1–800 Flowers Tests Concierge Chatbot Powered By IBM’s Watson

What Happened
1–800 Flowers has jumped into the world of conversational commerce with a concierge service that recommends flowers based on user input. Dubbed “Gwyn,” which stands for “gifts when you need,” the service is powered by IBM’s Watson cloud computing services, which allows it to understand natural languages and respond accordingly.

The e-retailer first started testing Gwyn last May with a limited beta test, and has since updated the service to make the interface more conversational and user-friendly before rolling it out on its website to all customers to try. The company also launched a Facebook chatbot last April, which was mostly manned by human customer reps but has since graduated to handling some basic customer service tasks on its own.

What Brands Need To Do
This is the latest in an ongoing trend of brands tapping machine learning and AI services such as IBM’s Watson to enhance customer experience. Previously, Sony Pictures launched an AI-powered chatbot to promote its new Residential Evil flick while P&G tested a smart shelf that uses machine learning to monitor and analyze shopper behaviors. As consumers continue to embrace messaging apps and chatbot services, brands need to consider developing useful bots powered by AI services to engage customers.

How We Can Help
Based on our extensive experience in building branded chatbots to reach consumers, the Lab has developed a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The NiroBot we built in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a chatbot experience supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data. If you’re interested in learning more about this or have a client opportunity, please reach out to our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.


Source: Digiday