Retail Trends

Top Retailers Burberry and Sephora turn to chatbots to boost sales and service

2 min read

Today’s consumers are increasingly willing to use new technologies to shop and one of the latest technologies to gain traction in retailing is chatbots. These allow consumers to access personalized shopping and customer service options in a way that is comfortable and relevant.

A recent report from Publicis Groupe’s DigitasLBi found that over one third of Americans are willing to make purchases using a chatbot and that consumers are more willing to interact with chatbots if they benefit from the exchange. More than half have or would be willing to communicate with chatbots to receive offers and coupons or recommendations, and uptake is particularly strong in the millennial demographic bracket.

Bots represent a tremendous opportunity for brands to connect with their customers on a personal level while providing them with timely, contextual value. They can help retailers identify customer intent behind inquiries and they can learn a customer’s preferences based on multiple interactions, which they can use to provide more relevant, personalized recommendations in the future.

Chatbots transform the shopping experience

Chatbots are software applications that can use natural language to imitate a live shopping interaction and provide personalized responses to consumer’s requests effectively, automatically and at scale. The idea is for them to assist or guide a customer towards the right product or service. Many use chat applications like WhatsApp or Messenger to ask questions and make recommendations, and then capable of completing a payment transaction. But the technology is flexible enough to be adapted depending on a retailer’s objectives.

For example, Burberry launched a chatbot at London Fashion Week, offering a select group of influencers and brand ambassadors a behind-the-scenes look at the latest designs and an opportunity to shop the new collection before anyone else. The chance to “buy what you see” the minute it hits the runway is a relatively new trend in fashion retail and it offers a unique benefit for trendsetters.

Sephora uses a Virtual Artist chatbot which enables mobile users to take a snapshot of themselves and then to virtually try on over 3,000 lip colors. The shades can be filtered to best match the customer’s skin tone and complementary items can be recommended.

Flexible, centralized platform is crucial for success

The retail landscape is in constant evolution, so retailers need a technology strategy that offers them the flexibility to embrace new in-store technologies such as mobile POS and virtual channels such as chatbots. That is much easier to achieve with a tightly integrated e-commerce solution and modular software platforms, such as Openbravo´s Commerce Suite.

A modular architecture provides unlimited flexibility to change and adapt your system to new technologies or business processes so you can embrace innovation and stay ahead of the competition. Openbravo’s centralized management of inventory, orders, and commerce provides a critical foundation to ensure modern technologies retailers choose to leverage are consistent and integrated across all channels.

For more information about the Openbravo Commerce Suite features that can help you leverage new technologies and channels to drive sales and grow your retail business, please register for Openbravo’s webinar, Introduction to Openbravo Commerce Suite Solution for Specialty Retailers on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 11:30 CET.