How to Sell to a Goldfish

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Henry Charatan

You know the scene…..

You’re on your computer and you’re trying to book something. And whether it’s the pop-up ads, drop-down menus, or the up-town funk for all it matters… you’re being drawn in all directions and you just can’t quite find what you’re looking for. 

So, you flick from page to page, clicking carelessly until you get lucky or lose interest. It happens to everyone, but we shrug it off, a necessary evil, we think.

On the surface, that’s all there is to it. But think instead of your computer or phone as some kind of digital battle ground. Because in many ways that’s exactly what it is, and within it lurks a turbo-charged culture of competing marketers, designers, developers, writers, you name it… all with the same hope – to catch your eye, to win your sale.

Worse than a Goldfish

A recent study shows that the average human attention span fell from 12 seconds in 2000, to 8 seconds in 2017. Worryingly that’s one second shorter than the average attention span of err… a goldfish. Furthermore, Google’s research suggests that regardless of a designer’s hard work, people decide if a website or app is attractive within 50 milliseconds or so of viewing it. We simply don’t care that much. What we want is a something that we can interface with simply and naturally. This is where you’ll find success.

In short, fancy accessories and multi-faceted navigation systems are not helping, they are things of the past, ancient history. Humans simply do not want to concentrate that hard. So, in real terms, and for a product supplier, our little scene earlier is a lot higher stakes than one might imagine.

So whats the solution?

Chatbots… yup, you guessed it.

Chatbots offer humans what they crave: a human experience. We’ve been asking questions to get answers our whole lives, and it requires almost none of our attention.

Whether it’s messaging app chatbots, or voice channels delivering Alexa’s dulcet tones, we’ve seen that bots are on the up. Amazon announced that they sold seven times more voice devices in 2017 than 2016, and apparently 43% of millennials have made chat device purchases in the past year. Even the politicians are getting involved with Labour party introducing their very own Facebook Messenger chat bot.

And why? Because chatbots are simple, they feel natural, they align with everything we know and feel comfortable doing. And most importantly, they bridge the gap between complex information and our simple, goldfish-sized minds.

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Published byHenry Charatan

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