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Here a Bot, There a Bot, Everywhere a Bot, Bot

The impact of bots on ecommerce traffic

The Impact of Bots on Ecommerce Traffic

You’ve probably heard of the term “bot” working in ecommerce, but what exactly is a bot? A bot, short for robot, is an automated software program designed to perform specific tasks or functions without human intervention. Bots can be found across various online platforms, from social media to ecommerce websites, and they play a crucial role in shaping the digital landscape, particularly when it comes to ecommerce.

Identifying Bots

One of the keyways to identify a bot is by observing its behavior. Bots often exhibit patterns that differentiate them from human users. For example, bots may post content at a rate or with a consistency that would be challenging for a human to maintain. They may also show a lack of natural language patterns or exhibit a limited range of responses. Additionally, bots may use generic or automated profile images, have a large number of connections or followers, or engage in repetitive actions across multiple accounts.

Good Bots vs. Bad Bots

Not all bots are created equal, and it’s important to distinguish between “good” and “bad” bots. Good bots are those that are designed to provide useful services or enhance the online experience. For instance, chatbots can offer customer support, answer questions, and automate routine tasks, making interactions more efficient. Other beneficial bots include web crawlers that index web pages for search engines, social media bots that curate and share relevant content, and automation bots that streamline workflow processes.

In contrast, bad bots are those that are created with malicious intent. These bots may be used for tasks such as price scraping, where they collect data on a competitor’s pricing, spam distribution, account hijacking, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, or spreading misinformation. These bad bots can disrupt the online shopping experience, leading to lost sales, damaged brand reputation, and increased security risks.

Kalio’s Response

Over the last several years, we have seen a significant and growing amount of bot traffic hitting our customer’s websites. This has resulted in a growing number of performance and site stability risks because of this bot traffic.

With the advent of so many AI tools, the number of bots has grown exponentially. Also, the bots are growing more sophisticated as they don’t always come from the same user agent or same IP address and can therefore be harder to detect. Subsequently, new tools are needed to detect and prevent this growing concern.

At Kalio, we’ve been configurating and testing a new bot detection tool that will allow us to better assess the different types of bots coming to your website and help us more quickly identify the problematic ones. Then, using a variety of techniques, such as blocking known bot IP addresses, rate limiting external requests, and strengthening authentication processes (e.g., the use of Captchas), to name just a few, Kalio will be able to react and mitigate these bots more quickly moving forward.

Interested in learning more about how Kalio works to protect your ecommerce website? Call us at 513-619-6025 or contact us here.