Location-Based Chatbots

November 11, 2019
By Botpress Team

Imagine a chatbot that could perform tasks based on your customer or client’s location? In today’s world, we are always on the move and constantly seeking out new information wherever we are. What if we each had access to our own virtual assistant that could help direct us when we are in a store? That could help us to order food when we sit down at a restaurant? Or that could interact with other devices around us? Imagine a world where chatbot beacons and chatbot for locations were real, where you could put on a headset and have full access to your very own virtual assistant wherever you went?

Well, ladies and gentlemen – this is the future.

If everyone had access to their own augmented reality virtual assistant every time they went somewhere, just imagine the impact that would have on your business. You would never lose a client because your in-store employees were busy with someone else. You would never lose a client because of poor customer service or an employee that was in a bad mood. You would never have to worry about your employees calling in sick that day. Why? Because robots don’t hold the same human flaws that we do. Virtual assistants can be in two places at once, their mood doesn’t fluctuate with the time of day, and they don’t get sick!

And while we aren’t quite there yet with augmented reality wherever we go, we are already there with location-based chatbots. Imagine a world where you can send your customers coupons, offers, or updates anytime they were within the proximity of your store? With the help of a chatbot for locations, you can use geofencing to find customers within range, send them notifications, and draw them into your store.

This opens up possibilities we have not had access to in the past.

What is geofencing?

You can think of geofencing as putting your location to work, or giving your location a job. With a geofencing service or chatbot beacons, you can trigger an action each time a customer steps foot within a given range of your store.

Geofencing software like this sets up virtual boundaries, or “geofences” around a specified geographical location. Then it uses other tools like GPS tracking and Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a response anytime a customer with a “tag” enters into the geofencing area.

How does geofencing work?

Geofencing works by utilizing GPS software to create a virtual boundary around a specific location. A response is then triggered each time an authorized device enters or exits the area. This response is one that is programmed by the developer and, as mentioned previously, could come in a variety of different forms (ie. notifications, coupons, etc.).

In order for geofencing to trigger a response, the user must be opted in to location services. In other words, the user must have previously downloaded an app and given their permission for that app to access their location in order for it to work.

Technology like this is just now entering into our stores, offices, and workplaces, but has long been around in other areas. For example, people use geofencing at home all the time. “If I’m standing near my front door, turn on the outside lights”. Programs like Google Home allow us to opt for options like this directly from our phone.

And geofencing isn’t just for home use or mobile apps. It’s also been used by airports to help track the location of a plane, and even by the Whitehouse to send warning messages to drones that are coming too close to an unauthorized area.

The difference between Geofencing Apps and a Chatbot for Locations

Chatbot beacons make use of geofencing, but take things one step further. Instead of people having to download an app to receive notifications, they can get notifications directly on the chat app that they are already using. This allows you to send targeted messages via social media, and increases your chances of getting through to the customer.

Think of the possibilities:

For small businesses and stores

  • Send out personalized coupons
  • Send out notifications of sales
  • Send offers and discounts to customers who are walking through a certain aisle
  • Offer rewards for shared photos of certain products
  • Create mannequins that interact with customers as they walk by

For realtors

  • Send out “For Sale” notifications
  • Send out “tap to call” notifications if someone is looking at a property
  • Promote in-property engagement where you can send 360-degree tours, or facts about the house to clients who are doing a tour

For coffee shops

  • Attract new customers by sending coupons, specials, and discounts
  • Encourage social interaction by offering discounts to people who share photos within the shop
  • Send info regarding in-shop events (poetry readings, book club meetings,etc.)
  • Push clients to sign up for loyalty programs

For restaurants

  • Deliver tailored menus to loyalty customers
  • Send out notifications regarding specials of the day
  • Send out approximate wait times
  • Offer custom and incentive pricing for return customers

These are a few examples of possibilities for a chatbot with locations. But the possibilities don’t end there. Bars, spas and salons, car dealerships, airports, gyms – they can all make similar use of chatbot beacons. With location-based chatbots, the world is our oyster and the possibilities are endless!


Disclaimer: We encourage our blog authors to give their personal opinions.  The opinions expressed in this blog are therefore those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Botpress as a company.