New Retail Chatbot Leverages StoreMode Platform for In-Store Product Location and Integrates Natural Language Understanding (NLU) Providers to Decipher In-Store Shopper Questions
Point Inside, the leading provider of digital mapping and indoor location-based services for top retailers, today announced their StoreMode-enabled chatbot. Available to all shoppers, the chatbot streamlines communication between retailers and shoppers, offering a seamless conversational in-store shopping experience. Shoppers can now answer the frequent ‘Where is…’ question without the help of a store employee; increasing store sales while reducing store labor expense.
Point Inside expands the reach of self-service technology beyond native applications and web by applying its retail chatbot to commonly used messenger platforms. Available via Facebook Messenger or SMS, the chatbot can assist retail shoppers that want to quickly locate the aisle of desired products in a brick-and-mortar store. Leveraging NLU to decipher shopper questions and Point Inside’s machine learning to describe the location of keywords, or products, within the store, it can answer questions such as “where are the coffee makers?” and “can you help me find the lawn and garden section?” with the aid of a map.
Josh Marti, co-founder and CEO of Point Inside, commented, “Today’s consumers expect instant answers and fast resolution. Time is invaluable and giving back that time immensely improves the shopping experience. According to Forrester Research, 73% of adults say that valuing their time is the most important thing companies can do to provide them with good customer service. “While store associates will remain an important piece of the retail customer experience puzzle, retailers need to consider how they can leverage technology to better meet their customer’s needs.”
The chatbot is powered by StoreMode’s store-specific search service to give shoppers the best results, which are returned in both text format and a dynamic link which can be directed deep into the retailer’s app or to the web. This shopping tool maximizes the efficiency and increases the satisfaction of a consumer’s shopping experience while decreasing cost and driving more sales for retailers.
Industry expert Robin Lewis, CEO of The Robin Report, added, “Chatbots operate as a support resource that offers consistent and accessible customer service, meeting shoppers’ needs at any point of the customer journey. From the time a shopper taps a key on their digital device or walks through a retail door, they are beginning a journey that provides multiple touch point opportunities for interaction between the retailer and shopper. Arguably the most important touch points are when the shopper is seeking discovery and when making the decision to purchase. And, this is even more critical in the physical space. These two dynamics can be the most angst-ridden part of the experience or conversely, the most satisfying. The shopper-to-chatbot engagements not only optimize the in-store experience but also reveals unique and new shopper insights as well. Chatbots are just another miracle of technology, the latest tool in the ongoing effort to unify the online and brick-and-mortar experience.”
By using tools like Watson’s Conversation API’s to understand which product or services the user is looking for, Point Inside’s chatbot has already achieved 95 percent accuracy in identifying more than 35,000 potential product search questions for a single retailer that, on average, has over 100,000 unique product locations in-store. Having integrated the latest NLU capabilities from Google API.ai, Amazon Alexa, and IBM Watson, among others, retailers can now plug this chatbot into their existing speech to text services with very little effort. In addition to assisting with product location, the chatbot solution can help shoppers locate in-store landmarks like a restroom, in-store pickup or customer service desk.