Jewelry designer and retailer David Yurman has launched a holiday gifting bot on Facebook Messenger, according to a Fashion Network post — a move that comes as luxury brands are increasingly rolling out chatbots of all kinds.
The Facebook Messenger Gifting Bot lets customers shop David Yurman gift guides through Messenger by selecting a recipient type (Her, Him, Themselves), and then filtering through the gifts based on category, metals and price range. After choosing a gift, users are taken to the David Yurman website to see more details and complete the purchase.
The gifting bot, like many other chatbots, can also help users find the nearest David Yurman store using mobile location technology, or contact a customer care specialist directly.
The holiday shopping season offers a great opportunity for brands and retailers to make a high-profile push into new technology capabilities, and gifting bots, as well as other kinds of customer service bots, seem to be a popular choice this season.
Last month, Saks launched a similar gifting chatbot right before Black Friday, and just last week Louis Vuitton rolled out its own chatbot. David Yurman and Saks are marketing their bots as gifting bots, which makes sense given the holiday timing, but the short-term commitment could also be a convenient means of testing out the technology, so that the retailers don't feel obligated to use chatbots long-term if they don't perform well during the holidays. Neither company has said much about long-term plans with the technology, but it will be interesting to see if and how these brands evolve their chatbot capabilities, and how the chatbots themselves are marketed once the holiday season is over.
While David Yurman isn't the first brand to launch a chatbot — by a long shot — the company has historically been pretty aggressive with mobile technologies, pursuing a mobile-optimized website back in 2011. Like Saks and Louis Vuitton, David Yurman has chosen to start its chatbot out on Facebook Messenger, which makes sense, given Facebook's early support and tools for messaging chatbots. Although, as more brands begin offering chatbots, we should expect to see them on just about every messaging platform where users gather.
David Yurman's gift bot has one other thing going for it. While many chatbots launched with limited capabilities, and were not adept at quickly guiding users to complete a purchase, the luxury jewelry retailer's gifting bot is of the more recent generation — a chatbot specifically designed to help shoppers find what they are looking for, and then buy it. That should help overcome some of consumers' doubts about using the tech, and make the investment more worthwhile for the company.