Macy’s in-store mobile companion

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Macy’s is piloting a mobile web tool called “Macy’s On Call” that enables customers to interact with an AI-powered platform via their mobile devices.

The web tool is powered by IBM Watson cognitive technology and the Satisfi intelligent engagement platform. Assessed via a browser, the mobile companion allows customers to input natural language questions regarding each participating store’s product assortment, services and facilities and to receive a customized response to the question. A customer, for example, could type, “Where are the men’s shoes?” and receive the location in that particular store. Because each Macy’s store is different, Macy’s On Call” is providing shoppers with a way to get information fast as they shop and navigate the store, according to IBM.

Peter Sachse, Macy’s chief growth officer, says, “At Macy’s, we remain focused on identifying, testing and supporting new ideas and approaches that will help elevate service to our customers through technology. With an eye toward innovation, we are moving fast to test and scale up pilot programs that help enhance their experience with us. This program, in partnership with Satisfi and leveraging the power of IBM Watson, will help us explore new ways to engage one-on-one with customers in-store, providing them another level of service right at their fingertips.”

Accessed via macy.com/storehelp, the pilot of “Macy’s On Call” answers store navigation details provided by department, brand and product category, and offers insight into the in-store services available at each test location—from myStylist personal shoppers to Buy Online, Pick Up in-store counters and store facilities including restrooms. The engagement is conducted through a simple question-and-answer interface leveraging Watson’s Natural Language Classifier.

Macy’s is currently piloting the new mobile web tool in 10 stores across the country. At some of those locations, the interface is available for customers in Spanish via Watson Language Translation, as Macy’s tests language capabilities, functionality and consumer interest in engagement via preferred languages.

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