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When it comes to building chatbots for a Shopify e-commerce site, you have a few different options with how you can distribute a chatbot, but not a lot of leeway to offer the best possible experience for a customer base.

A chatbot could be built right into the site itself as a right/left-side assistant that can help you navigate around a site, or a chatbot can be presented in a Facebook Page or Twitter profile. It does depend on where you really want to target your users and where you think they have a chance to engage the best.

Whichever way you choose, there are a few important key conversation design methods and tips that should be followed and noted when building chatbots in an online store context.

Don’t be Annoying

When it comes to designing a conversation, much like human-to-human interactions, having a consistent and obviously low-effort message is an easy way to cause a potential customer to lose interest and leave a site. If there’s a chatbot sending me a ton of in-site messages or Facebook notifications after a first click, it can be easy to dismiss a store and consider something “spammy” more than useful.

The way to prevent this is to send messages at the right time and the right place. Personalizing a chatbot to each page of a website and asking for permission to send notifications through Facebook is a key way to show users that you won’t misuse their interest in your store.

Ask Info to Personalize

More often than not, you’re going to get customers that may be losing interest quickly, and depending on the products you choose to sell, you may have a store that requires users to take a few steps, or take a lot of steps to really fully go through the purchase decision making process.

When asking users for data to help them find products or to help them consider navigating to a certain part of the site, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a bit of trust that needs to be built. In this situation, the key is to be as upfront as possible with the user in terms of what they’re getting and how their personalized experience could look like if they respond to a few questions.

Much like the last tip: don’t be annoying, be practical.

Show Off Credibility

With Facebook Messenger especially, allowing users to be able to see testimonials and products-in-action as soon as possible can be a major way to drive more revenue and acquire better leads. By being able to prove the quality of inventory, a store can really utilize chatbots as a method to build loyalty and turn customers into evangelists after they get motivated to do so.

A store can also utilize credibility in simply explaining the products as something beneficial. For example, if a store donates to charity with every purchase, pushing this information early on with a chatbot can really turnaround the type of reputation an online store has quickly.

Of course, it also never hurts to show off sales and promotional events early and often as well.

Design for Delightful Customer Service

On any platform that you decided to deploy your chatbot on, you will more than likely run into users asking about Pre-Sale or Post-Sale support questions about the store and products. Being able to predict as much as possible and also design for an easy handover to a human agency should be the top priorities with customer service.

To properly design these experiences, answering questions and guiding the user to proper documentation can be enough, but it should not be discounted that a user may ask about a question that a bot simply can’t solve. A few methods here to elegantly handoff to a human agent include:

  • Asking user for a name and email so that an available agent can get to them.
  • Setting expectations of live chat hours (don’t leave users in the dark)
  • Push the user to ask more questions if needed.

To get specific with the last point, a chatbot telling the user to ask more questions isn’t always clear when using Shopify-based chatbots, but a user may often think they have to wait for a user to reach out to them to ask any other questions, but give options for the user to really continue to build the intelligence and prevent users from losing interest, especially if they have to wait a bit for a human agent.


Looking to build amazing chatbots for Shopify or for any online store? Get started with our Generic Chatbot Builder within the platform to start properly building chatbots for your website, or use our Facebook Messenger-specific features to specifically design for the best experience.