Chatbots & messaging are the future of marketing. MIT’s ELIZA pioneered the revolution in the 1960s and Siri took the trend mainstream in 2011. Now chatbots are used by brands in every industry to go beyond passive advertisements and engage customers with interactive conversations.
What are chatbots, exactly? A chatbot is a conversational computer program that customers can interact with via a messaging interface. Instead of pushing buttons on a website or mobile app, you can get things done simply by chatting with a chatbot and asking questions naturally like “What movies are playing tonight?” or “What’s the latest score in the NBA finals?”. Chatbots can be found on platforms like SMS, Facebook Messenger, Apple iMessage, Slack, Kik, Telegram, and WeChat.
Since we cover the best of bots, we’re constantly asked “Who are the most innovative companies using chatbots?” To answer this question, we surveyed TOPBOTS subscribers, conducted user interviews, and tested every single bot ourselves to discover which brand chatbots are delighting users.
Through this search, we identified over 50 brands driving the innovative use of chatbots. These brands use chatbots to help customers buy movie tickets, get the latest news, order food, shop online, and even save the world.
The chatbot industry is still early and we applaud these brands for being pioneers in the space:
Media & Entertainment
- Fandango – Movie fans can get information about movie showtimes, theater locations, trailer links, and more through Fandango’s Facebook Messenger bot.
- Stubhub – StubHub for Skype is the ticket out for some of life’s most memorable artists, athletes, performers and experiences. The chatbot makes finding your next great experience as easy as chatting with your friends. Fans can select preferences for location, types of events – sports, concerts, theater, date and price to find the top events.
- Disney – Disney created an Officer Judy Hopps bot on Facebook to promote the launch of the the Zootopia movie. Users helped Judy Hopps as solve cases. Users spent an average of 10 or more minutes conversing with her and many went back multiple times to solve a new case.
- Universal Studios – The studio promoted their horror film ‘Unfriended’ with a Facebook Messenger bot speaking in the character of Laura Barnes. 57% of fans from the film’s Facebook page engaged in conversations with ‘Laura’ and 23% of them shared the experienced with their friends.
- Activision – The game studio built a Lt. Reyes chatbot on Facebook Messenger that challenged fans to solve a 12-digit code in return for access to a secret trailer for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
- Mattel – The toy maker partnered with PullString to create Hello Barbie, the world’s first talking doll.
Disney’s Zootopia bot let movie goers solve a case with main character Judy Hopp
- NY Times – Want to stay on top of Election 2016 news? The NY Time Election Bot for Slack gives you live updates and allows you to submit questions to the newsroom by typing “/asknyelection”.
- CNN – The news network was one of the Facebook bot launch partners. Their chatbot sends personalized breaking news or specific stories daily via Messenger. You can read full stories or get summaries.
- Today Show – You can get Today Show’s top news headlines and links to full stories and summaries from their bot. There’s also a companion bot called Today Food that shares recipes based on the show’s cooking section.
- NBC – Using their “Breaking News” bot on Slack, users can follow more than 90,000 topics and receive personalized breaking news alerts. Nieman Lab reports, “this feature has been especially helpful for news organizations where staffers spend much of their day in Slack.”
- WSJ – Users watching the markets and financial news can automatically subscribe to alerts from the WSJ bot by typing keywords like “News.”
CNN’s Facebook Messenger bot sends personalized breaking news to readers.
- Baidu – The “Google of China” launched Melody, a medical chatbot that lives within the Baidu Doctor app for iOS and Android. The app helps patients narrow down their medical problems in order to speed up in-person diagnoses and treatment.
- HealthTap – Got health related questions? HealthTap is the answer! This Facebook Messenger bot answers health-related questions and provides recommendations from accredited doctors.
- Boston Children’s Hospital – This Amazon Echo Skill provides parents with health information for their children. Parents can ask Alexa when to call a doctor for symptoms such as fever, cough, headache, rash, vomiting, sore throat, diarrhea, fatigue or shortness of breath. The Skill also shares information about weight or age specific dosing guidelines for over-the-counter drugs.
- MedWhat – MedWhat is a virtual medical assistant that answers questions for doctors and patients instantaneously. The bot also helps doctors and nurses keep updated patient records and stay current with medical literature.
MedWhat is a virtual assistant that answers health questions & updates patient records
- theScore -The perfect bot for sports fans, theScore bot for Facebook Messenger sends the latest personalized sports scores and breaking news for the user’s favorite teams. Includes alerts, live scores, and stats from all major leagues.
- NBA – Basketball aficionados can chat with NBA’s Facebook Messenger bot to receive game highlights and updates. Fans can also conveniently watch on-demand highlights of their favorite team or player.
- Sports Illustrated – While only live during the Olympics, Sports Illustrated’s Rio 2016 bot pushed trending Olympics coverage every hour.
- Copa 90 – This chatbot for the UEFA European Championship, aka Euro 2016, allows users to query for animated updates on the latest goals, team line-ups, and player profiles.
- Toni – Fans of European football leagues can use Toni to get all the latest information about games and scores.
- NFL – The NFL bot from Sports Illustrated lets you watch scores in group messages and trash talk your friends. The bot is available on Facebook Messenger, Slack, Skype, and Telegram.
theScore lets fans follow their favorite teams and get breaking updates.
- Trolli – The makers of the popular Gummy Worms candy created a bot that offers giveaways, fun activities, and even free samples to the Trolli fan community.
- Whole Foods – Allows users to search for recipes and find store locations. Over 50% of recipe searches happen in grocery store aisles, so this bot is perfect for Whole Foods shoppers.
- Taco Bell – The TacoBot on Slack helps people easily order Taco Bell for lunch. Currently still in private beta, the bot allows you to make a purchase, customize a order, check out, and receive order confirmations.
- Domino’s – Want to make sure you get your pizza on time, anywhere and anytime? You can order from Domino’s chatbot via Amazon Echo, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, smartwatch, smart car and more.
- Burger King, Wingstop, and (soon) PizzaHut show users nearby locations and menu choices, take and confirm orders, estimate when your order will be ready, and enable payments. The Burger King bot will even upsell you with a friendly “Make it a meal?” offer.
TacoBot for Slack lets hungry workers order Taco Bell for lunch
Retail and E-commerce
- 1-800-Flowers – As one of the first bots on Facebook Messenger, this bot allows users to send flowers and gifts. The bot will make gift suggestions, process orders, and send shipping updates.
- eBay – eBay first piloted with a simple bot that sent users Messenger reminders 15 minutes before a listing ended and if users were outbid in the final 15 minutes of an auction. Recently, eBay took it a step further with ShopBot, a smart personal shopping assistant to helps people find the best deals.
- Macy’s – Macy’s On Call, currently in pilot testing in stores, answers common customer questions, such as where to find specific products. The bot is available in both English and Spanish.
- Casper – Bored at night and can’t fall asleep? Casper’s Insomnobot works only between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m to keep you company over SMS.
Casper’s Insomnobot keeps you company at 4 AM in the morning.
Beauty & Fashion
- Victoria Secret PINK – This popular Kik bot enables teenage girls to find the perfect bra. Teens answer a few questions about their current bra fit in order to receive customized size and PINK product recommendations.
- Tommy Hilfiger – The TMY.GRL bot on Facebook Messenger promotes Tommy’s fashion line for supermodel and social media star Gigi Hadid. Fashionistas can learn about Gigi, access behind-the-scenes content, and shop.
- H&M – H&M’s Kik bot offers teens outfit inspiration and on-demand personal styling. Users can share a piece of clothing and the bot pulls from H&M’s lines to build a whole outfit.
- Sephora – Need a new beauty routine? Sephora’s Kik bot shares makeup videos, tutorials and tips for all things makeup: eyes, lips, face, hair and nails. The bot also recommends products you can pick up online or at their retail stores.
- Burberry – This high-end fashion line’s Facebook Messenger bot shares new collections and doubles as a live customer service portal. Launched during London Fashion Week, the Burberry bot invites users to explore clothing and peruse animated sketches of menswear, womenswear and accessories.
Sephora’s bot on Kik helps teens find the right beauty products.
- Fidelity – Fidelity Investments customers can use their Amazon Echo Skill to get market updates and stock quotes.
- Capital One – Capital One has a new Amazon Echo Skill that allows consumers to check balances, review transactions, make payments, and conduct other banking services using voice command.
- NerdWallet– NerdWallet helps you find the best credit card rewards. Their bot learns more about you and your needs before connecting you with a live human agent.
- RBS – RBS recently implemented Luvo, a chatbot that helps staff answer business customer queries quickly and easily.
Watch how Capital One’s Alexa Skill lets you manage your account through voice.
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – The KLM bot sends flight information, check-in notifications, boarding passes, and flight status updates. For complicated questions, passengers are seamlessly connected with a human agent.
- Hipmunk – Travelers can ask Hello Hipmunk for travel advice, recommendations, and flight and hotel information on Skype or Facebook Messenger. The Skype version also works with group chats, so travelers can plan trips with friends and family without ever having to leave the chat room.
- Expedia – The Expedia bot for Facebook Messenger is a convenient way for travelers to quickly see hotel options and make a booking. Travelers can enter a search request through conversaion and receive results directly through Messenger.
- Uber – The Uber integration in Facebook Messenger enables users to request a ride and notify their friends with an ETA in a single Messenger conversation and without needing the Uber app.
- Lyft – The Lyft Facebook Messenger chatbot integration lets users request a ride and notify their friends with an ETA without ever having to leave Facebook Messenger.
- Skyscanner – Skyscanner simplies flight search on Facebook Messenger, Skype and Amazon Echo. For those without destinations in mind, the bot recommends flights based on the cheapest destinations from the user’s nearest airport.
HipMunk’s Facebook and Slack bots let travelers easily book flights & hotels.
- Hewlett Packard – HP’s bot lets users access their photo galleries and select photos to print instantly. Of course, you can also instantly reorder HP printing supplies.
- The Weather Channel -The Weather Channel jumped on the bot wagon early with this popular Kik and Facebook bot. It’s a useful bot thats shares daily forecasts and quickly provides users with daily, 3-day, and 7-day forecast updates.
- Staples – The Staples Messenger bot automates ordering and customer service. If the message is too complex for the bot, the query is automatically escalated to a human customer agent.
The Weather Channel’s Kik bot lets users pick a custom forecast
- HelloVote – Nervous about the 2016 Election but don’t want any bureaucratic hassles? Hello Vote is a chatbot that helps you and your friends get to the polls––from voter registration to polling info to early voting, and more, in seconds. Now you have no excuse not to hit the polls this November.
- UNICEF – UNICEF’s U-Report bot allows young people globally to share their voices about issues in their local communities. Through Messenger, U-Reporters respond to weekly questions on a range of issues such as education, sexual and reproductive health, health services, legal rights, and more. Their answers are aggregated and shared with decision makers who can act upon the data.
These 50 brand use cases for chatbots are just the beginning of the innovative messaging revolution. As messaging platforms improve, the possibilities for future are limitless.