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How to Build a Chatbot for your eCommerce site?

by GK December 25, 2017
How to build a chatbot

With the increase in the popularity of eCommerce, everyone has got used to getting things delivered at their door steps, making payments just through a click from wherever they are sitting and doing almost everything electronically and online. There is nothing that can’t be done electronically or online in today’s world. You can buy food items online, make payments, buy clothes and shoes, book tickets, book cabs and what not. In this age of eCommerce, everyday people are trying to use the advanced technology to come up with better solutions to make the market more competitive and attract more people. Nowadays, everyone is familiar with the concept of coupons and promotional codes through which the companies attract customers and increase their sales. Everyone does have a question in their mind that how do these promo codes work? How do you just put a word and get a discount? What’s the mechanism behind it. All these questions can be answered by just one word- “Chatbot”. Well, Chatbots are not just limited to codes or offers; there is much more to Chatbot. It also makes all electronic transaction for consumers easier.

What are Chatbots?     

How many times have you visited a website and wished to have the owner guide you through the sections and just answer your question rather than making you waddle your way through the entire landscape? How many times has this wish come true in the form of a message box that opens up on the website corner for your aid? Having a human positioned at a screen and respond to such messages 24*7 was not a viable solution; Technology came up with a more automated measure – chatbots.

Easy Understanding Of Chatbots

Chatbots are codes or applications that enable the functioning of that message box. A chatbot can either be designed to produce a mechanical response to a generic query or it can have what is called ‘machine learning’ where it is continually learning the needs of customers and the kind of questions they ask. The latter is a more sophisticated system which is still being perfected by most eCommerce platforms. It gives the customer the feeling that he/she is, in fact, talking to an individual, easing out their problems and queries.

Rule-Based Chatbots

A rule-based chatbot functions by simply following the rule that its creator has written. It reads the customer’s input, processes it to be able to categorize and discover the appropriate rule for the command and then follows it. Generic words that are commonly used by customers when voicing their queries are used while writing these rules to ensure that the chatbot is useful.

On the other hand, when a set of rules are clubbed with an application like machine learning, it helps the bots to become even more useful as it brings the scope of their functionality closer to that of a human answering these queries himself/herself. It helps these applications actually comprehend the intent behind a question and then choose an appropriate reply. However this technology is still in the works and while it has been implemented by many, there are still bugs that can be improved.

Chatbots are like applications that are used on eCommerce sites – they have databases and a connect with APIs and a layer of an application. But they lack their own interface. Instead, they use slack or Whatsapp or Facebook for this purpose.

Limitations of a chatbot

Limitations of a chatbot are that it requires text inputs from the customer to be able to serve them. They are also constrained by the limitations of the interface of whatever messaging platform they are using. However, the advantage that arises from this fact is that customers get familiarized with this setting and become comfortable using the chatbot’s interface.

A chatbot using machine learning processes inputs in multiple ways:-

  • The easiest is where the inputs are categorized by picking of keywords or phrases identifying a customer’s intent.
  • A second method is where the chatbot hunts for known names like a product’s name or mention of one of the website’s offering.

A step performed in between is to run a spelling check so that an inputting error on the part of the customer doesn’t alter the implication of the sentence. Sentiment analysis and dependency parsing are two more steps performed by these bots.

Why should every business have Chatbots?

With growing completion, any company in the eCommerce sector need to stay updated when it comes to technology. Since conversational commerce has gathered so much attention it becomes a necessity for all businesses to establish flexible and innovative bots.

Everyone has questions when they carry out various transactions electronically. Will it work? Is it secure? What about the quality? To answer these and many other questions faster and making the whole process simpler for the customer there is only one way, that is by developing a Chatbot.

Benefits of developing a Chatbot

  • Attract More Customers

By developing a Chatbot a business can reach out to more people and establish a broader base of customers. The customers can ask questions, remove their queries and be sure of what they are buying. This helps in Increasing customer satisfaction and providing better customer service.

  • Availability

Chatbots can be used anytime and anywhere. People can avail the services even at midnight. With increased availability, the company can reach out to more people and will not have to make them wait.

  • Custom Made

These chatbots are easy and cheap to develop and can be developed as per one’s needs. Since it is custom built, it renders to all the business having different needs and increases the efficiency of the said business

Eased Out Service By Application Of Conventional Commerce

Applying of conversational commerce has made doing business electronically easier and simpler. Using text messages and other messaging apps as an interface have completely changed the face of eCommerce and m-commerce. With this development, the electronic payment methods are also gaining popularity. Merchants are establishing partnerships with various payment processors and card networks hence making the eCommerce a close-knit sector.

How to Build a Chatbot?

Chatbots are easy to develop in only a few simple steps. But before developing a chatbot one should understand all the technologies related to chatbots, their uses and the right application of chatbots in one’s business. For different types of jobs, the chatbots will be different like for a firm who wants to give away data to its customers will choose a chatbot that can deal with data complexity and so on.

This artificial intelligence must be designed in such a way that it provides efficiency, expert service, innovative ways and effective methods to enable conversational commerce. Once the company is sure of the design, it should ascertain the group of customers it wants to target.  The company building the chatbot should understand the goals of its customers while developing such a software.

Next comes the formation of the chatbot conversation. A demo of the conversation is prepared where all the possible questions are answered and fed into the program. Both structured and unstructured interactions are considered. For the designer, it’s important to interpret the questions the customers might ask and the answers they expect while preparing this artificial intelligence.

Chatbot Platforms

One can also use various chatbot platforms to build a chatbot. For those who are not confident with themselves going through the exhaustive method of developing a software on their own can seek external help from various platforms like,

  • Chatfuel

    Chatfuel chatbot

One of the most popular platforms is Chatfuel. It has a global reach and has already created around 360000 chatbots. With so much experience this is a safe option. One can easily add and edit content and get a custom build Chatbot. It supports about 50 languages and process services at a reasonable cost.

  • Microsoft Bot Framework

Microsoft bot framework

One of the few platforms that have their own Bot Builder is Microsoft Bot Framework. Its entire system consists of three parts – the Bot connector, portal, and directory. It translates conversation for up to 30 languages and is one of the best choices.

  • Semantic Machines

conversation chatbot

This is a unique platform which is actually a proprietary firm producing artificial intelligence in the form of various eCommerce chat software. It goes beyond commands and understands conversations like humans. This is one of its unique points that makes it stand out among other platforms.

  • Beep Boop

beep boop chatbotThis platform simplifies the process of forming chatbots. All you have to do is go to there website and start building the Bot. They provide custom build bots for smaller businesses. The bigger ones get a bit complicated but are still simpler than other platforms. If someone isn’t a big fan of technology he must really try this platform.

  • Pypestream

pypestream chatbotIn a small time this, platform has been successful in attaining fame. It has offered its services to more than 500 companies through various modes like Pypestream mobile application, Smart Messaging Framework, Pypestream SDK and so on. It is basically an application that creates a link between the companies and the consumer. It is different from other players but has a lot of experience.

There are much more platforms that can be used depending on the need of the company. Statistics show that 80% of companies will shift to chatbots. It is only because of the complexity that people are still skeptical about shifting to chatbots. With these top platforms building, eCommerce chat software has become simpler.

These platforms provide customized chatbots as preferred by the companies. They create the conversation keeping in mind the people being targeted by their clients. They have further simplified the process of developing a chatbot and using it for different purposes.

ShopyGen’s Al Services:

This is one of the best places to find a solution to all eCommerce troubles. Not just e-commerce it also provides solutions for various problems faced by mobile commerce and other businesses functioning electronically. It’s not specific to a certain type marketing community but helps all like business to consumer, business to business and consumer to consumer. They provide all the information that one needs to develop an eCommerce chat software. For people whose queries are still not answered they also provide the facility to speak to their experts or carry out eCommerce live chats.

It is one of the most famous platforms for establishing chatbots. It is trusted by thousands of people and is used by a majority of eCommerce websites. Besides this they also provide the service of building mobile applications for eCommerce, setting up of e-stores for various companies and much more solutions to problems in the eCommerce world.

Chatbots are the artificial intelligence that we all have been waiting for. It has great potential to improve the methods of eCommerce and to make transactions simpler.

Chatbots are not just limited to eCommerce but can be used for other purposes as well for example there are some chatbots that help people out with medical issues like ‘Health Tap’, ‘Fitmeal- Facebook Messenger’ and much more. They are a step towards more advanced technology that reduces the need for human managers and expands the eCommerce sector. They have proved that they are an excellent marketing tool which helps attract more customers. With increasing popularity, this human-computer cooperation can change the ways of business in this world and despite its few limitations, it does make shopping and other activities related to it more fun and desirable.

Thanks for reading! If you have any doubts or concerns, feel free to drop a line or two in the comments section. I shall reply in a day or two. 

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