Chatbots are popping up on more and more websites around the world.
But does your business actually need a chatbot? Will it have a tangible impact on your conversion rates or sales?
Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know to make an informed decision about adding chatbots to your website – including what exactly a chatbot is.
What is a Chatbot?
A chatbot is a piece of software with which you can communicate.
At its simplest, a chatbot is the thing that pops up when you log onto a website, prompting you to connect to a customer service agent via online chat.
More complex chatbots have been seen on Facebook Messenger, where companies now use chatbots to help customers buy and sell new products.
Why Should You Consider Chatbots?
Chatbots are becoming popular because messaging apps are becoming more popular. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and other services are some of the most-used apps in the world today.
According to one source, the average user downloads less than 1 new app per month. It’s getting harder and harder to convince people to try new apps.
With that in mind, chatbots are seen as a way to conveniently reach people in an app where they already spend most of their time.
Why Do People Suddenly Care About Chatbots?
Why am I telling you any of this? Well, there’s a very good reason. As Medium.com points out, our world went through a very subtle but very important development over the past year.
For the first time in history, people are spending more time in messaging apps than they’re spending on social media apps.
When more people are spending more time on their phones, it presents a huge untapped marketplace. Chatbots are being developed to take advantage of that marketplace.
Examples of a Chatbot
Thousands of companies around the world now use chatbots. As an example, let’s take an online store that sells hats.
Ordinarily, you would visit the website, browse through the collection of hats, check out the latest sales, and then make a purchase on the hat.
With chatbots, however, you would take a totally different approach: you would open Facebook Messenger, add the shoe retailer’s chatbot, and literally tell it what kind of hat you want to buy.
The chatbot is intelligent enough to recognize keywords like “Toronto Blue Jays” and “ballcap”, and it might recommend a selection of products that meet your request.
That’s just one example of how online retailers could use chatbots to make more sales online. Alternatively, other chatbots on the internet today include:
-Weather bots that give you the weather whenever you ask
-Grocery bots that let you pick out groceries for the week
-News bots that keep you updated on the latest developments in the world
-Personal finance bots that help you better manage your finances
-Scheduling bots that help you organize and chart out your schedule
-Friendly bots that simply exist to chat with you, like Microsoft’s Xiaoice, a Chinese bot that over 20 million people talk to on a regular basis
Does Your Business Need a Chatbot?
Chatbots are something to keep your eye on. Right now, they’re outside the scope (and budget) of most small and medium-sized businesses.
However, programmers are already creating chatbots that can be customized to meet the needs of small business users at an affordable price.
Unless you’re a large company with a dedicated IT department and team, chatbots probably aren’t on your horizon just yet. That is virtually guaranteed to change in the next 3 to 5 years, however, as more business owners recognize the huge market potential of chatbots.
If you want your business to succeed in a rapidly-changing digital marketplace, then you need a digital marketing team on your side. From paid ad management to modern web design and development, Renew Marketing has all your digital marketing needs covered.