Brands are shifting away from instant response times on Facebook Messenger and are instead prioritizing product curation via chatbots. Only 10% of brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail UK reply to customers instantly, plunging from 30% in 2017.
UK high street retailer Ted Baker has introduced Seemore, a Facebook chatbot that acts as a virtual assistant, offering immediate answers to Facebook followers’ questions and providing them with product and outfit inspiration. The chatbot uses artificial intelligence to learn from interactions with customers and, over time, aims to provide more accurate answers as well as a further personalized service for Ted Baker’s Facebook community. The service was launched in tandem with the fashion retailer’s autumn range and features a customizable “shop the look” tool that provides transaction opportunities via the Messenger app. This tool is said to have helped contribute to Ted Baker’s 24% increase in e-commerce sales in Q3.
Furthering this trend, pure-play brand Zalando has introduced Facebook Messenger for visual search. Users can upload a product photo, and Zalando’s chatbot will surface related products that link directly to product pages. The chatbot then follows up with complete outfits and looks based on specific product selection.
As brands take to messaging apps for both one-on-one customer support and product and content curation, they should tailor their approach to how consumers use different platforms.