"Just shop online."

Corona is giving e-commerce a huge boost. More people are ordering online than ever before. Whatever customers need, whether it's food, clothing, shoes, electronics or toilet paper, it's available online and can be ordered with just one click. It takes less than five minutes and they don't even have to leave the sofa to do it.
But how often do you look for something specific and find nothing, because you don't feel like fighting through the hundreds of pages, looking at every single item and in the end aborting the ordering process out of sheer frustration?
In moments like these, you wish you had a professional by your side to give you individual advice, to tell you what suits someone, to guide you through the mass of products, and in the end to bring you exactly the product you've been looking for all along.
But then the whole process would be neither easy, nor fast, nor convenient.
For companies that want to improve user experience in this way, chatbots as product advisors are a great way to address such problems.


What are chatbots and how do they work?

Nowadays, we communicate more and more via messenger, and the chatbot takes advantage of this. Its interface is structured like a chat. The user is very familiar with it and therefore has hardly any problems or hurdles to use the bot.

A chatbot is a text-based dialogue system. There is an input field where I can communicate with the chatbot. It acts like a digital contact person. You type something in, it searches its database for keywords, pre-programmed questions, sentences or requests and, in the best case, responds with the pre-programmed answer.

For simple queries, it does not have to be based on artificial intelligence. It is sufficient if it works rule-based. This means that certain rules have been defined and programmed in advance. However, if there are deviations in the input, the bot reaches its limits and an error message is generated.

Through analysis and correction, however, it can learn more and more, understand new queries and expressions, link words and meanings and deal better with what is written. This "learning process" is called Deep Learning.

The more the bot learns, the more natural its expression becomes and the user gets more and more the feeling of communicating with a human being. That's why it's important to continuously train and develop the bot. However, if the user does not know how to proceed, he or she is forwarded directly to an employee(human handover), who can then advise him or her further.

New chance in the online shop?

You have a very special product in mind and it can't be that hard to find just that. Or so you think. On the one hand, the large selection is a blessing, on the other hand, you quickly lose track. But on the right edge of the screen, the digital savior appears with a nice "Hello. How can I help you?".

Especially when you don't want to leave the customer alone and want to guarantee optimal advice, you should consider using a chatbot as a product advisor.

He or she advises customers individually and, like a filter, can pick out the perfect product from the range by means of simple queries or key words. In doing so, he or she can respond to the customer's special wishes by analyzing the target group and immediately present the best possible result without the user having to look through all hundreds of pages.


So you are looking for white sneakers, but they should not cost more than 70€.

Emma, the chatbot from Zalando could help you with that. Together with the start-up from Berlin "ChatShopper" they brought the digital style advice to life. She understands your search query and within a few seconds shows you several pieces that match your criteria. It already understands a lot, but if you have questions about shipping, an error message follows promptly.

Zalando Chatbot

In addition to product consulting, it makes sense to also use the Bot in other areas of the shop:

In customer:ing service

Questions or problems about ordering, shipping or returns are often repeated. Here, too, the chatbot can act as a contact. Often the customer needs the answer quickly and does not want to spend a long time on it. The bot, on the other hand, is available 24/7 and provides the information quickly and reliably, without long waiting times.


The bot can be used not only for customer service, but also for other frequently asked questions. The bot is much closer to the customer than a mere list of the various questions.

For newsletter

To ensure that the customer doesn't miss anything, the bot takes care of subscribing to the newsletter. So that he or she is addressed individually, he or she can choose from various categories that interest him or her. It processes the information and handles the dispatch.

Bottom Line

If you summarize this again, you can list five basic advantages that speak for a chatbot in product consulting:

1. popularity of chatbots

2. Frequent and easy use

3. permanent accessibility and quick responses

4. Manageable overview, quick and individual advice.

5. relief of the employees through automation of inquiries plus cost reduction

A chatbot will largely support and relieve the store. However, do not forget that it cannot replace a human being and his empathy ability 100%.

You can find out more about customer service in online shopping in our white paper "Conversational Commerce - The next step in e-commerce":