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AI Chatbot for Tracking Pricing List

slackbot

Project description

Chatbots.Studio created an amazing solution that will turn the world of retail business on its head. Everyone knows that to be successful in a market means to know your competitors really well. Our chatbot helps companies keep tabs on their competitor’s pricing so they can better adjust their own.

The bot greets a user and suggests tracking a specific pricing page. The changes will be displayed to the user once we receive a response of what exactly changed, the main condition here is for the end user to pay with PayPal for the subscription, as there will not be the possibility to check for the changed information.

Duration: January – ongoing.

Development team

Developers, QA Engineer, Project Manager,

What we built

apify-integration

The solution includes

Slack Corporate Messenger

The services and Frameworks we used

ApifyThe scalable web crawling and scraping library that simplifies the development of web crawlers, scrapers, data extractors, and web automation jobs.

Sequelize – Sequelize is a promise-based Node.js ORM for Postgres, MySQL, MariaDB, SQLite and Microsoft SQL Server. It features solid transaction support, relations, read replication and more.

Botkit – is a Node.js framework, that has implemented some easy and convenient methods for working with different bot platforms and programming flow of dialogs with complicated business logic and various

Node.js is the server-side, asynchronous, event-driven runtime environment, that allows us to build a server-side application using javascript syntax with the most recent ES standards support.

Development process

This solution is currently in developing but for now, we already have a working chatbot that has satisfied marketers’, entrepreneurs and product owners. At the beginning of the project, developers launched a simple scraper, which saved the information to the AWS S3 bucket. Now, Slack bot has been integrated including the persistent data storage – MySQL which is under development currently.

At the beginning of the project, I launched simple scraper, which saved information to the AWS S3 bucket. Now, Slack bot has been integrated including the persistent data storage – MySQL which is under development currently.

Bot architecture

Bot architecture

The result

Chatbots.Studio is developing a chatbot that brings real results and value to business without additional acts. Cutting edge technologies were used to augment the marketing strategy. When the owners implement chatbot in their business, there is no longer any reason to buy expensive tools to measure competitor pricing or to employ special buyers. Chatbot tracks competitor pricing for goods or services and showcases them to you in the appropriate order. After that, you can make a decision as to what to change or improve in your business with confidence.

So, adjust the business strategy with our chatbot and grow!

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How Much Does It Cost To Build A Chatbot In 2019?

I used to be asked about it several times a week by clients who want to understand the business of chatbot creation. The price really depends on the effort required to build the bot, as we don’t sell pre-made chatbot templates.

Spoiler alert: it will take between $200 USD to $15k USD to build a single chatbot. If we’re building the chatbot platform, or self-made data science is required, the price could be even higher.

So, let’s take a look at the key drivers impacting the price for custom chatbot development.

  The first one is the channel in which the bot should function. I mean where the bot will actually do its work. Is it a website, SMS, some of the existing messaging platforms? The cheapest ones are FB, Telegram, Viber, Web and others when it’s possible to use the platform UI components to make rule-based conversations. There are even plenty of FREE FB chatbots templates. Here’s an example https://templates.botstar.com/. In reality, it will be required to customize such a template a little, so that’s why the minimum price for a chatbot is about 200 bucks.  More complexity comes when the bot for WhatsApp or SMS is required to be built. It means that there are no UI controls and additional effort will be required to train the bot and fix all possible flows of the conversation. Such bots are starting from around $1000 USD.

The next point that has to be considered is the complexity of the conversation. That relates to  a) the number of branches in the conversation tree as well as b) the number of questions that have to be addressed by the chatbot (in case of FAQ chatbot) and c) the need to support the unstructured dialog with the end user. Training the bot to support several hundred FAQs will require an additional thousand USD. Free based conversations will also add about 500 USD to the price list. While structured conversations will not impact the chatbot cost significantly. Some bots could have a specific task related to the use of Artificial Intelligence. We’ve had requests to understand dreams and automate confession. That’s a separate task which requires corresponding data sets and the training of machine learning models. It’s hard to estimate the price here, but that kind of bot will cost from $10k USD and more. On the other hand, the bot could be made more intelligent while enriching with sentiment analysis, which does not require being built from scratch and is available via API (that is an additional 500 for projects)

Bots are rarely working in isolation, so in most of cases, integration with back-end systems is required. Typically, chatbots are integrated with a CRM, ticketing, live agent solutions or some other business specific solution. You would need to account for $1k-2k USD for each such integration.

Bots are very language sensitive, everything is pretty much in English. It’s widely supported by all the vendors. It’s also fine with the major European languages such as French, German and Spanish. But what about others, and even non-European languages? That’s a more complicated story. If one of the trusted providers has the support of your language, then it makes sense to invest in custom bot development. Otherwise, I would not even recommend doing that if your bot requires any bit of an AI component.

 

I would also recommend that you look at my blogpost related to the total cost of ownership for a chatbot solution and the criteria for selecting a chatbot development provider.  

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6 Types for Chatbots: Know Which One Brings Value to Your Business

In 2019, chatbots have a variety of capabilities and more than just one type just might be suitable for you.

It’s good practice to define what is the role of your bot, measure the value and compare it with existing services before the chatbot launches in the business. If the chatbot could solve the issues, set up better customer engagement or improve internal communication. It’s the right decision to begin its development.

We identified 6 possible business roles for a chatbot, depending on which function they serve:

  • Sales
  • Lead generator
  • Interface
  • Informant
  • Helper
  • Psychologist

As mentioned above, each bot could take on several business roles, so we are using this classification just to create a common language and definitions of chatbot practitioners.

A chatbot increases sales and cross-selling

Sales Chatbot is responsible for increasing sales. It has several ways of functioning. The chatbot could choose the right service or good, create the invoice, make a payment (need to be connected to appropriate API), track orders, push notification about payment status, and conduct cross-selling. Sounds kind of like this chatbot could help to grow your biz, eh?

A chatbot generates leads for your CRM system

The main purpose of this chatbot is to gather together the target audience in one channel and convert them all into the clients. It could work in combination with an informant role, for example. How does the chatbot behave? The chatbots can provide the following services: make an appointment, creating a loyalty card (discounts, special offers, coupons, promo codes, and more).

On the vendor side, the chatbot gathers all the appropriate information useful for creating advertising campaigns or special offers. Also, the chatbot can maintain the communities with content to keep a particular audience interested in the services.

A chatbot acts as an interface for engagement with clients

Chatbot interface gives access to other system functions. It accepts and processes the information, integrates with the company services through the API and passes a long the collected information.

If needs be, the chatbot authorizes the user by itself. Following engagement with the website services, the chatbot distributes the processed results.

A chatbot informs the customer of the available services

Informant makes the data search quickly and easily. The Chatbot could aggregate information from different sources and conduct push notifications to the user about changes in the interested services. It’s one of the most attractive options for your business.

A chatbot helps the customer

The Informant makes a data search quick and easy. The Chatbot could aggregate information from different sources and conduct push notifications to the user about changes in the interested services.

A chatbot acts as a psychologist

A Psychologist chatbot’s main value is a conversation with the user. It recognizes the user’s mood, problem and offers methods (probably yours) to avoid the stress, suicide, offers appropriate specialist, and play as a lead generator – bringing a new client to a psychologist.

Experience shows,  the right chatbot is one of the main values you can offer your clients, making them satisfied, so you get a chance to make a quick profit.

 

If you have doubts as to choosing the right chatbot, check out its possibilities in a variety of industries (click button “I don’t know what kind of bot you need”).

If you want to have a full list of chatbot values, customized for your business, contact us and we will describe all the ways on how to bring value with a chatbot!

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10 Uses of Chatbots in Retail Market: Industries, Cases, Benefits

Now in the business world, the measure of success is bringing in a client and making them satisfied. Communicating with the customer directly is the basis of sales and increasing customer satisfaction in a very competitive retail market.

In this article, I prepared key scenarios to help cover this business need. First, let’s consider communication channels for interaction with the customer in retail.

The first one with the maximum limited functions is SMS. Texts are a very simple way of vendor-client communication. Retailers mostly inform a customer about novelties, offers, and redirect them to very informative sources.

The next way we define communication is through mobile applications.Mobile apps provide a wide range of functions to cover clients’ needs fully. Mobile apps even include push-notifications. Of course, this has a disadvantage. Fewer and fewer users download mobile apps because of limited phone memory. Sometimes, a client uses an app once. That’s why he/she prefers to chat with a chatbot rather than download additional software.

Phone/call centers. A lot of channels need to have a live agent, despite the wide range of technical ways to interact with customers. But human accessibility is more costly than other ways of communication.

website is similar to mobile applications due to the functionality, but with one big weakness. Unfortunately, websites can’t send push-notifications via chatbot.

 

We consider chatbots as in-messagers apps. They can be a way of communication to build closer relationships between retail businesses and customers. Look at the following tips before building communication with a chatbot.

  1. Convince a customer to subscribe to a community/channel where a chatbot works. Chatbot will engage with the audience regularly. It helps to increase new sales, but the main purpose is to provide cross sale when a user comes to buy something again from a trusted vendor. Make sure that you don’t send spam because it is ineffective. You could even be banned from the in-messaged service because of spam.
  2. A great user experience provides high conversation rates. Messengers provide a user-friendly interface that makes communication easy. It is incredible. Chatbots Studio helps the vendor to convert 30 percent of the customer base into a bot.

So, a chatbot is a great way to build close and trustful engagement with clients.

 

Let’s consider a chatbot’s main value and functionality in retail before implementing a chatbot into your business.

Complaints and Feedback

This function is working very well in the Australian chain of markets. Facebook accepts and passes along customers’ feedback. The customers know that in case of any problem, they can report and get feedback from a chatbot.

The Ukrainian supermarket chain, “Varus” has a chatbot that accepts client feedback and manages it according to the goods the client purchased. See the first screen below for how the chatbot presents a receipt for the last purchase and also offers an opportunity to evaluate the service. About 15% of members of the loyalty program use chatbot to leave feedback or get the last offers and discounts. And about 30% of users prefer to leave the feedback in the form that chatbot offers or in the polls.

User Support

After chatbot implementation, call centers’ workflow reduced up to 50 percent. The reason is that customers’ desire to write about a problem rather than call to a support representative. This is the most popular scenario of using a chatbot in business.

User Support
Chatbot helps to solve issues and consult the customer in real time. Image source

 

Loyalty Card and Score Bonus Points

Bonus cards, like dinosaurs, died. How many times per day do you use a different retail card? Probably less and less. Shop cards are gathering dust in your wallet. Retailers use chatbots to offer services, gather client information, identify customers, or get feedback quickly and easily. A great example in the Ukrainian market is the chatbot of the cafe chain that provides a list of functionality, including personalized offers, points scoring, info about free sandwiches, or coffee. Metro has a built-in chatbot bonus card that customers use while paying for purchases.

2cups personalized offers
Chatbot makes personalized offers based on customer’s info and collected points. Image source

Sales

One more main chatbot goal is to sell as much as possible. Choose the most popular messenger among your audience and open a new sales channel there. You can insert into the messenger where your bot is and a payment method, and then get more revenue. Just let your customer know about the new way of communication and shopping. Be aware that it is a bad idea to build Amazon-like solution and sell a wide range of goods via chatbot. Sell simple, unified products — less than 10 items. For example, Barista chatbot offers a few types of coffee and cakes.

coffee chatbot
Another example is the coffee chatbot that makes barista’s workload less and increases sales. Image Source

 

Repetitive Sales

One more source of additional sales is offering to make new purchase based on a customer’s prior preferences. Chatbot can predict (with vendor help) when customers need your services again and send notification to them. Sephora knows its customers’ habits and notifies customers about special personalized offers when the customer hasn’t made purchases for a while or can’t select the product.

Shop Long

With chatbots, Google isn’t needed to list where is the coffee spot is located or a favorite bakery is. Chatbots could send the list of addresses and define the nearest place. For example, Aldi, 2Cups, and IQOS have this function.

Returns

Unload your call center and focus on the important things. Chatbot could report a 40 percent cost reduction, making returns automatically.

Chatbot makes returns
Chatbot makes returns fast and easy without additional calls and papers. Image source

 

Personalized offers

The retailer knows his customers and has good ideas for selling them more of what they want. For example, consumer electronics retailer provides personalized discounts for everybody who subscribed to a bot, or they provide a discount for power banks or headphones once a mobile phone has been purchased.

Personalized offers
Based on user’s purchases or intents history chatbot makes very personalized offers. Image source

 

Service Requests

If the customer is faced with any issue with the product, especially in electronics, a chatbot can help. Then after a request for service, a chatbot provides service status to assure the client that his or her needs will be covered. For example, when something wrong is with Phillip Morris’s IQOS device, chatbot could recognize the issue and forward info to appropriate staff.

Viber IQOS
Chatbot offers to diagnose the issue and pass to the appropriate department. Source: Viber IQOS Ukraine

 

Education and FAQ for Retail Agents

This scenario is in the list of the popular among others. It is widely used for internal team communication or staff training. Pharmaceutical companies use it for giving and checking bonuses to their sales representatives. Phillip Morris International created a chatbot that manages sales in the field. The Ukrainian supermarket chain Varus tracks employee satisfaction by eNSP interviewing via chatbot. Also, chatbot manages staff vacations and check-ins.

 

 

I hope this 10 uses inspires you. Feel free to contact me if you need a similar bot for your retail chain.

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