Nordstrom launches chatbot for holiday shopping

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Partnering with Facebook Messenger and Kik gives Nordstrom's bot access to more than 1 billion users.

Nordstrom has launched its first-ever chatbot to engage with mobile shoppers. With the help of mobile marketing platform Snaps, the service will be available on Facebook Messenger and Kik through Dec. 24.

“Our customers expect Nordstrom to offer amazing products, personalized services and differentiated experiences,” Nordstrom spokesperson Jessica Canfield told GeekWire. “In that spirit, we’ve partnered with Snaps to launch the first Nordstrom Chatbot, a truly unique gifting experience that brings all of those things together by delivering a recommendation for anyone on your list this holiday season.”

A bot will ask users a series of questions about who the gift is for and then generate tailored ideas based on the answers. If a user would like to message with a human to get gift ideas, they can just type in who they are looking to buy a gift for and a customer care agent will respond shortly with ideas from the Nordstrom site.

According to Snaps CEO Christian Brucculeri, partnering with Facebook Messenger and Kik gives Nordstrom's bot access to more than 1 billion users.

RELATED: Facebook's new Messenger bots let retailers sell in chat

“Nordstrom understands the need to start building data, case studies and results in messaging apps,” Brucculeri said. “At Snaps, we view Nordstrom’s holiday chatbot experience as their first foray into the space. It is just one part of the brand’s continued dedication to delivering content experience, intelligent messaging, commerce opportunities, and customer care on messaging apps—exactly where customers want to interact.”

Chatbots are growing in popularity with consumers as more and more shoppers prefer not to interact with a human when making a purchase. According to a survey by Aspect Software Research, 44% of consumers would prefer a customer service interaction with a chatbot than a human.

RELATED: 29% of consumers pick chat as preferred customer service channel

Earlier this year Nordstrom laid off 120 people in its technology department and restructured to streamline investments in digital growth. After hiring new CTO Kumar Srinivasan, a former Amazon veteran, the company planned to spend $300 million on technology and e-commerce improvements in 2016.

RELATED: Nordstrom restructures tech team