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Macy’s teams with IBM Watson for AI-powered mobile shopping assistant

IBM Watson Macy's
The new AI-powered Macy’s On Call mobile tool from IBM Watson and Satisfi

Macy’s is set to launch an in-store shopping assistant powered by artificial intelligence thanks to a new tie-up with IBM Watson via developer partner and intelligent engagement platform, Satisfi.

Macy’s On Call, as it’s called, is a cognitive mobile web tool that will help shoppers get information as they navigate 10 of the retail company’s stores around the US during this pilot stage.

Customers are able to input questions in natural language regarding things like where specific products, departments, and brands are located, to what services and facilities can be found in a particular store. In return, they receive customised relevant responses. The initiative is based on the idea that consumers are increasingly likely to turn to their smartphones than they are a store associate for help when out at physical retail.

Head over to Forbes for the full story on what the technology itself includes as well as further detail on what the experience enables the customer to do.

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e-commerce Editor's pick mobile social media

Shopping start-up Spring launches one of first bots on Facebook Messenger

Spring_messenger_bot

Facebook announced the launch of its bot store during its F8 developer conference Tuesday, and m-commerce start-up Spring was one of the first businesses demonstrated using it.

The shopping app founded by David and Alan Tisch, is introducing what it calls a “personal shopping assistant” powered by Facebook’s new send/receive API. Already live in Messenger, it operates as a very simple conversation based on a series of multiple-choice questions, much like Sephora’s chatbot, recently launched on Kik, also does.

“Hey Rachel! What are you looking for today?” Spring asks, before providing numerous buttons to direct your responses. That conversation continues through product category, specific products, price point you’re willing to spend, and eventually, a carousel featuring five items you might want to buy. Clicking on one opens up a shoppable page to checkout from, before it sends you back to the message thread and surfaces up your receipt.

Head over to Forbes to read more about it, including the role artificial intelligence plays in building out such future natural language interactions, and the ability for personalisation at scale that it offers retailers.