What are chatbots? How do you build one? Read this chapter to learn specific chatbot strategies and tools that will propel your business to the next level.
What is a chatbot? What are the benefits? Why do you need to build one for your eCommerce store? Read the post to find out.
Here are the top 3 ways to make your own chatbots - templates, tools, and everything you need for your eCommerce business. If you got this, you're GOLDEN.
Here are the top chatbot marketing strategies + examples + tools + and techniques to help you grow this into a viable marketing channel for your business.
A chatbot is when a company sets up a series of automated chat messages through a social media platform like Facebook Messenger or a mobile app like WhatsApp. Chatbots can involve sophisticated AI but it’s not required.
Chatbots provide an automated way to have a 1:1 conversation with a person
The most common platform to build a chatbot on is Facebook Messenger but there are many others - Alexa, Kik, Slack, Telegram, WhatsApp, Google Assistant.
Here’s the famous Cleo chatbot that helps people budget and save:
Perhaps the most compelling reason to have a chatbot is that studies show that messenger apps are becoming much more popular than social media platforms.
Messaging started to overtake social media back in 2015, and it has continued to grow since.
The most popular platform for chatbots is Facebook Messenger, where companies have already created more than 300,000 chatbots.
Back during the F8 conference, Facebook announced that there are over 20B messages sent between people and businesses each month and over 40M businesses are active on the platform.
Chatbots have a ton of benefits to them.
Customers are able to get serviced in under 24 hours, without having to wait for a human rep. They are also able to browse through a catalog and order the product using a chatbot.
It also saves the customer so much time. Data shows that average response times for live chat are 2 minutes versus 10 hours for social and 17 hours for email.
chatbots provide a really fun way for customers to interact with a brand. And it’s a way for a brand to showcase its values, products, and services without being salesy.
Check out this example from Sigstr:
34% of retail customers say that they would rather speak with a chatbot than a live rep (Statista).
you can use a chatbot 24/7 without having to hire customer service reps to work during odd hours of the night. Businesses report up to 30% savings using chatbots (IBM).
Chatbots can send messages that contain text, GIF, images, and even videos.
Chatbots can also send automated flows and bring your users through marketing funnels.
And perhaps the most powerful feature for eCommerce brands is that chatbots can also display your catalog and help a customer make a purchase.
Lego has built out a chatbot that they call “Ralph”. It created a simple and effective shopping experience for the user by providing personalized recommendations and even has the ability to process orders right on Facebook Messenger.
Ralph is so successful that it is driving over 25% of all social media sales and provides a conversion that’s 8.4 times higher than Facebook ads.
Here are some of the coolest chatbots you can find.
Amy is one of the best scheduling chatbots out there. It’s created by X.ai, launched in 2014 and is super versatile.
It can schedule work calls, appointments, connect with multiple calendars, negotiate meetings with multiple participants and much more.
It’s like Calendly on steroids.
It can even send out your personal calendar link, check this out:
Kip is an AI assistant for team shopping. So whenever your team needs to buy something, this bot can help make it happen.
Frida is an art bot that displays new art pieces for you every single day. It’s simple, beautiful, and inspiring!
Crosby is an awesome travel chatbot that helps you get trip alerts, track gate changes, view your itineraries and even collaborate on planning your trip with your friends.
The car company Kia launched a really successful chatbot called Kian that helps users get information and choose the best car for them.
Roof is a chatbot for the real estate industry that helps companies funnel leads to the right rep and helps users pick properties that they are interested in and schedule site visits.
Whole Foods launched a really popular bot that sends users recipes, product recommendations, and cooking inspiration. It drives users to their site and makes a really interactive brand experience.
Here’s another great example of an eCommerce chatbot. This one is built by Nordstrom, the famous department store. It’s designed to send product recommendations and other valuable information like the local store hours to the user.
Modiface was one of the first companies that launched a VR chatbot. This chatbot asks customers to take a video of their face and then matches them to the best makeup products.
Burger King built a chatbot that helps users order food straight from Messenger. The bot gives users a time estimate when their food will be ready, the users can pay without having to leave Messenger, and it pulls the location of the nearest restaurant to them.
So all in all, a pretty useful bot when you’re hungry and on the go.
Poncho, affectionately called the Weather Cat, helps users determine the weather. I don’t know why someone wouldn’t just check their weather app, but hey, sometimes you just want to stay in Messenger and not have to switch apps.
Another brilliant use for this is automatic weather updates. Poncho is also a Slack app so it can send you a daily forecast every morning without you having to check the weather.
And Chill is a family-friendly bot that picks the best movie for you to watch. Now that could be really useful if you’re a movie fanatic like we are.
There are a ton of uses for a chatbot.
We’ve covered some of the main benefits and use cases for chatbots, and we hope that we’ve inspired you just a bit to go create or optimize your company chatbot.
Read all about the top marketing strategies and ways to make your own chatbot in the next section.
There are several ways that you could make a chatbot.
You can build your own bot using a platform like Octane AI, Recart, or Chatfuel.
It’s really easy.
They have a lot of templates that you could use to set up automatic messages and flows.
And the best part is that they are built for eCommerce.
Here is a step-by-step tutorial for building a chatbot with Chatfuel.
1. First, register for a free account.
2. Second, you can either create a bot from scratch or use a template. For first-time bot builders, we recommend picking a template. Chatfuel has over 100 templates to choose from.
Here’s what you will see when you select a template:
3. Fill out the main sections or components of the template such as - the main menu, about us, etc.
4. Then finalize some of the flows and types of user questions you would want your bot to answer.
5. Launch your bot.
Manychat is a great bot platform that has some really unique features for marketers - like chatbot landing pages.
1. Click on “Get Started Free”.
2. Sign in with your Facebook account and grant Manychat permission to manage your pages.
3. Connect a page that you want to use.
4. Click on Main Menu.
5. Create the main blocks of the chatbot (welcome message, default reply, keywords, and sequences).
6. Launch your bot.
Octane AI is a chatbot tool that’s specifically built for Shopify stores. So if your eCommerce store runs on Shopify, this is the tool you should check out.
1. Head over to Octane AI
2. Click on Get Started
3. Login to your Shopify Store
4. Connect your Facebook Page
5. Connect your Facebook ads account
6. Set up your automatic responses - go to “Customer Care” and set up your smart responses.
7. Click on Pop-ups to set up any pop-ups you might want for your eCommerce store
And that’s basically it, you’re all set.
Now, what if you want to get something already pre-made?
That’s when you need a chatbot template.
If you have something specific in mind, then you can buy a template.
Let’s say you want to have a fitness business, then you can buy a template that will have all the features you need.
Botmakers has a bunch of chatbot templates that you could choose from.
Here’s an example of a chatbot template for the fashion industry:
You could also have a chatbot agency to make a chatbot for you.
This is for large brands that have the budget and want to save on time and human resources.
There are hundreds of chatbot agencies out there and you can find most of them on Clutch.
One prominent one is called the Bot Marketing Agency
Their pricing ranges from $1,000 to $2,500 per bot.
And the best part is that they can build a bot for you on a specific platform - like MobileMonkey, Chatfuel, or ManyChat - and when it’s all built, your marketing team can use the platform to continue to A/B test and optimize.
Now, you’re probably wondering - how do I choose the best chatbot platform? Each one offers different advanced features.
Let’s cover a few.
Here are some of the top advanced chatbot features you might need to consider before picking the best chatbot tool or platform.
It’s really important to have a CRM integration. This is especially crucial when you are using your bot to gather leads and funnel them into the right hands.
It’s a really good practice to ask your chat subscribers for their emails. That way you can communicate with them on more than one channel. So make sure that your chat tool connects to the major email providers.
Your chatbot tool might not have all the integrations that you are looking for, in that case, make sure that it can connect to Zapier or Integromat. These are tools that let you connect any 2 software together.
We’ve covered templates earlier in the post, but depending on your needs it might be useful to make sure that your chatbot platform or tool offers the right templates for you.
Chatfuel is most known for having a comprehensive template library.
Make sure that your chatbot platform has a coupon feature. This is where you could create dynamic coupons, and straight in the tool, instead of manually creating them inside your store.
Here’s an example from Recart.
Cart abandonment flows are a huge source of sales for any channel, especially chatbots. So make sure that your tool has a simple way to create and optimize a cart abandonment flow.
Here’s an example of a sample flow created using Recart and Wheelio.
There are a ton of different social media platforms where you can use chatbots.
Here’s a short list:
And each one comes with its audience, best practices, and use cases.
So make sure whatever tool you go with, that it can help you create a chatbot on as many social media platforms as needed.
You may find that you will need several chatbot plugins for different platforms, and that’s something you need to take into consideration.
So what did we cover?
We covered a step-by-step on how to make a chatbot using the following tools:
We talked about buying your own chatbot template and covered hiring a chatbot agency to build one for you.
We then focused on advanced chatbot features such as - integrations, cart abandonment, coupon creation, and compatibility with social media platforms.
In the next sections, we will cover the top chatbot marketing strategies.
Chatbots quickly gained popularity because they provide this incredibly personal way of communicating with your leads and customers. Chatbots are very versatile and can fit in a number of aspects of your overall marketing strategy.
You can chatbots to get more leads, increase your site conversions, distribute & promote your content better and delight your existing customers.
Let’s cover a few ways that you can use chatbots to increase your eCommerce sales.
The first way to use chatbots is to get more leads.
You can do this by using a simple welcome popup with a chatbot lead form in it.
You can use a platform like Recart or Manychat to create the popup. And the only difference is that it will bring users to subscribe to your chatbot, instead of asking for their email.
After they are subscribers you can always ask for their email and get them connected to two channels of communication.
Another really cool strategy is to display a 2-step popup. One that asks for an email subscription and then brings them to subscribe to the chatbot.
Here’s a famous example from the marketing wiz Andrew Warner.
He’s got a 2-step popup.
Here’s the first part:
It first asks the user to subscribe using their email.
And then it displays the Messenger part of the popup sequence:
Another great way to use a chatbot is through Messenger ads.
Facebook launched this feature back in 2017 and it was met with some skepticism.
Since then, the number of Messenger users grew to over 1.2 billion in April (just 3 months after the launch of the ads feature).
Messenger ads are now widely used by eCommerce brands and studies show that they work really well. On average, they can reduce the cost per lead by 30x-50x, compared to regular Facebook display ads (MobileMonkey).
Here’s an example from I Am Pop.
The ad looks like a regular chat message, and once the user clicks on the “Yes!” button then they get sent another message and get entered into the flow.
A great strategy is to build lookalike audiences and then target them with these ads.
Anyone that interacts with the Messenger ad gets into the chat subscription list and adds another lead to your funnel!
You can also use a chatbot to get more eyeballs on your content and get more conversions from it.
You can use Manychat to create a Messenger landing page.
Then write a quick post on social media that leads users to the Manychat landing page that you’ve created.
Then, every time you send out your newsletter, send a chat message to your entire list and see your traffic skyrocket.
This provides a much more engaging way for your audience to view your content.
Does chatbot marketing still seem complicated?Here’s a super simple strategy that Blush and Bar used to get 11,000 new subscribers on Messenger, which lead them to make $39,000 in sales.
Blush and Bar is a unique jewelry brand.
All their jewelry is handmade (they make it all in-house) and they offer a lifetime warranty on everything.
Yeah, you read that correctly. Wow.
And the best part, all their stuff is super affordable, around $59-99 per ring.
They were struggling with getting leads on their site until they tried using a chatbot.
Here’s what they did.
They first launched a Messenger popup for mobile and desktop.
And you know how much we love wheels, they used the “flywheel” popup design from Recart:
Then they powered up a really simple conversational flow.
Once the user subscribed, they were sent a few automated follow-up messages.
Here’s their flow:
If you notice, one of the first messages asked for an email.
Once the user put in their email they were sent to Klaviyo, where the brand could target them with their promotional email campaigns.
Brilliant but simple.
If you’d like to learn more, we’ve got a really great video for you.
Here’s a great video from Larry Kim, CEO of the chatbot platform MobileMonkey, where he goes over some of the best chatbot strategies for marketers.
Manychat has this incredible feature where you can automate the chatbot responses based on specific keywords that the customer uses.
1. when a user uses the words “unsubscribe” or “stop” they are automatically removed from your chatbot subscribers list.
2. Set up keywords like “demo” or “how does this work” to trigger a chatbot sales flow or to display your sales team's Calendly link.
Here’s a great video from Manychat where they explain how to set up keyword triggers for automated chatbot flows:
3. Set up a cart abandonment flow. Here’s an example from Fletcher Goods.
4. Customer feedback and reviews - create automatic flows to get your customers to review your products.
Walletly is a brilliant tool that lets you send mobile push notifications to your users' mobile wallets.
You can use Walletly to send your users:
You can also target your users by their location using iBeacon technology. So if you are selling event tickets, you can send push notifications to users that are within a certain radius of your event’s location and get much better results.
In the food industry, we see a lot of companies switching to selling online, yet offering customers an option to pick up their food.
With so many food businesses switching to delivery or pick up only, it’s crucial to have this option available for your customers.
First, set up your bot to be able to lead a user through check out. Most chatbot tools have integration with the large eCommerce platforms out there, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Then, set up an automatic flow with a “smart delay” that prompts the user to come pick up their order when it’s done.
Here’s an example of curbside pick up flow from Manychat:
You can also connect Google Maps to your chatbot so that the customer could get directions to your store.
These are just some of the amazing things you can do with chatbots.
Here are the strategies that we mentioned:
1. Get more leads
2. Use Messenger Ads
3. Boost your content views and conversions
4. Blush and Bar’s Secret Strategy
5. Chatbot Automation
6. Use Walletly for coupons & mobile sales
7. Set up curbside pick up
The main thing is to build a chatbot that’s useful to the customer, saves you time, and enhances the experience of your brand.