- The North Face has introduced an online tool powered by IBM’s Watson that asks questions to help online shoppers find items that suit their needs.
- The Expert Personal Shopper takes the work out of filtering the brand’s many options by asking several questions, then suggests items based on the answers.
- Now in beta, the tool produced an average engagement of about two minutes, with 60% of customers clicking through to product pages.
The North Face debuted a new tool on its website that helps visitors pick out outerwear items by having IBM’s Watson ask a series of questions and deliver a handful of options based on the answers. Watson typically asks how the shopper plans to use the new jacket or coat first, then enquires about shopper's gender, planned activity, expected weather conditions and more.
The Q&A format is little more than a prompted filtering device, but is has delivered steady engagement in beta testing, with most shoppers staying online through about two minutes of questions and clicking through to a product page. User data will help improve product suggestions, and the new shopper/CSR function could apply to any number of contextual shopping needs.
Conceived by digital agency Fluid, the platform is supposed to offer advice similar to a live salesperson. Watson specializes in answering queries spoken in plain English and organizing unstructured data in a number of industries already, and is increasingly finding new purposes in retail marketing such as tracking trending products and helping non-tech people seek out data insights.