A chatbot is a computer program that simulates conversation with human users. It utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) techniques like natural language processing (NLP) to understand user queries and provide relevant responses. Chatbots can be text-based, voice-enabled, or even integrated into messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. They are increasingly used in retail and eCommerce to provide customer support, answer frequently asked questions, and personalize the shopping experience.


Retail (B2C):
A clothing store’s website employs a chatbot that greets visitors and asks about their style preferences. Based on the user’s responses, the chatbot recommends clothing items, suggests outfits, and even guides them through the checkout process.

Digital Commerce (eCommerce) (B2B): A B2B marketplace platform utilizes a chatbot to assist buyers in finding specific products or researching suppliers. The chatbot can answer questions about product specifications, pricing, and order tracking, streamlining the B2B purchasing process.


There are two main types of chatbots, each offering different levels of functionality:

Rule-Based Chatbots:
Relies on predefined rules and decision trees to respond to user queries. They work well for simple interactions and answering frequently asked questions.

AI-powered Chatbots: Leverages machine learning and NLP to understand complex user queries and provide more natural and engaging conversations. They can learn from past interactions and improve their responses over time.


24/7 Availability:
Chatbots provide customer support around the clock, even outside of business hours, improving customer service accessibility.

Increased Efficiency:
Automating routine tasks and answering FAQs frees up human agents to handle more complex customer inquiries.

Improved Customer Satisfaction:
Chatbots can offer immediate assistance and personalized recommendations, leading to a more satisfying shopping experience.

Enhanced Data Collection:
Chatbot interactions can provide valuable customer data on preferences and buying habits, informing marketing and product development strategies.

For example, a travel booking website can utilize a chatbot to answer common questions about destinations, flight availability, and travel restrictions. This allows customers to research their trip independently and book their travel arrangements without needing to contact a human agent, leading to a faster and more convenient booking experience.

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