Shopping Bots vs. Chatbots In eCommerce: What’s the Difference?

shopping bots

Being a Shopify store owner is a full-time job that requires a round-clock hustle and a vast amount of time and money investment to keep the store profitable and running. Thankfully, in the era of digitalization and rapid tech development, there is one thing that can make running an online store a bit easier. Chatbots or shopping bots are not a new thing on the market – they can help you save a ton of time, improve customer support and generate profits. By 2024, the global chatbot market is projected to be over $994 million

In this article, we will discuss the difference between chatbots and shopping bots, the importance of conversational marketing, and review the best chatbots on Shopify. Let’s dive in!

What is a chatbot?

fanatikbike chatbot
Source: Fanatikbike

Chatbot is a software application that interacts with customers through instant messages, mimicking patterns of human interactions. Chatbots can vary, and some are highly scripted, while others can only answer simple FAQs. Simple chatbots can analyze the problem and assign a certain team member to provide help. Today there is a rise of chatbots integrated with AI that can answer complex questions and provide solutions, completely replacing customer support representatives.

What is a shopping bot?

shopping bot example

Shopping bots are quite similar to chatbots and they can communicate with a customer imitating a real conversation. However, the main difference is that shopping bots can provide product suggestions, offer discounts or even provide tracking information. The main advantage is that shopping bots can generate profits without requiring real human interaction. Such bots can easily assist customers in their buyer’s journey with a feel of a personal touch.

What is conversational marketing?

conversational marketing
Source: Vox

In 2021, conversational marketing has become a leading trend, and more e-commerce websites are implementing it to increase overall order value and improve customer retention. Conversational marketing is a strategy in marketing that is customer-centered and dialogue-driven. It has become the go-to solution to accelerate customer engagement, enhance customer service, and increase sales. In simple words, it’s a real-time conversation between customers and chatbots or AI. Both chatbots and shopping bots are used for conversational marketing. However, sometimes they have different goals as chatbots mostly answer general inquiries while shopping bots can provide product recommendations in a friendly chatting manner.

Conversational marketing aims to build a revenue channel for e-commerce businesses by delivering a unique brand experience to your customers— and respecting them at every stage of their buyer’s journey. This is why 25 eCommerce experts have shared why conversational marketing could be the next big thing this 2021.

Shoutout to Conversational SMS

If you’re looking to combine sales and support in one communication, conversational SMS marketing might prove to be the missing puzzle to complete the ultimate strategy this year. 


Looking to add even more of a human touch to optimize your user experience this 2021? Cartloop drives a 31% increase in revenue with 24/7 Live Experts who specialize in recovering those “annoying” abandoned carts effectively— and effortlessly.

Through real-time, end-to-end communication, Cartloop provides tailored customer experiences, building relationships that keep sales up and customer support costs down. Read how ShineOn hit 30x in ROI within 30 days with Cartloop or get started for free here.

Why do I need a shopping bot or chatbot for my Shopify store?

Lower overhead costs

Chatbots can significantly lower your overhead costs as they can replace customer support representatives outside of typical working hours. In fact, chatbots can cut operational costs by 30%. Shopping bots can act as sales representatives and send special offers to customers that visit your website. 

Improve customer service

Customers expect to get a reply instantly; however, it is not easy to do if your team works only a certain amount of hours per day. On top of that, if you have a store that operates worldwide, the time zone difference becomes an issue. This is where chatbots step in as customer support. More than 67% of customers interacted with chatbots to get customer support over the past 12 months.

Increase profits

Shopping bots are commonly used to sell products through chats to the customers and offer them personalized product recommendations. Purchasing products through chatbots became so convenient that more than 41% of consumers used chatbots to buy products in 2020. 

Generate leads

Chatbots are also useful in collecting leads when visitors visit your website for the first time. When potential buyers come to your website, you can grab their attention by creating interactive chatbot messages. You can request these visitors to leave their contact information to grow email lists.

What can chatbots do?

Offer discount

Discounts can work well in various cases. For instance, when you want to increase your average order value, keep visitors on the website longer, or collect leads. A chatbot or shopping bot can engage new or returning customers and give them a discount. If the customer accepts this discount, the chatbot will ask to provide an email to avail discount. Also, if the customer leaves a checkout page without paying, a chatbot can send a discount code and remind a customer to complete the purchase. With the help of chatbots and shopping bots, you can increase your chances for a sale and collect leads simultaneously. Even if a customer does not use the discount, you will still have a lead to nurture in the future.

In-chat product carousels

in-chat product carousels
Source: Internet Marketing Ninjas

Shopping bots can send messages to customers that can present a few product options. Such messages are called chatbot cards or carousels. Product carousels allow you to add more detailed information about your products, such as descriptions and images. For instance, title, URL, and product description. This feature helps to grab shoppers’ attention and showcase your products. Also, shopping bots can help answer questions about these products that visitors might have, improving the overall customer experience.

Provide order status

Merchants get asked repetitive questions all the time and chatbots are able to answer them all. There are several ways that you can build your chatbot or shopping bot to answer these questions. You can set up your bots that way so they can answer common questions such as checking order status, product availability and shipping zones. So your bot will know what to say if your client questions you about your product or their order.

Rescue abandoned carts

We already talked about how chatbots and shopping bots can generate leads and save abandoned carts by providing discounts. However, their mission does not end there, and they can send reminders to the visitors about recently viewed items. On top of that, bots can send product recommendations depending on browsing history. Whenever your customer is about to leave the website with items in their cart, bots can send nudges and reminders to complete a purchase.

How do I set up a chatbot or shopping bot for my Shopify store?

how to create a chatbot
Source: Sellbrite

You can set up a chatbot on your store manually through various applications from scratch. However, it requires some knowledge of how chatbot algorithms work. If you have some knowledge of coding and programming, you can create a chatbot for your store for free.

Thankfully, there are many tools with a simplified process that you can use for free or for a small charge. Most tools for building a chatbot are subscription-based, but this way you can be sure that they are always supported and updated.

What are the best chatbots on Shopify?


Tidio is a communicator for businesses that keeps live chat, chatbots, Messenger and e-mail in one place. This software cuts down the time required to communicate with your customers while also creating a boost in sales and satisfaction by engaging visitors in real-time. Additionally, this product is available on-the-go with iOS and Android features to keep your customer conversations fluid across all devices. 


Tawk is a free live chat application designed to increase the effectiveness in managing the online customer engagement experience, enabling multiple websites and agents in a single dashboard interface to chat with the visitors on your website. Compatible with all modern browsers, was created out of the growing need for businesses to respond in real-time, with real people.


Gobot helps fast-growing Shopify stores convert more shoppers and reduce the support burden with beautiful, guided selling quizzes and AI-powered support chatbots. Always put the perfect product in front of every shopper and automatically resolve repetitive customer support tickets 24/7/365. 


Re:amaze is a helpdesk, live chat, ticketing, chatbot and FAQ help center platform for eCommerce. Unify email, Facebook Pages, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, SMS, VOIP, WhatsApp, push notifications, and live chat ticket conversations in a shared team inbox. Provide customer support that results in sales growth.

If you are still not sure which chatbot or shopping bot app is right for your store, try booking a free consultation from Shopify tech experts. They can help you find the right tool to improve your customer support and drive more sales!

Suggested reading: How Micro-Influencers Can Help Your Business Grow

Wrapping up

Kudos to you if you’ve made it this far! We hope that by now you are chatbots and shopping bots expert. Undoubtedly shopping bots and chatbots are extremely useful for Shopify stores in generating leads, increasing profits and improving customer experience. They can easily save a ton of money, lower costs and most importantly save you time replying to hundreds of similar requests. 

Is there any chatbot tool that you use on your Shopify store? Feel free to share with us in the comments section.

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What are the best chatbots for Shopify stores?


What is a chatbot?

Chatbot is a software application that interacts with customers through instant messages, mimicking patterns of human interactions. Chatbots can vary, and some are highly scripted, while others can only answer simple FAQs.

What is a shopping bot?

Shopping bots are quite similar to chatbots and they can communicate with a customer imitating a real conversation. However, the main difference is that shopping bots can provide product suggestions, offer discounts or even provide tracking information.

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