Startup Story #41: Boto-Bot: Powering Smart Chat For E-Commerce


The growing usage of instant messaging applications has pushed the e-commerce industry to diversify into chat commerce. A chat box on an e-commerce portal provides round the clock customer support that answers basic queries and complaints. Boto-Bot, started in April 2017, helps to build a customised bot for any e-commerce site that will smoothly cater to customers to increase conversions with every conversation.

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Chat bots are the foundation for something big in future, states Siddhesh Tiwatne, the founder of Boto-bot. Hailing from Amravati, Tiwatne was always interested in technology, marketing and media. Graduating with a degree in engineering from Pune, he worked for several multinationals including Cisco. “The core challenge for e-commerce businesses lies in getting customers who are yet to make a purchase and those who are supposed to make a purchase,” he says.

The bot helps to collect rich information about users on a particular e-commerce site. “We interviewed many e-commerce site owners to find what they really need. Getting new customers and driving conversion is a big challenge for them. The sites get a lot of visitors but they don’t know who they are. If you ask the bot that you need a bow tie for XYZ for his birthday, the bot will know XYZ’s age, size and birth date which means that the delivery time has to be before that. This narrows things down and makes it easier for the user. The bot is the bridge between these sites and their customers,” explains the entrepreneur. Boto-Bot also provides data on which product had the most viewing, in which category and the number of conversations that have occurred.

The initial challenges to set up Boto-Bot were mainly technical as an engine had to be built for this. The biggest benefit, Tiwatne syas, for e-commerce sites using Botobot is that they can get to know some basic information about their users which is crucial in bringing them back to that site. “We have built this on a SaaS platform which is quite difficult to do, so most e-commerce sites wouldn’t build this in-house as it is also very expensive.”

The future of Boto-Bot sees itself expanding to different departments in organisations including human resources. “The engine is built and we want to see how we can diversify. The bot can be useful to gather or send information from an employee to his or her manager regarding salary details or leave approvals,” says Tiwatne.

He also gives his advice to budding entrepreneurs in the city, “Make products to solve problems and not to raise funds. You have to make sure that your product is good but profitable at the same time. It should give value for the customer’s money.”

Vijayta Lalwani

Vijayta Lalwani

The young lady from Lagos has always been keen on a career in journalism. Pune365 was hence the right stop. We agree.
Vijayta Lalwani