AI for the Enterprise

Artificial intelligence transforms the in-store shopping experience with the pilot of “Macy’s On Call”

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From the introduction of the Internet to the advent of mobile phones, technology has fundamentally changed how consumers browse, purchase and interact with retailers. This transformation is entering the retail store itself now, as consumers increasingly seek enhanced mobile experiences with in-store navigation, special offers and personalization. In fact, 70% of U.S. shoppers say that say that they now use their devices while shopping in-store, either every single time or on a regular basis.

At Satisfi, we are on the hunt for ways to improve customer engagement in retail spaces and change the way brands and Head-n-shoulders-2-(0-00-00-00)consumers interact. By tapping into the cognitive computing smarts of IBM Watson, coupled with our intelligent engagement platform, our goal is to uncover new ways retailers can reach customers and deliver the personalized experiences they crave.Today, Satisfi has teamed up with IBM and Macy’s to unveil the pilot of Macy’s On Call, a first-of-its kind, in-store shopping assistant powered by artificial intelligence. Using our platform and Watson’s Natural Language Classifier and Language Translation APIs, we’ve built a tool to help shoppers easily access the information they need as they shop and navigate the store. Consumers can ask questions in natural language and seek out information in-store, all from the palms of their hands.Macy’s On Call is being piloted at 10 Macy’s across the country. Shoppers at each store can visitmacys.com/storehelp and type queries like, “Where are the ladies shoes?” or a combination of brand and product inquiry such as “INC dress.” In response, the tool will deliver a relevant response and the location of that product in the store. Queries can include topics such as:

  • Where products, departments and brands are located
  • What services and facilities can be found in a particular store — from myStylist personal shoppers and Buy Online, to Pick Up in store counters and store restrooms

In addition to understanding English, the pilot can also interact with customers in Spanish, which marks the first time IBM Watson will be used to help guide Spanish-speaking shoppers through the in-store discovery process. Thanks to Watson’s Machine Learning technology, the tool learns and improves based on each interaction with a customer, becoming more intelligent each and every day. As shoppers continue to engage with Macy’s On Call, it will go beyond enhancing their experiences in the moment. We’ve developed the tool so that it can help Macy’s improve customer service over time. Through continued usage, Macy’s is able to gather details from the platform’s usage and better understand consumers’ questions, comments and concerns relevant to each store — enabling each location to make tailored improvements based on localized feedback.  We’re energized to be at the forefront of what we consider to be the next wave of retail: cognitive commerce. Cognitive commerce allows retailers to make the most of the vast amount of data available, parsing it for insight and using the knowledge to improve decisions and customer experiences. We can’t wait to see how our work contributes to this evolution.

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