We were inspired of the possibilities chatbots represent. We believe an early entrance in the chatbot era will open new customer segments and build closer relationships to customers.
We did some research on existing applications such as the virtual assistant project “M”, the shopping bot “Spring” (https://www.botpages.com/bots/xdHYaxb2LSTf6gcdZ), and the e-commerce bot “Fynd” (https://www.messenger.com/t/gofynd/)
Research have shown that 30% of online time is spent on social media platforms. (http://www.globalwebindex.net/blog/social-media-captures-30-of-online-time) We believe the opportunity to reach users in this domain, without forcing them to exit the platform represents an important competitive edge.
What it does
The Chatbot responds to natural language to guide the potential customer in the process of buying clothes. In the end it will hopefully end in a confident and happy customer buying new clothes from Zalando.
How I built it (We)
We used the Microsoft Bot Framework and combined it with the zalando API. We used cards to showcase the products and LUIS to guide the user on the journey, in addittion to mure structured options later on in the process.
Challenges I ran into (We)
We tried to implement payment methods both with stripe and TransferWise, but ran into challenges with payment solutions and safe handling of card information in addition to a higher treshold in the bot. This is also regarding to how users feel about giving up sensitive information to a bot in a chat situation.
We also ran into limitations in the free version of the Microsoft LUIS (Language Understanding Intelligent Service) , when we were inserting entities, which were limited to ten.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of (We’re)
To get the bot up and running, and making a logic and engaging shopping experience for the customer
What I learned
There are already a lot of exiting bots available, but the market for applications of it is just starting. How to combine different APIs to develop custom projects.
What's next for GiftWise
We would love to complete the whole shopping experience in the GiftWise bot system. An exiting feature with a large potential could be to include affiliate marketing with coupons and discounts directly in the bot, to further strengthen the business case, as well as giving more value for the user.
Combining with different shops could also be an option, but we also think that a focused and clear value proposition to the user is important.