Imagine you’re chatting with a friend on Facebook Messenger and you ask them where they got their sweet new sneakers. When your friend replies with a link to the store, you’re able to browse the store’s product collection right in Messenger and order your shoes without ever leaving your chat. Even the stuff that happens after your order is placed — from shipping notifications to questions about your order — happens right in a Messenger conversation with the store.
Now imagine that you’re starting an online business of your own. You’re super excited to be doing this for the first time, but you really have no clue how to market your business and drive customers to your site. One day, you get a message from Kit, a chatbot “employee” who wants to help you get those first sales. In a conversation with Kit, you chat about your budget and which products you want to advertise. Kit creates and runs the ad all by itself and keeps you updated on how it’s doing.
At the ecommerce platform Shopify, we’re always looking for ways to make our merchants’ lives easier. Lately, we’ve been exploring ways that “conversational commerce” and chatbots can help make this happen. This exhibit will showcase how we are applying UX research to designing two very different types of automated conversations: those between a merchant and their customers, and those between a merchant and their chatbot “employees”.