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.