Facebook Messenger Bots, introduced in April 2016, are the next step in digital communication because of their ability to connect businesses and consumers. While they were introduced last year, recent advancements have improved their usability. Facebook users can use Bots for a variety of tasks, such as customer service, making restaurant reservations, reviewing e-commerce orders, and more. To use Bots, users must first launch the Facebook Messenger app. They can then find Bots by using the search bar at the top of the app. Users then choose the Bot they would like to use and chat the Bot to get what they need. This provides the next step in digital communication for e-commerce and marketing alike because Bots are not just limited to text. They can send images, links, and call to action buttons.
Bots cater to all kinds of companies and causes, including Domino’s Pizza, Expedia, and even protests. The Domino’s Pizza Bot, called “Dom”, enables Facebook users to order pizza online. Users have access to the full Domino’s menu and can place their order within the Messenger app. But, because Facebook Messenger cannot take credit card payments yet, customers must pay the Domino’s delivery person in cash upon the arrival of their pizza. Domino’s introduced this Bot ahead of the super bowl this year in anticipation of the high demand for pizza. To learn more about Dom, click here.
Expedia also uses Facebook Bots, but to become a part of the consumer decision process. Before the Bot was introduced, consumers visited the Expedia site once they had decided where they were traveling. But, the Expedia Facebook Bot allows customers to converse with an Expedia Bot, and thus allows Expedia to become part of the decision-making process. The Bot is designed to help users search for hotels, but most customers assume that the app is used for customer service, so there is a disconnect between the design of the Bot and the services that consumers seek from the Bot. To learn more about the Expedia Facebook Bot, click here, or watch the video shown below.
Another Bot was created just this week has a completely different cause than pizza or travel. WeBot, developed by brothers Logan and Nathan Bernard, was launched in order to connect Facebook users to political protests in their area. WeBot users message the Bot with the words “get started”, and the Bot then asks users for their location. Users can choose to either automatically share their location with the Bot or manually type in their zip code. The Bot then generates protests in the user’s area, and users can choose to view, join, or share the Facebook events. To learn more about WeBot, click here.
The Bots aforementioned are just a start in what could be the next step in digital communication. Bots provide users with a completely customizable experience. Consumers love customization and simplification, so Bots will be an interesting technology to watch develop in the coming months.