When Facebook rolled out its chatbot functionality for Messenger in 2016, early adopters flocked to adopt the shiny new technology, only to disappoint their customers with the the chatbots’ limited capabilities. As a result, response times lagged, user utility fell off, and chatbot adoption held flat as brands shifted their attention elsewhere.
However, two and a half years later, Messenger stands as the most popular social networking app in the iTunes app store, and the most innovative brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Fashion have continued to develop best-in-class chatbot strategies that provide value to customers. Here are a few examples:
Guided Selling & Lifestyle Content: Michael Kors’ chatbot encourages users to interact with the brand via the Gift Guide, which assists in purchasing decisions; Destination Kors, which features travel destination highlights; or by learning more about the KORSVIP loyalty program.
Customer Service: Louis Vuitton augments its highly knowledgeable customer service representatives outside business hours by directing users to the brand’s Messenger chatbot, which promptly answers questions on inventory availability, returns and more.
Re-Engagement: Cole Haan leverages its chatbot to send trigger notifications via Messenger when a product is left in the shopping cart on the brand’s site, allowing the brand to re-target with messaging or a discount code.
As consumer usage of Messenger continues to climb, expect to see the channel pique brands’ interest once again in 2019 as more thoughtful, strategic applications of chatbots surface across the industry.