Chatbots

Best Shopping Bots for Modern Retail and Ways to Use Them

10 minutes

Best Shopping Bots for Modern Retail and Ways to Use Them

In today’s competitive online retail industry, establishing an efficient buying process is essential for businesses of any type or size. That’s why shopping bots were introduced to enhance customers’ online shopping experience, boost conversions, and streamline the entire buying process. In this post, we’ll explore their main functionalities in more detail and explore the best shopping bot software that can help you effectively integrate a bot into your eCommerce website.

What is a shopping bot?

A shopping bot is a conversational interface that simplifies customers’ shopping experience by allowing them to browse and purchase products directly within messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and others. These bots can usually address common inquiries with pre-programmed responses or leverage AI technology for more nuanced interactions.

Their capabilities can vary according to different stages of the buyer’s journey. For example, pre-purchase shopping bots can provide product offers and updates, assist with product discovery, and offer personalized recommendations. Some bots can also guide customers through the checkout process and facilitate in-chat payments. Besides, they can be used post-purchase for tasks like customer support and collecting feedback.

Shopping bot advantages for businesses

Using a purchase bot can offer several advantages for companies. They can help retailers streamline operations, enhance customer interactions, and drive conversions. Let’s have a look at each advantage in more detail:

  • 24/7 availability. Unlike human agents, shopping bots operate round-the-clock, ensuring continuous customer support and assistance regardless of the time zone or business hours.
  • Fewer customer requests. Bots for online shopping can seamlessly handle repetitive tasks, respond to FAQs, and offer self-service options. This means that managers can direct their attention to complex issues that require human interaction.
  • Cost reduction. Chatbots can lead to long-term cost savings by enabling businesses to operate more efficiently and at scale without needing to expand their agent workforce.
  • Lead generation. Shopping bots are a great alternative to online forms. They can engage in conversations while capturing customer data, such as name, email address, geolocation, preferences, etc. Chatbots can also offer discounts or holiday offers to entice new customers to join.
  • Omnichannel presence. It’s also possible to integrate shopping bots across various platforms, including websites, social media, and messaging apps. This means a customer can contact you on a preferred platform, which leads to a better user experience.

As you can see, there are many ways companies can benefit from a bot for online shopping. Businesses can collect valuable customer insights, enhance brand visibility, and accelerate sales.

Shopping bot advantages for customers

While online shopping bots undoubtedly offer many pros to businesses, they can also be beneficial for customers themselves. Below are several important aspects:

  • Reduced wait times. Clients always prefer rapid assistance. By introducing online purchase bots to manage initial interactions, companies can significantly improve their customer service response time.
  • Multilingual support. If your business offers services or sells products internationally, it would be beneficial for your customers to get customer assistance in their native languages. It would significantly save time and boost user satisfaction.
  • Better personalization. Shopping bots can offer personalized recommendations based on customer preferences and past interactions.
  • Accessibility. Thanks to bots, you can create an inclusive eCommerce experience and make sure that customers with disabilities or language barriers get the assistance they need.

Online shopping bots offer several benefits for customers, ranging from convenience to speed and accessibility. By automating your customer communications through chatbots, you can create a seamless shopping experience for your customers, accessible anytime and anywhere.

5 real-life examples of shopping bots

Shopping bots can be used in various scenarios to help users browse and purchase goods online. Let’s explore five examples of how shopping bots can transform the way users interact with brands.

Seattle Ballooning

Here’s an excellent example from the Seattle Ballooning website, which showcases a chatbot that offers assistance and additional information for visitors interested in booking a flight. While you can’t actually reserve a spot through the chatbot itself, it efficiently guides you to the relevant website tab for booking and readily addresses any questions you may have before making a reservation.

online shopping chatbot
An online shopping chatbot from Seattle Ballooning

Sony

Sony’s comprehensive online shopping bot offers both purchase and service support. Customers can get information about a specific gadget they already have and receive recommendations for new purchases. This bot can seamlessly navigate website visitors to the right tab based on their requests, ensuring a streamlined shopping experience.

website bot
An online chatbot on Sony’s website

Union Bank

Another excellent chatbot example comes from Union Bank. Through its digital assistance, website visitors can effortlessly explore the bank’s services, including opening accounts or applying for credit cards. This shopping bot helps customers determine the most suitable card based on one’s lifestyle and provides relevant suggestions. For instance, it can help obtain a credit card tailored for travel with numerous cashback and reward options.

shopping bot example
A shopping bot example from Union Bank

Dyson

Here is another example of a shopping bot seamlessly integrated into the business’s website. Dyson’s chatbot not only helps customers with purchases but also assists in troubleshooting and maintaining existing products. This virtual assistant offers many other valuable features, such as requesting price matches and processing cancellations or returns. Just like that, Dyson’s chatbot can automatically resolve the most common customer issues in no time.

shopping bot
An example of a shopping bot from Dyson

Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s Pizza has also launched a great bot for buying online. Customers can easily place orders directly through Facebook Messenger without the need for phone calls or third-party food applications. Additionally, this chatbot lets customers track their orders in real time and contact customer support for any request or assistance.

shopping bot
A shopping bot from Domino’s Pizza on Facebook

5 best shopping bot software

When it comes to selecting a shopping bot platform, there are an abundance of options available. It can be challenging to compare every tool and determine which one is the right fit for your needs. In this section, we’ll present the top five platforms for creating bots for online shopping.

SendPulse

SendPulse is a versatile sales and marketing automation platform that combines a wide variety of valuable features into one convenient interface. With this software, you can effortlessly create comprehensive shopping bots for various messaging platforms, including Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Telegram.

Using SendPulse, you can create customized chatbot scripts and easily replicate flows within or across messaging apps. Your messages can include multiple text elements, images, files, or lists, and you can easily integrate product cards into your shopping bots and accept payments.

When setting up your chatbot in SendPulse, you can establish logical structures based on keywords entered by users, such as “price,” “delivery,” and “purchase.” You can also configure generic responses for messages without specific trigger keywords. SendPulse allows you to provide up to ten instant answers per message, guiding users through their selections and enhancing their overall shopping experience.

bot payment branch
Creating a payment branch in SendPulse

SendPulse’s chatbots are powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which will allow your bot to engage with your subscribers using natural language as you craft content for your flows. Moreover, with its speech recognition system, subscribers can send voice messages and receive prompt responses.

SendPulse’s detailed analytics empower you to monitor your messages’ performance by tracking the number of sent, delivered, and opened messages, among other metrics. Such data points provide valuable insights for refining your campaign’s effectiveness, enabling you to adjust your content and timing for optimal results.

Pricing. This shopping bot software offers a free plan that allows you to send up to 10,000 messages per month across all your bots. Also, there’s a pay-as-you-go option available where you pay based on the number of subscribers each month and can send unlimited messages across any number of chatbots. The cheapest tier starts at $8.40/month, billed annually.

ManyChat

ManyChat is a versatile chatbot platform that allows businesses to create shopping bots for various messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, Instagram, or WhatsApp. It offers a user-friendly interface and tailored solutions based on the specific needs of different business types, including eCommerce, restaurants, agencies, and more.

With ManyChat, you can seamlessly guide your customers to your chat from various sources, such as digital advertisements, websites, QR codes, or even comments on your Facebook posts. This platform empowers you to introduce new products, upsell, and collect reviews efficiently. Moreover, you can run time-limited special promotions and automate giveaways, challenges, and quizzes within your online shopping bot.

shopping bot
Creating a shopping bot flow; source: ManyChat

ManyChat offers retailers and restaurants the convenience of providing loyalty cards directly within the bot, eliminating the need for additional apps and boosting customer retention. Additionally, customers can easily place orders and make bookings right in your purchase bot.

ManyChat enables you to create sophisticated bot campaigns using tags, custom fields, and advanced segments. Afterward, you can leverage insights and analytics features to quickly test and optimize your strategy if necessary.

Pricing. You can begin using ManyChat’s features with its free plan, which grants you access to up to 1,000 contacts and allows you to create a maximum of 10 tags. Its paid plans start at $15/month for 500 contacts and offer greater flexibility in terms of tags, channels, and advanced settings.

Want to build a chatbot? Go through the top ManyChat alternatives!

Tidio

Tidio is a customer service software that offers robust live chat, chatbot, and email marketing features for businesses. In terms of automation, Tidio’s online shopping bot can help you streamline customer support and provide a seamless experience for your website visitors.

Tidio’s no-code editor simplifies setup and provides a range of chatbot templates to start with. It is powered by AI and natural language processing technology. It also offers over 16 different chat triggers to start a conversation designed for new users, returning customers, specific pages, and so on.

The shopping bot can then respond to inquiries across different channels in seven languages. It can take over common questions and recurring tasks, such as providing product recommendations or helping users track their order status.

custom bot flow
Creating a custom bot flow; source: Tidio

Another standout feature of this shopping bot software is that it delivers responses exclusively from your support content, reducing the likelihood of incorrect answers. In addition, you can track its real-time performance firsthand or even take over the conversation if necessary.

Pricing. You can begin using Tidio for free, which includes 50 chatbot conversations in total. The cheapest plan costs $34.80/month, billed annually, and includes 50 conversations monthly. Additionally, you have the option to select a larger number of conversations for a higher fee.

Certainly

Certainly is an AI shopping bot platform designed to assist website visitors at every stage of their customer journey. With its help, businesses can seamlessly manage a wide variety of tasks, such as product returns, tailored recommendations, purchases, checkouts, cross-selling, etc.

This shopping bot software is user-friendly and requires no coding skills, allowing business professionals to set up a bot in just a few minutes. One of its standout features is its customizable multilingual understanding, which ensures seamless communication with customers regardless of their language preferences. Powered by conversational AI, Certainly offers a vast library of over 30,000 pre-made sentences across 14+ languages.

purchase bot
Integrating a purchase bot on different channels; source: Certainly

Moreover, Certainly generates progressive zero-party data, providing valuable insights into customer preferences and behavior. This way, you can make informed decisions and adjust your strategy accordingly. This tool also allows you to simulate any conversational scenario before publishing.

Pricing. Certainly offers 2 paid plans designed for businesses looking to engage with customers at scale. The cheapest plan costs $2,140/month and includes 5,000 monthly conversations along with unlimited channels.

Botsonic

Botsonic is another excellent shopping bot software that empowers businesses to create customized shopping bots without any coding skills. Powered by GPT-4, the service enables you to effortlessly tailor conversations to your specific requirements.

One of Botsonic’s standout features is its ability to train your purchase bot using your text documents, FAQs, knowledge bases, or customer support transcripts. You can also personalize your chatbot with brand identity elements like your name, color scheme, logo, and contact details.

bot for online shopping
Building a bot for online shopping; source: YouTube

With its capacity to handle more than 1,000 chats simultaneously, Botsonic can be beneficial for both eCommerce and lead generation. For eCommerce, it facilitates personalized product recommendations, offers, and checkouts and prevents cart abandonment. Additionally, it can manage inventory, ensuring accurate product availability information is always displayed. For lead generation, Botsonic can collect customer contact information and upsell or cross-sell products, enhancing both customer engagement and sales opportunities.

Pricing. You can create 1 purchase bot at no cost and send up to 100 messages/month. Botsonic enables you to embed it on an unlimited number of websites. For $16.67/month, billed annually, you can build any number of chatbots and send up to 2,000 messages monthly.

The bottom line

In today’s extremely fast-paced marketing industry, shopping bots have become an absolute necessity for most eCommerce businesses. There are plenty of tasks that you can automate via chatbots while providing a personalized customer experience.

As a powerful omnichannel marketing platform, SendPulse stands out as one of the best chatbot solutions in the market. With its advanced GPT-4 technology, multi-channel approach, and extensive customization options, it can be a game-changer for your business. The best thing is you can build your purchase bot absolutely for free and benefit from its rich features right away.

Give it a try today and streamline your customer interactions!

Date of publication:

June 5, 2024

Irina Kompanets

Writing to help you level up your marketing game. Wordsmith and digital enthusiast. Turning ideas into stories and marketing concepts...

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