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November 24, 2021
10 minutes read

Shopping Bots Explained – Different Types and Benefits

Let’s face it. No one wants to camp near shops or spend hours driving from one store to another just to find that specific item. It simply doesn't fit the pace of everyday life. We all want faster, more convenient shopping. 

And here shopping bots enter the scene. Just imagine — there’s something you absolutely need to buy. All you have to do is open up Facebook messenger (and who doesn’t have their phone nearby when they’re chilling at home, anyway) and simply have a conversation with a shopping bot that does all the shopping for you. Dope, right?

In this blog post, we’re going to talk about what are shopping bots, their types, and benefits. We’ll also go through some of the most popular ones so stay tuned!

Relaxed hero thinking about easy shopping
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What are shopping bots?

A shopping bot (also known as an eCommerce bot) is automated software designed to make our online shopping experience as stress-free, convenient, and efficient as possible. Once you let it know what is needed, the shopping bot will waste no time and scour the internet for the best match. 

Not all shopping bots are the same, of course. Some are more complex than others. While the more straightforward ones will find the item or service you’re looking for, more advanced bots can even do the whole checkout process for you!

Concert tickets, travel arrangements, hotel reservations, gift ideas, limited edition items, simple homecare products — you name it. A shopping bot will get you what you need while you save time, money and increase your overall daily productivity.

How do shopping bots work?

Shopping bots are easy to use — just open up their website and select or type in what you’re looking for. More and more shopping bots are also offering a possibility for you to download them straight to your preferred messenger app. Each bot offers different platforms. From there on out, it’s as easy as pie!

Now comes the fun part — starting a conversation with the bot. Literally. The bot will ask you some additional questions to clarify what exactly you’re looking for, and that’s it. You can also choose to access the bot through a website. The experience will be very much the same. 

The bot will then direct you to the seller’s page. Once you complete the purchase, the item will be on its way to you. Oh, and some bots even keep track of your shipping status and updates!

Benefits of using shopping bots

Shopping bots are becoming increasingly popular for both customers and online retailers. Everyone wants to save time and money, but we also want shopping to be quick, convenient, and simple. 

  • 24/7 availability. Bots make sure that you get all the information and assistance needed at any time. Yes, talking to actual people can undoubtedly be a wonderful experience, but not every customer service works 24/7.
  • Convenience. These bots are easy to use. You just need to tell the bot what you need and let it work its magic — it makes online shopping as easy as 1-2-3! 
  • Smoother shopping experience. Forget long lines at the checkout, not finding the item or the size, model, or color you want. Forget laggy and confusing websites. With the help of a shopping bot, you can enjoy simpler shopping from the comfort of your home.
  • Increase your productivity. With this software, you can save time and make the most of your day. Skip the legwork and have the bot do it for you. Just like a personal shopping assistant. 
Bot shopping for the hero

Some of the most popular shopping bots

There are many different shopping bots out there and while their benefits are generally the same, their purpose can differ. In this section, we’ll go over some of the most popular bots and briefly talk about each of them. Ready? Let’s go! 

SnapTravel 

Love traveling but not the planning of it? SnapTravel is a great option for those who are looking to spend as little time organizing their trip as possible. All you have to do is enter the details of your trip, and the bot will find the best match and deal. You can either go to their website or download their bot to one of the given messaging apps. 

Birdie

This helpful little buddy goes out into the wild and gathers product suggestions based on detailed reviews, ranking, and preferences. You won’t have to spend hours sifting through various reviews. It’s a simple and effective bot that also has an option to download it to your preferred messaging app. 

Operator 

Operator brings US-based companies and brands to you, making the buying process much easier. You won’t have to worry about researching ways of getting items from the US because they’re simply not available at your location. It’s not only a huge relief, but it also shows the need for US products and the difficulties of getting them. 

Masha.ai

A super convenient and free bot that gives you easy access to your favorite shops and brands, their best and hottest deals on products and services. You can install it directly to your messenger app and always be on top of the latest exclusive deals!

ChatShopper

ChatShopper offers a 24/7 shopping assistant called Emma. This handy bot helps you find items online. The process is very simple — just give Emma a keyword that describes the item you’re looking for. This bot will come back in seconds with the best possible matches for your inquiry — from the shiniest accessories to the most fashionable clothes. 

SMSBump

SMSBump offers you a great new way to engage with your audience through SMS marketing. You can customize your automated message any way you want — abandoned cart notifications, shipping information, or simply reconnecting with a customer. Knowing that over 90,000 customers are using this bot, it may be worthwhile to check it out. 

Yellow Messenger

This innovative software lets you build your own bot and integrate it with Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and Skype. Or build full-fledged apps to automate various areas of your business — HR, customer support, customer engagement, or commerce. Not the easiest software on the block, but definitely worth the effort. 

Kick Bot Shop

Another cool tool you can use to build your bot. The difference between Kick Bot Shop and Yellow Messenger is that the former focuses on the conversational part of commerce. Sellers can choose from various options to customize their bots — from Q&A to memes (yeap, memes). This bot provider lets you approach your target audience from a different angle.

Hero relaxing on a beach

Sneaker bots

A sneaker bot is a complex automation tool designed to help individuals by quickly purchasing limited edition and high-demand kicks. It’s easy to get lost in the world of sneaker bots, so if you want more information you can head over to our sneaker bot blog post.

These bots are a bit different from the ones we’ve mentioned in the previous section, here’s a quick run-down of the main differences: 

  • Usability. These bots are no walk in the park. They’re complicated and require tech knowledge to operate. Since major shops are constantly developing their anti-bot systems, sneaker bots need to be updated regularly. 
  • Price. Sneaker bots are expensive, even when resold. So if you want a bot that is well-known and effective — it will cost you a pretty penny. 
  • Proxies. Just having a new shiny sneaker bot is not enough. To truly unlock its potential you’ll need to pair it with residential proxies to help mask your automated activity and avoid blocks. 

To be fair, there are quite a few different sneaker bots out there, but to get you on track, here are some popular choices: 

  • All in One Bot and SoleSlayer — a great choice for those who want to get items from different brands like Nike, Shopify, Adidas, Supreme, and Frenzy. 
  • The Nike Shoe Bot — you can get your limited edition pair of sneakers from Yeezy, Adidas, Jordans, Supreme, and over 100 different retailers (except Nike). 

The other side of shopping bots

Besides the many benefits of shopping bots, some have more nefarious purposes. These bots, also known as “grinch bots” take advantage of innocent customers and unfairly keep that advantage over them. 

  • Denial of inventory bots. The main purpose of these bots is not to buy but to prevent others from buying. Simply put, these bots keep other shoppers from buying a certain item by placing all available items in their basket. 
  • Scalping bots. This bot “sits” on a website for a long period of time, tirelessly pressing the refresh button. As soon as an item appears, the bot places it into the cart and completes the checkout process in seconds. A little unfair, isn’t it?
  • Credential stuffing & cracking bots. Probably one of the nastier bots out there. Instead of creating new accounts, they try to access already existing accounts of other people. These bots do that by using information acquired through various data breaches. Scary, I know. 
  • Account creation bots. These bots generate a free email address and then quickly create multiple accounts required to make purchases. While you’re stuck remembering your login details, these lil’ fellas are creating accounts in bulk and making multiple purchases in no time.  
  • Footprinting bots. Ever wondered how some people get their hands on items that aren’t even out yet? Footprinting bots. They scour the web looking for URLs that haven’t been made public yet. 

Don’t worry, it’s not like you’ll stumble on one of these bots by accident — they’re rather difficult to get. Besides, they’re only used by people with a considerable understanding of the tech world. However, it’s important to know that not everything’s rainbows and sunshine when it comes to automation.

Suspicious bot among other shopping bots

Conclusion

We probably don’t even realize just how quickly online shopping is changing. It’s safe to say that we won’t see the end of shopping bots – their benefits are just too great. Even with the global pandemic set aside, people want faster, more convenient ways to purchase. 

Chatbots, AI, shopping bots, and virtual assistants are being combined, and the results are more than interesting. They offer a glimpse into the future of online shopping and customer experience. I mean, I don’t wanna go full sci-fi, but you gotta admit, it’s kind of exciting!

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Mariam Nakani

Say hello to Mariam! She is very tech savvy - and wants you to be too. She has a lot of intel on residential proxy providers, and uses this knowledge to help you have a clear view of what is really worth your attention.

Frequently asked questions

Can I build a shopping bot without any tech knowledge?

Totally! Provided you’re not planning on building a sneaker bot. This kind of bot, unfortunately, does require tech knowledge. There’s a reason why they’re so expensive even at resale sites. 

But if it’s a simple shopping bot, you can try building it with Kick Bot Shop – through a conversation! Kick Bot Shop will ask for the name of your bot and how you want to customize the conversation. Now mind you, it will be rather simplistic, but still, we’re talking about building your own bot!

What problems can I expect when buying online with bots?

It depends on the bot you’re using and the item you’re trying to buy. Simple shopping bots, particularly those you can use via your preferred messenger, offer nothing more than an easier and faster shopping process. 

If, however, it involves high-demand items or limited edition drops like sneakers – chances are those shops will have anti-bot security measures set up. To bypass it you’d need residential proxies to help hide your IP address. You can learn more about sneaker proxies on this page.

Do I need to use proxies together with shopping bots?

Not to sound like a broken record, but again, it depends on what you want to buy and how much of it. If you’re looking for a single item or just two, you don’t need proxies. But if you want to buy multiple, especially limited edition or harder to acquire items — you should really consider getting proxies.

What’s a virtual waiting room?

A virtual waiting room is a page where customers and bots are redirected when there’s an unusual spike of traffic on a website. It can be due to sales, Black Friday, or a product launch. You’ll still be able to buy the item you want, it’s just that you’ll have to wait a bit. 

These rooms can also help websites combat bot abuse, drastically increased traffic, website crashes, and ensure that everyone has an equal chance to buy an item.