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Wingstop soars with conversational commerce via chatbot initiative

Conversational commerce continues to grow with chicken wing restaurant chain Wingstop the latest to introduce an ordering option through Twitter and Facebook Messenger, bringing its products to where consumers are spending time.

Wingstop has introduced a push on Twitter and Facebook in which users can place orders and complete purchasing directly within the message thread in a reflection of how marketing and conversational platforms are merging together. Yahoo is also exemplifying the rise of content on messaging platforms through a partnership with Kik to provide a series of chatbots for weather and news content.

“Conversable is more than a chatbot,” said Stacy Peterson, chief information officer at Wingstop. “Conversable is a conversational commerce platform that uses business logic to build a series of automated responses and structured conversations with our customers.

“It integrates into back-end business applications, like an ecommerce system, to provide relevant content and services,” she said. “In our case, they serve our menu, items and prices to the customer in a structured conversational flow which allows them to place an order.”

Conversable is the back-end platform Wingstop is tapping into the for message-based ordering service.

Conversational commerce
Customers on Twitter and Facebook can now message Wingstop’s official accounts to begin ordering online. On Twitter, users can send a tweet to Wingstop saying “order,” which then prompts an automated response from the retailer to start a direct message thread.

Within the private message, users can place and customize their orders with various wing sauces, as well as pay for their purchases. The automated service acts as a chatbot and places the customer’s order with the closest Wingstop location.

On Facebook, users can start their order by sending the message “order” to its account through Facebook Messenger. The chatbot then will go through the various steps to place the order in the same manner as the direct message within Twitter.

Yahoo also announced, in partnership with Kik, that it will be launching a series of chatbots on the messaging platform’s marketplace for automated messaging accounts, Bot Shop. The media brand is sharing information in a conversational format for news and weather, as well as another chatbot that acts as a virtual pet.

Users will be able to message with Yahoo to get a more in-depth look at news stories and weather in which the bot will provide answers to consumers’ questions in a conversational format. The @monkeypets account will allow users to receive virtual selfies and interact via emojis.

Messaging with retail
Sephora similarly drove customers to Kik in a contest asking users to answer three questions and enabling the retailer to build its audience on the platform while gaining shopper insights (see more).

Facebook continued to position its Messenger app as a one-stop destination for users, with a new code integration suggesting a future as a mobile wallet, a move that could address the issue of low conversion rates (see more).

“Wingstop already had an ecommerce system that provided ordering capabilities via our Web site, mobile Web site and apps, however, it required our customers to come into our space, our digital storefront,” Ms. Peterson said. “Conversable is a service layer that sits on top of third-party messaging platforms like Twitter and Facebook and connects to our back-end ecommerce system to pull menu, items and prices through a series of conversations or messages.

“By utilizing this service layer, we were able to very quickly extend our full menu and ordering capabilities to our customers in their space,” she said. “We took ordering directly to the customer in their Twitter and Facebook Messenger apps where they are already talking about craving, needing and wanting Wingstop.”