Do you think every SaaS company is going to have a Slack bot in future?

If yes, what makes more sense-
Slack becoming an iOS style platform and offering in-app purchases Or Slack creating an independent platform where companies are free to use their own payment systems?

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One of the biggest challenges in SaaS (or any other application) is retention. Getting users to take time out of their day and return to your product is really hard. Bots allow users to interact with your service in a place they’re already gathering (Slack).

Being able to push bits of information to users and “nudging” them to engage at the right times (when useful to them) is a subtle, but powerful way to improve retention.

I think bots are an easy win for SaaS companies if they can identify meaningful use cases within their service.

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I think the biggest challenge for bot developers or SaaS companies developing bots is getting into the Enterprise budget layer. Every company will have bots used by developers and freemium platform users all over the place, but not every bot will demonstrate the value proposition for the CTOs and IT or other Directors to justify paying thousands a month or for adopting a SaaS or platform just to run the bot. If bot builders and SaaS companies can demonstrate that value and tell the story to the people who control the purse strings, then everyone will win.

Matt, there could not have been a better way to sum this up. Kudos! I have the exact same opinion.

I have the experience of building both, first a web experience for our product, and now a bot on Slack. And there has been a stark difference in the user engagement lately. Our bot on Slack gives us leverage which our web application never gave, i.e. to push important notifications to a place where our users generally hangout. And the user adoption of our product has been phenomenal with the bot launch, as rightly pointed out by Matt, users don’t like to open another application again and again. If you can deliver most of your major use cases through a bot on the platform they usually hangout then there is nothing better. You solve some major pain points which most SaaS companies struggle with.

I definitely think every SaaS company will eventually have a bot, not necessarily on Slack, maybe other platforms or maybe even on their own platform to make life easier for end users.

On your another point, I think Slack will go the iOS route by opening up the platform as an App store with in-app purchases. I just hope they bring reviews and stuff soon to increase bot discovery for new bot makers for Slack.