Click Through Bots are the Worst for E-Commerce

Click Through Bots are the Worst for E-Commerce

Authored by Ameex Technologies on 02 Sep 2020

So we’ve all been to sites with ‘click through bots’ – the ones where the bot has a greeting message, and then displays a few options to click on in a bot like UI. Bots like these, the ‘click-through bots,’ work for some kinds of sites, but they’re terrible for e-commerce sites. Here’s why.

E-commerce is all about the customer experience. Nearly two thirds of customers won’t return if they have a poor experience with your brand. And increasing your customer retention by 5% can increase average CLTV anywhere from 25% to 95%. You can see just how much is at stake if you fail to provide a good customer experience.

Conversational UI is a relatively new customer facing technology, so, unless implemented correctly, the customer experience can be unrefined – or downright terrible. And one of the worst customer experiences, in our opinion, are click through bots.

A click through bot, like the one you can see below, doesn’t provide a good customer experience for a few key reasons.


First, the user isn’t in control of their experience. You, the merchant, are tasked with trying to predict what your users are going to look for on your site, and address those in your click options - you limit your users’ experience to your predefined flows. Which, at the end of the day, a user may travel down an entire branch of the bot, making several clicks, and then not find what they’re looking for. A frustrating experience for the user. 

And how can you possibly predict what users may want to ask? Shouldn’t they be in charge of their user journey? How can you be sure that you’re going to serve the right content if your bot is so static? Neither of these are possible with click through bots. They’re extremely limiting when it comes to the user experience.

Another fundamental pitfall with the user experience – why click through a ‘conversational’ interface if you can’t actually converse? Why not just click through the website if you’re being forced to click. First off, the user is now required to remember two contexts – where they are on the site, and where they are in conversation. And critically, on recurring visits, users have to remember where they saw content. Did they click through your bot to find an answer to their question? Or did they use your website? What extra value does repeating the same content and experience add for your users?

So that raised some practical issues with click-through-bots. But let us explain the benefits of a free typing Conversational UI Solution.

First off – you’re getting the full power of raw data. What are your customers searching for? What are specific customers searching for? Is your store layout unclear? Are people not able to find a specific product? Are there suddenly a lot of people asking a specific question that you should, as a brand, address? Limiting the user to clicking on some buttons doesn’t give you the power of leveraging data. This, merchants, is the biggest pitfall or click through bots. And this, if used correctly, is what’s going to set merchants up for the data driven trends of the future.

Second, a good conversational solution is dynamic, and is able to change the context of the situation based on what the user types in. Are they looking for a product? Have they suddenly decided they want to read some articles about an upcoming item? Great. A conversational solution should be able to make these sweeping context changes. Click through bots – not so much.

With that being said, conversational UI that are a balance of clicking through and free typing are a good balance to strive for. Giving the user the power to craft their own journey, while you subtly lead the conversation towards a conversion.

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