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“The importance of being able to monetize the Facebook Messenger chatbot app is that it’s a game changer for businesses,” says Laura Knapp, managing director of SRAX Social. It allows them to engage with consumers in a way they haven’t been able to in the past.”

Social media isn’t about just about building communities around your brand anymore. It’s all about social commerce. Messenging apps like Facebook Messenger are enabling sophisticated chatbots to engage your audience plus the ability to perform transactions to convert them.

“Facebook is where the people are, with over one billion users on Facebook and over 900 million users on the Facebook messenger platform,” Knapp says. “This is where people already are — so connect and engage with them where they’re already existing.”

In time, no one will even know they’re talking to a chatbot because it will just seem so natural to have these interactions with brands or companies through chatbot exchanges, Knapp adds, but the technology is still fairly new, not only on the back end, but for users who are just now getting used to interacting with brands via bots.

And the opportunities to monetize these interactions, whether it’s direct revenue or cost savings, are multiplying.

“It’s a really great thing for maximizing the productivity of your customer service representatives,” says Stewart Rogers, director of marketing technology at VentureBeat. “It’s not necessarily going to remove customer service representatives, but it does mean that they can deal with more calls at a higher level, and therefore these highly paid people are doing an incredibly good job, as opposed to looking after menial stuff.”

Customer service reps won’t be missing the important calls because dealing with the same small-stakes stuff again because chatbots are doing the heavy lifting there, handing a lot of the high-waste media work.

“It enables marketers to strategically prioritize how they spend their time engaging with their consumers,” Knapp adds.

“The fact is, though, we want people [consumers] to spend money using chatbots,” Rogers says. And the suprising news is that in fact, they are — in droves, according to a VB Insight study of of 1,000 people, aged 14 to 54.

“Forty-five percent of people polled said yes, that they have actually spent money already via a chatbot — and this is most likely in Facebook Messenger,” Rogers notes. “In fact, 20 percent of our respondents have actually bought products through chatbots more than once. That’s incredibly encouraging — and still  pretty amazing for technologies that haven’t been around for very long, and that people aren’t used to using.”

But the technology is intriguing, and that’s part of the draw.

“Let’s be honest, as soon as Dominoes launched its chatbot, I was there straightaway, ordering a pizza to see if it would show up and if it would work,” Rogers says.

But to maximize those purchases and build revenue, Knapp says, there are several key components.

“One is, know your customers so you can customize the experience for your audience to keep them engaged,” she says, “and two, make it easy to convert, with clear calls to action at every stage of the experience, so that you’re able to monetize your chatbot.”

Adding the personality of the brand is also essential for an experience that keeps consumers engaged through the entire process — and that’s the most important part of your job, when you design a chatbot.

“Once you get to that level of purchase, they might try it once, and if the experience wasn’t good or it wasn’t sticky enough, if it doesn’t give them reasons to come back, then they won’t do it again,” Rogers warns.

The experience also has to be seamless, he adds.

“A pizza turned up and my bank account was a little lighter,” Rogers says, “but the entire chatbot experience initially did require me to leave Facebook Messenger in order to set up a standard quick order.”

“That’s an issue, if you’re having to build a chatbot that takes you outside of Messenger in order to get things done,” Rogers continues. “That’s quite a disconnect. The best examples keep people in Messenger and do everything from there. That’s something that can quite clearly increase revenue and increase retention, if you keep people within Facebook Messenger and you structure an experience around that.”

For more on creating all-in-one experiences, where you should blow your budget and where to save, plus mistakes to avoid, catch up now on this free VB Live event!

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Access this free VB Live event on demand here.

In this VB Live event, you’ll:

  • Understand the broader digital wallet strategy to connect with customers through chatbots
  • Get valuable tips to spin chatbots into gold
  • Learn the biggest mistake organizations are making with payments through Messenger


  • Laura Knapp, Managing Director, SRAX Social, Social Reality
  • Stewart Rogers, Director of Marketing Technology, VentureBeat
  • Wendy Schuchart, Moderator, VentureBeat

This VB Live event is sponsored by Wizeline.