Facebook’s annual developer conference F8 is seeing its fair share of chatbot integration announcements.
Now the fashion world is taking center stage as both Rue21 and mode.ai announce their plans for a virtual stylist offering through Facebook’s Messenger app.
While Rue21 is working with artificial intelligence–driven shopping bot provider mode.ai to take advantage of Facebook’s newly launched Chat Extensions feature, mode.ai also announced its plans for its own integration.
Following months of financial struggles and store closings, this move by Rue21 is likely an effort to resuscitate its relationship with the consumer experience. Through Chat Extensions, organizations are able to move beyond the standard customer service interactions to become part of a larger ongoing chat conversation.
mode.ai’s senior vice president of business development, Karen Ouk, commented on how chatbots are evolving and what it means for retailers. She said, “A lot of chatbots right now will just answer an initial question and then push you to a person or somewhere else. There’s an opportunity for bots on messaging platforms to allow retailers to have a level of relationship with customers that they currently don’t have on any other platform.”
With these introductions into the chatbot and Messenger route, it’s likely that these virtual retail interactions will significantly evolve the way businesses interact with consumers over the next few years.