November 11th, 2021 | 15 MIN READ

16 Of The Best eCommerce Chatbots For Your Business

Written by Elastic Path Team

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on September 8, 2019 and has been updated to reflect the growing array of chatbots for retail and ecommerce.

Conversational commerce has become a formidable channel to recon with. Sales made via conversational commerce channels such as chatbots, digital voice assistants, and messaging will grow from $41 billion this year to $290 billion by 2025, according to Juniper Research.

With this type of growth, any company with digital sales, regardless of industry or ecommerce business model, will need to consider weaving conversational commerce tactics into their strategy, especially chatbots. Consumers today prefer to chat with company representatives or support over chat as opposed to calling. It’s faster than email, with less of the pressure of a phone call.

While not every business will have the need to enable cart and checkout functionality within chat, there are a number of other benefits to using bots, either automated or live, including reduced support time and costs, providing personalized experiences, or enabling faster sales conversations. Consumers today want quick, seamless, and frictionless experiences and chatbots are yet another channel to facilitate these needs and meet their demands.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of chat, you can learn more about what an ecommerce chatbot is and how they work in our blog here. If you’re already in search of one, keep on reading. We’ll cover 20 of the best chatbots for ecommerce businesses. Keep in mind that these aren't ranked. Which chatbot you choose will depend on your needs.

Top Ecommerce ChatBot Platforms

Chatfuel

About: Chatfuel provides one of the most popular chatbots today. Founded in 2016, they have focused on and exceled at developing conversational bots for social media, specifically Facebook messenger and more recently, Instagram. It is a no-code, non-developer friendly tool with an easy to use drag-and-drop UI and has inbuilt NLP (via Facebook), analytics and supports automated sequencing. They currently handle over 1 billion messages a month. And can boast a number of industry leading customers, including Netflix, Lego, Levi’s and British Airways.

Chatfuel pricing: They offer tiered pricing, starting with a free version for up to 50 users, full access to base-features, and Facebook Messenger and Instagram bots. After that, their Pro version is $15 a month for unlimited users, and additional features such as a Facebook ads integration, AI support for the bot, and an integration with Shopify stores or Facebook shops. They also offer agency and enterprise-style pricing.

Key features:

  • Facebook Messenger & Instagram
  • Ready-to-use templates
  • Images, video and audio support
  • In-app payments via Facebook (US users only) or Stripe (international) 
  • Analytics integrate with Dashbot.io, Botanalytics and Yandex Metrica
  • Collect Facebook user data through forms (e.g. email addresses)
  • Integrations with 3rd party tools like Calendly, Zapier and more
  • Build and manage retargeting campaigns
  • Leverages Facebook profile data for retargeting

 

MobileMonkey


About: MobileMonkey positions itself as an “OmniChat” platform and offers bot solutions for text (SMS), Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and native web. One of the key benefits of MobileMonkey is that it allows teams to build conversations for multiple bots from one location (i.e., the core of their ‘OmniChat’ technology).

They offer a drag-and-drop dialog builder, premade dialog templates, support for live chat handoff through its Zapier integration, and are currently used by brands like Toyota and VMware. MobileMonkey also has an agency partner network that can build and manage your ads and bots for you if you prefer to outsource.

Pricing: MobileMonkey pricing will vary based on your business goals (agency or in-house) and offers both startup and growth editions for the latter. The growth edition promises additional integrations via their API (versus through Zapier).

Supports:

  • Natural language processing
  • Ready-to-use dialog templates
  • Images, video, GIFs
  • Audience segmentation and targeting
  • “Chat blasts” and drip campaigns
  • Live chat takeover
  • Zapier integrations (e.g. Slack, Salesforce, MailChimp, Hubspot, Klaviyo, Freshdesk)
 

Looking to commerce enable your chatbot?

Join the many brands leveraging conversational commerce today. Chat with an Elastic Path expert to see how our headless solutions will help.

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Octane.ai

About: Octane.ai specializes in chat for Shopify and is really catered to merchants in need of conversation support for their Shopify stores. Leveraged by popular Shopify customers like GoPro, Octaine.AI has a unique ‘Shop Quiz’ feature that allows companies to personalize products and recommendations. It supports unique third-party integrations such as Yotpo and Klavio to add review context to product recommendations and targeted offers (including direct link to read reviews).

Octane.ai pricing: They offer starter pricing for smaller companies that is $29 a month, with an added on cost of $0.06 for every additional engagement (bot interactions) that go above that. After that pricing gets custom. Anyone that wants to explore, has the option of starting a free trial.

Supports:

  • Natural language processing
  • Ready-to-use dialog templates
  • Images, video and audio
  • Pop-up windows to build a Messenger marketing list
  • Automated sequencing including back-in-stock alerts and cart recovery
  • Integrates with Yotpo and Klaviyo to surface reviews in chat
  • Integrates with JustUno to collect and sync email addresses
  • Integrates with Yext to sync store locator data

Flow XO

About: Flow XO is another business-friendly chatbot tool. They offer a multi-channel conversational ai chatbot solution for ecommerce companies that can be implemented across Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS, Slack, Telegram, and on your own website. You can facilitate both automated and live conversations and accept payments through chat. Their UI is clean, easy-to-use, and offers the ability to build from scratch, as well a number of pre-built templates for a variety of use cases across a number of industries including banking, entertainment, and hospitality. They also integrate with over 100 platforms, making it easy to build and customize your bot to your requirements.

Flow XO pricing: Flow XO offers a fairly comprehensive starter option that is free. You get 500 interactions, 5 active bots or flows, 2 weeks of logs for tracking, and email support. The next level up is their standard plan at $19 a month, which incorporates all features, 5,000 interactions, 15 bots, 3 months of logs, 5 seats for your team, and the ability to download your user data and remove messenger branding. After that, a key pricing differentiator between Flow XO and their competitors is that that you can add on extra bots and interactions for an additional $10 or $25 a month.  This is great as you can scale as you need to and not get stuck with a higher tier and additional bots you don't need.

Supports:

  • Facebook, Messenger, SMS, Slack, Telegram, or your own site
  • Natural language processing
  • Image, video, and audio
  • 100+ integrations
  • Accepting payments 
  • Ready-to-use dialog templates
  • Live chat takeover
  • Lead capture capabilities 

ManyChat

About: ManyChat is another Facebook-oriented chatbot tool and supports Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct Messages, and SMS bots. It provides similar capabilities to its competitors, but supports file attachments, allows you to preview recipients’ names in a group blast, and provides analytics for subscribes and unsubscribes. ManyChat also integrates with Google’s Dialogflow framework (reviewed below) for AI and voice capabilities.

ManyChat Pricing: Manychat also offers a free version that gives users access to all basic features, 1 seat, and the ability to engage with up to 1,000 contacts a month. At $15 / month per seat for their Pro version, you get access to engage with an unlimited number of customers, SMS bots, and unlimited users.

Supports:

  • Facebook Messenger
  • Natural language processing
  • Machine learning
  • Ready-made templates
  • Visual build/edit capabilities
  • Images, image galleries, video, audio and file attachments
  • Bot cloning
  • Live chat takeover
  • Analytics
  • Collect Facebook user data through forms (e.g. email addresses)
  • Push this data to CRM, email marketing + more through Zapier integration
  • Automated sequencing and retargeting campaigns
  • Analytics

Botsify

About: Botsify is a multi-channel chatbot solution that lets you build dialog for Facebook, your own chatbot, WhatsApp, Telegram, or SMS. Its voice features differentiate it from competitors, however Botsify lacks Facebook remarketing and campaign tools, and appears to focus more on customer service dialogs than commerce.

Botsify supports team collaboration and workflows, enterprise Single Sign On and prototype preview across devices. They enable a seamless transition between AI-based bots and live chat for a better customer experience, and offer over 100 different integrations including Zapier, slack, Wordpress, and stripe for in-chat payments.

A key differentiator of Botsify is their multi-lingual chatbot feature, that allows customers to translate their bots for native conversations in multiple languages.

Botsify Pricing: Bostify also offers tiered pricing, but no free version. Their lowest tier starts at $40 a month and allows for 2 bots, 5,000 bot users a month, and access to all integrations, among their base features (Facebook, SMS, Website bots). Their professional tier starts at $125 a month, includes up to 5 bots / 15k users a month, and additional support including bi-weekly trainings and a personal onboarding session. After that, you need to reach out to go custom.

Supports:

  • Facebook Messenger, Slack, Alexa and your own chatbots
  • Natural language processing
  • Bot Translation
  • Ready-to-use dialog templates (via Bot Store)
  • Drag-and-drop capabilities
  • Images, image galleries, video, audio and file attachments
  • Team collaboration tools
  • Live chat takeover
  • In-chat payments via Stripe integration
  • Analytics
  • Unlimited user testing
  • Integrates with Slack for internal testing

Botsociety

About: Botsociety is a business-friendly design tool that lets teams build live prototypes for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Assistant and more with drag-and-drop and collaborative tools. They also give teams the ability hand their bots off to developers to customize code. It's a phenomenal tool for anyone looking to build custom bots from scratch, but they do offer pre-built templates for a variety of uses cases such as banking, or curbside pickup. Their collaborative experience, user management (the ability to assign different permissions by person), and private cloud and SSO integration makes it a great enterprise chatbot for ecommerce businesses.

Botsociety pricing: Botsociety offers a starter package at no cost with access to unlimited designs and up to 20 messages per design. Their professional package can be billed monthly or annually, starting at $71 a month, and offers unlimited designs, messages, and up to 5 editors. For anything above that, you will need to contact them for enterprise pricing, which includes additional benefits such as custom integrations, SSO & custom domains, and a private cloud option. 

Supports:

  • Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Alexa, Google Assistant, your own bots
  • Voice capabilities
  • Drag-and-drop capabilities
  • Images, image galleries, video and audio
  • Team collaboration tools
  • Interactive previews
  • Multi-lingual support
  • Integration with backend APIs
  • Analytics

 

Ada

About: Ada is unique among ecommere chatbots in that it’s both a “no-IT-required chatbot” builder, but is also friendly for developers. It’s also not focused on Facebook Messenger. Ada’s sweet spot is supporting use cases that require collection of personal information within chat, such as secure customer data (with PCI, GDPR and PIPEDA compliance), and can provide replies based on customers’ orders, bookings, accounts, passwords and more. You can also segment and target visitors with proactive chat based on visitor attributes or on-site behavior. Ada also supports multi-geography brands, enabling them to deliver personalized conversations and experiences in over 100 languages.

Ada pricing: For ada pricing you will need to reach out to them directly.

Supports:

  • Building your own chatbot without coding skills
  • Publish to Facebook Messenger, WeChat/WhatsApp coming soon
  • Multiple-language support
  • Natural language processing
  • Machine learning and training
  • Drag-and-drop capabilities
  • Images, video, GIFs
  • Secure customer data
  • Live chat takeover through Zendesk, LivePerson and FreshDesk integrations
  • Analytics
  • Proactive chat
  • integrates with your existing APIs to push unique products, services, bookings and more

Automat

About: Automat offers an enterprise chatbot for ecommerce businesses looking to facilitate conversations on their website. Their bot specializes in conversational AI, and enables teams to provide personalized product recommendations through chat.

Automat pricing: You will need to reach out to Automat directly for pricing.

Supports:

  • Building a bot for your website
  • Analytics 
  • Conversational ads and landing pages
  • Live chat handover
  • Ecommerce capabilities
  • Conversational AI

Bot Frameworks

Dialogflow

About: Dialogflow (formerly API.ai) is a Google product that leverages its speech-to-text, natural language processing and machine learning technologies. Running on Google’s Cloud Platform, Dialogflow projects can scale to hundreds of millions of users, and integrate with Google Assistant, Alexa, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Telegram, KiK, Viber, Skype, Slack and more. It also supports integration with Internet of Things such as wearables, car speakers and other smart devices. While users say publishing to Facebook is difficult with Dialogflow (you have to build this yourself), integrations with ManyChat and Botsociety (below) bridge this gap. Dialogflow lacks pre-built integrations with live help, email, reviews and other third party services, but can be custom built.

Developers can use Dialogflow by making direct REST over HTTP requests, and use client libraries in C#, Go, Java, Node.js, Ruby, Python and PHP.

Supports:

  • Multi-platform publishing
  • Voice capabilities
  • SDKs for Internet of Things
  • Natural language processing
  • AI / machine learning and training
  • Over 20 languages
  • Analytics (Chatbase)

Amazon Lex

About: Lex, the AI/conversational technology behind Alexa, is now open to developers to build Facebook, KiK, Slack or Twillo chatbots (or integrate with Alexa Skills Kit). Naturally, Lex includes speech capabilities and automatic speech recognition (ASR) for speech-to-text. Lex also has pre-built connectors to Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo, Zendesk and Quickbooks.

Thanks to Amazon’s ecommerce context, Lex has one of the most robust libraries of product-related subjects and entities, meaning less manual setup. It also have a few ready-to-use bots and supports AI training. For projects that go beyond website chatbots such as in-store kiosks and Internet of Things, you can leverage Amazon Web Services and third-party APIs, SDKs and services. Pay-as-you-go pricing makes it easy to experiment, and you’re only charged per text or speech request.

Supports:

  • Facebook, KiK, Slack, Twillo, Alexa, your own bot
  • Voice capabilities and speech-to-text
  • Natural language processing
  • AI / machine learning and training
  • Ready-to-use dialogs and ecommerce-focused entities
  • Integration with third party tools (e.g. HubSpot, Salesforce)
  • SDKs for Internet of Things

Microsoft Bot Framework

About: Microsoft Bot Framework works with Azure Cognitive Services to support complex, AI-driven use cases including adaptive cards (display real-time, contextual information on orders, bookings, etc), image and voice recognition. If you want chat that listens and speaks (even in a “branded voice”) and can identify speakers’ voices and faces, this bot’s for you. Despite these advanced capabilities you can try it for free, and pay only for what you need.

Microsoft’s own LUIS (Language Understanding Intelligence Service) is used to configure your own business logic with advanced NLP and AI training capabilities. The Framework allows you to use multiple data sources (yes, Big Data!) and integrate with any channel and touchpoint.

However, Microsoft’s solution is developer-heavy. Business users have no tooling to customize dialog, meaning IT must be committed to not just the initial build, but to the entire lifecycle of the bot.

Supports:

  • Pre-built dialog “blocks”
  • Natural language processing
  • Voice capabilities and voice recognition
  • Branded voice
  • Image and face recognition
  • Adaptive cards
  • AI / machine learning and training
  • Big Data integration
  • SDKs for Internet of Things
  • Deployment to Azure
  • Integration with Microsoft Cortana devices
  • Analytics

Pandorabots

About: Pandorabots is a hosted framework to build rules-based chatbots. An AI “OG,” Pandorabots has been around since 2008, with over 1M community users worldwide. It’s based on Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML) which it claims is “easy for anyone to learn, even if you aren’t a programmer.” It also offers its own professional services. For developers, SDKs are available for Java, Rube, Go, Node.js, Python and PHP.

Pandorabots lacks a major feature of other frameworks -- machine learning. However, it positions this as a benefit, as machine learning tools tend to experience performance lag the more intents it keeps.

Supports:

  • Access to open source chatbot libraries
  • Voice capabilities
  • Big Data integration
  • SDKs for popular programming languages

IBM Watson

About: Built on a neural network of 1 Billion Wikipedia words, Watson’s AI powers 1-800-Flowers’ GWYN (Gifts When You Need) concierge and the North Face’s voice search. Watson features an “empathy analyzer” to predict personality through text (aka sentiment analysis).

While it’s an enterprise framework, it ships with a visual dialog editor for non-techies to build simple flows. SDKs are available for Java, Node.js, .NET, Python, Ruby and other popular languages, as well as Android and Salesforce. While there are a few pre-built dialog templates, expect to build most bots from scratch.

Supports:

  • One-click deployment to any platform
  • Pre-built dialog templates
  • 10 languages and translation
  • Voice capabilities
  • Speech-to-text, text-to-speech
  • Natural language processing
  • Machine learning and training
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Visual dialog editor
  • Collaboration tools
  • Live chat takeover
  • Big Data integration
  • Analytics

Pypestream

About: Pypstream is a build framework that serves as a conversational commerce microservice. It’s API-driven, and integrates with any web service using REST, SOAP, or legacy APIs.

While Pypestream isn’t primarily focused on retail, it has some very appealing features for travel, insurance and finance that can apply to B2C and B2B commerce scenarios. Its main differentiator is encryption and privacy that supports entry and retrieval of passwords, orders and other sensitive information, and file upload which can be used for advanced support and AI-driven onboarding and verification of new accounts.

For travel companies such as cruise lines, Pypestream can support in-chat bookings, activities, concierge services, loyalty points and rewards, dining vouchers, discount codes, personalized guest experiences and travel insurance. Hotels can integrate guest services, late checkout, room service, upgrades, extended stays, loyalty points and rewards, amenities, bookings, locations, concierge services and other discounts. Travelers can also spend points within chat.

Pypestream’s AI maintains context throughout a chat history, which is useful for personalized experiences. It can also trigger outbound SMS notifications via event-based broadcasts.

Based on the selected use cases for automation, Pypestream will extract relevant data from APIs to authenticate users, and can even trigger outbound SMS notifications via event-based broadcasts.

Supports:

  • Natural language processing
  • Voice capabilities
  • Design studio
  • AI / machine learning and training
  • Rich media and file upload
  • Scheduling
  • GPS / send location
  • Data encryption
  • In-chat payment
  • Surveys
  • Integration with Big Data, booking systems and more
  • Live chat takeover
  • SMS notifications and event-based triggers
  • Extension to any device / Internet of Things
  • Conversation logs
  • Analytics

What to ask yourself before choosing your ecommerce chatbot

Still not sure which solution to choose? As with most tech decisions in this day, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option so you’ll need to think carefully about your business requirements. Your chatbot solution will depend on your needs and how well their features satisfy them.

If you’re still not sure about which one to pick, ask yourself a couple of the following questions:

  • Do you need ultimate flexibility and the ability to code? Or is a drag and drop option fine?
  • Do you have basic use cases, or do you need a complex AI to handle your customer support questions?
  • Do you need SMS or voice-enabled commerce?
  • Does your team need the ability to intervene with live chat?
  • Is your business international and in need of multi-lingual support?
  • Do you need a native website bot, or do you primarily need to focus on platforms like Messenger and Instagram?
  • Do you need to enable a cart and checkout process in your bot?
  • How much support will you need to onboard and implement your bot?
  • What data will the bot collect, what do you need, and how do you plan to use it?
  • Does the bot meet your privacy needs?
  • What is the base cost of the platform and are there any additional fees that you need to consider?
  • What integrations do you need and will the platform support you?

Ask yourself what it is that you need and go from there. Elastic Path does not provide chatbot solutions, but if you have questions about how to commerce enable your chatbot, we can help. We provide a headless, API-first microservices solution for businesses looking to build custom, unique commerce experience. We can help enable cart & check out within your bot and enable a faster, more seamless customer experience.

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