How we built a disruptive experiment in the context of clothes selling with a chatbot

EN Slip — High-school underwears

Want to read a successful and unexpected business-story? Go ahead! We will give you lots of insights and tips to designs bots:)

2016 will stay in our memories. Indeed, to us it’s been the year of the chatbots. Karl and I were convinced about the chatbot phenomenon and we didn’t want to miss the turn at all.

And well, we were right! We built a amazing bot for a side-project: the selling of underwears in our school, the École normale supérieure of Lyon, in France. How the f*** did we get this idea? In France, it’s quite common to use the expression “je suis en slip” (i’m in pants). From “en slip”, to “EN Slip”, there is just one step (where ENS = Ecole Normale Supérieure). Get it?

That being said, we also wanted to occupy a market window… to trigger a WOW-effect. As you may guess, we were first on this market ;)

In this Medium post, Karl and I would like to present Slipbot and how we got there.

First step: slogans

We asked students from our school to give us their best slogans ideas to put on the pants. We received funny ideas, like “Normal Slip”, “100% ENfeS” (fesses = ass), “Le préféré de ta mère” (your mother’s favorite), “Ecole Normale du Slip” (school of the pants), “Slip, sex and sun” or “ENSelle” (selle = saddle). As you can read, poetic ideas.

We finally chose “Tous EN Slip!” (everybody in pants!), “BalENS la sauce!” (fling the sauce) and “ENS jusqu’aux fesses” (the school up to the ass).

Second step: create the pants!

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find real pants, but got shorties, boxers and a thong :) You can have a look at the shorties and boxers at the beginning of this post!

This was the “secret sauce” we launched to reinvigorate the business

Now you get the big picture!

Parenthesis: Sellings

To sell disruptive products, we needed to create a disruptive experience! That’s why we launch a chatbot, created with Chatfuel.

We wanted to have a one-to-one selling ecosystem that took place on Facebook Messenger. Of course, we didn’t forget the off-line experience: thanks to our cross channel tunnel, the students were able to pick up the underwears in real life!

With a bot, the Customer Relationship Management was easier and the CX was service-oriented and on real-time (we were able to chat with them if they had questions).

Reach

First of all, we are proud to have reached 60 students with our chatbot! By comparison, we received 80 orders. Here is a graph showing the growth of our market! Oh, we forgot to mention the underwears action only took place during three weeks! A very exciting challenge :) WOW-factor, we told you.

Our market-growth

We called our bot “Slipbot”. Easy way to keep the same mindset for our communication and branding. On the Facebook page (see infra.), the students were up to date about orders-opening and closing, infos about the different styles, how to pick up the ordered underwears, etc.

Facebook page

The Facebook page

It was very important for us to reach and target all of the school students. The goal was pretty obvious: make everybody wear one of our underwears! We decided to send three sponsored posts, like this one, presenting the brand new and disruptive “thong”. It went viral!:

Sponsored post

Third step: Slipbot!

You can talk to Slipbot here and see the whole buying process. Unfortunately, Slipbot is french-speaking, but we’ll lead you through the whole process:=-)

First, Slipbot welcomes you by your name. Fundamental. You can then click on “Thanks” when you’re ready for the experience!

After presenting the concept, Slipbot asks you to choose between a boxer, a shorty or the thong. We’d also thought of different architectures, like asking to choose the size or the slogan first. But this one was the easiest to implement and above all, to change if needed.

Choose the slogan with a click on a blue button :)

The size.

The student can now put their email address to receive their order confirmation and click on “see my basket” to check their order.

Slipbot then sends the order summary. If the student is okay with it, they can click on “Yes I order”. If not, they can cancel their order and make a new one.

What we’ve learned with Slipbot and why you should build a bot!

  • Slipbot goes straight to the point and facilitates conversion. The funnel-optimizations leads to only 8 call-to-action (clicks). You don’t have to log into anything.
  • We’d also enabled email orders. Students had the possibility to send an email with their order. But 80% of the orders were made via Slipbot!
  • A chatbot is a great opportunity to granulite orders and to reduce costs.
  • Well, to build a bot (especially an underwear selling bot) was fun! So contact us to let us start again for your business :)

Some inside views of Slipbot building

It’s very easy to simulate a human with the “show ‘typing…’ option”.
You can set up user attributes in two clicks…
And reuse them easily!
Chatfuel provides a “block” architecture that facilitates the block-to-block jumps.

Thoughts

Well, we hadn’t planned to make the Slipbot story public, but we finally thought it would be a great knowledge sharing! Feel free to talk to us via Slipbot ;)

Your EN Slip team