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Robotics 05 Mar 2016

Chatbot: An opportunity for retailers

Chatbots enable us to buy products through instant messaging applications, which improves the user’s experience.

A chatbot is software capable of simulating a conversation with another person through artificial intelligence. They help people book a room at a hotel or mark an event on their calendar. But experiments are being conducted so they can go one step further: to revolutionize the way we buy.

This is the age of robots, since many sectors, such as banking, are working to improve the relationship with their customers. Large companies are investing to introduce this technology.

Chatbots usually work in instant messaging applications by incorporating a conversational interface.

Companies are looking for new ways to increase conversion rates and go beyond online purchases. When they are fully developed, chatbots will help retailers generate more income and increase customer loyalty.

chat bot artificial intelligence mobile app resource bbva

One example is Microsoft, which has developed a series of tools so developers can create their own chatbots for their applications. Facebook is also committed to this technology so companies can communicate with their customers through the Messenger application.

The Taco Bell chain has developed Tacobot, an application integrated in Slack, that enables its customers to order their meals through their smartphones.

The messaging application Kik has set up its Bot shop, an app-type market where users can find products from different stores, such as H&M or Sephora.

In this way, customers can receive advice on products and both user experience and the conversion rate can be improved.

Robots are not a new technology. They emerged in the 1960s with Joseph Wiezenbaum in the MIT. Eliza, which was the first such robot, could process natural language and work as a therapist. But its skills were very basic and it answered many questions with other questions.

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