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Why not use a Bot to shop for cool stuff?

Mobile apps and chatbots, ecommerce

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Imagine sitting at a cafe with your friend who is visiting from overseas. You notice she is wearing a cool pair of sunglasses, so you ask her where she bought them from. She says she bought them from a store in Paris, but she can’t remember the store’s name. You could try searching and scrolling through websites of boutique French designers, online fashion retailers and e-commerce stores, but your chances of finding those exact sunglasses is really slim. How annoying!

There should be a way to take a photo of those awesome sunglasses with your phone and somehow the robots in your smartphone should magically recognise them and provide the ability for you to purchase them. Oh wait! That is exactly what BOTS are doing for e-commerce businesses.

Let’s walk through this scenario and take a look at how the bot could possibly know which sunglasses your friend has, and how it then let’s you purchase the same pair instantly.

Microsoft's vision bot
Microsoft's vision bot

The ‘Vision Bot’, shown in the above screenshots, is a bot created by Microsoft to demonstrate it’s Computer Vision API. Basically it can receive an image, either as an attachment or url, and then return a computer-generated caption of the image. Utilising this type of technology you could simply open your Facebook Messenger app, take a photo of your friend’s sunglasses and post it to the thread of your favourite fashion platform (for example ASOS or The Iconic). Instantly, without even leaving Facebook Messenger, you would receive a reply from the bot that it has recognised the sunglasses from its database, then it would present the price and a “pay now” button directly within Facebook. It would know your name, address and any other details you have enabled on your Facebook settings. No longer will impulse buying be limited to grabbing a chocolate bar at the supermarket checkout line. This is the future of how people will be purchasing items online.

Facebook messenger shopping bot

If you run an e-commerce business you need to factor bots into your planning for 2017. Build and connect intelligent bots to interact with your users naturally wherever they are — from your website or app to text/SMS, Skype, Slack, Facebook Messenger, Office 365 mail, Teams and other popular services.

There is real power in delighting customers with intelligent bots. For more information or to discuss how a chatbot could help your business just send me an email at