A number of brands and retailers are looking to implement chat bots to provide a better online customer service and relieve pressure from call centres. Essential Retail looks at three of Facebook's clients which have built bots in the UK to leverage Facebook Messenger to connect with customers during the festive season.  

Estée Lauder

Since the beginning of December, Estée Lauder has been trialling Messenger to sell products online in Europe.

As part of its pop-up gifting campaign, No.6 Mortimer, the bot allows customers to choose from a selection of products for in-store collection, instant courier across London and nationwide express delivery.

Customers use Messenger for the entire purchase process and do not have to leave the environment to checkout or pay.

In the future, the beauty brands wants to leverage the bot to offer customers direct access with consultants to ask questions about the products.

"Today’s changing consumer behaviours mean that we need to adapt to the need for instant access to our products and services," said Chris Good, president, The Estée Lauder Companies UK & Ireland. "For the time-poor consumer, convenience is the new luxury. We are constantly looking at new ways to provide greater choice and flexibility, trialling new features like Messenger alongside live chat and other existing digital offerings while continuing to deliver a ‘high touch’ level of service across all channels."

Mark Lapicki, director of retail innovation at The Estée Lauder Companies UK & Ireland added: "This unique service is for time-poor consumers seeking ultimate convenience, with immediate purchase and delivery of our gifts in as little as 60 minutes. We are delighted to be partnering with Facebook to trial commerce inside Messenger."

Burberry

Burberry first trialled bots for Messenger at London Fashion Week and has now launched a new bot as part of its 'Tale of Thomas Burberry' Christmas campaign.

After the launch of its four-minute cinematic advert detailing the life of founder, Thomas Burberry, accompanying video ads on Facebook and Instagram directed customers to the Messenger bot. Using the technology, which is powered by AI and live chat, customers can learn more about the life of Thomas Burberry, the brand, heritage and the product.

The bot also provides direct access to Burberry’s ‘Book of Gifts’. Customers can explore products and are directed to the Burberry website to purchase.

TK Maxx

TK Maxx has used its Facebook Messenger bot to help customers receive the perfect gift for Christmas, with the help from Baby Oracle – a member of the family from its TV advert.  

Baby Oracle provides humorous chat on the platform via baby-speak, emojis and gifs. Once the bot learns what the customer wants for Christmas, it then provides a personalised video with the customer which can then be shared on Facebook to provide a hint to loved ones what they would like to receive on the 25th of December.