Facebook Messenger’s foray into the chatbot game is getting some serious fashion kudos of late. Hot on the heels of Tommy Hilfiger’s launch during New York Fashion Week, comes Burberry’s new initiative on the platform for London.
The British brand is using the service to share content around the new collection as well as live customer service.
As per the typical format of such chatbots, it operates as a series of multiple-choice questions inviting the user to say what they want to see. You can opt to reveal the fact Virginia Woolf novel, Orlando, influenced the line for instance, as well as see animated sketches of certain looks in womenswear, menswear and accessories.
Throughout the conversation is a nudge to “skip to the maze” whereby a somewhat gamified experience is revealed. A GIF of a traditional looking garden maze is revealed telling the user to “step inside to reveal pieces from the new collection”. That inspiration comes from Nancy Lancaster’s interior and garden designs.
Clicking on emojis of hands pointing left and right, you can surface new sections of the maze featuring models walking through the vertical hedges. One of the discoveries includes the Floral Field Jacket, found hooked on the shoulder of a sculpture.
“Conversational commerce” as a theme has been gaining steam over the course of 2016 – meaning chatbots that serve to direct the user to retail throughout various content means.
Burberry is of course making its show shoppable immediately for the first time this season. All 83 men’s and women’s looks, comprising over 250 pieces from the September collection, will be available to purchase through Burberry’s physical and digital retail network, shipping to over 100 countries.
“The changes we are making will allow us to build a closer connection between the experience that we create with our runway shows and the moment when people can physically explore the collections for themselves. Our shows have been evolving to close this gap for some time. From live-streaming, to ordering straight from the runway, to live social media campaigns, this is the latest step in a creative process that will continue to evolve,” said Burberry chief creative and chief executive officer, Christopher Bailey.
The show will be live-streamed via Burberry.com as usual as well as on Facebook Live for the first time. It will also see specific Snapchat geo-filters for those close to the show space and other key live event spaces in London and the US. On WeChat users will be able to exclusively buy two editions of the Bridle bag from the collection.
The catwalk itself will be hosted at Makers House in London where a partnership with The New Craftsmen will also see an exhibition and open series of activities for a week celebrating the craft and inspiration behind the collection.
This story first appeared on Forbes.