Grand View Research expects the global chatbot market to reach a whopping $1.23 billion by 2025, which is a compounded growth rate of 24.3%.
But those numbers get even more impressive.
According to the Business Insider, 80% of senior or C-level executives from France, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the UK either already use chatbots regularly or plan to use them by 2020.
Really, though, that isn’t surprising.
Chatbots can be used to automate everything from sales, follow-up, and customer outreach to upselling, review requests, and even surveying. All of that automation appeals to businesses looking to save money and increase their ROI.
After all, when the robots do the work, it’s far less expensive and far more effective.
And why not use them?
Research shows that 65% of consumers are already comfortable with chatbots. The widespread adoption of chatbots seems to be the next natural step in the marketing world.
Let’s examine how these nine different, trendsetting brands are using Facebook Messenger and chatbots to decrease costs and increase customer engagement.
HealthTap is an innovative chatbot that allows users to get instant answers to their health questions from over 100,000 U.S. doctors from 141 different specialties.
Here’s a screenshot of what its original message looks like.
Users can ask questions at any time during the day and receive free health advice.
Of course, if you’re experiencing a serious ailment, then go see a doctor instead.
But for people who want to quickly get information about health issues that they or a loved one is experiencing, HealthTap is a remarkable place to start.
Naturally, HealthTap wouldn’t be able to do this without the help of Facebook Messenger. In the words of HealthTap’s CEO,
“It’s now easier than ever to access top doctors immediately in a succinct and personal way. The new Messenger Platform enables us to extend the ability of our dedicated and generous doctors to help people everywhere feel good.”
Despite how good the app makes people feel, if you widdle HealthTap down to its most basic form, it’s a management system for curated content.
And I don’t mean to belittle HealthTap by simplifying what they do. Quite the opposite, actually. There’s some serious genius to the system.
When a user asks a question, they deliver curated content from their massive database of medical answers.
Content marketers should take note.
Rather than shooting out random content to random people, the chatbot allows users to ask questions and then delivers content based on those questions.
And, to bring in some numbers, that personalization pays.
It’s 48% more effective than “unpersonalized” content and 32% much more effective.
You can use a similar method to deliver personalized content to people who ask for it.
Gone are the days of random content to random audiences.
With chatbots, you can answer the right questions at the right time for the right people.
Who’s to say that unbiased news can’t be conversational?
CNN’s chatbot feels as personal as a B2C bot trying to sell you its product during Christmas time.
Okay, they don’t use emojis and exclamation points. But, for a newsroom, they do a pretty nice job of connecting with their users.
Similar to HealthTap, CNN offers its readers curated content based on what users are most interested in.
Want to learn about space? No problem. How about Donald Trump? Done. What is Bernie Sanders up to? Let’s find out.
In other words, the CNN chatbot offers a personalized “news” feed (pun intended) within Facebook Messenger.
And let’s be honest, if a news agency can make its chatbot interesting, any business can make itself interesting.
CNN is carving the path for the other news agencies to do the same thing.
But not just other news agencies, marketers and their corresponding businesses as well.
In other words, you would do well to learn from the way that CNN personalizes its content.
The more personal your content is, the more engaged readers your readers will be. And the more engaged your readers are, the better the perception of your brand is.
Win, win, win.
Spring is a personal shopping bot for consumers everywhere.
You can find clothing, tools, technology, and pretty much anything that your little consumer heart desires.
It’s like Amazon in shopping bot form.
As users interact with the bot, they answer questions to curate their product and price options.
And the best part?
All of this is done automatically with a chatbot.
There’s no sales person on the other end scrambling to ask and answer everyone’s questions.
Nope. It’s like magic. For the user and the business.
Consider this: 86% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience.
And as childish as it might sound, part of making the customer experience remarkable is holding the consumer’s hand as they browse your store.
That way, you can point them in the right direction.
Of course, you don’t have the time to do that manually.
Chatbots that curate prices and products for each customer.
What if you could order plane tickets from Facebook Messenger?
Oh wait, you can.
In fact, that’s exactly what KLM allows its users to do.
But it does a bit more than that. Rather than just allowing users to order tickets, it also gives customers a digital boarding pass, notifies them when their flight is ready, and alerts them when their flight has been delayed.
In other words, they keep their customers updated about what’s going on with their flight.
Because let’s be honest. Nothing is more frustrating than preparing for a delayed flight or, on the other hand, missing an on-time flight because you forgot.
KLM helps protect its customers from both of those dire scenarios.
Which is in KLM’s best interest.
More than 60% of customers said, for instance, that the best brands make life easier for them.
If your chatbot isn’t making life easier for your customer and users, then you’re doing it wrong.
Everlane is an ecommerce chatbot that allows customers to browse, curate, and buy products natively on Facebook Messenger.
And if that isn’t enough, they also notify customers when their products have shipped.
Because the reality is this: consumers want to at least feel like they are in control of what’s happening with the products they order.
Of course, you can’t actually let them manage all of the details, but you can at least keep them updated to make them increasingly comfortable with the transaction.
Plus, people care a lot about shipping.
And not just shipping cost. But shipping time.
28% of customers have abandoned their cart because the shipping time was too long.
Really, that isn’t surprising.
When you order a product, you want to know when that product is going to be delivered.
Every other consumer on the planet is the same.
The least you can do with your chabot is keep your customers updated on delivery times and shipping information.
6. Pizza Hut
What’s better than a chatbot? Pizza and a chatbot.
Lucky for pizza-loving marketers, Pizza Hut has just the chatbot.
With it, users can find a nearby location, discover coupons and deals, order pizza, and reorder past transactions.
If there’s one word that summarizes Pizza Hut’s chatbot experience, it’s convenience.
Finding deals, choosing a pizza, and ordering that pizza couldn’t be any easier.
With the click of a few buttons, you’ll have paid and ordered within moments.
And convenience is a big deal in the eyes of consumers. Just consider these reasons that people prefer shopping on computers instead of a mobile device.
In the end, the majority of those reasons are related to convenience or ease of use.
Phrases like “hard,” “cannot be easily viewed,” “difficult,” “too long,” and “slow” indicate that people care an awful lot about convenience.
And the story is no different for chatbots.
Make your chatbot convenient for the customer or don’t make it at all.
1-800-Flowers is probably one of the more unique chatbots in the digital world.
With it, users can choose, pay for, and order flowers for a friend or loved one.
It’s as simple as a few clicks.
And here’s the coolest part about the service.
For free, customers can add a custom note to the delivery.
“Thanks for the encouragement mom!” or “You HAVE to see Star Wars! It’s amazing! Here are some flowers.”
Whatever the message says, the truth is the same: Consumers love free stuff.
And while the note seems like just a minor touch, it has a massive impact.
But just how much do people love discounts and free gifts?
Well, 50% of consumers say they are more likely to visit a store if they’ve received a coupon.
Similarly, 68% of consumers believe that coupons build brand awareness and loyalty, and 60% say they love digital coupons.
People love free gifts or discounts on the products you offer with your chatbot.
And you don’t have to break the bank to make that happen.
Just start with a 10% discount, for instance, and see how that impacts your conversion rate.
Disney doesn’t just make movies and create theme parks.
Evidently, they also create chatbots.
Well, they’ve created one, at least.
But it’s pretty damn fun for kids and weird adults (can you say “damn” when talking about Disney?).
The chatbot revolves around Zootopia, the popular animated movie that Disney released in the last year.
Users can go on text-based adventures, answer silly questions, and enjoy a Disney-esque experience.
But, you’re probably wondering, what does any of that have to do with your own business?
You’re not Disney, after all. You don’t have the money and time to just create a pointless game.
However, the game isn’t pointless.
That’s right. It’s not.
It might be silly and fun and child-like, but don’t let that deceive you. Disney is doing something very intentional by creating this game. They are reaching their target audience — kids — and building brand awareness with that audience.
Then, when the kids come screaming to the parents that they want to go to Disney World, the parents will oblige.
Smart move, Disney. Smart move.
You can also use your chatbot to increase brand awareness. And sometimes, gamification is a great way to do that.
Sure, you want to sell stuff. But you can’t sell stuff if people don’t know about you, right?
Insomnobot-3000 is a personal favorite.
When people can’t sleep, they can pull up the chatbot and have a conversation with it.
Here’s what that often looks like.
And this bot is attracting attention like a block of chocolate in a store full of fat kids.
Insomniacs — and people who are just plain bored — use the app to ask it questions and see what it’s capable of answering.
Ya know… similar to when you ask Siri or Cortana a ton of random questions to discover some uncovered mystery within their programming.
And while the bot seems like it’s just for fun, Insomnobot-3000 might actually be onto something.
Namely, conversational commerce.
What is conversational commerce?
Put simply, it’s commerce made… well, conversational. And chatbots are at the forefront of the charge.
Best make sure your chatbot follows suit.
Chatbots are becoming more and more popular as time goes on.
They definitely don’t seem to be going anywhere soon.
Businesses are investing in them. Customers are learning to trust them.
And the convenience they offer is just plain hard to beat.
After all, what other automation service allows you to curate and immediately deliver product recommendations and content?
That’s right. None.
The chatbots are truly unique.
But what’s even more unique is the way that the above nine trendsetting brands are using them to engage customers and decrease costs.
There’s really only one question left to ask.