The Impact of Chatbots on Web Development

The Impact of Chatbots on Web Development

Chatbots are becoming the fastest-growing brand communication channel.

According to recent statistics, 24.9% of consumers used chatbots to interact with businesses, up from 13% in 2018. 

Given these figures, it is not surprising that chatbots are becoming the hottest web development trend. 

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In this article, you will learn what chatbots are and how they are transforming web development. 

Understanding Chatbots

Chatbots are computer programs powered by AI technologies, such as machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP). 

Chatbots play a vital role in today’s technology-powered marketing and customer service world. With their help, users get things done faster. AI bots encourage self-service. 

They make drop-down menu buttons and search functions redundant. By understanding customer questions, they provide them with relevant feedback within seconds. Above all, they deliver customer service in a seamless, smooth-flowing format.

How Chatbots Work

There are different classification methods used to run a bot:

Pattern-Matching Bots

A standard structure for this kind of bots is Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML). In pattern matching, the bot provides relevant answers only to the questions that exist in their models. They cannot go beyond these predefined patterns. 

Using Algorithms

There needs to be a unique pattern in a database for the bot to provide a relevant response. Developers often use the Multinational Naïve Bayes algorithm that helps them create and manage a hierarchical structure. 

Artificial Neural Networks

Neural networks allow bots to analyze the context in data and provide personalized responses. Over time, the neural network gets more intelligent, helping the bot create more relevant feedback to common queries.

How Chatbots Transform Web interactions

Say a customer wants to purchase a product on an ecommerce website. They go to the online store, select the right menu category, filter products/brands, and go through mounds of results until they find the right item. 

Chatbots improve customer experiences in multiple ways.

They replace time-consuming browsing and navigational website elements. They provide users with more natural, faster, and convenient Q&A-styled interactions. With a Facebook Messenger bot, users can find the right products without even visiting the website. 

Most importantly, chatbots provide 24/7 support and offer exceptional user experiences across all devices and channels.

Why are Chatbot Technologies Vital in Web Development?

Today, we are witnessing the massive adoption of addictive social networks and video-sharing platforms. Cloud apps and wearable devices elevate almost every aspect of our lives. 

That has led to several trends that facilitate the implementation of chatbots into web development. 

One of them is mobile app fatigue. 

With millions of apps available on app stores, it is getting difficult for companies to develop unique apps. Even if you create a killer mobile app, it may be challenging to stand out in the overcrowded mobile app market. That is why brands rely on existing messaging channels, such as Facebook Messenger. According to statistics, there were over 300,000 bots on the Messenger platform in 2018.

Second, the popularity of instant messaging apps is growing. 

Statista found that, only in March 2019, users sent over 41 million mobile messages in one minute. With the rise of mobile and cloud-based communication tools, users prefer immediate communications. They expect your brand to respond to their search queries almost instantly, and that is where chatbots shine. 

The Benefits of Using Chatbots in Web Design

When compared to traditional communication channels, chatbots deliver multiple benefits. Here are some of them.

The Conversational User Interface

Bots can now serve as separate micro-applications. 

One such example is WeChat. Users can chat with other people and companies. They can also read the news, get weather updates, or book movie tickets. 

Brands and web designers can experiment with bots for marketing, sales, and customer service. For example, Lyft lets customers order a ride via their chatbot platform. Netflix, on the other hand, engages users in natural conversations. It uses customer data to recommend insights and movie suggestions.

Personalized Results vs. Traditional Browsing

When discussing the benefits of chatbots, we explained the steps an average customer takes to make a purchase. Bots facilitate their shopping habits. 

For starters, bots provide immediate customer service. They consider customer intent and provide specific answers to all queries. 

Say a customer wants to purchase a pair of boots. Instead of scrolling down your product pages and search results, they can ask a bot: “Do you have any cool boots?” The bot would further ask them about the product material, color, and size. Based on this data, it would provide personalized shopping recommendations.

Tips for Web Designers

To become a web developer, you first need to get a web development certificate. It should teach you the basics of gathering client requirements, managing web development projects, conceptualizing website designs, and developing databases.

Additionally, keep in mind that creating a chatbot is different from building a website or a mobile app. Here are a few actionable steps to take:

  • Learn more about popular bot frameworks and libraries, including Microsoft Bot Framework, Api.ai, Bottr.me, and Wit.ai.
  • Understand ML and NLP. As a bot developer, you need to understand the basics of neural networks and information retrieval models. To build NLP-powered chatbots, you also need to be familiar with entity recognition, speech tagging, dependency parsing, intent and sentiment analytics, and tokenization.
  • Remember that creating conversational interfaces is your top priority. The better the chatbot distinguishes between user intent and sentiment, the smarter its feedback will be. However, categorizing user inputs is more challenging on a CUI than on a standard GUI. 
  • Always create bot mockups to test their user-friendliness and effectiveness. Tools, such as BotSociety, let web designers test the user flow of chatbot conversations before launching their chatbot apps.

Over to You

Artificial intelligence is changing almost every aspect of the digital landscape, and web development is no exception. Chatbots provide seamless user experiences and simplify customer journeys. As such, they will soon replace the traditional browsing mechanisms. 

Since the number of brands investing in these technologies is growing, becoming a bot developer may be a lucrative career option for you. To get started with bot design, join chatbot communities, open-source networks, and discussions.

I hope these insights will help you!

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