I.N.C International Concepts, the Macy’s fashion and lifestyle brand that partnered with designer Anna Sui to create a fall collection, introduced a chatbot on Facebook Messenger and an emoji keyboard to showcase its new line, a statement said. The chatbot provides personalized notifications while letting shoppers view the collection and make direct purchases.
The Anna Sui x INC collection features printed dresses with long fringe, tops with feminine prairie accents, floral-embroidered jackets, multi-hued miniskirts and flare-legged pants. Sui also curated a collection of her favorite pieces from I.N.C titled Anna Loves INC that will be available at Macy’s stores nationwide and on Macys.com this fall.
The chatbot and emoji keyboard are powered by Snaps, an AI conversational platform that helps brands find new customers and increase lifetime value through chatbots, voice skills and social messaging products.
Fashion and apparel brands targeting younger consumers are embracing chatbots as a way to reach consumers interested in the latest technology and styles. Levi's recently launched a chatbot to help jean buyers find the right fit while Adidas teamed with designer Alexander Wang during the summer for chatbot ordering. These developments suggest that early trepidations over the clunkiness of chatbots is giving way a growing sense of their potential to engage customers of some brands.
The I.N.C chatbot on Facebook Messenger has limited functionality and really acts more like a slideshow for the Anna Sui x INC collection. The chatbot doesn’t answer direct questions, and instead provides suggested comments that users click in order to see another slide or video of the brand's collection.
The typical chatbot response is: “Hi there! The best way to move through is to keep clicking!” But eventually the chatbot leads to a “Shop this” link that can be clicked to reach the Macys.com website to make a purchase. The chatbot signs off by saying it will reach out with additional Facebook messages, which can be turned off
Fashion brands have rolled out chatbots with varying capabilities on Facebook Messenger, as Digital Luxury Group pointed out in March. Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry both launched chatbots during New York’s Fashion Week in September 2016. Tommy Hilfiger’s bot was designed to drive traffic to its website while highlighting a fashion line with model Gigi Hadid. Burberry’s chatbot let fans shoot the looks they liked and then shop for items from the fashion show directly from the app. Burberry’s chat has grown more sophisticated since acting as a slideshow for its products, and now can link to a live chat, a store locator function and the ability to book an Uber ride to a location.