Chatbots can be a gold mine, a mini side hustle or a waste of time. Like anything, you get back what you put in.
Hopefully this post will inspire you while also putting some money in your pocket (& GOLD!)
We started working on cashbot.ai a few short months ago and launched a self service dashboard in late October, so I consider us to be at our 45 day mark now. In this post, I’ll share some of the more interesting uses of cashbot.ai that we have observed & how we helped developers make money with their chatbots.
What is cashbot.ai?
First, cashbot.ai is a monetization platform for chatbots. It provides a path to monetization for a developer or operator of a chatbot by simplifying the process of making a product recommendation and enabling better CTRs & conversions.
We also provide simple integrations into Chatfuel, nodeJS & REST bindings. If interested in receiving a cashbot Chatfuel template, send us an email at email@example.com and we’ll get right back to you with a link.
What We Learned.
General observation: Chatbot users are very receptive to product recommendations, when done right.
The most non-invasive approach is to add a section to your chatbot called “Support me” where your users can click to see products you recommend. A user can choose to purchase a product as a way to support your bot. This is a totally transparent way of monetizing your user experiences while not taking anything away from the experience itself. If you’re providing value, why not ask for some support? Rather than just asking for donations, why not give your users a product you recommend in exchange for their support
Another common use of cashbot is to weave product recommendations into your user experience of the same theme as your chatbot.
Have a fitness bot? Recommend supplements, training gear, running shoes, or Under Armor products.
A cooking & recipe bot? Recommend flatware, pans and other items your users need to cook those meals you’re suggesting.
A weather bot? Umbrellas when it rains, winter coats when it snows, shorts when it’s sunny.
The key here is to get creative and try different ideas that make sense within your chatbot. You don’t want to disrupt the experience of your existing users. You want to enhance their experience by showing them things you actually think they should buy. I love Seinfeld Bot!
Then there are bots that are intended to help you find products by facilitating product discovery. Gustav the gift guru is a great example of this, a fun chatbot that’s always surprising you with all sorts of products for all sorts of people in your life. Gifty does a great job of this as well.
The team at Chatsecrets.com are designing educational courses that show you how to make the transition from creative marketing, to data driven marketing & product recommendations 100% through a chatbot experience.
So Here’s What We Did to Get the Money Flowing for our Users
Observation #1: Developers naturally create chatbots with content themes
We observed a trend of category based chatbots such as Fitness bots, Joke Bots, Trivia Bots, Lipstick Bots, and Weather Bots. We decided to make it easy to find products that match the interests of your users with our category based training enhancement.
Change #1: You can now train your agents by category. Every category Amazon classifies its products by.
Observation #2: Our customers search for products differently and wanted more control over the search process.
Some of our users search using Brands names, some by the manufacturer and some search by product titles. Everyone goes about finding what they want a little differently and, if it takes too long, our users will give up.
We fixed that.
Change #2: You can find products by Title, Brand, Manufacturer, etc…
Observation #3: Price is really important. If you’re operating a Horoscope chatbot you don’t necessarily want to recommend a $4,000 TV. If you’re Kushnode, you probably want to recommend snacks, Doritos or even a streaming movie. Our users wanted to control the price range of the products the recommended and filter accordingly.
You can do that now.
Change #3: You can filter by price range. Only want items that cost between $5 & $20? No problem.
Observation #4: Sometimes our customers want to recommend all sorts of things, so they’re less concerned about what the product is and more concerned by the popularity of the product. They seek variety and surprises. Whatever’s popular, that’s good enough.
Change #4: You can now sort by Most Popular. The default sort is by relevance, but if you want to include popular items that are most commonly purchased, we can help you there too.
Observation #5 Sometimes our users wanted to recommend something very very specific. Building a bot that recommends throwback Nikes? You will want a cashbot agent that recommends Air Jordans for men from all years and all styles. It simply wont cut it if a recommendation for a pair of female Adidas slips in there. Our users requested precision, specificity and, sometimes, total control.
Very excited about this enhancement… My Air Jordan bot is killing it!
Change #5: You can now delete individual products from your agent database — see picture! This is HUGE!!! You can see how many products are in your agent database and one by one delete them if they don’t fit with what you wanted.
Observation #6 We discovered that sometimes the product recommendations would have weird titles or the product description was unclear or didn’t make sense.
Change #6: You can now change the product description & title for each product. Sometimes Amazon returns a weird description, even a funny name. Now you can use these fields as calls to action, or summarize exactly what you want to say when describing the product. Got a birthday bot? Describe all your products as “perfect for birthdays!”
Observation #7 Price matters. We received a lot of requests from our users to include the ability to recommend items on sale. If you’re building an e-commerce bot and you have a interaction flow that’s 100% about deals, you have to be positive that what you’re recommending has a discount.
Well now you can.
Change #7: We show price, discount and sales in the product training page. Note: price tracking and advertising via recommendations is coming soon but not yet available.
Observation #8 The chatbot community is truly an international one.
We’ve received feedback from all over the globe and have users in over a dozen countries. None the less, our initial hypothesis was always that we’d be focused on US based developers. What has surprised us most has been the international flavor and interest levels coming from Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, India & Korea. It’s truly inspiring and, while initially a challenge, we’re thrilled to be working with such a global user base.
Change #8: For our international users… We are rolling out support for every Amazon locale! Create a Chinese product recommendation agent, an Italian one. Where ever your users are at, you’ll be able to make product recommendations with cashbot.
Our last observation is more a self reflection than a description of a product enhancement… After 45 days, we are amazed at how much innovation takes place daily & how creative this community is. Despite working in this space for the last 3 years and having built multiple chatbots ranging from bespoke to massive, we’re still learning something new every day. It’s truly exciting to be part of this technology boom at an early stage and to help the ecosystem expand.
But we’re really interested to hear what you’ve learned about Chatbots?!?!
If interested in letting us know what you’ve learned or just to receive a Chatfuel & Cashbot template, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get right back to you.
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Thanks and we love you all!