Posted by:Ranjani Rao May 18th, 2016

The much talked about Facebook’s Bots for Messenger is here. How well it will work and how high the adoption will be, only time will tell. But there are quite a few things going for it – the biggest being that the volume of users using Facebook Messenger. Messenger is the preferred channel of communication, with almost a billion people using it every month. Allowing businesses and brands to leverage that channel is a logical next step.

As with every new concept, the question is – when and how should it be used?

Facebook gave a few examples, around eCommerce – viewing products, choosing products and shipment notifications. For businesses that have an eCommerce presence, using a Messenger bot definitely has potential. But does it mean that Messenger bots will replace eCommerce mobile apps? Not necessarily. A lot of the bot functionality is driven by the Messenger API and it does not provide all the sophisticated features that a mobile app does. For example, an eCommerce app feature that allows product customization and personalization cannot be replicated on Messenger using a bot.

So Messenger bots are great for scenarios where the interaction is simple and does not require a complex workflow. They provide an easier way of getting information on a brand, notifications from a business and content updates from websites.

After web and mobile apps, Facebook Bots for Messenger is another channel that businesses should leverage to reach their customers but it cannot be the only channel.

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