Loyalty rewards and marketing automation company Flok said today that its app and web platform will now let small business owners create their own chatbots.

Flok artificial intelligence already automates chat with customers who have the Flok app when they’re inside the store or to encourage return visits.

Flok bots can help a business do things like send push notifications, suggest an online review, or share perks with loyal customers. A business owner can choose to jump in and take over a conversation with a customer if Flok’s artificial intelligence suggests they do so.

flok AI UX (1)

Above: Credit: Flok

Flok has been used by more than 100,000 businesses in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Israel, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

“We need to ensure that local businesses — the backbone of our economy — can keep up with the big guys,” said Flok CEO and cofounder Ido Gaver. “We are democratizing bots and mobile customer engagement for local businesses — similar to what platforms like Wix have done for websites.”

Formerly LoyalBlocks, Flok was created in 2011 by Ido Gaver and Eran Kirshenboim.

The company declined to state its current number of customers but said roughly 10,000 business locations use Bluetooth beacons together with the Flok app and chatbots.

Beacons can be used to ping Flok app users when they’re near a store, ask them how their experience was after they leave, or encourage a return to the store weeks after their visit.

“All of these things are customizable for the business owner/manager,” Gaver said. “We have several years of data and millions of messages and chats between business owners and customers. We know what they want, and technology makes it possible for us to make it scalable and affordable for any business owner.”

Since its creation in 2011, Flok has raised $18 million from investors like General Catalyst, Gemini Israel Ventures, and Founder Collective.

Flok has offices in Tel Aviv and headquarters in New York City.

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