Magazine article CRM Magazine

Can Chat Apps Stimulate Mobile Commerce? with Applications from Line and WeChat Taking Hold, Chat Companies Vie for a Piece of the E-Commerce Pie

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Can Chat Apps Stimulate Mobile Commerce? with Applications from Line and WeChat Taking Hold, Chat Companies Vie for a Piece of the E-Commerce Pie

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

During the past year, mobile chat applications have been taking on more significant roles in e-commerce around the world. In Thailand, chat application providers Line and WeChat both announced they would be launching food delivery services on their respective platforms, with plans to expand into Japan and China. Likewise, KakaoTalk, a provider of chat services to South Korea and Southeast Asia, has also been planning to launch a similar program.

"At a high level, the way I see the industry evolving, the chat platform or messaging is the next operating system," says Chi-Chao Chang, vice president of Tango, a chat platform. "When you start to look at these capabilities of connecting people together and enabling communication between people--whether they are friends and family or strangers that you meet casually--the key then is how do you think about the new complementary vertical that you can build on top of these operating systems.... Naturally, one would think of commerce."

In 2014, two taxi service providers, Gett (headquartered in Israel) and Uber (based in San Francisco), launched programs that incorporate delivery services into their offerings. …

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