Zappos Tests a Digital Personal Assistant
The online retailer unveils a new service called 'Ask Zappos'
Online retailer Zappos has unveiled a new service that aims to help shoppers find specific products by taking item requests in the form of images.
The new service, aptly called Ask Zappos, is like a digital personal assistant who will help customers track down specific items even if the retailer doesn’t have the items in their online store.
The new service takes these requests in the form of images. Customers can either text a photo, email a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org, post the photo on Instagram with the hashtag #AskZappos, or upload the photo on the Ask Zappos web page. In addition to the photo, customers can include a short description of what they are looking for in the photo – a certain print, pattern or combination of colors, for example. The Ask Zappos service will try to find the exact item and even provide links to a few alternatives that look similar or carry the same style.
According to the FAQs on the webpage of the new service, “real, live people” from the company’s customer service loyalty team are tasked to respond to these requests on Ask Zappos. The new service can help customers find items of clothing, footwear, bags, and accessories, including hats, sunglasses, jewelry, and other fashion items.
The online retailer has reportedly been testing the Ask Zappos service since June, but has only started promoting the service a few days ago on their mobile homepage.
The service is free and is just the latest initiative by Zappos Labs, the company’s research and development group based in San Francisco. Zappos Labs was set up in 2010 to experiment with new ways to shop, engage customers, and connect online. The Ask Zappos service aims to enhance customer service via digital channels in a growing e-commerce market.
The service is currently being run by a small team at Zappos Labs, but, according to a report on CNET, the team will hand it off to folks at the Zappos Las Vegas headquarters if it becomes successful and many people start using the service.