Tars is chatbot software for building chatbots on websites and WhatsApp. But is this software worth buying? Let’s find out!
For this review of Tars, I use the criteria of my post on how to choose the best chatbot software.
Table of Contents
When you log into Tars, the first things you see is an overview of all the chatbots you have:
In the bottom right, there is a button where you can click on to get support when you get stuck.
If you are going to build a chatbot for the first time with Tars, the platform helps you with setting it up by using step-for-step help pop-ups:
Selecting the gambit in Tars:
And actually changing the content of the Gambit:
A chatbot flow consists of multiple Gambits, and eventually can look like this:
As you can see, Tars make use of a visual flow builder to make chatbots with. And it is really easy to use the interface and to set up your chatbot.
The Tars platform really helps you to set up your bot with the step-by-step pop-ups and you can even choose from 81 different templates if you need some inspiration. Moreover, you can test the chatbot in the interface:
The only drawback of the interface is that from the chatbot flow it is not possible to see what the content of each gambit is. So you really need to click on each Gambit to see what’s in it.
- Visual Flow BuilderCreate chatbot dialogs with a visual flow builder.
- Test chatbotIs 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?
Every Gambit (chatbot element in Tars) is structured in a standard way: the chatbot sends a message and the user responds with a certain element:
As you can see from the above image, it is also possible to do validate the input of the user. For example, when you ask for an email address and the answer doesn’t have a “@”, the chatbot will ask for the email again.
Moreover, you can choose from various input elements the user can respond with:
And the user can even share their location:
- DelaysUse delays between messages in your chatbot
- ImagesCan you send images via your chatbot?
- VideoCan you send video via your chatbot?
- AudioCan you send audio via your chatbot?
- AttachmentsCan 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 listShow a vertical list of items inside your chatbot
- EmojisCan you use emojis inside your chatbot?
- Persistent MenuCan you add a persistent menu to your chatbot?
- Quick RepliesCan you add quick replies to your chatbot where users can click on?
- ButtonsCan you add buttons to your chatbot where users can click on?
- Free text inputCan chatbot users freely type text to your chatbot whenever they want to?
- Location sharingCan users share their location inside the chatbot?
- Email validationWhen a chatbot user gives their email, can the platform validate it's a correct email address?
- Phone number validationWhen a chatbot user gives their phone number, can the platform validate it's a correct phone number?
- Date validationWhen a chatbot user gives a date, can the platform validate it's a correct date?
With Tars it is possible to see the user information of every interaction with your chatbot:
And when you ask a question, the answer to that question is automatically stored (as you can see above with “gid_1”).
However, there is a drawback. It is not possible to make custom fields yourself. So you cannot ask the question “What is your email?” and store the value in the “email” custom field. What Tars does, is that it stores the value to the name of Gambet. And this is not so useful, because when you ask for the email twice, the second answer will not override the first answer, but two different fields are made:
Besides, it is not possible to assign tags to certain users. Because custom fields and tags are not possible, it is logical that you also can’t make user segments.
- Custom fieldsStore information from your chatbot users inside fields. For example, you can ask for someone's email and store it inside the "email" custom field.
- TagsAdd tags to users in your chatbot flows to organize and categorize contacts.
- User segmentsCan you create user segments based on custom fields and tags?
With Tars, it is not possible to send broadcasts or sequences to your users, which is a drawback, because these are the most important ways to get users back to your chatbot.
Furthermore, it is possible to use conditions in your chatbot flows (using the “Conditional Logic Jump”):
Also, it is possible to make a chatbot in any language, but it is not easy to translate your chatbot to different languages.
- BroadcastsSend a message to all or a part of your chatbot users at a specific date and time
- SequencesSend messages on a pre-defined schedule with a certain time interval between those messages
- ConditionsMake 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 languagesIs it possible to create a chatbot in multiple languages?
- Easy to translateCan you translate text to other languages without using a third-party platform and without creating duplicate flows?
AI & NLP
With Tars, it is not possible to recognize keywords and provide an appropriate answer to your users, which is a huge drawback.
Likewise, it is not possible to use any AI & NLP, such as grabbing the intent of the user or using entities.
- KeywordsTrigger chatbot flow based on certain words or phrases a user says to the chatbot.
- IntentsTrigger a chatbot flow by understanding the intent of the user.
- EntitiesCapture 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 integrationDoes the chatbot platform provide a direct integration with Google's AI Platform?
With Tars you can make a chatbot for your website and on WhatsApp.
If you want to put your chatbot on WhatsApp, you need additional software: Twilio. This results in higher costs because sending a WhatsApp message via Twilio costs $0.0135 per message.
So, it is not possible to provide an omnichannel chatbot experience to your users, which could be a potential drawback.
- WebsiteCan you publish your chatbot on your website?
- Can you publish your chatbot on Facebook?
- Can you publish your chatbot on WhatsApp?
- TelegramCan you publish your chatbot on Telegram?
- SMSCan you publish your chatbot on SMS?
- SlackCan you publish your chatbot on Slack?
- SkypeCan you publish your chatbot on Skype?
- Can you publish your chatbot on email?
I always say that a live chat integration is the most important integration of any chatbot software. But Tars doesn’t provide this, which is a huge drawback.
Moreover, they do have an integration with Zapier, which allows you to connect your chatbot with other software, such as a CRM.
Furthermore, Tars doesn’t provide integrations with Integromat and Google Sheets. On the other hand, it is possible to create your own webhooks.
- LivechatDirect integration with live chat, either via a built-in live chat functionality or a third-party live chat platform.
- ZapierDirect 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 SheetsDirect integration with Google Sheets, to store or retrieve data from sheets.
- WebhooksCan you call an API inside your chatbot flow to send or get data from other applications?
With Tars, it is possible to put a website widget on your website in your website’s design (native website widget) and to create your own landing page with your chatbot on it.
Most of the rest of the Marketing tools are focused on Facebook and therefore not applicable to Tars, because they don’t provide chatbots for Facebook Messenger.
But I do need to say that it is a drawback that you cannot make custom URLs to your chatbot.
- Facebook website widgetEmbed your chatbot as a Facebook Widget on your website.
- Native website widgetEmbed your chatbot as a native widget (your own branding & colors) on your website.
- Landing pagesCan you create a simple landing page to drive users to your chatbot?
- Facebook AdsStart a conversation with your chatbot when someone clicks on a Facebook Ad
- One-Time NotificationSend one-time notifications via Facebook Messenger for a topic that a chatbot user has opted-in for
- Facebook comments auto-replyAutomatically reply with your chatbot to users who comment on your Facebook Posts
- Button creatorAdd a button to your website to drive users to your chatbot
- Custom URLs for your chatbotGenerate a simple URL that can be shared anywhere to send users to your chatbot
Tars comes with a 14-day free trial, which allows you to test their platform and decide whether it is a good fit for you
The paid plan costs $99 per month and comes with 5 chatbots, 1000 chats per month, 1 chatbot designed by a Tars expert and limited features. The next plan costs $499 per month and comes with 10 chatbots, 5000 chats per month and 3 chatbots designed by a Tars expert. Also, this plan has more features:
I must say that Tars is pretty expensive for the features that they have. Their Professional plan costs $99 per month, but it is not possible to add custom fields to users, send broadcasts, send sequences, recognize keywords, no live chat integration and they only have websites as a channel (for WhatsApp you need Twilio). These are essential features, and most (cheaper) chatbot software have those, but Tars don’t.
Also, in the Professional plan, a lot of features aren’t included, such as the Google Calendar integration, Zapier Integration and Webhooks. You must pay $499 per month for that, which is a lot of money.
So in short, I think Tars asks way too much money for the value they provide.
- Free trialDoes the chatbot platform provide a free trial?
- Free planDoes the chatbot platform provide a free plan?
- Price per monthWhat is the lowest price per month for creating a chatbot on this platform?99
- Monthly pricing available?Is it possible to pay monthly?
- Money back guaranteeIs there a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the platform?
Tars provides a dashboard in which you can analyze the number of unique bot visits, the number of bot conversations, the number of bot goal completions, the bot interaction rate and the goal conversion rate:
Moreover, it is possible to see these statistics over time:
Thus, in general, these analytics are pretty minimal, but I think enough to see how your chatbot is performing.
- DashboardDashboard that provides general analytics of your chatbot.
- User inputGet the input from users that your chatbot didn't understand.
- Sent messagesThe number of messages that were sent by your chatbot.
- Open rateThe percentage of chatbot users that opened a message inside your chatbot.
- Click rateThe percentage of chatbot users that click on a button inside your chatbot.
- Conversion rateThe percentage of users that converted through your chatbot. For example, the percentage of users that gave their email address
- Fall back rateThe percentage of interactions where the chatbot did not know an answer to a question.
- Custom dashboards/reportsCan you create your own dashboard or reports?
Tars doesn’t provide any integrations with eCommerce software.
- PaymentsCollect payments inside your chatbot
- ShopifyDirect integration with Shopify to get products, order information and cart data.
- WooCommerceDirect integration with WooCommerce to get products, order information and cart data.
- Buy directly within the chatbotAbility for chatbot users to buy products or services directly from a chatbot
- Cart abandonmentTrigger messages in the chatbot when a user abandons their cart on a website or inside the chatbot
Templates & Cloning
Tars provides 81 free templates that you can install right away to make your chatbot.
Moreover, it is possible to make a template of your chatbot and use it again in a different chatbot. But is not possible to share that template with others.
Also, you can duplicate your chatbot flows and chatbot elements.
- TemplatesHow many pre-built templates does the chatbot platform provide?81
- Make templateCan you make templates yourself?
- Share templateCan you share self-created templates with others?
- Duplicate chatbot flowsIs it possible to duplicate chatbot flows, so you can easily reuse them?
- Duplicate chatbot elementsIs it possible to duplicate chatbot elements, so you can easily reuse them?
It is not possible to do any kind of optimization with Tars, such as A/B Testing.
- A/B TestingCan you optimize your chatbot flows by performing A/B tests?
Tars provides video tutorials and extensive documentation on how to use their platform.
They also provide support via live chat and email.
- TutorialsDoes the chatbot platform provide tutorials on how to use its platform?
- DocumentationDoes the chatbot platform provide documentation on how to use its platform?
- Customer supportDoes the chatbot platform provide customer support?
So, should you buy Tars to create my chatbots?
No, I shouldn’t.
I think that Tars is overpriced software for the value they provide.
With Tars, it is not possible to:
- Add custom fields to users
- Send broadcasts
- Send sequences
- Recognize keywords and provide a good answer
- Have live chat (most important integration of a chatbot software)
And these are all pretty basic and essential features for a chatbot software.
Also, their first paid plan is $99 per month which is a lot of money for the features that they provide.