This chatbot disrupts photo printing

Chatbots for Messenger are capable of performing many tasks, from finding and buying concert tickets to finding the latest stats for your favorite basketball player. But chatbot technology does so much more, and for those trying to monetize their Facebook fan pages, Messenger chatbots can offer a huge opportunity for instant ROI, taking advantage of the more than 1.2 billion users exchanging posts and pictures.

Anton Pereiaslavtsev, CEO and Founder of Zebra Instant, is on a mission to create chatbots that deliver both a frictionless shopping experience for users and a huge revenue boost for influencers. Although Messenger users exchange more than 17 billion photos every month, Pereiaslavtsev realized there was no easy way to turn those photos into tangible products. With this in mind, the Zebra Instant team created the Messenger chatbot to allow users to immediately turn their photos into products that can be purchased and shared with friends and family without leaving Messenger.

I recently got to talk to Pereiaslavtsev about Zebra Instant and understand how Zebra Instant technology is disrupting the photo printing industry through a seamless chatbot experience.

What inspired you to create this bot?

We wanted to give smartphone photographers an incredibly simple and instantly intuitive photo shopping experience. Having developed several photo merchandising applications, we knew the weak points. People were really tired of installing and learning another app and our user acquisition costs were skyrocketing. Bots are instant and instantly familiar because they are built on an interface that users are already familiar with. With over 1.2 billion people sharing over 17 billion photos on Messenger each month – and a very well-researched platform to build on – Messenger was the perfect launch pad for our bot.

Can you give me an example of how your bot works?

Sure. Take the example of Lucy, a busy young mother of two children. She has thousands of photos on her phone and five special shots she’s always wanted to order on a canvas. She uses Messenger every day to stay in touch with her friends and family. She participates in a Messenger group chat with other mums after her son’s football game, and one of the mums shares a link to a new Messenger bot that offers 20% off canvas prints with the whole group.

She enters the conversation where she is greeted by name and asked to send her favorite photo. She sends her favorite family photo and instantly sees it on products she can buy right in Messenger. She does great with one-click photo editing right in Messenger and pays quickly with her PayPal account. She can then share her creation with her family, and her parents can also place an order for the product she created. A week later, she receives a reminder about Father’s Day and can order the personalized gift voucher just in time.

What can bots do to help brands and influencers up their marketing game?

Influencers can really up their marketing game with bot technology. Open and engagement rates on instant messages are much higher than email: around 4x message open rates and 4x message click-through rates through Messenger, according to HubSpot. Additionally, when AI and natural language processing mature, they can finally start engaging one-on-one conversations with their fans at scale and boost both fan engagement and retention. With the upcoming rollout of new discovery tools like the Messenger Discover tab, it will be easier for users to find new chat experiences and for influencers to attract new fans.

How do you see chatbots changing the way commerce works for influencers?

Any influencer can install our bot on their Facebook page and start turning their fans’ photos into merchandise almost instantly. Chatbots can be a natural extension of the influencer’s ongoing conversation with their fans and can help influencers authentically monetize their networks with personal, high-quality and valuable products.

For example, when a fan has the perfect photo that deserves special treatment, they can send it to the influencer on Messenger and our bot will turn that photo into a beautiful, gallery-quality canvas print that will be delivered to their doorstep in a few days – all without leaving their familiar messaging experience. Bots really are the perfect way to remind subscribers of upcoming holidays, as well as stay ahead and continue to monetize their relationship.

Elaine F. Brim