They’re here.

Facebook announced yesterday a new bot store for Messenger which will enable ALL BUSINESSES to build their own chat bots – automated response tools within Messenger which will be able to handle increasingly complex customer queries. Facebook included various examples of bots in action options in a new video showcasing the expanding utility of Messenger. You can watch the video below.

Messenger at F8 from Facebook on Vimeo.

As you just watched, Bots can provide anything from automated subscription content like weather and traffic updates, to customized communications like receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them. Say what?!?

They have already partnered with a range of businesses to enable Messenger bots, including 1-800-Flowers.com, Poncho, Spring and CNN.

This is going to change the Ecommerce world by providing users a whole new way to connect with their favorite brands, as well as learn about those they may not even know yet.

Facebook has noted that the Messenger Send/Receive API – the back-end system on which bots will be built – will support not only sending and receiving basic text, but also “images and interactive rich bubbles containing multiple calls to action”. This will allow users to make reservations, view their boarding pass, check the details of their order, all from within the message thread.

What does this mean for my business?

Oh boy…what doesn’t it mean?!? This will taking the idea of “staying in front of your customer” or nurture marketing to a whole new level. Just like email marketing which allows for the user to opt into the content, Bots will help YOU – the business owner – interact directly, in real time, with the people who want to know more about what you have to offer.

With the multiple built in call to actions YOU – the business owner – will also be able to utilize a very powerful tool. In marketing, a call to action (CTA) is an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as “call now”, “find out more” or “visit a store today”.

Personally, I cannot wait to start playing with the new features.

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