Will Levi’s virtual stylist put more online shoppers into its jeans?
Anyone who has shopped for Levi’s jeans lately knows that the brand offers an ever-expanding selection of variations on the basic theme of denim. To help e-commerce customers navigate the options, Levi’s has rolled out its own virtual stylist.
Levi’s virtual stylist is accessible both through the levi.com website and through a Facebook Messenger chatbot, according to a press release. Users can chat with the bot in a conversational tone to get advice about which variety of jeans will meet their needs. The bot asks questions about fit, shape and stretch preference and combines the responses with sizing information to give a recommendation. The virtual stylist also allows users to share potential jean styles they’re considering and let their friends vote on them, and offers a gallery of user-generated images of people wearing each product.
The virtual stylist represents another major brand making use of a chatbot that can communicate with customers to walk through the ordering process and help in product selection. Subway, for instance, has implemented a Facebook Messenger bot for sandwich ordering. In apparel, The North Face offers a conversational Watson-based AI to guide website customers to a piece of clothing that meets their needs.
Using a chatbot to give customers a clearer idea of what jeans will look like in real life could help Levi’s reduce e-commerce returns, a money-saving goal that many apparel e-tailers are striving for.
Third-parties have jumped in to try to solve the high-returns problem. Mobile app Metail, for instance, allows e-commerce customers to see how clothing with fit on virtual on-screen bodies.
But Levi’s virtual assistant could be more effective than apps like Metail if only because of the nature of the product. While a virtual try-on for a broad range of apparel may not quite stand in for the real try-on experience, Levi’s jeans have a finite number of characteristics — and e-commerce shoppers may stick with a variety they like.
- Levi’s Launches New ‘Virtual Stylist’ Online Feature – Levi Strauss & Co
- Will chatbots drive a conversational commerce trend? – RetailWire
- Will IBM Watson help customers make better choices? – RetailWire
- Will an AR try-on app cut down on online clothing returns? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is the virtual stylist something Levi’s shoppers need and will they use it to choose jeans? What makes a brand a good candidate for leveraging an online assistant/chatbot and similar technology?