Besides their names, there are a lot more similarities that could one day be unlocked between tech unicorn CM.com (AMS: CMCOM), which recently surpassed USD $1 billion market cap, and microcap artificial intelligence company Crowd Media (ASX: CM8).
Both conversational commerce companies are headquartered in the Netherlands with CM.com having just surpassed the billion dollar market cap after reporting a 97% increase in revenue to €107.6 million for the six months ended 30 June 2021.
Much of this revenue has been driven by CM’s conversational commerce solutions where they offer text-based interfaces for brands to interact with customers using chatbots integrated with payment checkouts. These solutions can be implemented into popular social media platforms including Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook Messenger and Instagram Messenger for online customer and sales support.
A research report published by BigCommerce highlighted that 62.5% of survey participants declared a preference to shop online rather than in person.
These consumer trends have been accelerated through the pandemic, prompting businesses to invest heavily on their conversational commerce capabilities. To do this, businesses must offer interactive shopping experiences that can handle massive online traffic flows where artificial intelligence can serve customers quickly rather than waiting for a sales rep to become available in-store.
As customer service standards increase for online shopping, CM and their North American counterpart LivePerson (NASDAQ: LPSN) are looking to advance their capabilities beyond text-based chatbots and ASX-listed microcap AI company Crowd Media may have the solution.
Set to launch the Talking Head platform in 2022, Crowd Media combines conversational commerce with influencer marketing. By no means is the concept an overnight idea however. Rather, it draws on marketing trends that Crowd Media identified in 2018 when their massive network of 1,000+ influencers were being inundated by fans seeking advice and recommendations on consumer products. Video responses to their masses became the only viable solution for influencers to respond but in doing so, they lost all personalisation and limited their commercial opportunities.
Instead of hiring subordinates to respond on the influencer’s behalf, Crowd Media conceptualised a scalable solution that would enable companies and influencers to leverage AI to respond to their customers and fans. As the next generation of text-only chatbots, the Talking Head platform creates digital avatars (the talking head) of influencers or celebrities that can have a Facetime-like conversation with prospective customers.
Taking the immersive experience even further, Crowd linked up with European digital media company Aflorithmic Labs for voice cloning capabilities so that the avatars sound like the celebrities, projecting the same tones, inflections and languages as the original.
Crowd Media Chairman, Steven Schapera has been vocal with shareholders, highlighting the possibilities of an F1 fan having a video call with Lewis Hamilton. Under such a scenario, a fan might visit the Mercedes online store where Hamilton pops up and greets the customer just like he would if in-store. Leveraging Crowd’s conversational commerce databank, the fan could have any type of conversation with Hamilton ranging from his rivalry with Max Verstappan to his relationship with Nicole Scherzinger.
Ultimately, Hamilton would drive sales of Mercedes products by promoting them, accepting payment and organising dispatch, all within the single interface where voice-and-visual elements provide more engaging experiences than text-only chatbots.
With a 3-year timeline first introduced by Schapera for the Talking Head platform back in 2019 when appointed Chairman of the Crowd Media, 2022 shapes as a defining year for Crowd in the conversational commerce landscape.
Driving the platform’s commercialisation will be newly appointed CEO Idan Schmorak who joins with an impressive background in business development for AI company VFR Holdings.
The timely appointment of Schmorak comes after Crowd and their AI investee partners showcased a beta version of the platform when replicating former CEO Domenic Carosa which was generated 100% using digital media (3D imaging and voice cloning). At the time, the beta had not yet integrated Crowd’s Q&A chatbot which was still undergoing text-to-audio conversion for more than 180 million user-submitted questions but as that process is completed, Schmorak will have an impressive AI product to commercialise.
In July 2021, Emerald Financial released a research report on Crowd Media with a ‘Higher’ rating on the Company as a takeover target. Other areas also being targeted by Crowd Media include education to capitalise on remote learning trends, and telehealth to bridge a gap where access to healthcare is limited via a partnership with PangeaMed.
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