"One notorious retailer that received a lot of press for its clever use of social messaging last December is Nordstrom. Seizing the holiday season as an opportunity to launch its chatbots, the team used AI technology to interact with consumers through Facebook Messenger and provide them with gift recommendations for their loved ones."
I had previously read about the rising popularity of businesses using chatbots as part of their digital marketing/customer service campaigns, but the quote above caught my attention. With the Nordstrom mobile chatbot campaign, users who engaged with the bot via Facebook messenger or Kik were asked a couple questions about the person they're shopping for. The bot then provides gift ideas, products that were sold thru the Nordstrom website.
This got me thinking: yes, it's pretty neat that a user provides information to this chatbot about the person they're shopping for, but what if a partnership with social media platform, let's say Facebook for example, allowed a chatbot to offer gift suggestions by data collected without the user input? In this scenario, the user would select the occasion, whether it be a birthday, bar/bat mitzvah, kwanzaa, and the chatbot (linked to Facebook) would offer suggestions based on likes, posts published, events attended, etc.
Business ethics, of course, would come into play. Thinking of the social media company providing your data in this manner seems quite scary no? But, they're already doing it.
Could this disruption of the shopping experience be something we see retailers do in the digital space in the future?
Note: Pretty neat/innovative stuff for Nordstrom to take part in. Guess that's why the popular retailer could be the next acquisition target for Walmart or Amazon.