dom's interface. Though this makes payment possible only with cash as online payments cannot be made via Facebook Chat. Dominos is broadening the possibility of messaging in a post-digital world like ours and at best, Facebook Messenger will continue to play a key role in the lives of billions of users around the world.
While we await access to these applications in Nigeria, consumers are currently making do with Balogun Market, a Nigerian based app that was launched in October, 2016. It allows people to buy products via a messenger feature in the app. The online marketplace gives customers access to goods sold at trusted shops within Balogun Market, Lagos, hence saving them the stress of the city’s infamous traffic and persistently hot weather. Buying goods in a typical Nigerian market requires the characteristic negotiating and haggling shopper culture, and this app allows customers to have such an experience.