- Men's high-end fashion brand Mr Porter launched a chatbot on Facebook Messenger to help shoppers find holiday gifts, according to a press release shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The Mr Porter Style Assistant lets people find gifts based on their desired style, budget and product category. Once a shoppers selects items to purchase, they're directed to the mrporter.com website to complete the transaction.
- The assistant, which is accessible on Messenger via a mobile device or desktop computer, is part of the luxury brand's broader holiday marketing campaign, "The Holiday's Made Easy." Mr Porter Style Assistant uses campaign creative to tie together the cross-channel effort and further help shoppers navigate the holidays through recommended gift ideas and links to the brand's additional holiday content.
Mr Porter's chatbot arrives as shoppers are getting inundated with holiday marketing campaigns that can become overwhelming or frustrating. The chatbot may help to cut through the clutter by providing automated and customized service while helping people avoid the crowds and lines at brick-and-mortar stores.
The menswear site is among the brands that have launched chatbots on Messenger to help mobile users shop. Ray-Ban, Gap and Renault also have used the platform since Facebook first made a major push in 2016 to help developers build automated chat experiences for uses beyond customer service. Facebook in May said more than 300,000 chatbots had been created for Messenger, up from 100,000 a year earlier, VentureBeat reported.
Many retailers and brands have launched chatbots as gift guides around the holidays to stand out among competitors or to test their functionality with shoppers. Positive results of the tests may help to determine whether a retailer should invest in developing a more sophisticated bot for more advanced customer service.
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology, including chatbots, is growing increasingly popular among companies looking to beef up their customer service. More than two-thirds of executives said they use instant messaging chatbots, automated self-service channels and sentiment analysis to deliver highly personalized experiences that strengthen ties with customers, according to a study by MIT Technology Review and customer experience platform Genesys. About 25% of customer service and support operations will employ virtual assistants or chatbot technology for customer engagement across multiple channels by 2020, according to a Gartner forecast.