Shopping Assistant Bots: IBM Watson’s ELF At Your Service Inside MoA

Shopping Assistant Bots: IBM Watson's ELF & At Your Service Inside MoA

The shoppers inside Mall of America (MoA) can now experience top-of-the-world interaction with bots. Called the Shopping Assistant Bots, they are designed specifically keeping the festive season in mind. As part of the pilot project developed by IBM Watson Group, the latest bot called Experiential List Formulator (E.L.F.) is the first of its kind artificial intelligent technology for a retail firm. ELF will assist shoppers and guests in MoA by guiding them to their preferred shops and theme parks via mobile interaction.

The launch of ELF bot comes following Macy’s decision to tie up with IBM Watson through Satisfi. Satisfi is an AI engagement platform and developer partner for IBM Watson that has been working on developing innovative in-store shopping assistant called Macy’s On Call. This new initiative on Shopping Assistant Bots has been taken since the customers are more likely to use their smartphones rather than asking the store associates for support whenever they are visiting a retail store physically.

Macy’s On Call is a mobile web tool that will assist shoppers to surf through 10 stores inside MoA during the pilot stage. Macy’s in Bethesda, Maryland; Woodbridge, New Jersey; Portland, Oregon; Arcadia, California; and Miami, Florida will provide self-serve platform. Meanwhile, Macy’s at Short Hills, New Jersey; Buford, Georgia; Atlanta, Georgia; North Miami, Florida; and Garden City, New York will have a feature that will allow the stores to ask for manual assistance from an associate of Macy’.

It will be possible for the customers to key in their queries in natural language related to things such as the location of brands, departments and specific products and what facilities and services are available in a specific store. The bot provides relevant and customized responses.

After launching Macy’s On Call and ELF, IBM Watson Group also announced its third collaboration with Macy’s by launching of a SMS-based bot— At Your Service for Fashion Island mall. Elf and At Your Service, both, run on Watson’s Conversation and Alchemy Language APIs. They use Watsons’s Natural Language Classifier API for enabling interactive sessions. Moreover, the Language Translation API of Watson has been integrated too at certain locations so that the consumers out there can speak in Spanish.

The machine learning capabilities of Watson also signifies there will be more accuracy and intelligence in the Shopping Assistant Bots platform, which will be obvious from the quality of customer interactions. IBM Watson and Satisfi make a formidable pair delivering a powerful and enhanced in-store shopping environment.

Meanwhile, Macy’s continues support and deploy new martech strategies to elevate customer experience inside malls and on mobile. Staisfi-Watson collaboration with Macy’s has opened up new in-store customer engagement platforms providing instant AI-based Shopping Assistant Bots assistance.

IBM Watson’s ELF and On Call will definitely ease the shopping experience this Christmas and New Year.

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