Retail Chatbots Show The Power Of Artificial Intelligence

by MR Magazine Staff

At The Mall of America in a suburb just south of Minneapolis, shoppers walk 1.15 miles just to make their way around a single level of the sprawling shopping destination visited by 40 million people every year. And with multiple floors in total comprising around 5.6 million square feet of total building area—enough to fit nine Yankee Stadiums—some might find it handy to have a digital guide for navigating the nation’s largest shopping center. The mall—call MoA by the locals—has partnered with IBM to integrate the company’s Watson technology to create a “mobile concierge” that helps shoppers make their way around. Using Watson’s conversational API, a holiday-themed chatbot—fittingly named “E.L.F.” (short for Experience List Formulator)—helps guests plan a personalized shopping experience based on whatever they’re looking for. E.L.F., created in partnership with Satisfi, guides guests through a series of questions related to how much time they have to spend and what types of activities they’re looking for. (After all, the Mall of America has a Nickelodeon theme park on the inside—along with a Lego play area and aquarium.) The chatbot, available on Facebook and via mobile browser, then offers a selection of retailers, rides and other activities during the allotted time period. Read more at Adweek.