AI (artificial intelligence) and chatbots have the tech space, marketers and sales professionals licking their chops while identifying ways to implement bots. Bot technology has evolved such that it is cost effective, produces results FAR greater than competing strategies (i.e. email marketing, social media marketing, etc.) Below is a list of 20 niches ready for bots divided into 4 categories. It really 32 niches, included are 12 honorable mentions.
This category, more so than any other category, is imperative that you move FAST and deploy bots as quickly as possible. Early adopters will WIN because of attrition. Sooner or later, everybody will be in the chat game and these darned tech people will figure out how to game (spam) the system. Get in while the getting is good and before chatbots become mainstream.
1) Restaurants & Diners – Pull out your phone, open your Messenger app, click the Discover button (lower right) and open the Restaurant category. Open McDonalds on Messenger, you will be greeted by a bot! Navigate around a while, you will quickly see the value; Online Ordering, Customer Service, Complaints, etc. Restaurants can use creative ways to engage customers while they dine-in, then use that connection (subscription) to send broadcast message. The video below is recommended for every restauranteur, you can implement these marketing and sales tactics in a bot!
2) Bars, Taverns, Pubs – Build a bot today and it’s GAME, SET, MATCH. Guaranteed you will be the only bar in your area with a bot. Messengers bot broadcast features are built just for you, send broadcast messages to connections in your Messenger, build your subscriber base by occasionally offering incentives (i.e. free burger, 1/2 off burger) for anyone that messages your page! Once they subscribe, you can send broadcast messages anytime you want.
3) Movie Theaters – I tested 12 local theater Facebook Pages here in Michigan, and 12 out of 12 did not have a chatbot. REALLY? I MEAN, REALLY? Consider the power of sending broadcast messages of showtimes to people that have already shown an interest in a movie. Ask customers to message your page each time they watch a movie (offer buy 10 get 1 free or something). When they engage with the bot, you are capturing information and data, the data will tell you exactly what your customers want.
4) Golf Clubs & Driving Ranges – Okay, I am a little prejudiced on this one because I love golf. Similar to movie theaters, I have yet to find a golf course or driving range with a bot. Consider a chatbot in this case to be an app. Wouldn’t it be nice on a slow day to be able to send real time broadcast messages to your loyal customers (messages with a near 100% open rate) inviting them out to hit a bucket of balls for a discount?
5) High School Sporting Events – This one is near and dear to my heart, I LOVE high school sports. A chatbot can accomplish many things and provide loads of benefits; 1) Sell tickets, 2) Sell Merchandise, 3) Broadcast scores and highlights, 4) Provide athlete profiles, 5) MUCH MORE. Consider doing all of those by sending broadcast messages to your subscribers and having near a 100% open rate on those messages. #GameOver once again (no pun intended).
Food, Beverage, Entertainment Honorable Mention
Unlike food, beverage and entertainment, you will find the small and medium size retail space is a little more competitive with respect to AI and Chatbots. No need to worry, what you can do is bury your competition by one-upping them, simply build and deploy a better bot than they have.
6) Clothing – Pretty much every retailer I know has an email marketing list and a social media presence. What is your email open rate? Maybe 30-40% if you are lucky. What is your click rate? Maybe 3-5% if you are lucky. How about your Facebook Page posts, what is your “reach rate” (how many of your “Likers” on average actually see the post? That number on average is 3-5%! If I said a Facebook Messenger chatbot will get you an 80-90% open rate and a 40-60% click rate, would that get your attention? Those numbers would be a bad day.
7) Gift Shops – Wow, where to start on this one. Perhaps one of the most valuable features of a chatbot for gift shops is segmenting subscribers and capturing personalized information and data about each customer. Over time, you use information and data to send personalized broadcast messages to those segments. Send personalized messages for customers that have shown an interest in jewelry, send them a broadcast message about jewelry. Same thing would go for art, decorations and anything else.
8) Grocers / Grocery Stores – Everyone has to eat and we all love food. I don’t know about you but I LOVE little mom and pop grocers in our area. The problem is the mom and pop grocer get buried under the mounds of advertisements from the big box grocery store. WELL, the mom and pop grocer can leverage this to their favor, who needs circulars and print ads when you can broadcast message! Seriously, if you are like me and you love your little grocer down the street, give them a call and please tell them that Mike said they can get a free account at Chatfuel and start building a subscriber base TOMORROW!
9) Dollar Stores – Our community, downriver Detroit, has an abundance of dollar stores. The fact is when most people in our area want to go to the dollar store, they simply pick the one closest to them. A great way for these stores to separate themselves from all the others is to build a bot. You can do some creative marketing with dollar stores (I wish I was in charge of a chain of dollar stores) and turn a chatbot into a force multiplier! I would do this by offering creative, and strategic, incentives of brand name products (i.e. Coke, Pepsi, etc.) or bundling a lesser value brand product with a name brand (the possibilities are endless).
10) Consignment Shops – HOLY COW, THIS ONE IS THE HOLY GRAIL. Chatbots are GREAT for stores that moves inventory quickly and/or adds new and unique inventory frequently. Imagine the power of sending a broadcast message to subscribers REAL TIME, on their phone or mobile device with a near 100% open rate, that is powerful. Similar to grocers, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you know anyone that owns a consignment store, plant a seed with them that this is something they need (YESTERDAY).
Retail Honorable Mention
This category is a NO BRAINER. If your business is mobile or you travel to your customers in a geo-fenced area, stop what you are doing and build-build-a-bot. The ability to broadcast where and when you will be somewhere and the confidence of having a very high open rate, #BINGO.
11) Food Trucks – This one does not require much of a description or many words. The ability to order online seamlessly and quickly through social media is enough to convince any food truck operate to take the plunge.
12) Lawn Care and Landscaping – This one is a little tricky and will require some creativity. The value for lawn care and landscaping is the real time mobile messaging capability. If you are running late to an area or even running early, you can send broadcast messages to your a segment of customers in a given city or location. You can up-sell and cross-sell during different times of year and seasons (i.e. raking leaves, gardening, etc.)
13) Snow Removal – If you live in Florida or Arizona, you can skip this one! Very similar to lawn care and landscaping, broadcast messaging is crucial to keep people informed of your schedule. Chatbots are a great way to acquire new customers as well, in cases where large storms dump large amounts of snow, the mobile messaging capabilities of chatbots give customers and businesses the opportunity to real-time message.
14) Food Delivery – Consider UberEATS for a minute. UberEATS is only in select strategic locations right now. In our area here in Detroit we have all kinds of “pop-up” food delivery businesses coming and going. What I mean by coming and going is they are in business one day and out of the business the next. The reason for this attrition is easy to identify, these vendors are solely relying upon an ORGANIC (free) social media posting strategy to reach customers. The reality of social media is that is not a winning formula. A carefully balanced organic and paid strategy with a chatbot will solve this problem (unfortunately, that advice falls on deaf ears the majority of the time).
15) Professional Speakers – Whether you are a speaker that travels or someone that stays close to home, having a chatbot is a MUST HAVE. You can use your chatbot to distribute material to attendees at your gigs, for registration, to sell tickets or just brand building. Many (most) celebrity and what I call high end speakers already have chatbots but if you operate in the mid-tier or are a local speaker, it’s very likely you will be the first one in your area with a chatbot.
Mobile Business Honorable Mention
Facebook Messenger Chatbots for Service Industries (Anywhere that Requires an Appointment)
16) Hair Salons & Stylists – Another no brainer! Scheduling appointments, brand building, marketing and even eCommerce are creative ways for salons and stylists to use chatbots. Being the creative people that they are, stylists should be able to come up with some extremely unique and effective ways to use chatbots. One ideas I came up with, have a “hair care tip of the week” as a broadcast message that you send to customers. You are only limited to your imagination here.
17) Nail Salons – Very similar to a hair salon, chatbots can be used at a nail salon for scheduling appointments, brand building, marketing and (once again) eCommerce (selling stuff). A possible way to use chatbots for in a nail salon could be to send a broadcast message to subscribers on a Friday asking your customers to stop in before they head out for a night out on the town or on their ride home from work.
18) Barber Shops – Again, like the salons above , chatbots add value for scheduling appointments, brand building and eCommerce (selling stuff). This one is a special case, marketing to men and woman are two entirely different animals. Some things that would entice me into going to the barber; 1) “music of the day”, learn my favorite music and invite me to come listen to some music while getting a hair cut; 2) SPORTS, SPORTS, SPORTS, invite me in a personalized broadcast message to come talk sports while I get my hair cut. Get the picture?
19) Doctors/Dentists – If you are thinotaly king HIPPA, I totally understand and agree. For simple customer service and scheduling chatbots can add much value. Some ideas include appointment confirmations, follow up scheduling and customer service for billing (claims).
20) Psychic Readers – This one is a winner, consider the value in sending daily teasers with implicit (and explicit) marketing and messages to pull customers in more frequently. You can likewise you bots to schedule appointments, manage confirmations and even sell merchandise. We have worked with enough readers to understand this niche very well, we could write a whole article just on this one niche alone.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading and I hope you walk away with more knowledge than when you started. Opportunities exist in plenty more industries, niches and verticals than the ones mentioned above. If you have an intermediate level of skill with technology, you can design, develop and publish a chatbot QUICKLY and for free (or as little as $30 per month) using our recommended chatbot platform, Chatfuel. If you have any questions, comments or just have a general interst in this technology, click the button below and ask our (3V) chatbot about this amazing technology.
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