2017 was a year in which the keyword “chatbot” became more and more a topic and many trade media intensively dealt with the development and also the acceptance of chatbots. Especially in the social media channels this topic has spread rapidly. We as a shopware agency would now like to take a closer look at whether these chatbots are useful within the shopware world.

Let’s start with the basic question of what a chatbot is. Put simply, a chatbot is a dialogue-based communication system with a computer system (chat – bot = chat robot). Means that the user enters a text in a chat window and the computer responds to it.

For a long time, since the first development in 1966 (ELIZA), these chatbots were based on a rule-based system and the input (also called intention) had to correspond exactly to the specification stored in the computer, so that the predefined answer could be played out. If you entered an unknown or incorrect question, the system was not able to answer it. 99.9% of the 100,000 chatbots on Facebook Messenger are already rule-based.

Only the development of programmed artificial intelligence has significantly changed this circumstance. With regard to chatbots, this approach of artificial intelligence is also called “Natural Language Processing” (NLU). In this way the bot automatically learns to understand an intention in very different formulations in order to give the correct answer. An autodidactic system with amazing fault tolerance. In contrast to the old system, this takes a lot of frustration away from the user, who can thus reach their goal more quickly. This is exactly where we would like to emphasize the benefits for e-commerce, especially for shopware shop operators.

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