Building guide for Basic Ecommerce Bot Template

The Basic Ecommerce Bot Template is based on the Basic Support Bot Template. Its ecommerce-based content is an addition to the essential support content. The bot will help solve ecommerce-related problems, and by incorporating visitor input such as an order ID, it guides the user to or through a process.

Here's an overview of its capabilities:

  • Answers ecommerce related FAQs as a smart assistant
  • Understands visitor needs with the help of AI
  • Links to human support
  • Integrates with third-party systems to gain additional information

To access the Template, navigate to the Certainly Platform Bot List page and select Basic Ecommerce Bot Template from the "Create new bot" menu at the top.

In this article, we will cover the following: 

Step-by-step walkthrough of building a Basic Ecommerce Bot

Here, we've provided a step-by-step walkthrough of building a bot from the Basic Ecommerce Bot Template. 

  1. Find the Read me before getting started: Building Guide for Basic E-Commerce Bot Template Module.

    Hover over the Module – a menu will appear. Click on the checkbox on the right side of the menu, titled “Test flow from here”. This article is linked there - please read the other sections below to gain an overview of this Template's features.

    You can close the chat when you’re finished, then continue to step 2.

  2. On the canvas, find the Module titled Starting Module: Welcome. By double-clicking on it, you open the Module for editing. Change the Bot Messages to your desired greeting, and click “Ok” when you’re done.

    Get more information on how to edit a Message in a Module.  

  3. Save your changes by clicking the Save button in the Navigation bar (Shortcut Ctrl + S / ⌘ Command + S also works). 

  4. Now, change the name of the Bot. Next to your Bot Avatar in the Navigation bar, there's currently a placeholder (“Basic E-Commerce Bot Template Clone”). Click in this box, delete the placeholder, then type in your desired name. The name is internal, so it will only be visible to you and your team. 

  5. Find the Module titled Information on shipping costs and edit the Bot Message by adding a Generic Card with a link to your organization's homepage. Using Generic Cards will give your links a more engaging look. 

  6. Configure the list of topics your Bot should cover in the Module named List of topics or Menu, paying attention to the Suggested Replies you want your customer to see. 

    It is good practice to use numbers in Suggested Replies, but it is of course possible to type in the desired call to action instead. Try deleting some and creating new ones. 

  7. Without leaving this Module, go to the Connections tab. Note that the Suggested Replies of step 6 appear here. Click on each of them to create new Connections. Adjust them as needed (learn how to do it).

    Go through the other Connections as well – you may want to change them based on other Modules you create or delete, which we’ll cover next. 

  8. Create any additional Modules you need, or delete those you do not need. There are three different ways to create a new Module: 
    • From the canvas:
      • Right-click on the canvas > Statement; or
      • Right sidebar menu > Add new Module > Statement
    • Within a Module: 
      • When setting up the Go-to Connection > Select Module to go to > Create New Module. Selection of "Create New Module" within a Module's "Go-to" Connection
        Please disregard the “Collector” option while creating new Modules for now. This is a more advanced feature, and we will get back to it during our workshops. Don’t forget to save your changes!

  9. Notice the colored frames – Groups – of different Modules, and read about Tags. Consider the most logical way to categorize your Bot, and apply it using Groups and Tags. This will help you navigate your Bot more easily when it becomes more extensive and complicated.   

  10. Next, set up Global Connections. These connections evaluate the visitor input and send the visitor to a corresponding Module, regardless of which Module they are currently in. In other words, the Bot would be able to recognize a specific topic at any point during the conversation.  

  11. Then, decide how your Bot should react when it does not understand the visitor's input.

    It's important to ensure a natural progression of the conversation, such as the Bot acknowledging its inability to recognize user intent. This is handled by the Fallback Flow, which you can see on the left side of your canvas, marked with the "! Fallback" Tag.

    The reason for multiple Fallback Modules in this template is to allow the Bot to address the issue multiple times without just repeating the same message. Try editing these Modules now.   

  12. Now individualize your Chatbot in Bot Settings, found in the right sidebar menu. We recommend styling the Certainly Widget to match your company's brand guidelines.

  13. Be sure to check out our tips about evaluating the mood of the dialogue and advice regarding the Bot’s approach toward Chatbot output and visitor’s input. Configure the “Evaluation after answer given” Flow – it can be recognized by Tag 5 or the Exit Group. 

  14. You're now ready to use what you've learned to adjust the rest of your Modules. Consider all of the content your Bot must cover, and begin implementing any necessary changes. 

You've worked through the key elements of the Ecommerce Bot Template - great job! As you continue to customize your bot, remember that you can always refer back to this guide for assistance. 

Groups color framings

On the bot building canvas, you will find several Modules in different color framings. Each color stands for a specific Module category or group. The overview of the color framing can be found on the left sidebar. From here, you can manage the visibility of selected Groups

The Basic Ecommerce Bot Template includes the following Module Groups related to ecommerce: 

  • Your order
  • Shipping and delivery
  • Refund and return
  • Payment
  • All about vouchers
  • Our opening hours
  • Store locator
  • Technical issue

You can delete any undesired group by making that group's color visible, then deleting all Modules included in that category.

Color Module Category (Group) Explanation
Red icon indicating Start Group Start Introduction to the bot conversation followed by a CTA that encourages visitors to ask a question.
Orange icon indicating Fallback Group Fallback Modules triggered when the bot cannot understand the visitor's input. Learn more about Fallback Modules.
Coral icon indicating Exit Group Exit Includes any Module that relates to the end of a specific conversation. 
Purple icon indicating Handover Group Handover Linking to human support by triggering a transfer to live chat, sending an email notification, or creating a support ticket, among other methods.
Light pink icon indicating Send message Group Send message Module category that closely relates to Handover. The Modules provide an information collection flow to gather all important input, before sending out a message to your organization's service team. 
Blue icon indicating Your order Group Your order

Find all Modules that answer visitor questions about an already placed or future order. Consequently, the bot answers are grouped as follows:

  1. Post-order questions (requests occurring after an order is placed)
  2. Pre-order questions (requests occurring before an order is placed)
Light blue icon indicating Shipping and delivery Group Shipping and delivery

Find all Modules that relate to shipping and delivery in this group. The bot answers are separated into two categories:

  1. Questions about shipping and delivery of a placed order 
  2. General shipping information 
Dark purple icon indicating Refund and return Group Refund and return

All Modules that refer to inquiries about refund requests or return information. The bot answers are separated according to the return time:

  1. Questions about an already issued return
  2. Questions before issuing a return
Light orange icon indicating Payment Group Payment

Find conversational flows that refer to payment-related visitor requests. The bot's answers are grouped depending on the following: 

  1. Questions about payment for a placed order
  2. Questions about payment unrelated to an order
Dark pink icon indicating Vouchers Group Vouchers

This conversational flow serves to answer visitor inquiries about vouchers. 

Light purple icon indicating Our opening hours Group Our opening hours Find Modules related to the physical store's opening hours and the click-and-collect option (collecting an order that has been previously placed online). 
Teal icon indicating Store locator Group Store locator A Module that helps the visitor find a store. 
Grey icon indicating Technical issue Group Technical issue This group shows conversational flows that serve to understand any technical problems the chatbot visitor might face.


Tag indications

You can find Tags assigned to specific Modules. 

  • Webhook Tag: Indicates all Modules in which a Webhook must be implemented in Module Connections. 
  • Start Tag: Shows the Starting Module. It is important that the checkbox "Starting Module" is ticked in this Module's Message tab. 
  • Handover Tag: Points to Modules in which a transfer to a real person happens. This transfer can either be connected to live chat or create a message for human agents. 
  • Fallback Tag: Marks Fallback Modules triggered whenever the bot does not understand the visitor's input.
  • Tag 4: Set for Module categories that contain organization-specific content. You may cluster this content following the Domains you have defined for your bot. 
  • Tag 5: Find out how many visits lead to a feedback rating.
  • Tag 6: Analyze how many users rated an answer as helpful (positive feedback).
  • Tag 7: Analyze how many users rated an answer as not helpful (negative feedback).
  • Tag 8: Have an overview of how many conversations refer to a pre-sales situation the visitor was supposedly in. Typically, inquiries about general information on shipping, payment, or specific policies apply to Tag 8.
  • Tag 9: Have an overview of how many conversations refer to a post-sales situation the visitor was supposedly in. Questions tagged with Tag 9 relate, e.g., to a problem with an order, shipping, or payment. 

We can now take a closer look at some Module configurations.

Selected Module configurations

To ease your platform navigation, use Ctrl+F (or ⌘ Command+F on a Mac) to look within your bot's canvas for the specific Module titles as listed below. 

Module name Description
Starting Module Note that in addition to saying hi to chatbot visitors, the Starting Module also sets clear expectations. The bot can, for instance, inform the visitor that simple and short user messages are preferred.
Call to action to ask a question  

The chatbot visitor is asked to phrase the request or question. Note that a feature called variation is used here, as the visitor is likely to come back to this Module. Using variations gives the bot answers a more human touch. 

As this Module is also triggered after providing a helpful answer, it is valuable to separate it from the Starting Module. 

Note how the visitor's input to the question is saved as a value for the Custom Variable searchQuery in the Module's Connection tab. The variable appears three times as the user might have more than one query.

The module connections are configured as such that the bot would check if a value for searchQuery already exists, and if so, save it as searchQuery2 and searchQuery3 accordingly.

"Yes" to call to action Bear in mind that in human conversations, people often confirm what has been said previously. In this case, after the call to action to ask a question, your bot must be ready to interpret a confirmation from the chatbot visitor. 
"Hello" to call to action Similar to the Module 'Yes' to call to action, prepare your bot to answer a "hi" from the chatbot visitor as a possible response to the welcome message of the chatbot.
Fallback and Fallback 2  

Note that the Fallback Modules are not showing a dotted line in between. The line is missing because Module Fallback 2 is the previous Module's Fallback.

Looking at the Fallback Module's Connections will make this configuration clearer.

Evaluation after given answer: Was it helpful?   

This Module provides insights into the quality of your chatbot's answers.

You may include this Module in the conversational flow after any content-rich bot answer, which is why this Module is a predecessor of the Modules below the Categories. Remember, the Categories contain your organization-specific content.

"No": Answer was helpful  

You'll likely want to know why a chatbot visitor has rated an answer as unhelpful. Accordingly, you can ask the visitor for more feedback, offer a transfer to human support, or leave it up to the visitor to exit the chat. 

By apologizing and creating easy next action options, you can sustain an engaging user journey and raise the understanding of the chatbot visitor. 

Collect email  

Note the line [customVariable key=userName fallback="for that information"] in the bot message. 

Here, you use the Custom Variable userName, which you have previously collected in Module Collect name.

If the bot could not collect the visitor's name, the fallback "for that information" would apply. For example:

If the visitor's name, "Max", is collected:
Bot: "Thanks Max."

If no visitor name is provided (fallback):
Bot: "Thanks for that information."

Do you have another question? If an answer was marked as helpful, the user is asked to phrase another question. Whatever their question is, it can be useful to save the input in a variable (as it is currently set to do).

Modules with Generic Cards

Some Modules contain Generic Cards as containers for links to information on your website. You will have to add the card's description, change its call to action (title), and, of course, insert a link with the right URL path. You can also add an image or button if desired.

Here is an overview of the Modules that contain Generic Cards:

Group Shipping and Delivery

    • Information on shipping providers
    • Where do you deliver to?
    • Information on shipping costs

Group Refund and Return

    • Information on warranty policy
    • Information on refund policy

Group Payment

    • Information on credit card fees
    • Information on payment methods

Group Vouchers

    • How to get a voucher

Group Store locator

    • Store locator

Of course, you can decide if you'd like to keep the Generic Cards or if you prefer to write the chatbot answer inside the Modules. Always bear in mind how much time you'll have in the future to maintain chatbot answers. By linking to content on your website, you gain more flexibility. 

Global Connections configuration

If you are in doubt about the general functionality of Global Connections, learn more in this article: Basic insights on Global Module Connections.

Note that in the Support Bot Template, Module Connections are preferred over Global Connections. This means that Global Connections are triggered if no Module Connection applies to the input provided by the specific visitor or system (in case of third-party integrations).

The Basic Ecommerce Support Bot will understand the following basic Intents at any point of the conversation if Global Connections are not deactivated:

  • "Goodbye"
  • "Hello"
  • "Speak to a Human"
  • "Waiting on email" (Group Technical issue)
  • "System down" (Group Technical issue)
  • "Login issue" (Group Technical issue)
  • "Error messages" (Group Technical issue)

Furthermore, all relevant ecommerce-related Intents are activated in Global Connections and connected to the referring Modules.