The aftermath of the 2016 Holidays is the closure of 100 Macy’s stores with the loss of 10,000 jobs. Yet this comes at a time where Macy’s has also been investing heavily in its Omnichannel mix. At 1080Bots we see that conversational commerce via the messaging interface is a vital channel for retail. So we decided to take a look at the Macy’s chatbot on Facebook Messenger.
How the Macy’s Chatbot Rolls
Macy’s has selected Facebook Messenger as their platform of choice. Pressing the Get Started button brings up a menu of options as a carousel and buttons – a nice touch. Typing the word ‘Search’ instead of pressing the button stumped the bot. However, the cute response, “I checked everywhere…” was appreciated, if you’re going to fail, then fail elegantly.
Searching for Chelsea Boots
We then just asked for ‘Chelsea Boots’ and far from not being smart, it nailed it showing us a selection of exactly that. We wanted to get more specific, so typed “Men’s Chelsea Boots black’ and the bot hit the spot again. Very solid search.
Scrolling through the results, we found a pair that we were interested in, so we clicked the ‘Shop Now Button’. Seamlessly the mobile app opened up at the page with the shoe on it. We were only a click away from an order, that’s good frictionless commerce.
Featured Shops and other Functions
After a great product search experience, we wanted to see if the bot could do anything else, so we tried some store finder functionality. But it took it as a product search again. So we typed ‘Start Over’ and the bot duly complied. From the main menu, we selected ‘Featured Shops’ and were shown a set of curated collections.
We also tried the ‘Customer Service’ link, which took us to a human-powered chat window. We tried the ‘Back’ command, an easy concept with a browser, but a tricky one for a chatbot. Finally, we took a quick look at the persistent menu where the top level options were available at all times.
Macy’s Chatbot – A Great Experience
So what did we learn from the Macy’s bot?
- The actual shopping experience was very clean, responded well to the keyword search and got us to a page where we could purchase with no friction
- Dialogs were friendly, not overly long and the bot was witty enough when it could not respond
- Great use of carousels and buttons and the persistent menu provided a solid home for navigation
- When it was time to pass control to a human, it let you know explicitly
- Where a button is offered, the customer may use the button or they may type the word correctly or incorrectly. The bot should be robust enough to recognize it
Generally, this is a great chatbot to learn from, we liked it and are waiting for new features to be added. If you’re looking for a chatbot for your ecommerce store, then Macy’s is a very good example. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of building your own, then drop us a line at email@example.com, or fill out the form below.