An alternative to asking a sales associate for information about an item is to consult your smartphone. Macy’s is offering a new mobile companion that is accessible via a web browser. It delivers information that is specific to a store. For example, customers can find out if an item is sold out, discover the location of the item in the store, and learn about the services offered. The application is powered by IBM Watson. The goal is to make the shopping experience more enjoyable, and make in-store shopping the first choice customers make instead of shopping online.
The mobile companion is available in the following five stores:
- Bethesda, Maryland
- Woodbridge, New Jersey
- Portland, Oregon
- Arcadia, California
- Miami, Florida
Five other locations have a feature that lets customers call sales associates. These are located in:
- Short Hills, New Jersey
- Buford, Georgia
- Atlanta, Georgia
- North Miami, Florida
- Garden City, New York
The mobile companion is available at macys.com/storehelp. The retailer is working on an app.
Here’s more information about IBM Watson from Wikipedia:
Watson is a question answering computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, developed in IBM’s DeepQA project by a research team led by principal investigator David Ferrucci. Watson was named after IBM’s first CEO and industrialist Thomas J. Watson. The computer system was specifically developed to answer questions on the quiz show Jeopardy!. In 2011, Watson competed on Jeopardy! against former winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. Watson received the first place prize of $1 million…
In February 2013, IBM announced that Watson software system’s first commercial application would be for utilization management decisions in lung cancer treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in conjunction with health insurance company WellPoint.