Shopping culture has changed considerably over time. Earlier shopping plans were made in advance. Families used to select one day for everyone’s shopping and the entire day used to go in that. But then came online shopping.
Online shopping is like a boon to all the shopaholics out there. You can order anything at any time of the day sitting at your home with just a few clicks. And then the item would be delivered to your doorstep without much effort. But in this fast-paced world, the urge to shop online also became mundane for people.
Today, people want something more to enhance their shopping experience. So then came into play the trend of shopping bots in online shopping. As per recent stats, the bot service market is expected to reach up to $7.8 billion by 2030. Hence, there is a lot of scope. But what are these shopping bots? Let’s find out.
What are Shopping Bots?
Wouldn’t it be great if a robot does your job and you get the profit? Somehow shopping bots serves the same purpose for you. A shopping bot is basically a form of artificial intelligence (AI) software that is slowly being widely acclaimed.
When a product inquiry is made, this mechanized self-service system goes through thousands of website pages all over the world. It immediately notifies the user when it finds the best deal without wasting a single second. Some advanced shopping bots are designed to purchase the item the second it is released. Moreover, these can be around $500 based on their features.
Therefore, it can be called the best customer service hired hand who will work without any coffee, tea, or lunch breaks. They do a lot more than just reply with pre-specified answers. They withhold the potential of converting the clients from considering to purchasing.
Imagine spending thousands of dollars to bring paid traffic to your website, then each customer will have a different set of questions that need to be answered, and hiring humans for that would be expensive. If you compare it to shopping bots, it is a better and inexpensive option to handle all this. Now let’s throw light upon how to use these shopping bots.
How does a Shopping Bot Work?
A shopping bot works by using a particular software program to execute mechanized tasks based on instructions provided by bot makers. It gives an upper hand to the buyer above other buyers. A shopping
For instance, a shopper wants to see a restock of collectible sneakers as soon as they become available in the market. One scenario would be, you sit in front of the computer screen 24×7 and keep refreshing the browser until the restock happens. It would be regarded as a sheer waste of time and won’t last more than a day or two.
The second scenario would be to use online shopping bots to monitor them. The software program would be designed in a certain way to search for the text “In Stock” on the particular field of the web page. The bot will repeatedly send requests to the shopping page really fast till your item is released.
When the item is released, like a PS5, the software code would command the bot to alert a specific email address. The only job that a shopper has to do is to mention the web page URL and the email address, and the bot will monitor the web page for them.
This is how a typical shopping bot works!
How to use a Shopping Bot?
Shopping bots are very simple to use. Their basic working process is the same, but since there are so many types of them, their use process usually varies in terms of instructions and requests. For instance, let’s study a hotel booking service and how the bot will work.
- As you open the site/app, the bot will broadcast a greetings message on the screen and ask you about your travel city and dates.
- After you mention your travel city and dates, the bot will show you the list of the hotels and their best prices available on the specified date.
- Then it will provide you with a link to adjust your budget, location, and other preferences.
- Once you do that, after selecting your hotel, you can confirm the booking and give payment details.
Hence, these are the basic steps of working on the shopping bots of a hotel booking service. The procedure depends on what kind of shopping bots you are operating with.
Top 10 Shopping Bots
Although there are many shopping bots out there, we have compiled a list of the top 10 amongst them and their key features.
- WeChat – WeChat is a platform where businesses can communicate with customers. It helps them both to develop a relationship. The customers’ queries are taken, and the payments are also made here.
- It gives easy access to the products.
- Its open API and SKD make for a simple onboarding procedure.
- Allows friendship between businesses and customers.
- SMSBump – SMSBump helps in choosing the right automated message for the audience. Additionally, it has the most extensive automation library in the world.
- It makes the functionality of SMS marketing simple
- Helps in narrow targeting
- Boosts sales
- H&M – Confused about your outfit? H&M shopping bot will provide you with the perfect one. It will help you find an outfit that matches your needs.
- Provides exclusive deals to its customers
- Users can contact the customer service portal directly.
- 5Gifts4Her – This would help you solve your gift block. Not able to choose what to buy for your special one, 5Gifts4Her online shopping bot is at your service.
- Provides a weekly catalog designed especially for ladies
- It helps curate a wish list too!
- Magic – Magic can help you with anything, just as its name says. This online shopping bot is ready to do it all for you, whether ticket booking or placing an order.
- A good starting point for anyone getting familiar with the concept of conversational commerce.
- A mixture of human and software assistance.
- Snaptravel – This online shopping bot provides you with the best hotel booking deals. You just have to type your destination and day of checking in and checking out.
- Have exclusive VIP packages
- Can give discount up to 30%-50%
- Roobot – Just like Amazon Alexa, this online shopping bot also helps you shop using voice detection. You can shop anytime and from anywhere.
- It gives customers more options online than in-store
- Improves product recommendations
- Readow – This shopping bot software curates a list of books of your personal interest and allows you to read them. It holds a conversation with you about your claim, genre choice, and other information.
- It helps in streamlining the book scrutinizing process.
- Yellow Messenger – Basically inspired by yellow pages, this online shopping bot offers a lot. All can be done here, from booking your plane to a movie ticket.
- Enhances workers productivity
- Lessens time spend on unvarying tasks
- Bit technical knowledge is required for it, but you can customize it accordingly after that.
- Birdie – Usually, one ends up buying a product hastily then regretting it later. Birdie helps you protect from committing that mistake, and it provides you with the ranking and reviews of various products. This allows you in taking a wise decision.
- According to your personalized profile, it recommends products.
- Provides a user-friendly experience.
Which is the Best Shopping Bot?
Seeing the popularity of the Snaptravel bot, it can be regarded as the best online shopping bot.
Other than that, shopping bots like WeChat, Roobot, etc., also have their own qualities that make them stand out. These can also be regarded as the best bots.
What are the Benefits of Shopping Bots?
As we have talked about the online Shopping bots above and how do they work, now let’s take a look into their advantages.
Reduces the hassle
Online shopping bots lessen problems in the shopping experience by offering customers various options to choose from. It provides you with a hassle-free shopping experience.
Easy choosing of products
If there are a lot of products, then it’s also a problem. Here, a shopping bot helps narrow down the choice by filtering the best one among the rest. Therefore helps in easy navigation of the products.
No more time wastage at checkouts
Many people end up not buying the product due to the lengthy checkout time. But with shopping bots, you’ll be saved from any time wastage. It’ll be as simple and quick as chatting with your friends. Unnecessary lengthy checkouts are not required. Some advanced shopping bots can even add the required product to your cart.
It is really quick in its service. Shopping bots help customers with any query faster than any human expert.
Online shopping bots figure out your needs through a conversation and prepare a list accordingly. Personalized recommendations are given based on the choices of the customer.
What are Shopping Bots Attacks?
In the present time, there are various sophisticated bots that are sold online, and many of them specialize in executing attacks. Unlike using retail bots for buying online, it has become common for cybercriminals, fraudsters, and immoral competitors to use shopping bots for vindictive activities, as mentioned below.
Denial of inventory (Out-of-stock message)
In this, the bot selects an item and puts it into the cart but never purchases it. This way, the inventory is held, and the keen buyers of that item may get an out-of-stock message. This bot attack will add items into the cart on a periodic basis. Even if the cart automatically empties, it’ll refill it again. Dishonest competitors who wish to fetch unjust advantage can initiate this kind of activity.
Layer 7 DDoS (website crashing)
This attack targets the application layer in the Open Systems Interconnection model. It intends to crash the website with a flood of traffic. Due to heavy traffic, network infrastructure can get blocked, slowing page loading or even taking the site offline. Such a situation prevents the customer from accessing the website or app to buy the product.
Credential cracking and credential stuffing
In this, credentials are stolen from an account and used to log into another account. This is known as credential stuffing. Credentials are obtained from data breaches, and the stolen credentials are generally sold or published online.
Credential cracking is when they try to guess the right combination of credentials through many guesses. It is also known as account takeover. Furthermore, it is used to abuse the user’s account only.
Scalping Attack (buying and reselling)
In scalping, the malicious bot purchases the limited edition item and then later on resales it at a higher price. This happens within seconds of the release of the thing. For instance, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System classic edition, which was priced at $80, was later sold at an average of $165 on eBay.
In this, various attempts are made by the bot to thieve listings from online retailers’ websites without his consent. Then the fraudster adds the listing to his own website or sells it on the deep web. It can result in the undercutting of your pricing strategy.
What are the various methods to prevent online Shopping Bots Attacks
Shopping bots can damage business reputation by crashing websites, corroding brand image, increasing support costs, tearing off connections with customers, and increasing support costs.
In addition to this, bots contain precious data that the opponent can misuse for profit. These are one of the many reasons that retailers should be sure to adopt the proper measures, stay updated on how threats can work, and how they can use bots to access your information.
Online retailers should learn about their weak points to bot attacks to prepare their defense. We advise that e-commerce operators start with the optimization of their set guidelines for websites prone to high traffic and apply a system for monitoring unusual activities.
Here are some ways to prevent bot attacks:
- Monitor bot traffic and take necessary prevention measures by using Google CAPTCHA or PerimeterX’s human challenge.
- Use web traffic management to filter out bots.
- Perform after-sales audits to find suspicious patterns in shipping addresses, orders, and IP addresses.
Enjoying Christmas using various Shopping Bots
As we all know, Christmas is around the corner, and everybody is ready to shop, shop, shop, and shop! Since most people prefer online shopping these days, there is a probability of more usage of online shopping bots. Various shopping bots would definitely ease up your stress of shopping for household decors, gifts and cards for your loved ones, booking a hotel for a holiday, and the list goes on.
We have mentioned the top 10 shopping bots above that’ll help you do it. However, due to the peak of the shopping season, there are chances of fraudsters being highly active too. So before using any of the shopping bots, make sure you check their authenticity and prevent any bot attack from occurring. Follow the above-given measures and have a merry and ‘bot-full’ shopping Christmas.