BotStar Review

By Joren Wouters Updated on

BotStar Review

BotStar is chatbot software for building chatbots on websites and Facebook Messenger. And it has actually some really advanced features that you will love to use. But is this software good enough to actually buy it? Let’s find out!

For this review, I based my review on my post about how to choose the best chatbot software.

User Interface

When you start with BotStar, you will first get an overview of all the chatbots you have:

botstar-dashboard

After you clicked on “Create a new bot”, you can choose about a lot of templates to build your chatbot with:

botstar-templates

If it’s the first time you build a chatbot in BotStar, the chatbot software automatically gives you a full guide on how to use it. This gives a really hands-on experience on how to use the software:

botstar-guide

Then, when you are actually building your chatbot, the user interface is as follows:

botstar-interface

On the left-hand side, you can choose various elements to include in your chatbot. Then you can connect these elements in order to create chatbot flow (which is shown in the middle). BotStar uses a Visual Flow Builder, so you instantly have a good overview of the structure of your chatbot.

Moreover, you can preview the flow of your chatbot when you click on the play button (in the top right corner, next to “Publish”), so you can immediately test the changes you made to your chatbot.

Overall, a really good interface which is easy to use, it is easy to set up a chatbot and you can test the chatbot in the interface itself.

  • Visual Flow Builder
    Create chatbot dialogs with a visual flow builder.
  • Test chatbot
    Is it possible to test the chatbot before putting your new flows or changes live?
  • Interface easy to use?
    Is the chatbot platform easy-to-use?
  • Easy to setup a chatbot?
    Is it easy to set up your chatbot with this chatbot platform?

Chatbot elements

BotStar has all the elements you need. They only don’t have Delays, vertical lists and location sharing, but these are no big problems.

Next to these elements, you can also add custom code to your chatbot flow (for the developers among us).

  • Delays
    Use delays between messages in your chatbot
  • Images
    Can you send images via your chatbot?
  • Video
    Can you send video via your chatbot?
  • Audio
    Can you send audio via your chatbot?
  • Attachments
    Can you send attachments via your chatbot?
  • Gallery (Horizontal list)
    Show a gallery of cards inside your chatbot. A card consists of an image, title, subtitle and button.
  • Vertical list
    Show a vertical list of items inside your chatbot
  • Emojis
    Can you use emojis inside your chatbot?
  • Persistent Menu
    Can you add a persistent menu to your chatbot?
  • Quick Replies
    Can you add quick replies to your chatbot where users can click on?
  • Buttons
    Can you add buttons to your chatbot where users can click on?
  • Free text input
    Can chatbot users freely type text to your chatbot whenever they want to?
  • Location sharing
    Can users share their location inside the chatbot?
  • Email validation
    When a chatbot user gives their email, can the platform validate it's a correct email address?
  • Phone number validation
    When a chatbot user gives their phone number, can the platform validate it's a correct phone number?
  • Date validation
    When a chatbot user gives a date, can the platform validate it's a correct date?

Users

With BotStar you can add custom fields to specific users of your chatbot. It is as simple as asking a question and storing the answer to that question in a custom field.

Also, you can add tags to users based on the actions they have with the chatbot.

With these custom fields and tags, you can filter on almost every element you make in your chatbot, which is really useful if you want to build personalized experiences.

Moreover, you can send a broadcast to a user segment.

  • Custom fields
    Store information from your chatbot users inside fields. For example, you can ask for someone's email and store it inside the "email" custom field.
  • Tags
    Add tags to users in your chatbot flows to organize and categorize contacts.
  • User segments
    Can you create user segments based on custom fields and tags?

Messages

In BotStar it is possible to make broadcasts & sequences. What is a drawback is that I was not able to use the broadcast feature (because it is not in the free plan), but they say it is possible in the Pro plan.

As said before, you can use conditions on almost every element in your flow.

Furthermore, it is possible to make a chatbot in any language. And you can also really easily translate it to other languages!

This is really the first chatbot software I encountered in which it is easy to translate to different languages, so this makes me really enthusiastic. You can just click in the top-right corner on the language switcher and all the blocks change to the different language:

botstar-language-switcher

Next to this awesome translation feature, they also have another feature to mention: CMS.

CMS in BotStar

Say you are a boutique and you want to show all your products in your chatbot.

Normally, you would have made this by-hand in which you will get a really long chatbot flow. But BotStar made an awesome feature for this: CMS (which is short for Content Management System).

In the CMS, you can add several Entities (e.g. a “Product”) and attach several fields to it, for example:

  • Name
  • Description
  • Price
  • Image
  • Category

You can easily add products then:

botstar-cms

Then, you can use this information in your chatbot flow. So then you can configure that you want to create a Gallery showing all the products from a particular category (e.g. books):

botstar-cms-flow

This is just an example of products, but you can do this for much more use cases.

Extremely awesome feature, which will save you a lot of time!

  • Broadcasts
    Send a message to all or a part of your chatbot users at a specific date and time
  • Sequences
    Send messages on a pre-defined schedule with a certain time interval between those messages
  • Conditions
    Make checks in your chatbot flow based on if-then logic. For example, if the user has not given their email, ask for their email.
  • Multiple languages
    Is it possible to create a chatbot in multiple languages?
  • Easy to translate
    Can you translate text to other languages without using a third-party platform and without creating duplicate flows?

AI & NLP

In BotStar it is possible to recognize keywords that are sent by the user and then give an appropriate response.

However, it is not possible to do any kind of real NLP, by using Intents or Entities.

BotStar does have a DialogFlow integration (for the Pro plan), so with that, it is possible to make your chatbot compatible with intents and entities.

  • Keywords
    Trigger chatbot flow based on certain words or phrases a user says to the chatbot.
  • Intents
    Trigger a chatbot flow by understanding the intent of the user.
  • Entities
    Capture specific information from sentences. For example, if a user says "veggie pizza", the chatbot can understand it's not a regular pizza, but a veggie pizza.
  • Dialogflow integration
    Does the chatbot platform provide a direct integration with Google's AI Platform?

Channels

With BotStar it is possible to make a chatbot on Facebook Messenger and for your website.

This could be a potential drawback for companies who want to provide an omnichannel experience to their customers because it is only possible for two channels.

  • Website
    Can you publish your chatbot on your website?
  • Facebook
    Can you publish your chatbot on Facebook?
  • Instagram
    Can you publish your chatbot on Instagram?
  • Whatsapp
    Can you publish your chatbot on WhatsApp?
  • Telegram
    Can you publish your chatbot on Telegram?
  • SMS
    Can you publish your chatbot on SMS?
  • Slack
    Can you publish your chatbot on Slack?
  • Skype
    Can you publish your chatbot on Skype?
  • Email
    Can you publish your chatbot on email?

Integrations

BotStar performs really well on the subject of integrations.

They have built-in live chat, which is the most important integrations any chatbot software needs.

Next to this, they provide integrations with DialogFlow and Wit.AI (for better AI capabilities), Zapier, Make (formerly Integromat), Google Sheets and Webhooks.

  • Livechat
    Direct integration with live chat, either via a built-in live chat functionality or a third-party live chat platform.
  • Zapier
    Direct integration with Zapier, one of the largest integration platforms in the world.
  • Make (formerly Integromat)
    Direct integration with Make (formerly Integromat), one of the largest integration platforms in the world.
  • Google Sheets
    Direct integration with Google Sheets, to store or retrieve data from sheets.
  • Webhooks
    Can you call an API inside your chatbot flow to send or get data from other applications?

Marketing

BotStar performs really well on this topic.

It is possible to put a widget (both Facebook and native) on your website, make a landing page, connect your chatbot to Facebook ads, use the One-Time Notification automatically reply to Facebook comments and create custom URLs to your chatbot.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to create buttons.

  • Facebook website widget
    Embed your chatbot as a Facebook Widget on your website.
  • Native website widget
    Embed your chatbot as a native widget (your own branding & colors) on your website.
  • Landing pages
    Can you create a simple landing page to drive users to your chatbot?
  • Facebook Ads
    Start a conversation with your chatbot when someone clicks on a Facebook Ad
  • One-Time Notification
    Send one-time notifications via Facebook Messenger for a topic that a chatbot user has opted-in for
  • Facebook comments auto-reply
    Automatically reply with your chatbot to users who comment on your Facebook Posts
  • Button creator
    Add a button to your website to drive users to your chatbot
  • Custom URLs for your chatbot
    Generate a simple URL that can be shared anywhere to send users to your chatbot

Pricing

BotStar provides a free plan in which you can use most of the features of their platform. So with this free plan, you can test out their platform and find out if it fits your needs. You have 50 user sessions (per month), 3 chatbot projects, one user, built-in CMS, Keywords and Sequences.

In addition to this free plan, they also provide a Pro plan. This Pro plan gives you unlimited chatbot projects, at least 500 user sessions (per month), two users and almost every feature they provide. This plan only costs 15 dollar per month, which is not much:

botstar-pricing

To my opinion, this a really fair price for a chatbot software with these features. And if you are not happy, you can ask for a refund within 30 days.

  • Free trial
    Does the chatbot platform provide a free trial?
  • Free plan
    Does the chatbot platform provide a free plan?
  • Price per month
    What is the lowest price per month for creating a chatbot on this platform?
    15
  • Monthly pricing available?
    Is it possible to pay monthly?
  • Money back guarantee
    Is there a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the platform?

Analytics

To be honest, I never used the Analytics feature of BotStar, because this is also not in the Free plan.

But in their documentation, they provide some information about the Analytics. And the Analytics are really basic.

They only provide analytics of the number of conversations, number of messages, user genders, subscribers and how many users are new or returning.

This is important to take into consideration, because without decent analytics, it is really hard to improve your chatbot.

  • Dashboard
    Dashboard that provides general analytics of your chatbot.
  • User input
    Get the input from users that your chatbot didn't understand.
  • Sent messages
    The number of messages that were sent by your chatbot.
  • Open rate
    The percentage of chatbot users that opened a message inside your chatbot.
  • Click rate
    The percentage of chatbot users that click on a button inside your chatbot.
  • Conversion rate
    The percentage of users that converted through your chatbot. For example, the percentage of users that gave their email address
  • Fall back rate
    The percentage of interactions where the chatbot did not know an answer to a question.
  • Custom dashboards/reports
    Can you create your own dashboard or reports?

eCommerce

BotStar provides a Stripe integration, that you can use to accept payments within your chatbot.

Unfortunately, BotStar doesn’t provide direct integrations with other eCommerce software.

  • Payments
    Collect payments inside your chatbot
  • Shopify
    Direct integration with Shopify to get products, order information and cart data.
  • WooCommerce
    Direct integration with WooCommerce to get products, order information and cart data.
  • Buy directly within the chatbot
    Ability for chatbot users to buy products or services directly from a chatbot
  • Cart abandonment
    Trigger messages in the chatbot when a user abandons their cart on a website or inside the chatbot

Templates & Cloning

BotStar delivers 70 pre-built templates, which you can use immediately to build your chatbot.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to create templates yourself and share them with others.

On the other hand, you can duplicate your chatbot flows and chatbot elements.

  • Templates
    How many pre-built templates does the chatbot platform provide?
    70
  • Make template
    Can you make templates yourself?
  • Share template
    Can you share self-created templates with others?
  • Duplicate chatbot flows
    Is it possible to duplicate chatbot flows, so you can easily reuse them?
  • Duplicate chatbot elements
    Is it possible to duplicate chatbot elements, so you can easily reuse them?

Optimization

With BotStar it is not possible to do any kind of optimization (such as A/B Testing).

  • A/B Testing
    Can you optimize your chatbot flows by performing A/B tests?

Support

BotStar provides a guide (when you are first starting), tutorials and really good documentation to get you started with the software. Also, they have a Facebook community in which you can ask questions to other BotStar users.

Furthermore, they provide support via their ticket center and over live chat.

  • Tutorials
    Does the chatbot platform provide tutorials on how to use its platform?
  • Documentation
    Does the chatbot platform provide documentation on how to use its platform?
  • Customer support
    Does the chatbot platform provide customer support?

Whitelabel Platform

This is not a section I usually include in my review, but I think it is important to mention.

In the Enterprise plan of BotStar, it is possible to have a Whitelabel platform. This is a feature that is extremely applicable to agencies because agencies can now act as if they have built their own chatbot software, but in fact it just a white-labeled BotStar platform.

I do not know the prices of Enterprise plan, because they are custom-made per customer, but this is also a really promising feature!

Conclusion

So, should you buy BotStar?

No, you should not.

Although BotStar has great features, I would currently not recommending using it, because of the instability of the company.

Last year (2021) BotStar announced that it would discontinue its services. Then, customers needed to switch to their rebranded platform (called Chative), which didn’t have any automation features. Of course, BotStar customers (and especially customers who bought their AppSumo deal) weren’t happy.

Following, in June 2022, BotStar unexpectedly stated that BotStar will “live on” and now BotStar users can continue with BotStar.

Even though this is a good sign for their current customers, I would currently not recommend investing your time and money in it, because of the instability of the company and the decisions they made in the past.

 

Comments (16)

  1. ปั๊มไลค์

    Like! Really appreciate you sharing this blog post. Really thank you! Keep writing.

    1. Joren Wouters

      Thank you 🙂 Will do!

  2. Amy Fischer

    Very useful information, Thank you very much!

    1. Joren Wouters

      Happy to help! 🙂

  3. Steven

    Good information buddy

    1. Joren Wouters

      Thank you 🙂

  4. Christopher

    Great review… I’ve been debating this product but the more I learn about it I think it may work out. You said it didn’t have delays, I’m wondering if that is a typing delay?

    1. Joren Wouters

      Hey Cristopher! Yes, this is the typing delay. But you also cannot send a certain delay between two messages.

  5. Malcolm

    Great info hopefully they’ll will consider an abandonment function

    1. Joren Wouters

      That would be great!

  6. James

    Here is 2020 and I like boxstar but I’m waiting for new updates on their platform prime example Instagram log other platforms are using it so what’s the delay. On the Pro Plan if you go over 500 what’s the Dish channel cost c a customer we set up and they have on their Facebook or Instagram 3000 subscribers?

  7. Joren Wouters

    Hey James! Unfortunately, Botstar has announced that it discontinues its services as of October 30, 2021.

  8. Rel

    Do not buy Botstar as they did a bait and switch with their AppSumo customers by not honoring what customers paid for, because ‘they need to keep the company afloat’. The owners took AppSumo users money in Feb-March 2021, and not long after that, went radio silent. Fast forward 7 months later, they finally reappeared and with the announcement ‘we need to make some changes because the current model cannot sustain’.

    So they basically took all the money 7 months prior and kept quite about their predicament and then decided to screw their customers. They only made the announcement at this time because it would have passed the threshold where customers can request for a refund. They already knew where they were heading (into trouble), so they decided to do one last cash grab based on the high demand from their previous offerings before executing the bait and switch.

    Do not be fooled, they are now trying to rebrand themselves as Chative. The owner, Huy Dinh, has given all reasons for this pivoting, but his pulling of the radio-silent-cum-wait-until-the refund-period-is-over shows he is cunning and is without honor.

    Their community page is full of complaints. The owners will not honor refunds from the majority of users.

    And the latest drama is they are forcing whatever users left they have to migrate over to a new system, but forcing them to commit their organisation allocation now when users have no idea what they are getting into or how the new system works. They are forcing users to commit, and have suggested PAID users to register with a 14-day trial account to test out before they commit because it is a one-way ticket.

    How Huy Dinh and his partners/employees do business, take peoples money, and sleep at night is truly astounding. People without morals.

    1. Joren Wouters

      Hey Rel! Thank you for sharing your experience. Since you are not happy with BotStar anymore, which chatbot platform are you currently using?

  9. Eden

    Hello there,

    I tried to contact the service this botstar to get information about the continuity of services.

    They never answered me. They propose to switch to their other current service, we have until October 2022 to make the transition but I would like to know what will become botstar if we do not switch to Chative, their new service.

    I had bought 3 codes on Appsumo and for this same code name, I noticed that the switch to Chative would be considerably disadvantageous for me compared to what I was entitled to with Botstar…

    So my question is, is Botstar going to disappear? If so, if I don’t want to lose more money, I’d better switch to Chative.

    What do you recommend? Did you manage to contact the Botstar service? Even on Chative, they didn’t answer my questions, it’s very worrying…

    1. Joren Wouters

      Hey Eden! I wouldn’t recommend buying BotStar or Chative at the moment. BotStar has discontinued its service, so they definitely will not come back. And right now, Chative doesn’t have any chatbot features, only livechat, so I wouldn’t recommend them as well.

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