Cosmetics company Estée Lauder launched a holiday shopping bot on Facebook Messenger, making it the first major retailer to do so in the United Kingdom. Sorry, US-based makeup lovers.
The company, whose makeup brands include Bobbi Brown, Clinique, MAC, and more, is preparing for the demand of the holiday season with a new bot that incorporates delivery within an hour across London. As part of a Christmas pop-up shop near their Mortimer Street headquarters, London residents can shop for and buy presents on their smartphones by messaging the No.6 Mortimer Facebook account. Unfortunately, this is available on select multi-branded gift sets only, but we can anticipate the company using chatbots more in the future.
President of Estée Lauder Chris Good says, “Today’s changing consumer behaviours mean that we have to adapt to the need for instant access to our products and services.” He also emphasized that “For the time-poor consumer, convenience is the new luxury.” Good promises that the company will continue to add new digital offerings and features for their customers.
The chatbot isn’t especially, well, chatty—but is straightforward and simple. Just don’t expect the bot to give you any recommendations or compliments. Once we got started, we only had three options: gifting, store info, and opening time.
Once we reached “Gifting” the bot showed us a number of colorful gift packages for grooming and skincare. For those who struggle with picking out presents, these kinds of sets can be lifesavers. Want to get your mother-in-law something nice? Boom, face care gift set. Need to bring something to an office gift exchange? Stocking filler gift set. Just be cautious and make sure your recipient doesn’t take “for tired lacklustre skin” too personally. The bot can definitely help someone who’s trying to pick out a nice last-minute gift, but doesn’t want to deal with the stress of hunting one down in an overwhelming, crowded department store. Clicking “More Info” will take you to the item’s description on their website , so you know exactly what you’re getting.
The selection isn’t huge, but this is just for a pop-up. We’re curious to see how Estée Lauder might incorporate chatbots when they’re working with a much bigger collection. After you select “Choose” you can pick your method of delivery: picking it up in-store, express delivery, or immediate delivery (naturally, this one is only available when the store is open). The whole process was very intuitive, and the bot makes sure to double-check your information so you don’t have to worry about accidentally clicking the wrong thing.
What do you think about No.6 Mortimer, the Estée Lauder Facebook bot? Do you think it’s something you’d like to see come to the United States? Let us know in the comments below.