A chatbot is essentially a computed program interacting with customers like humans. It is the best assistant for business owners and customer success, with a simple aim to replace headcount on handling repetitive inquiries in a fraction of the time. Over the past few years, text-based chatbots have been used by many enterprises’ Facebook pages, across fashion and lifestyle brands, to food and beverage brands who leverage social media marketing to engage with their targeted customers. If you are considering the modern features to make your online businesses smarter in operations, marketing, customer success, this article is an introduction for you to the world of chatbots.

Table of Contents

  1. Two Common Places for Chatbots
  2. Chatbots are More Than Just Texts
  3. Adding a Chatbot for My Online Business Properly

Two Common Places for Chatbots

There are two mainstream chatbots in the market,

1. Chatbot for social media inbox

Whether inquiring for stocks, following up with orders, or giving feedback to the brands that you’ve purchased, the modern go-to is through social media inboxes. Could it be Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, but definitely not the old-school telephone or emails. Plugging in chatbots on social media pages with Chatalog could offload tons of pressure from business owners in reading and replying messages from different time zones, languages, and types of inquiries.

2. Chatbot plugins for websites

Another friendly way for businesses to interact with their customers is through their official website. Solutions like Intercom and Zendesk have plugins which e-commerce owners could add chatbots on the bottom right corner of their websites. Facebook also offers an API for developers to add a widget for websites which links to their Facebook pages, which is known as Messenger for Business. Chatalog is honored to be one the very first official partners of Facebook Messenger API for Instagram.

Chatbots are More Than Just Texts

With the development of chatbots by technologists, the modern chatbots are no longer just a set of scripted rules, instead they are really human-like that most of the time even we can’t distinguish! It is because messaging nowadays goes beyond texts.

Let us bring you a short introduction of rich messaging, and will explain how some of the main features could help boost the sales for your online businesses.

• Dialogue orientation

Who doesn’t wish to shorten the conversation time with prospects and direct them to purchase their desired products? Chatbot acts to orient people with a dialogue flow by simple tabs, in two approaches.

The first is a horizontal flow, allowing people to go through step by step by tabbing buttons, exactly like a sales funnel. A common use case for an online retail business is to set parameters such as colors, then sizes, then columns. Using an analogy of dialing a phone hotline, a user would go through pressing the number pads on screen, until their inquiries are resolved by voice or a customer service staff.

The second is a vertical choice, allowing people to filter one desired option among the rest. Back to the example of the etail, the vertical orientation for a dialogue could be choosing a size among the buttons XS, S, …, XL. Instead of doing texts, this smoothen the communication for your prospective customers. The goal for dialogue orientation is to increase completion rate.

• Direct links

One of the most common requests that our clients are demanding is direct links for their followers to purchase the right products. It’s tricky that Instagram doesn’t allow users to click on the links on both caption and comment areas, so businesses are forced to either detour to link in bio or DM. Business owners are in a bad position when they have tens and hundreds of products from their commerce site, which they are wasting time to copy and paste the exact links to those who’re in inquiry.

With chatbot solutions like ours, direct links are able to be triggered without human interference. The direct links as what we mention here are those clickable and traceable, with previews and captions automatically from the respective links.

The goal for direct links is to get customers to the right webpage of product content.

• Photo previews

Attachments like photos are effective to generate fun conversation with customers. The photo preview functions in rich messaging are applied for the above two features too. For instance, a scenario of an apparel business who leverages our chatbot on Instagram, the business owner could allow an audience to select 1 out of the 3 images of dresses from the latest summer series. Then a direct purchase hyperlink of that dress with a preview could be automatically replied within a second.

The goal for photo previews is to communicate products in the most visual forms that increase click rates.

Adding a Chatbot for My Online Business Properly

Even though you’re doing marketing and running businesses on Facebook and Instagram, you would be surprised that there is no simple feature to build one on these platforms. You can definitely try to find an IT firm in your neighborhood but you’d probably suffer from technical issues soon. The best ways that we’d suggest are seeking professional help from certified agencies or a well-invented product that you have all the controls.

Chatalog is the few selected official developer partners of Facebook, and we have early access to some of the testing features of Messenger and Instagram. With this privilege, we launch solid chatbot and other marketing technology solutions to online businesses from a range of restaurants with a few thousands of followers on Instagram, to global fashion brands with millions of social followers. We also offer customization on keyword detection with in-house NLP natural language processing technologies to automate conversation in various languages.

Build with chatalog

Ready to build a bot to offload manual messaging? It’s free to get started creating magic with chatalog. Our experts are also open to chat with you to understand your pain points, and amplify the sales of your online business.

Together we bring your brands to more global customers more effectively and efficiently!


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