We've come a long way since the days of AIM and SmarterChild. The world of chatbots is emerging and fast-moving, with players as diverse as Sephora and StubHub. With the ability to exist outside apps, often leveraging texting and voice technology, chatbots have the environment to thrive and bring a sense of efficiency to consumer interactions. The promise of the “affordable butler” has arrived. Not only do bots streamline transactions, they allow brands to capture a breadth of consumer data while engaging with customers one-on-one. Unlike platforms like Snapchat and Kik, largely geared to a certain demographic, chatbots have vast — and valuable — applications to consumers of all ages.