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Chatbot 101: Here's everything you should know in 2024

E-commerce chatbot 101- Types, Applications and Pricing

AI Technology has become a central tool for modern businesses and their marketing strategies, with the latest buzz in the industry centering around the burgeoning field of chatbot technology. The emergence of chatbots as a trending topic is particularly noteworthy in today's digital landscape.

As we step into the era of conversational commerce, chatbots have introduced a game-changing "quick reply" feature that significantly aids businesses in engaging with their audience. These versatile chatbot software and solutions are being harnessed to enhance various aspects of the customer service experience, encompassing sales, promotions, and customer engagement.

Are you considering having a marketing chatbot or even a customer support chatbot on your website or online business? Let’s delve deeper into the transformative technology trend that is sweeping the digital landscape and understand “why we need chatbots”.

What is a chatbot?

Chatbots are programmed interfaces that are capable of mimicking human behavior and conversationally interacting with visitors.

With public APIs, businesses can create chatbots on multiple social platforms. By analyzing specific words or phrases contained in an incoming message, chatbots can offer a predefined response promptly.

What are the 3 types of Chatbots?

1. Scripted

Requires users to make several selections to guide them through any specific processes

2. Keyword-Based

Can break down an incoming message to identify the user intent, and match it with relevant information

3. Assistant

Respond to basic questions and refer the conversation to a live human when necessary

How do Chatbots work?

The chatbots usually work by adopting 2 kinds of technological processes.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

It is a branch of AI that helps computers to read and understand natural human language. After translating the content into information with a combination of patterns and text that can be mapped with its database, it can then generate the most accurate responses.

A hybrid of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

The second type, which is also known as a more advanced type, is a hybrid of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. A very typical example is the built-in personal assistant, Siri, which is available on every Apple device. Siri is capable of understanding and integrating different languages, not to mention providing personalized suggestions by utilizing information stored in your device.

Why does an e-commerce platform need a chatbot?

24/7 round the clock

People love shopping online because opening hours never limit them. Customers also expect better service from you, anytime, anywhere, boundlessly.

The better you perform in this area, the more sales you can generate, and the more you can outperform your competitors. Using a chatbot will help you to take care of your customers 24/7 without having any employee getting a night shift. Read more to discover details on the customer service AI chatbot platform for e-commerce.

Fast and reliable reply

Quick question: How to not make typos in your messages?

The answer is DON’T TYPE! No matter how careful your team has been, chances are we can still see mistakes lying around your messages.

AI in chatbots detects messages and sends pre-set templates to customers. You don't need to spend time writing reply messages over and over again. You also don't need to worry about making mistakes that could harm your brand's reputation in the future.

A virtual assistant can converse with your customers in a fast and reliable way.

Reduce costs

Human resources are the most expensive and valuable asset of a company. With a chatbot, many straightforward questions such as pricing, and store locations can be replied to automatically instead of using a human agent. Your customer support manager can hence do more other high-level tasks.

The cost saved can also be used in other areas for your e-commerce site. For example, website revamping, purchasing more goods to widen your product scope or even launching a new marketing campaign. In short, your company can better utilize every single bit of finance resources.

In the end, a chatbot assists you in increasing conversion rate, customer satisfaction, and hence, sales and revenue for your company. And yes, many people have already started to implement one. That includes your competitor. 

Need some help with a Chatbot for your website? Talk to us!

Practical applications of Chatbot solutions

Chatbot type





Main feature

Contextual analysis

Identifying tasks and completing requests

For fun

Offering proactive suggestions


Dialogflow, IBM Watson

Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant

Xiao AI (Xiaomi’s voice assistant), Simsimi

Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram

Chatbots are popular sales and marketing tools on messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, and LINE. While humans can’t work 24/7, chatbots can interact with customers around the clock and deliver timely responses. Businesses can improve their chatbot software by integrating external APIs. These APIs can provide visitors with additional information such as news, weather updates, and stock quotes.

Many are using chatbots to bridge the communication gap, and retail businesses are the biggest fans. According to Statista, 34% of retail customers are more comfortable speaking with customer service through AI chatbots than a live customer support representative. However, only 10% of respondents voted “yes” to government institutions employing chatbots.

Discover some conversational chatbot solutions for e-commerce and websites below.

Successful chatbot example

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the first airline with a Facebook Messenger chatbot, and other airlines find it inspiring.

KLM can give customers updates on flight status, boarding passes, travel details, and booking confirmations. They can also recommend restaurants and hotels.

The Facebook Messenger Chatbot can be used in 13 languages. These languages include Dutch, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Norwegian, French, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Korean.

Successful Chatbot solution example

Here are 10 platforms to build a chatbot for your business

Chatbots don't need extra apps, and they are easy and cheap to create. Here is a list of free platforms with chatbots:

  • Chatfuel

  • Pandorabots

  • Botkit

  • Flow XO

  • Facebook Messenger

  • Microsoft Bot Framework.

Meanwhile, some platforms do charge according to the volume of usage. They include:

  • Chattypeople (Free for up to 100 customers)

  • Smooch (Free up to 500 conversations per month)

  • Botsify (Free for one chatbot)

  • Motion.ai (Free for two bots)

The first one can send and receive messages, use plugins, change appearance, and get user information. The second one also helps create reports and dashboards for understanding user engagement.


Free Platforms

Paid Platforms

Keywords Matching



Multiple Chatbots

Not Available


Access Levels

Not Available


Conversation Handover

Not Available


Diversion Logic

Not Available


API Integrations



Looking to build a chatbot on WhatsApp instead? Check out our blog guide on WhatsApp Chatbot.

A sneak peek at SleekFlow’s chatbot solution

SleekFlow is a leading provider of omnichannel customer communication platforms that specializes in instant messaging app automation. With its automation features, businesses are now able to guide customers through the buying process without the need for human staff.

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Interested in knowing how such an AI-oriented customer service chatbot platform can provide a smooth experience to customers and save you from countless hours of pointless hassle? Just imagine if you encounter one of the following scenarios:

Read more: What’s new in SleekFlow: native Shopify integration to reinforce your e-commerce ecosystem

Scenario 1: The same question has been asked multiple times

SleekFlow's chatbot scans keywords when a customer asks for an FAQ. It then matches the keywords with the best solution for each touch-point. SleekFlow can provide more than just a simple answer. It can also give customers a link to a detailed guide for further information.

Scenario 2: Customers want to talk to a real person

Customers often prefer speaking to humans when they are not happy with the choices given by an automated system. To streamline the process, SleekFlow will help you segment customers according to their interests and needs in advance. If it's about sales, SleekFlow will give it to the Sales Team. If the customer has a complaint, someone from Customer Support will handle it.

Customer conversation on chatbot solution using whatsapp

Scenario 3: Waste too much time dealing with non-buyers

While getting new messages from new customers is exciting, some of them might be window shoppers who have no intention to purchase. Luckily, with SleekFlow, you can finally avoid wasting too many resources on people who are not in a position to invest in your product or service.

SleekFlow’s Chatbot will ask several questions to discern whether the customer is a good fit, in other words, to qualify a lead. Once the customer meets the requirements, the system will then assign the chat to the relevant team for follow-up actions.

Want to outcompete your peers with SleekFlow's help?

Book your personalized demo with SleekFlow today and unlock the potential of seamless communication

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