Convenience store giant jumps into chatbot game

7-Eleven is trying its hand at conversational commerce.

The convenience store giant launched a chatbot on Facebook Messenger, called The 7-Eleven Bot. Attracted by the approximately 1.3 billion people who use Messenger each month, 7-Eleven saw a new opportunity to reach customers in their online ecosystem by leveraging the Messenger app, according to the company.

Here's how it works: Consumers using Messenger can connect with 7-Eleven and engage in a conversation with the 7-Eleven Bot. Using the chatbot, customers can sign up for the 7Rewards customer loyalty platform, find a store location near them, and learn about the latest discount offers, among other capabilities.

The technology, which is driven by Conversable, a conversational intelligence software platform that leverages automation and machine learning technology, learns from customer responses. As a result, the chatbot will help the company research new — or better — solutions to consumer issues, 7-Eleven said.

The bot will also help 7-Eleven revamp its loyalty program. For example, customers immediately receive a digital card in messenger and “scan it scan to start earning points, check status as well as collect coupons when they choose,” said Gurmeet Singh, 7-Eleven chief digital officer.

The program augments the digital coupons that can be redeemed through the 7Rewards app, which enables customers can earn and redeem rewards through their smartphone. The app can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play.

"Today's digital-savvy consumers expect brands to be present when and where they choose, in an effortless manner," said Singh. “This new form of customer experience proves that 7-Eleven is redefining convenience through digital, as well as pioneering a new era of loyalty programs.”
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